A Travellerspoint blog

5 Jun – Depart SEA - Arrive Juneau

The start of an adventure...

sunny 80 °F

Our hotel advised we arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure (7:45am) so we left on the 5:20am bus. We were at the gate 25 minutes later :) At least we were still on East Coast time so getting up at 4:30 wasn’t too onerous – and it was already daylight.
We sat at our gate and were pleasantly surprised to here them say that active duty and retired military could pre-board. So we did. Both yesterday and today we had a window and an aisle seat on the same side, same row, and both planes were chock full, so we traded our aisle seats to the persons seated between us and were happy.
Today’s was a 2 hour flight that only took one hour – because of the one hour time zone change from Seattle to Juneau. PXL_20220605_170232843.jpgWe deplaned a little after 9am local time. The driver for the cruise line was waiting for us before we even got to baggage claim. Our luggage showed up on the baggage carousel without incident, and we were off to our boat. The cruise line had people at the office waiting for us to arrive; they tagged and whisked off our luggage and we were to return for pre-boarding at 5:15.
We bought tickets for the Goldbelt Tram, a skylift/cable car up the side of one of the mountains, up 1300+ feet for a total distance of over 1700+ feet. The large wheels that pulled the cable were 27 feet in circumference (big wheels). 20220605_120046.jpgDSC_0157.JPGWe wandered a bit before finding the tram building, spent an hour or so on the mountain – shopping but not buying, and taking photos of the amazing scenery. It’s unusual to me to see a bald eagle soaring by – below me! No photo of that – it happened too quickly. We did get a photo of me in front of an eagle’s wingspan. I’m only a little “bigger” than a redtail hawk!DSC_0150.JPG
We wandered the stores near the port. There were 3 large cruise ships in port today, a Celebrity, a Carnival, and a Princess, so lots of other tourists. The picture of the harbor was taken from the top tram stop. You can see 1 of the large cruise ships. Our ship is one of the 3 ships to the right and “above” the big one.DSC_0156.JPG
We ate lunch at a local bakery that also sold coffee, sandwiches, and gelato. The Heritage Turkey Club on sourdough and the Mudslide gelato (dark chocolate with ribbons of stiff peanut butter!) were excellent. We went back out to the stores to buy the items that most caught our attention, then went the Uncruise office guest lounge, rested our feet, and drank several glasses of water (shopping is thirsty work!).
A note on the weather today – it was sunny and “hot,” or hot for a Juneau June day – it got up to 80F. It was cool in the shade when the wind blew, but in the sun we pushed up the long sleeves on our shirts to keep comfortable.
At 5:10, we joined our shipmates (all 33 of them) for the Wilderness Explorer, listened to the intro talk, signed in, had our pictures taken, and were escorted to our cabins. Including the talk, it was done in 15 minutes – a benefit of a small ship! True, the ship is only half full this cruise, but it’s to our benefit with more personal attention.
We had our SOLAS safety “abandon ship” drill; I’m glad I’m not wearing that PFD (personal floatation device) for our water activities all week! Supper was prime rib or blackened coho salmon; Dan got one, I got the other, and we shared. They were both quite good. More talks followed supper, preparing us for the week ahead.
By the time we headed for bed, it was close to 10pm and still daylight but we were beat! Tomorrow, we’ve signed up for Kayak 101. Should be interesting!

Posted by dasafish 04:28 Archived in USA Tagged alaska juneau goldbelt_tram wilderness_explorer

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