Here are some photos and video about our trip to Alaska. We cruised the first section of our trip
from Vancouver to Seward with my mom and sister and the second section we traveled independently
up to Denali National Park.

Day 1 - Vancouver through the Inside Passage


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After Natalia had done some research on different cruise ship options, we settled on the Celebrity (owned by
Royal Caribbean) Millennium boat heading northbound from Vancouver to Alaska along the Inside Passage.
Natalia insisted on a balcony, which was actually quite nice. Here is Natalia in our Deluxe Stateroom with
balcony. It was exactly the same square footage as my Mom and Renée's room, but at twice the price and with
a balcony.


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I wound up having business in Vancouver that week (the week of Stampede) so I went in early and then drove the
ladies to our cruising dock in downtown Vancouver at Canada Place. Here is the view from our balony as we are
still docked.


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As we walked onto the boat, the crew immediately offered us a rum drink with fruity stuff in it. Here is Renée
enjoying the view into downtown Vancouver while Natalia tries to bargain for a drink.


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At $9 a drink, only my Mom and I jumped onboard.


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My mom and I enjoying our rum Zodiacs as we look towards North Vancouver from the 11th deck.


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Mom, Renée, and Natalia enjoying a drink onboard the ship shortly after we've departed.


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Renée and Natalia looking back at downtown Vancouver.


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Natalia and I with a view into downtown Van city.


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Natalia and Renée immediately began Project Relaxation.


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Since we weren't entirely sure how the cruise ship meals worked, we elected to have a more casual dinner
the first night on our boat in the Oceanview dining area. This is set up as a buffet-style restaurant
although it often had a nice carvery, pizzeria, along with Indian food, Chinese food, and other options.
This is the view towards the Sunshine Coast as my mom is enjoying her dinner.


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Whenever you went to a server at a station, they'd often give you a new plate, so I took this photo since
Natalia wound up with 5 plates on her tray. My mom thought this was pretty funny, especially since the
dessert tray was added by my mom.


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Natalia went back for some sushi to try out too.


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We had a beauty sunset our first night on the boat as the sun dipped behind Vancouver Island. Smooth
sailing ahead!


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I was quite surprised to see snow on the peaks of Vancouver Island on July 13th. Maybe there is some
reasonable skiing to be had there...

Day 2 - Cruising the Inside Passage of BC


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Even though the forecast called for rain just about every day we sailed, the weather for our trip was
absolutely phenomenal. Here is the view from our balcony as Natalia and I are enjoying our room service
(included and ordered from my TV!) breakfast.


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This is the view, again from our balcony, of looking across the passage to Vancouver Island.


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Since we spent the whole day sailing, we had lots of time to look around the boat and find the best options for
viewing. This photo is taken from the top of the 12th deck looking forward. I think we've now left Vancouver
Island and started our tour through the Inside Passage of BC.


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This is a bit of a weird photo, but I took it to show the top of the cruise ship as we're moving forward through the
channel. The photo is taken looking backwards at the boat and you can see the glass roof of the indoor pool, which
is nice for days when it's a little chillier.


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While the ladies played Bingo, I had a drink in one of the nicer lounges on the boat - the Cosmos lounge
which is surrounded by windows and serves great cocktails.


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Some of the views looking inland from the boat.

Video of a view around the Inside Passage of BC at the Grenville Channel



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Again, the snow levels here often made me force myself to remember that this was July 14th!


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I thought the rock in this little inlet reminded me of Leavenworth in Washington state.


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Cruising the Inside Passage gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval. I thought this little inlet would have
been a neat spot to drop anchor and explore with a canoe or a kayak.


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On night 2, we discovered the Metropolitan Grill - the excellent restaurant on the boat that we had
already paid for. It was a little strange not having prices on any of the food items (the drink list had
prices though), but every day they offered the same menu items along with their daily specials for appetizers,
soups/salads, main course, and a dessert. Here are Natalia and Renée enjoying their dinner together.
On this night, my mom didn't join us since she hadn't found the right motion sickness drugs yet.


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I elected to have frog legs as an appetizer. They were good but not amazing.


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Since Justin didn't join the cruise and since my Mom wasn't feeling well, we had an empty seat at our table.
We created a fake Justin and made a smiling face on his napkin.


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Here I am feeding Justin some chocolate dessert of sorts.

Video of Renée and Natalia talking about dinner



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Natalia and I at our 'formal' evening on the boat.


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I took this photo from the boat since I thought it looked pretty neat. This looks out to the west from our
position on the boat as we began to leave Canadian waters.


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Renée joined us at the Cosmos Lounge at the front of the boat. It's one of the nicest drinking lounges
I've seen in awhile. Pretty awesome views and great drink choices.


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Renée thought the tea container was funny so she wore that as her nose along with a piece of biscotti
for the mouth.

Ketchikan, AK


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We arrived into Ketchikan early in the morning and docked. This is the view into the town from our balcony.
Look at how much snow is on the mountain above town.


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This is looking further north into Ketchikan.


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Ketchikan is like a lot of other Alaska cruise-ship towns: full of crappy souvenir shops, lots of jewellery
stores, and a myriad array of other junk shops. Overall, the towns are cute, but a little make-believe.
This is Renée pointing the way to Mortimer's pooper.


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Renée, my Mom, and I outside of our boat in Ketchikan. I like the big bald eagle. It's great.


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Natalia at the salmon capital of the world.


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Natalia and Renée taking photos with an orca whale.


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I took a photo of my Mom next to these flowers. I think they are lupines.


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Mom and Natalia with the 'Raven Stealing the Sun' totem pole.

Snorkeling in Ketchikan with Snorkel Alaska


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The cruise ships also do well by marking up other company's tours. In this case, the good folks from
Snorkel Alaska ran a terrific trip. Here is our crew
getting ready for our tour.


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The view out to the little bay that we snorkeled in called Mountain Point.


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It was a little more challenging wandering around the bay with flippers on, but it was pretty fun.


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The crew put up a flag to say we were in the water.


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I took a few photos underwater. Here's a jellyfish.


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This is a common starfish.


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Here is our guide showing off the cushion sea star and something else.


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A few more sea stars.


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Jellyfish and sea stars underwater. This is about 10 feet down.


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A little guppy-looking fish swimming around the kelp.


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This is a sea urchin. It was pretty spiny actually.


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This is a sea cucumber.


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This is a sculpin.


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These are little fish inside the kelp fields.


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Another type of jellyfish.


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I thought this photo turned out really well.


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I think this is a spiny starfish.


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This is a common sun star with many legs.


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This is a cushion star, but a little out of focus.


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Here's than sun star but underwater.


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This might be a northern starfish, but I don't remember. It was pretty rubbery.


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I tried to get a shot of myself underwater. I think the water temperature was ~50 deg F, but with my
7 mm wetsuit, it felt warm like Hawaii.


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Here's one of the cruise ships heading out to sea from Ketchikan.

Icy Strait Point


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So, Icy Strait Point is the name that the cruise ships give to the town of Hoonah. It's a built-up
Indian town that's owned mostly by the cruise ships and some by the Indian corporation. This is the
view from our balcony.


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We took the shuttle boat (called a tender) into Icy Strait Point for our stream fishing outing.


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Here are the ladies with our cruise ship in the background. The cruise companies wanted to have a place
that they could go where there's only one or two ships a day.


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One of the stops in Icy Strait is a old cannery that isn't operating anymore. This is one of the original
mechanization machines used at the turn of the century.


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An informative poster about the 5 different varieties of salmon.


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They change the bottom of the sign every time a new cruise ship comes to port.


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The ladies took a photo with the 'local' Indians.


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Mom and I and another totem pole.


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One of the attractions in Icy Strait Point is supposedly the longest zip line in the world at over a mile.
Here's their operation .


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My mom really wanted to fish for salmon in a stream so we signed up for this tour. Here we are setting
up for our tour by putting on our hip-waders.


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My mom and Natalia putting on their hip-waders. I think this was the part of the trip that Natalia was
the most excited about.


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A photo of Natalia helping my mom getting into her hip-waders.


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My mom thought it was really funny that this gentleman was helping her put her shoes on.


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Here are the ladies showing off their hip-waders.


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Here are the ladies with their fishing rods getting ready for a big day.


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We were a little surprised to hear our guide Tyler call out 'bear'. It turns out that this little bear
was interested in the same salmon we are.


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Another shot of this little brown bear.


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Natalia and a brown bear who are both interested in yummy salmon.


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Here's our guide Tyler and our bear.


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The ladies along with a bear.

Video of us fishing with a bear



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Renée getting ready for a big afternoon of fishing.


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Natalia loves her hip waders.


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This portion of our trip was actually my Mom's idea. Here she is working on her open reel casting.


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Our guide Tyler helped all of us get our hooks out of trees. Here he is helping Natalia.

Video of Renée catching a fish



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Renée caught the first fish - a dolly varden. It turns out that all of the fish we caught were dollies.


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Renée was so happy about her fish she kissed it.

Video of Renée with her line caught in a tree



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Here is my mom with her fish. She was quite excited to catch one even though she's fished her whole life.

Video of Natalia catching her first fish



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This is Natalia's first fish she's ever caught. Look at her excitement here.


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Natalia is reeling in another one.

One of our group actually caught a salmon on his last cast



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A chum salmon or a 'dog' salmon is such low end salmon that the fishermen feed it to their dogs. I think it's cool
that their tongues are black.


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Here's buddy with his dad and his dog salmon.


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The ladies enjoying their pina coladas and Mom is having a rum Zodiac (or Kodiac as she called them).

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