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Cruising Alaska:
Coral Princess (Northbound, Vancouver - Whittier)

by Murray Lundberg


    Days 1 & 2: Vancouver & at Sea
    Day 3: Ketchikan
    Day 4: Juneau
    Day 5 : Skagway
    Day 6: Glacier Bay
    Day 7: Prince William Sound & College Fjord
    Day 8: Whittier to Whitehorse

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.


Friday, July 2: We sailed far out to sea across the Gulf of Alaska after leaving Glacier Bay. The views of the Fairweather mountain range and its glaciers can be spectacular, but on this sailing there was nothing but water to see until we reached Kayak Island and Cape St. Elias.

A tug and barge passing Cape St. Elias at 6:00 am.

Approaching the Hinchinbrook entrance to Prince William Sound at 11:00.

Being buzzed by a United States Coast Guard helicopter surprised many people! It made a couple of circles around the ship and disappeared - I was on the bridge at the time and they were apparently just "showing the flag". This is an HH-60 Jayhawk Medium Range Recovery Helicopter, probably from the Coast Guard Air Station at Sitka.

The historic Cape Hinchinbrook Lighthouse.

There were lots of rain showers around us as we entered Prince William Sound, but the ship stayed dry.

A great deal of ice could be seen in the water between Bligh and Glacier Islands - Columbia Glacier is continuing its dramatic retreat.

Wells Passage is a particularly scenic area, and a group of half a dozen Dall's porpoises swam right beside the ship, directly below me, for a few seconds there. If I would have had my SLR I could possibly have gotten a photo but the little Fuji reacts too slowly.

That's me, hard at work in my office as we transitted Wells Passage. These talks from the bridge are rather odd in that you get little or no feedback except occasionally from someone on a balcony - you often have no idea whether or not anyone is even listening to you. Theatre presentations are much more fun.

The Alaska State ferry MV Taku in Wells Passage.

As we crossed Port Wells, I had to get back to my cabin and pack my suitcase, then grab a quick bite to eat before getting back to the bridge.

The approach to College Fjord is impressive. Glacier Bay in miniature! This was shot at 5:00pm.

Here's what the "secret" viewing areas at the front of Decks 10 and 11 of the Coral and Island Princesses look like from the bridge (which is on Deck 12).

We got extremely close to this seal. Just before this, we'd sailed through a group of perhaps 60 sea otters and were close to many of them, as well as 2 bald eagles on a particularly fine-looking little iceberg.

The Wellesley Glacier.

Rain somewhat obscured the views of Barry Glacier as we left College Fjord at 9:15pm. We arrived at Whittier, our disembarkation port, at about midnight. Some people think when they see that time on their schedule that they have to get off the ship then but you do actually get to wait until morning!



To Day 8: Whittier to Whitehorse


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