Alaska Cruise
Explorer of the Seas
Round-trip Seattle
May 19-May 26, 2017

May 18, 2017
Flight from Baltimore to Seattle (also includes pictures from the return flight).
Stayed overnight at Quality Inn Sea-Tac.

May 19, 2017
Not only was it my first time flying to a port, but it was also my first time on a larger ship, the Explorer of the Seas. I was in a balcony stateroom, cabin 8312.
The ship provided beautiful views of the Seattle skyline, including Mt. Rainier when we returned on the 26th!

May 21, 2017
Our first port was Juneau, Alaska. It was supposed to rain all day so I had bought a waterproof camera from the ship, which of course I didn't end up using for the duration of the cruise.

The excursion I went on today was a Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari. I saw harbor seals, bald eagles, whales, and sea lions on the whale watching cruise. The Mendenhall Glacier hike ended with great views of the glacier. The tour was through the ship and run by Gastineau Guiding. I highly recommend them!

I opted to be dropped off back in town and took the tram up to the top of Mt. Roberts to get views of the ships in port below. I also saw a rescued bald eagle name Lady Baltimore.

May 22, 2017
The port today was Skagway, Alaska. It's was BEAUTIFUL coming in to Skagway. Views like this made it worth leaving my balcony curtain open and getting up around 3-4 am every morning to get pictures.

Today's excursion was through Chilkoot Charts and was NOT through the ship. I can't recommend them enough though. One of the best excursions, if not the best, I've been on. I took their Yukon Rail and bus tour and had an AMAZING time!

We were in the last train car for the White Pass and Yukon Route train ride so I stood on the back the entire time to get pictures. You could feel the temperature drop as we climbed from sea level to almost 3,000 ft. The views were amazing. So many waterfalls.

After the train stopped in Fraser, British Columbia, we got off and continued by bus into the Yukon. We stopped at various scenic overlooks including Tutshi Lake, Bove Island, the Carcross Desert, Emerald Lake, and Caribou Crossing Trading Post, which is where we ate lunch.

On the drive, we saw mountain goats, a porcupine, and two bears! Truly amazing how much wildlife we got to see today.

May 23, 2017
Today we were supposed to go into Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glaciers. There was still too much ice, so we diverted to Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier instead. It was still beautiful with lot s of waterfalls on the approach and a beautiful glacier at the end as well.

May 25, 2017
Today was Victoria, British Columbia. The weather, for once, was beautiful. In the mid to high 70's! It definitely beat the 30's we had at Dawes Glacier!

I did another excursion through the ship today to Butchart Gardens and Craigdarroch Castle. I must say, after everything else, I was disappointed. While beautiful, Butchart Gardens is very similar to Longwood Gardens on the East Coast which I have been to. The castle was also pretty, but with only an hour to explore, it wasn't nearly as much time as needed to read and take everything in.

May 26, 2017
Back to Seattle today. The debarkation process was much smoother than embarkation. I was off the ship, through customs, and through security at the airport in around 2 hours. This gave me around 4 hours at the airport, most of which was spent going through pictures and reminiscing
with a couple who was on the cruise and waiting for their flight as well.

Miscellaneous Cruise Pictures
What cruise is complete with pictures of sunrises/sunsets, the ocean or cruise food?

This is definitely a cruise I want to do again!