A Travellerspoint blog

August 2019

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony

Photo Album

My photo album of this trip is up and running click Alaska 2019

Click the first picture to enlarge, and then you can scroll through using the arrow on the right hand side!


Posted by rpickett 13:28 Archived in USA Tagged and alaska canada Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


sunny 71 °F

After a very smooth and efficient debarkation from the ship, we took the transfer to the Vancouver airport. As a result of an airline schedule change I chose to spend the night at the Airport Fairmont Hotel rather than take the dreaded red-eye. The Fairmont has a package that offers a 10:00am check in which worked perfectly. After reorganizing some luggage for the flight home tomorrow, I decided to take Canada Rail Skytrain back in from the airport to the waterfront and do a Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Stanley Park and the city of Vancouver. I have done Hop-on, Hop-off in several cities and it is a very efficient way to see the main sights of any given city. After the tour, it was back on the Skytrain to the hotel to get ready for an early morning flight.


Posted by rpickett 17:23 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


sunny 70 °F

Our last stop was Victoria, an absolutely gorgeous city, and home to Buchart Gardens about 30 minutes outside of town. Our excursion today was a visit to the gardens with English Tea!

"With a former limestone quarry for her backyard, Jennie Butchart envisioned landscaping a sunken garden in its place, transforming the property for her family—and visitors—for generations to come. As cement production exhausted the limestone deposits, Jennie envisioned a grand garden in its place and began transferring top soil by horse and cart. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into today’s Sunken Garden. Between 1906 and 1929, the Butcharts expanded The Gardens, designing the Japanese Garden on the seaside, the Italian Garden on their former tennis court and the fragrant, overflowing Rose Garden.Today, The Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada. You’ll find remnants of the original cement plant and millions of bedding plants in over 900 varieties." [Buchart Gardens Website]


Posted by rpickett 17:01 Archived in Canada Tagged victoria Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony

Crystal Symphony

semi-overcast 60 °F

Today was a sea day as we are transiting from Ketchikan to Victotia, where we will arrive tomorrow morning.

There were several empty suites on board, so the ship opened them up to allow passengers to take a look. Always interesting, especially the high end penthouses.

Penthouse with Veranda

Penthouse suite with Veranda

Deluxe stateroom with Veranda

Seabreeze Penthouse with Veranda

Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Veranda

Posted by rpickett 15:49 Archived in USA Tagged crystal symphony Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


overcast 60 °F

Our last stop in Alaska is the booming island and city of Ketchikan. Over the past 20 years, it has become quite commercial, but still maintains its charm. The streams are full of salmon - thousands of them -swimming upstream to their spawning grounds.

Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, emptying into the Tongass Narrows a short distance southeast of its downtown. "Ketchikan" comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle". In modern Tlingit this name is rendered as Kichx̱áan.

Our first stop was the Totem Heritage Center where 19th century totem poles have been preserved. This was a joint effort between the town and the Tlingit & Haida people and the poles still belong to the descendants of their makers. We then got back on the bus and headed out of town about 20 minutes to George Inlet Lodge for a crab feast of all the crab you could eat! They were wonderful. It was then back in to town to a recreation of a totem village.

Another wonderful day and the weather cooperated!


Posted by rpickett 18:07 Archived in USA Tagged ketchikan Comments (0)

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