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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.

Saturday, July 3: 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!

This was my final look at the Coral Princess at 07:00 as I watched up the ramp to the terminal and motorcoach loading area.

The view out the motorcoach window as we approached the Whittier tunnel. We sat there for 45 minutes waiting for it to open at 8:00am - this train went ahead of us.

Driving along Turnagain Arm, up the Seward Highway. It's too bad that nobody has explained to our driver (who is obviously new at this game) how to double his wages. There's a lot to talk about on this route but he said very little and I doubt that he got any tips.

Swallows nesting in the APU exhaust of an Alaska Airlines jet! Luckily the jet is at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum so isn't going anywhere.

A visit to the museum is great anytime but is a particularly good way to kill layover time, and I had almost 5 hours before my flight to Vancouver. Craig, a commercial pilot I met on board the Coral, had been to Anchorage a few times but never to the museum so joined me.

The excellent museum is an easy walk from the airport terminal and has everything from little models (in this case the Lockheed Orion Sirius Explorer of Wiley Post) ...

... to large models (a Douglas World Cruiser from the US Army Air Corp's 1924 circumnavigation of the globe)...

...to real aircraft, restored (such as this 1944 Grumman Goose)...

... under restoration (including this 1931 American Pilgrim)...

... and future projects (such as this 1943 PBY 5A Catalina Canso).

Even the long-term storage barn is interesting (and open to the public, which is in itself rather unusual).

The plane for my ANC-YVR leg arrives at 2:10pm - it's an old (1997) Airbus A319.

Anchorage is a great airport for plane-watching, with both unusual aircraft and an excellent viewing area.

I got a center seat and it was cloudy in any case, so just watched movies all the way from Anchorage to Vancouver (just over 3 hours). I had time for a leisurely dinner in Vancouver (finally a good hamburger after 3 weeks without!), and left for Whitehorse in the dark at 10:05pm.

Descending into Whitehorse - back in The Land of the Midnight Sun!! This was shot at 10 minutes past midnight.