Sunday, June 19, 2016

And it is sailing into the sunset or…

The beginning of a glorious cruise.

Worn out from all the driving of the day before, we went rather low key for our last half day in Anchorage. Leisurely breakfast, into town for souvenirs (none of us purchased anything as we keep saying – there will be more) then off to find the Kincaid Park, which turned out to be a bit farther than the Garmin or iPhone said. Just enough time to admire the view of Denali and accompanying mountains across the bay before we needed to check out of the hotel, drive to the airport, turn in the rental car and wait for our transfer to Whittier.

Denali from Kincaid Park
Our bus driver was a seemingly very young, but surely she was at least 25, woman. Delightful in her explanations along the 90 minute route and a good driver as well. We enjoyed a very brief stop at Portage Glacier before lining up for the 2.5 mile Anton Anderson Memorial tunnel where busses, trucks and cars take turns driving along the train tracks separating us from Whittier where our Princess Island was awaiting. To be noted is the fact that this tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in North America – when I, as a Swiss, have just seen the opening of the new Gotthard train Tunnel of some 35 miles – the longest in the world.

Cook inlet

Entrance to the tunnel on the Anchorage side

Inside the tunnel

Boarding ship was similar to airport check-ins, just less stringent on the security checks and then we were on board and guided to our home-away-from-home for the next 7 nights on deck 8 (of 14). A steep learning curve to figure things out and my luggage wasn’t in my cabin (thanks to my brother as the tags had come off) until just 20 minutes before sailing! All on deck as we left through a lovely fjord: my camera will wear out at the rate I am recording beauty.

Home for the next 7 nights - Princess Cruise's Island Princess

Dinner in the “Provence” restaurant and now I see how my father always put on 10 pounds every time they took a cruise! We were going to be good, but the desserts were simply too attractive. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Did I mention that we were all on deck in short sleeves? 

Along the way

Along the way