The dreamy emerald waters are so smooth and clear, they mirror the endless parade of spectacular snow capped mountains. I cannot bear to leave the balcony for breakfast, for fear of missing even a minute - so we must order room service. For seven heavenly days, I watch otters, whales, icebergs, see bears on the mountains and scenery that takes my breath away as I cruise the Inside Passage of Alaska.
Cruising Alaska and observing the scenery from the privacy of my balcony on the Sapphire Princess is worth every cent and more. Dressed to brave the outdoors and armed with binoculars to spot whales and bears, I spend every possible minute on the balcony and the deck excited by the wildlife and mesmerised by the towering snow capped mountains, glaciers, gushing waterfalls, and icy green waters.
Dreaming of an Alaskan cruise may be blissful, but experiencing the reality of one left me in awe. Watching the mountain scenery glide by as The Voyage of the Glaciers cruise motors from Vancouver to Whittier, cruising the inside passage with stops at the charming Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway is sublime. Scenic cruising through the ice laden waters of stunning Glacier Bay for a day is the high point.
Twice I go up to the main deck to view the scenery in its entirety, but there is something almost spiritual about Glacier Bay that sends me scurrying back to my private balcony to stare at this beautiful part of the world in peaceful silence. No talking, no conversation, no one else, just me, alone, leaning on the balcony rails, drinking in the views and being transported to another world.
The glacier roars as huge chunks of ice break off and crash into the sea. Glacier Bay glitters under the smiling sun, icebergs strewn across its deep glass like waters. The mountains and glacier are perfectly reflected in the waters as if nature is proving beyond any doubt that its design skills are second to none.
As I stand alone on my balcony gazing out onto the floating ice, I realize that I am truly blessed to be here. No brochure can do this place justice.
I could talk about the other pleasure of cruising such as three gorgeous meals a day, dining with lots of other passionate travelers and superb service, but it all pales into the distant background compared to the scenery and wildlife.
The Voyage of the Glaciers seven day cruise may be my first Alaskan cruise, but it will certainly not be my last. Traveling around mid May meant shoulder season rates which made having a balcony cabin on the lovely Sapphire Princess very affordable. Although there were a few very overcast days, there were also a couple of idyllic sunny days with blue skies. Doing an Alaskan cruise mid to late May provided satisfactory weather and great value.
The Sapphire Princess is a particularly enjoyable ship with impeccable service and nice Staterooms. After docking at our final stop, Whittier, we disembarked and took the Princess Cruise transfer to Anchorage downtown (arranged well before the cruise). From downtown, we hired a car and embarked on an Alaskan road trip.
While the entire cruise was breathtaking all the way, the day in Glacier Bay provided one of the most unforgettable days I’ve ever had. The proof of this trip's power is in the number of guests who keep cruising the Inside Passage multiple times - and I intend to be one of them.
HOT TIPS FOR THIS TRIP:
- If you do 100 cruises and only get a balcony on one of them, this is the trip to get the balcony on - worth every cent.
- Choose a Stateroom that has a covered balcony. The very low ones may not.
- Bring your camera and binoculars. We used the binoculars daily to find whales/sealife and bears on the mountains passing by.
- The decks were clear early mornings as many people did not dress appropriately for being outdoors in the cold. I wore warm socks, goretex hiking shoes, jeans, long sleeved warm top, zip up thick quality fleece plus a North Face zip up waterproof rain coat and a warm beanie and it was just right. On two occasions I had to add a jumper under my fleece and wear gloves. Other times, a thin long sleeved top and thin zip up jacket were perfectly fine. But layering is crucial, because the second you walk back inside the ship, a thin long sleeved top may be all you need on.
- Essential items of clothing: a few warm long sleeved tops as you will wear these day and night, your favourite zip up cotton/rayon jacket, a thick very warm good quality zip up fleece jacket, a waterproof raincoat with a hood, warm jumper, warm beanie, gloves, jeans or other long pants, T-shirts for the occasional warm day and inside the ship, goretex or other waterproof shoes (these were particularly important for any type of walking/hiking/day trips), warm socks. Note: I also took a thermal top and wore it on small boat day trip excursions along with all my other warm clothes (and I was one of the few who was able to brave the cold on deck comfortably, so often had the deck to myself -especially in Kenai Fjords trip out of Whittier where it can get bitterly cold).
VOYAGE OF GLACIERS ON SAPPHIRE PRINCESS 7 days Vancouver to Whittier
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