Tag Archive | Whale-Watching

Highlight of an Alaskan Cruise–Glorious Glacier Bay

Wednesday, July 6, 2016: Cruising in Glacier Bay

Whale-Watching at the Crack of Dawn:

            Today was meant to offer the highlight sights of our entire cruise. And by the end of the day, we realized why it is considered a privilege to be able to set eyes on these parts of our planet. But to begin at the beginning…

We set our phone alarms for 5. 30 am as the Cruise Director had informed us that chances of whale sightings were best just before we entered Glacier Bay—about 5. 30 am! Naturally, we took him at his word and by the time we reached the Crow’s Nest as the Explorations Deck is called, there were about thirty people ahead of us scanning the waters. Initially there was not much to report but we did see some rather cheeky sea otters—brown bodies bobbing up and down and identified by shiny button noses. After a fairly long time, when most people had given up, we saw a few ‘spouts’ in the far distance—these are made by whales blowing water out through their blowholes. A little movement was visible in the water—we saw what looked like black fins and tails—but, even with binoculars, they were too far off.

And then, just when I thought how disappointing it was how little wild life and marine life we were spotting on this trip, there came a gigantic Orca (Killer) whale almost slapping against the side of our ship. I kid you not! It was literally just three feet from our ship and directly in the water below us when it made a graceful turn, exposed its back and fin above the water line and then plunged below exposing fully its huge forked tail. It was such an awesome sight to behold—especially after I had quite given up on spotting anything that remotely resembled a whale. Needless to say, it felt worth completely worthwhile to have woken up at that hour to see what we did.

Picking up Park Rangers Mid-stream:

Whale-watching apart, however, the sea surrounding Glacier Bay was stunning to say the least. Dotted with green-draped islands, it offers opportunities for some serious wild life watching if one has good eyes or a good pair of binoculars. We, however, saw none. At about 6. 15, we began to see a boat in the distance—we thought it was a whale-watcher, but as it neared closer to us, we made the happy discovery that it was the commuter vehicle used by the US Park Rangers who began their journey in it from Gustavus (pronounced Gus-tay-vus) in order to meet our ship which they would board and on which they would remain for the entire day. It was really cool to see the three of them—interestingly all women—well-clad against the cold in bright red coats. We waved to them from the Crow’s Nest and got some good pictures of their craft. We did not see the manner in which they are hauled up into our ship on the Starboard (right) side. Apparently, our ship brings its speed down to just a few knots in order to lower a rope ladder along the side of the ship. The rangers then climb up it and into the ship. Sure beats a cup of coffee to wake you up in the morning! One of their colleagues then sails away in the boat with the intention of returning to the same spot in the evening to take them back to Gustavus. A few minutes later, two of the rangers came to the Crow’s Nest. They would spend the rest of the day with us providing us with the kind of expert commentary that would guide us through the area.

The US National Parks Service has declared the entire Glacier Bay region a National Park. Thanks to the efforts of the naturalist John Muir, who is mainly associated with Yosemite National Park, the US government was persuaded to take this area on as a protected region. This means that it is maintained as ‘wilderness’ and because the only way to get to these parts is by boat, only very few people on this earth have had the privilege of seeing the area. Because the whale populations in these parts apparently dwindled quite suddenly, environmentalists petitioned for the banning of cruise liners in Glacier Bay. The cruise companies, however, appealed and, finally, a happy compromise was reached. Only two cruise liners per day are allowed in Glacier Bay. So we were really honored to have the opportunity to survey this part of the world in our Holland-American cruise-liner. Campers are allowed to spend time here but there are no camp sites, no running water, no facilities of any sort. If you wish to camp in this area, you pitch tent wherever you please and use the wilderness for bathing and toilet facilities. We were amazed not just to see a few people on one of the beaches but to actually find two of them kayaking in the Bay—I mean how cool is that???

Exploring Glacier Bay:

We spent most of our morning in the Crow’s Nest—it was one of the best places to be as it is an enclosed area that is temperature controlled and one can hear the experts provide their commentary which turned our attention to the map of the area and the route that our ship would take as it wove its way through a network of islands to the glaciers that give this bay its name. Ice-draped mountains were all around us by this time and you get a sense of actually being in Alaska although it is the middle of summer and the warmest time of year in these parts.

I nipped downstairs to get breakfast up for the two of us: waffles with strawberry compote and whipped cream for me, a bagel with cream cheese for Llew together with assorted pastries—all washed down by hot chocolate and coffee. Filled with this lovely repast, we trained our eyes on the topography as it unfolded before us. In front of us was another cruise ship and as we followed the exact same route, our ship literally inched forward. This allowed for a lot of photo opportunities as the glaciers came into view. At one point, the ranger pointed out a herd of white mountain goats—a nanny with her kids—on the mountain in the Starboard side; but we could barely discern them as tiny white spots.

Our exploration of Glacier Bay continued as Reid Glacier and Lamplugh Glacier came into sight. These are basically great rivers of ice the tops of which are almost entirely black or grey as a result of the debris (called moraine) that has been picked up along the way. The faces of the glaciers, however, are tinged blue and you understand where the shade ‘ice-blue’ gets its name! A half hour later, our ship made a left turn into Johns Hopkins Inlet and we were able to see Johns Hopkins Glacier come into focus. This glacier is the only one that is increasing in size—the others are steadily regressing as a result of global warming. We took a bunch of pictures but I was constantly aware of feeling sorry that there was so little wildlife in evidence. I had, at the very least, hoped to see a couple of bald eagles on this trip for birds and animals have the run of this land here and are masters of all they survey.

Margery Glacier—The Biggest Highlight:

It was not long before we arrived at the big kahuna—Margery Glacier. Being the highlight, they save the best for last. It is a massive ice river that runs down to the sea and as the ship inched closer and closer to it, we realized that the best way to view it and to get the best pictures would be to leave the Crow’s Nest and get down to the deck when glass would not inhibit our viewing of the sight.

And that was what we did. It was cold on the deck and Holland-America had thoughtfully provided cups of warming Dutch Pea Soup for everyone on board—a wonderful tradition that I hope they will retain. Just when I started to feel peckish, along came the soup. It could not have been more welcome.

Fueled up well for more viewing, we went down to the third floor and when we emerged on the deck, we found just a few people there—certainly not as many as I expected. Perhaps the bulk of them had already taken their pictures and left. For Llew and me, it was a marvelous opportunity not just to get some nice pictures of the glacier itself, but to pose against it as well. And finally, after we had taken the mandatory pictures, we could actually gaze upon the giant glacier surrounded by ice-encrusted mountains and take in the wonder of the region—the dead silence of it all, the bird life (loads of sea gulls in the water) and the glare of snowy light as it bounced off the white and ice-blue face of the glacier that appeared in some parts like giant stalagmites reaching for the air above.

When Glaciers Start Calving:

I was disappointed that it was not warm enough for us to see some of the ‘calving’ of the glacier—the name given to the process by which giant chunks break off the main glacier and fall into the sea. The fact that the water around the glacier was filled with ice floes ought to have indicated to me that we were likely to see it happen—but I had given up hope.

Imagine our delight then when we heard what sounded like a gun shot—a great big crack. And a few minutes later, a great chunk of ice detached itself from the side of the glacier and fell with a wobble into the sea with a huge high splash. Luckily, my camera was ready and since its journey down to the water was slow, I got a decent enough shot. It was a true sight for sore eyes—we actually saw the process of ‘calving’. A few minutes later, we heard the rumbling roaring sound of the glacier again as it proceeded to fling another chunk of ice into the sea. And we realized then why the ranger had told us that if we had not yet gone outside, we ought to—as the sound that the glaciers make are as awesome as the sight of them. It was a truly splendid morning spent really well as our ship made a full circular turn at Margery Glacier to allow passengers on every side of the ship to take in the absolute beauty of it. We realized then why this is the highlight of any cruise to Alaska. It was a sight that would remain in my memory for all time.

A little later, as it was rather cold on the deck, we went back to our staterooms. Our early rising had made each of us feel a little woozy but by noon, we were at the Lido Deck as the ship began its slow retreat out of the Bay. There were still lots of opportunities to take pictures but at the end of the day all we wanted was to drink in the sights of the mountains, the islands and the sea and we ended up doing just that.

Lunch on the Lido Deck:

Everyone seemed to have become really hungry by the act of glacier-watching for the Lido was packed. There were loads of choices on hand and I settled for soup (Ketchikan Green Chile and Corn Chowder) as I needed some warming up, a plate of small Middle Eastern nibbles and a bowl of spaghetti that I had custom-made for me Carbonara-style with bacon and mushrooms. Llew settled for a plate of roast meats.

Ranger Presentation in the Showroom:

At 1.00 pm, feeling fully sated, we made our way to the theater to listen to Ranger Faye make her presentation on Glacier Bay and although she used Powerpoint and some really good slides to make it interesting, I have to say that I dozed off through most of it. Early morning risings and too many late nights have begun to take their toll on me and I am often finding it impossible to keep my eyes open. Still, I was quite pleased with the few bits and pieces I caught and as we trooped out of the theater at 2. 00 pm, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

An Afternoon of Leisure:

Llew chose to take a long and much-needed nap. As usual, I was content with a 20 minute shut-eye after which I donned my sneakers and began a two mile walk around the deck. There were a lot of other walkers doing the rounds, so I had plenty of company. After I had walked three miles or nine rounds of the deck, it was close to 5.00 pm when Mass was about to be celebrated. I joined Llew in our stateroom as we swiftly got ready and set off for Mass which, I was surprised to see was attended by at least 30 people. Mass and Communion done, we went back to our stateroom to get into our bathing suits for a nice long relaxing soak in the hot tub on the Lido Deck. This was the first time during this cruise that we found the time for a hot soak—on our previous cruise to the Baltic, we were in the hot tub after each day’s sightseeing in a different European capital.

Gala Night on Board:

Half an hour later, we returned to our stateroom to shower, shampoo and get ready for our formal Gala Night on board. I love these formal (dress-up) nights as it is a great pleasure to see everyone in their grand attire—males in jackets and ties and women in strapless gowns and their highest heels. We went to the Manhattan Dining Hall at 7.00 pm and were happily seated almost immediately—so much better than getting there at 8.00 pm and having to wait for half an hour for a table. It happened to be Lobster Night—so we were excited.

To our good luck, we were placed at a table for four and were quite pleased by the company of Bob and Mary who had just joined our ship in Skagway having done the land part of the Alaska cruise first. They made very interesting company as they were very seasoned travelers. We were awed to discover that they have been traveling together since their retirement in 1993 and have undertaken a minimum of two big trips per year—sometimes three. Having done this for 23 years, they have seen most parts of the world (except Israel and India) and made really entertaining company. Llew and I would dearly wish to follow in their footsteps—Inshallah!

Dinner was as good as the posted menu promised it would be. Both Llew and I started with the Shrimp Cocktail—which was different from the British version which is usually lettuce dressed with a Marie-Rose sauce with shrimp placed on the top of cocktail glasses. In this case, the undressed lettuce was placed in cocktail glasses, four large shrimp were draped on the side of the glass and a tiny ceramic container of a cocktail glass was served to be used as a dipping sauce for the shrimp which were also accompanied by a wedge of lemon. Although different, it was delicious. Both Llew and I also chose a salad for our second course—Caramelized apples, pears and shallots were served in a balsamic-vinaigrette over greens (nice enough). For our main, no marks for guessing that we both close the Surf and Turf—Lobster Tail with Filet Mignon accompanied by roasted carrots and a green spinach pilaf. It was very good indeed and we both enjoyed the dish. Finally, for dessert, I had the

Flourless Chocolate Cake served with a raspberry sauce and whipped cream—Llew ordered it too—that Chef Suraj, during his cookery demo, had said was his favorite dessert on board. It was great, I have to say. The texture was incredible. It was rich and super creamy and the quality of the dark chocolate used was so good that I could tell from the taste that it was a superior grade.

Evening in the Crow’s Nest with Piano Man Jimmy:             

Our companions said goodbye to us at the end of their meal and we decided to get to the Crow’s Nest where Piano Man Jimmy Maddox had been moved for an evening of hits from Around the World. Once again, we were regaled by the multiplicity of his talents as pianist, singer, raconteur. The songs he played were well-known hits and with a large number of people joining in both in the singing and taking spontaneously to the floor, we had a really great evening. At 11.00 pm, we finally decided to get back to our stateroom and call it a night.

It had been a day of immense sights and sounds and we were certainly enjoying our travels and all the wonders it was slowly revealing to us.

Until tomorrow…

Trespassing in Tracy Arm Inlet and Juneau, Alaska

Monday, July 4, 2016:

Tracy Arm Inlet and Juneau, Alaska:

            We put our clocks back one hour before we went to bed last night as we would be arriving in Alaskan waters and crossing a time zone line at 2. 00 am. We also set our alarms for an early start as we were told to arrive in the Crow’s Nest—the highest Observation Deck on the ship—at the crack of dawn to spy whales. Not to be daunted by the hour, we were at our stations as planned at 6. 30 am to bag good seats.

Whale-Watching at Dawn in Frederick Sound:

At 6.30, there were not a lot of folks in situ, but as the half hour passed, the place got packed with cruise passengers and the Crow’s Nest became full. We had armed ourselves with hot chocolate and small pastries from the Café attached to the adjoining library and feeling quite content at that hour of the day, we trained our sights and our binoculars at the horizon and hoped to see whales.

The secret to whale watching is abundant patience. We were in Frederick Sound at this time—a fertile feeding ground for whales who eat for 22 hours of the day—who knew? Since they find rich food in these waters, there is good chance of spying them. Rick, our Cruise Director, told us what to look for—a head of mist rising above the water is a clue as the mist is left by spouting water issuing from the whale’s blowholes. Even while waiting, we had views of the mountains and the little islands that dot the Sound—so there was a lot of visual interest.

About twenty minutes later, we started to see the mist and within ten minutes, we were fully into whale-occupied territory. The spouting water was frequent and very often we saw the turns of the great mammals in the water. On at least two or three occasions, I saw their tails stick out of the water and then plunge swiftly back in. They were not too distant and in a couple of cases, we actually saw their backs glide through the shallow waters. It was a very rewarding sight and worth getting up early to spy. With humpback whales spotted, we are left with four of the other sea creature to see as part of the Big Five! (The others are Orca—or Killer—whales, sea lions, Dahl’s porpoises and otters).

Breakfast in the Lido:

It was time to go in search of breakfast for cruising through Tracy Arm would continue for about four hours. We made our way to the Lido and since I spied the Full English Breakfast offered with the kind of tenderloin English bacon I like and the fat sausages that the English call Bangers, I decided to have one of those—both the bacon and the sausage were very tasty indeed. We also go freshly squeezed orange juice as the decaff coffee on board is not the best at all. With breakfast accomplished, it was time to go out in search of a few ship board activities that would keep us happily occupied until we disembarked.

Culinary Demonstration featuring Baked Alaska:

Llew preferred to get back to our stateroom for a nap as he suddenly felt sleepy while I headed off to meet Alex who was demonstrating the making of Baked Alaska, the famous dessert that everybody loves but rarely makes at home. The chef happened to be Suraj who was originally from Goa. He took forever to whip up the egg whites (which made me wonder why he had not simply used a mixer as all of us would do at home!). The finished dessert was browned with a blow torch. The entire operation took about 20 minutes after which I headed off elsewhere.

Discovering the Klondike Gold Rush:

I was keen to find out a bit of history about the Klondike Gold Rush and when Cruise Director Nick made a presentation on it, I went off to listen to what he had to say. Sadly, he was nearing the end of it and I too suddenly felt very sleepy. It was time to return to my stateroom for a nap. About 20 minutes later, feeling very refreshed, we went off to Lido Deck to participate in the Great American BBQ being held to celebrate July the Fourth—as, of course, it was American Independence Day. With breakfast sitting quite heavy in my tummy, it was time to think about more food.

The Great American BBQ on Deck:

Long lines of other passengers, all determined to fuel up before disembarking and spending the day at Juneau, did not think so. With plates heaped with corn bread, bread rolls, the ubiquitous coleslaw and potato salads, baked potatoes with sour cream and chives and bacon, BBq-ed spare ribs, chicken, steak and lovely well-seasoned peppery salmon, they were heading to their pool side seats. Llew and I followed suit and found blueberry cobbler and red, white and blue cupcakes also offered for dessert. I could only take a very small sample size helping of a few things before it was time to head off to the Reception Desk to make arrangements to get off the ship for we had arrived at Juneau and the cruise terminus and its accompanying buildings could be easily spied across the narrow inlet of water.

Arrival at Juneau, Alaska’s Capital:

Our first day getting off the cruise liner saw most passengers wanting to race off and explore. And although tiny with the feel of a one-time prosperous frontier town, Juneau offered a whole lot to see and do. But, as it is also popular with cruising companies and offers only a limited number of berths for disembarkation, our ship was anchored a few meters off shore.

An Experience of Tendering:

As a result of our location, we needed to be ‘tendered’ ashore. This is the process by which passengers board small boats that then ferry them to the pier where they can disembark and begin exploration. It is not an easy task to get over 2000 passengers off a huge cruise liner and on to small boats—the allusions to the evacuation of the Titanic are inevitable. Fortunately for us, Christine, the Cruise Director, had offered to get us swiftly off the boat if we came to see her as soon as we were ready to get off.  We took her up on her offer and were ferried over to land on the very first boat that moved away from the Nieuw Amsterdam to get us to Juneau. It took no more than ten minutes and was a very smooth operation as we joined about fifty passengers on board to make the crossing past another HAL boat in the water—the Westerdam.

Exploring Franklin Street:

One of the benefits of attending a number of the shipboard presentations the previous day, was becoming aware of the free ‘gifts’ offered by many of the jewelry stores that line the streets of Juneau. Most gifts take the form of charms which can be hung from a bracelet—and are, therefore, a sought-after perk. It also allows passengers to walk the length of Franklin Street, the busy shopping artery that leads to the bus terminus and to the Mount Roberts’ Tramway which passengers can ride to get way up high on a towering mountain that overlooks the city and provides bird-eye views. We did not think spending the $35 per head that it costs to get to the top was worthwhile.

Instead we marched into the souvenir shops to find a T-shirt for my brother, postcards and magnets—our usual fund of souvenirs—and to move on. It was interesting to note that almost all the jewelry stores are manned by Indians from India who make Juneau their home for just 3-4 months of the year (the summer cruise season) and then push off to the Caribbean Islands for the rest of the year. We entered into conversation with one of them who used to live not far away from my home town in Bombay. Their wares take the form of precious jewelry and semi-precious stones set into jewelry and once they provide you with the free charm, they turn their attention to other customers as soon as they sense that we are not the in the market to purchase.

Off to the Mendenhall Glacier:

Our main aim while in Juneau was to make the trip a few miles out of town to the Mendenhall Glacier which is the closest we will get to a glacier on this trip as we have not booked any of the pricey helicopter or floatplane rides that actually put cruise passengers on the glaciers themselves. Using Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor, I had discovered that the least expensive way to get to Mendenhall is by Juneau’s public transport bus that costs a mere $2 per passenger per trip. However, this bus does not get all the way to the glacier and passengers are required to walk the last one and a half mile of road leading to the venue.

The second alternative is to take one of two ‘shuttle’ bus services run by private operators from the bus terminus. One is called the Glacier Shuttle (aka the White Bus—which is the one we took), the other is called the Glacier Express (aka the Blue Bus). Both cost the same amount ($15 per person one way which makes it a pricey $30 round trip for a journey that lasts no more than 20 minutes each way). Still, it takes passengers to the very entrance of the little state park—so all said, it is the best bet.

We entered the Juneau Visitor Information Center for maps and advice and were directed to the bus ticket counters from where we purchased our bus tickets to the glacier and headed a few meters ahead to the bus stop to board the bus. This stretch of the city was simply crawling with cruise passengers and there was a bit of chaos all around as folks tried to find their private tour operators, the public bus stops and the tram terminus for the cable car ride up the mountain.

Bus Ride to Mendenhall Glacier:

All private bus operators are supposed to give a running commentary to the glacier and back. Ours, a young girl with little interest in her job except to see that passengers boarded the bus in a queue, said absolutely nothing except to warn us about bears and not getting too close to them. Once at the stop, we were pretty much on our way as we followed the throngs to the venue. The twenty minute bus journey is uninteresting but for the meadows filled with wild flowers that follow you throughout and the vistas of the mountains all around.

Exploring Mendenhall Glacier:

Juneau sits at the bottom of what is known as the Juneau Icefield and one of the features of the icefield is the Mendenhall Glacier. It has been in steady recession over the past century and as global warming has melted much of it, what is left behind are icy waterways filled with glacial water. You hike about ten minutes and arrive at the very nice but very crowded Visitors’ Center that offer maps, rest rooms and souvenirs. And then you have two options: you can walk about five minutes and arrive at a viewing point that offers good photo ops against the backdrop of the glacier (which is what we did first) or you can hike to Nuffy Falls which we did later—or you can do both.

The glacier is not as impressive as the many we have seen in other parts of the world on our travels (the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies is vast and amazing and you can easily walk all over it; the Fox Glacier in New Zealand near Haas was incredible in its size and the fact that you can easily hike over it without spending a small fortune on helicopters or floatplanes). Still, the lovely bright blue that we spied at Mendenhall’s base (caused by moraine or debris that has accumulated over centuries) was a first-time sight for us and it was lovely.

Once we took our pictures, however, it was time to decide whether or not take the mile-long hike to Nuffy Falls—a 45 minute round trip. Since we had time on our hands, we went—not really knowing what to expect. It turned out to be the most fun part of our day.

Hiking to Nuffy Falls:

The hikers’ path to Nuffy Falls is very well marked and very well-traveled. There were scores of other walkers for company—of different sizes and ages—and they all coped well. Along the way, you pass by an abundance of wild flowers: large white daisies, purple hollyhock lookalikes, loads of unripe berry bushes. The air is cool and bracing but after a while you will find that you do not need a parka even though you are in close proximity to a glacier (a fleece is enough). About 20 minutes later, you arrive at the Falls and they are truly a spectacular sight. This is because this is the closest I have ever got to a waterfall—you are literally within a couple of feet of the tumbling water and can reach out and touch it. Needless to say, the water was ice cold. The blue base of the glacier is only a few feet away—so there are lots of good photo ops. But the place is constantly mobbed and that takes away some of the sense of being secluded in a pristine wilderness. Still, it was a fully worthwhile hike and easily recommended.

Return to Juneau and the Ship:

We followed passengers on the reverse journey to try to find the bus stop that took us back to Juneau. By this time, it was about 4.30 and the early tourist excitement had calmed down in the city. We spent about hour or so looking into a few more shops and landmark establishments such as the Red Dog Saloon that was once a prospector’s favorite haunt before we decided to get back to the ship. Once again, we were tendered across in a little boat and checked back into our ship.

Evening on Board:

For some reason—and probably because we had done two really good hikes in bracing mountain air—both Llew and I were hungry. But since we had 8.00 pm reservations at Canaletto, the specialty Italian restaurant on board, we decided to try just a little of the Alaskan food being offered in the Lido. I tried the Alaskan Seafood Chowder which was delicious and the Gold Diggers’s Chilli—both of which were great—together with the Alaskan beers on sale. Alaska has some nice brewing companies that use mountain glacial waters to brew their liquors and I was keen to taste a couple while on the trip.

Time to Dress for Dinner at Canaletto:

Back in our staterooms, we had enough time to dress for dinner and make our way upstairs again. I had tried to get a later dinner slot but all were taken. The concept at Canaletto is that of sharing and after ordering drinks (Chianti for Llew, a margarita for me), we looked at the menu. We decided to share two of the small plates (veal and sage polpettino which were meat balls in a delectable sauce—we got four which made it perfect for sharing) and the Vermouth Clams that were served in a very tasty broth dotted with chorizo sausage. Our appetizers were superb but not surprisingly, we already felt full. Still, we soldiered on towards pasta and decided to order two for sharing and to forgo a taste of the Large plates as we simply would have no room. We chose the Shrimp Papardelle which came with three tiger shrimp in a lemon infused cream sauce—very rich and very good, but we could only eat a little as we also had the special of the day—the lasagna made with chicken, beef and veal. It was also really good, but with just a few bites of the two really splendid dishes, we had had enough. It was time to order the lightest of desserts and we got the gelato—pistachio for Llew, gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) for me—both of which were splendid. We both felt really bad that our capacity is so small as neither of us did justice to the truly delicious offerings put before us.

Evening at the Piano Bar:

I would have preferred to call it a day at that point, but Llew was keen to get to the Piano Bar to listen to Jimmy Maddox belt out a few numbers as it was Elvis Night and the baby boomers were there in full force. We had a lovely one hour listening to a truly talented man who combines the skills of a pianist, singer, story teller and entertainer quite effortlessly into a one man show.

As our ship slowly pulled out of Juneau, Jimmy regaled us with stories about The King as well as sing-along numbers that had our feet tapping, heads shaking and lips moving. A truly lovely end to a very eventful day.

Until tomorrow…