Sam's Alaskan Inside Passage CruiseSam's Toybox Homepage

In July, 2017 I went on my second cruise, a Hosted Singles Cruise to the Alaskan Inside Passage from Seattle with Vacations to Go. That is, there were 280 folks in our group on the Emerald Princess with 3100 other passengers not in our group. I did some Museums before and after. I met so many wonderful people and had a great time even though a tragedy cast a gloom over part of the cruise. Here are 160 or so pictures from the trip.

Click on any thumbnail to take you to a larger picture with caption. Each picture has next/previous links to take you through the entire tour. Cheers, Sam


Cruise minus Two - Fri 7/21/17 - Fly from Albuquerque to Seattle, Attempt to go to Pacific Science Center, fail due to Bite of Seattle Food Festival (couldn't find a parking place)


Cruise minus One - Sat 7/22/17 - Visit the Museum of Flight in Seattle

The day before the cruise I spend many hours at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, adjacent to the Boeing campus - 7/22/2017 This is a rare M-21 Blackbird plane with an even rarer drone mounted on its back - 7/22/2017 The museum has an interactive model of a Space Shuttle including its cargo bay and arm. This smaller model sits beside it - 7/22/2017 And a nice model of the Hubble Telescope hangs from the ceiling - 7/22/2017 In the outside hanger display is the Air Force One plane used by Nixon as well as a 747 - 7/22/2017 A 787 Dreamliner is also on sight. You can walk through both the 747 and 787, neither of which I've ever flown in - 7/22/2017 And this is an actual supersonic Concorde that you can also walk through - 7/22/2017 I saw two Blue Angels jets at two different Air and Space Museums on this trip - 7/22/2017 The 747 is huge. Unfortunately, they won't let you go up the circular stairs inside to see the First Class Lounge - 7/22/2017 This 787 was the third Dreamliner built by Boeing and started its life in 2009 - 7/22/2017 In the Space Building is the first production Apollo Command Module delivered. Used in extensive testing, this capsule never flew - 7/22/2017 An engineering Mock-Up of the Lunar Rover, built by Boeing - 7/22/2017 A Bell UH-H1 Iroquois, better known as a Huey--the workhorse aircraft of the Vietnam War - 7/22/2017 A rare twin-tailed Lockheed Super Constellation sits outside by the parking lot - 7/22/2017 Speaking of rare, this is a Taylor Aerocar III, the last of its kind - 7/22/2017 This Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard helicopter, the workhorse of the US Coast Guard, flew from 1966 until 1982 - 7/22/2017 The Gossammer Albatross II was the backup craft to the one that flew under only human power across the English Channel in 1979 - 7/22/2017


Cruise Day One - Sun 7/23/17 - Board the Emerald Princess, Sail Away from Seattle at 4:00pm

Cruise day arrives. Here is our light, first day schedule provided by the Vacations to Go (VTG) folks for our Hosted Singles Cruise - 7/23/2017 After turning in my rental car I rode a shuttle from SeaTac to the port where I caught my first glimpse of the Emerald Princess - 7/23/2017 The outdoor decks were pretty crowded as we steamed north from Seattle in late afternoon - 7/23/2017 Seattle is an attractive city with the Space Needle as its highlight - 7/23/2017


Cruise Day Two - Mon 7/24/17 - At Sea, various Vacations To Go (VTG) Singles Mixer events

A number of events today to let us get to know each other. There were 280 or so folks as part of the VTG Singles group - 7/24/2017 One thing I like about these cruises is that I get to meet lots of interesting folks, particular at lunch and dinner time - 7/24/2017 The fellow on the right is my cabinmate, Denny W. from the Tampa area. Assigned by VTG, Denny and I met on the cruise and hit it off immediately - 7/24/2017


Cruise Day Three - Tue 7/25/17 - Arrive Ketchikan Alaska, Port Excursions, Ice Ice Baby Bling Party

Arrival at Port
First port was Ketchikan, AK were there was one VTG-exclusive excursion and lots more available through Princess - 7/25/2017 Saw the first of many Sea Planes on the cruise and I was immediately enamored with them - 7/25/2017

Totem Bight State Historical Park
My Ketchikan excursion started with a visit to Totem Bight State Historical Park - 7/25/2017 Our bus driver was also our tour guide for the park. She was very knowledgable - 7/25/2017 Living in New Mexico, I don't get to see the type of moss-covered landscape that occurs in wetter areas of our country - 7/25/2017 The Clan House, as well as all of the Totem Poles onsite are reproductions made some 70 years ago - 7/25/2017 Inside the Clan House is a faithful reproduction including Totem Pole supports for the huge hand-hewn beams - 7/25/2017 I liked this upside-down dude on this pole - 7/25/2017 I'll call this guy a Leprechaun though he probably isn't one - 7/25/2017 Different native tribes carved their poles differently, some carved the entire pole, some only the top/bottom - 7/25/2017 As we toured the park we were visited by this eagle that was so young that its head had not yet turned white - 7/25/2017 Close-up of one of the birds. I wonder how they attached the beak to the pole - 7/25/2017 A pole with only a bear on top - 7/25/2017 And a flounder - 7/25/2017 And at the park visitor center was a weapon museum that had this sweet original Gatling Gun - 7/25/2017

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, Ketchikan sights
The second part of my excursion was the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show which I highly recommend - 7/25/2017 These two lumberjacks started this Underhand Chop event facing the other way. They finish on this side of the log - 7/25/2017 USA vs. Canada. This is the Team USA lumberjack on the Standing Block Chop - 7/25/2017 The Team Canada lumberjack finished with the back of the log first - 7/25/2017 The saws used for the Hot Saw event are painfully loud - 7/25/2017 The Springboard Chop fascinates me. Don't think I could do it - 7/25/2017 There was some humorous segments in between the actual events as well--and they weren't bad - 7/25/2017 Don't blink or you'll miss the Pole Climb--so fast - 7/25/2017 The Boom Run takes speed and coordination so you'll need to count me out on that one as well - 7/25/2017 Lots of splashing as the Team USA and Canada Log Rollers try to knock each other off the log - 7/25/2017 After the Lumberjack show, where Team USA won by a single point, I walked around Ketchikan for a bit - 7/25/2017 This is the Salmon Ladder in Ketchikan Creek that allows the Salmon to avoid having to jump the falls as they swim upstream - 7/25/2017 Great Eagle carving in the middle of Ketchikan - 7/25/2017

Back on ship, Bling Party
One last look at a parked Sea Plane before we head north toward Juneau - 7/25/2017 It was Bling Night so I wore my Lucky Tie (created in 2002) and posed with VTG hosts Abigail (in black) and Kelly (in gold) - 7/25/2017


Cruise Day Four - Wed 7/26/17 - Arrive Juneau Alaska, Most events cancelled due to onboard tragedy

We were supposed to do major sight seeing today with Glacier viewing in the Tracy Arm Fjord followed by early afternoon arrival in Juneau where I had planned to visit the Mendenhall Glacier and go Whale Watching. But... - 7/26/2017 We had a domestic violence incident at 9:00pm the previous night and a man actually killed his wife on our cruise. We skipped the Fjord and sailed directly to Juneau where FBI boarded and started their investigation at 8:00am. We were not allowed to disembark until 4:15pm or so and excursions were cancelled. It was a solemn day on ship - 7/26/2017


Cruise Day Five - Thu 7/27/17 - Arrive Skagway Alaska, Port Excursions, Christmas in July Karaoke Party

Bus up the mountain, White Pass & Yukon Route Narrow Gauge Railroad down
We made it to Skagway on schedule and many folks opted for the VTG-exclusive Ocean Raft excursion. I instead did the White Pass/BBQ/Gold Panning - 7/27/2017 As we rode a bus up the White Pass we saw many beautiful sights including a few waterfalls - 7/27/2017 We actually crossed from the US into the Yukon Territory of Canada on the bus and had to stop at Customs & Immigration - 7/27/2017 We stopped to see some glacier-fed pools on our way to the train - 7/27/2017 The haze burned off as we got a bit higher up the mountain - 7/27/2017 The White Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railroad can be ridden up or down the mountain. We took it down - 7/27/2017 The passenger cars are vintage and comfortable - 7/27/2017 The five flags at the border crossing: United States, Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Canada, the five jurisdictions served by the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad - 7/27/2017 Look toward the front of the train as we cross a bridge - 7/27/2017 We passed this cool, retired bridge which crosses a small creek - 7/27/2017 Haze and sunlight gave us a nice, though faint rainbow in the valley - 7/27/2017 Another large curve, this one while I was outside between the cars - 7/27/2017 Buchanan was a coal merchant from Detroit who brought groups of boys and girls to Alaska starting in 1923. This tribute was painted sometime in the 20s or 30s - 7/27/2017 We stopped at the Denver Caboose to let some hikers off the train - 7/27/2017 Near the end of our train ride we saw Dredge Town where a vintage floating dredge sits as a tourist attraction - 7/27/2017

BBQ Lunch and Gold Panning
After a delicious Barbeque Lunch in Dredge Town, we learned how to pan for gold from Juan - 7/27/2017 This young fellow helped me extract every flake of gold from my pan - 7/27/2017 Every flake wasn't many. If I had found a few dollars more, I could have bought an alcoholic beverage on the Emerald Princess - 7/27/2017 The dredge was cool though I didn't have much time to explore it - 7/27/2017 Cast iron bucket line just like the one on Tony Beets' dredge on Gold Rush - 7/27/2017

In Skagway
After I licked my Gold Panning wounds I made it to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Visitor Center & Museum - 7/27/2017 Near the WP&YR Train Depot in Skagway are some retired pieces of rolling stock including this old steam engine - 7/27/2017 More impressive is this rotary snow plow which cleared the tracks for much of the winter in days gone by - 7/27/2017 Lots of interesting buildings as we roamed Skagway before returning to the ship - 7/27/2017

Christmas in July Karaoke Party
Christmas in July AND Karaoke! I was caught with a group of gentlemen warbling Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville - 7/27/2017 Thought I was OK with Santa Hat, Lights, and a Christmas tie but some of the folks put my effort to shame - 7/27/2017


Cruise Day Six - Fri 7/28/17 - At Sea, Various VTG Events

A day at sea as we headed toward Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - 7/28/2017 Our team, <i>Kickin' Butts & Takin' Names</i> prevailed at Kelly's Random Team Trivia with 21 of 23 possible points. Second place had only 17 - 7/28/2017 I didn't count but I'm guessing that maybe half of the 280 folks showed up for the group photo. I'm above the "g" in Singles near the top - 7/28/2017


Cruise Day Seven - Sat 7/29/17 - Arrive Victoria BC Canada, Port excursions

Visit Victoria by Shuttle
Highlight of the early day was a number of whales breaching during our Next Cruise presentation. I saw but did not photograph them - 7/29/2017 A medical emergency onboard, rumored to be a heart attack, had the Captain crank up the speed and we reached Victoria about four hours early giving me time to explore town before my evening excursion - 7/29/2017 Nice marina we passed on the shuttle to town. Thinking I couldn't afford to keep a boat here - 7/29/2017 After a nice walk and some souvenir shopping we ended up here watching Sea Planes land. I headed back to the ship leaving my friends to go to the bar without me (sigh) - 7/29/2017

Fireworks at The Butchart Gardens
After some supper I got back on a tour bus and passed this Car Show right by the ship - 7/29/2017 The causeway by the marina is nicely decorated as were many parts of the city - 7/29/2017 Destination for this excursion is The Butchart Gardens about an hour from the ship - 7/29/2017 Probably the nicest gardens I've ever seen, we had almost no time to enjoy them and still get a reasonable seat for the Fireworks show - 7/29/2017 Would love to spend the day reading a book on a shady bench in the sunken gardens - 7/29/2017 Just beautiful. It is officially on my list to get back here - 7/29/2017 And when I get back, I'll take a picture of the Carosel when it is stopped - 7/29/2017 I stopped touring the gardens so that I could get a great seat for the Fireworks, many of which are ground based - 7/29/2017 One of the first ground fireworks, I knew I was in for something special right from the start - 7/29/2017 The aerial fireworks started slowly but built to something spectacular - 7/29/2017 Nice waterfall display - 7/29/2017 Short film of some ground fireworks from the Butchart Gardens Show - 7/29/2017 Short film of some aerial fireworks from the Butchart Gardens Show, synchronized to the <i>Bridge on the River Kwai</i> - 7/29/2017


Cruise Day Eight - Sun 7/30/17 - Disembark 8:00am, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon

After shuttling back to SeaTac, I drove a rental car directly to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum near Portland, Oregon - 7/30/2017 The biggest attraction at the museum, and the reason I drove four hours, is the Hughes H-4 Hercules, more commonly known as the Spruce Goose - 7/30/2017 Eight engines made this flying boat designed by Howard Hughes take flight - 7/30/2017 At 320 feet, the wingspan of this plane is wider than any other plane that has ever flown - 7/30/2017 The most unique thing about the Spruce Goose is that it is actually made of wood, not metal - 7/30/2017 It is also considered a flying boat, that is, a float plane and it had these large floats on each wing - 7/30/2017 Meant as a cargo and troop carrier, the plane was never outfitted as it was never put into service. Beach balls provided floatation for the wing floats - 7/30/2017 For extra money you can go up the stairs to the cockpit and have your picture take wearing Howard Hughes hat. I didn't pop for that - 7/30/2017 A continuously looping video shows the one and only time the plane flew, when Howard Hughes took off unexpectedly during a stability water test - 7/30/2017 The video also shows the hanger in Long Beach where the plane was stored until 1993. Just beside the Queen Mary which I visited in April - 7/30/2017 I gotta get me one of these to drive around Albuquerque - 7/30/2017 I gotta get me one of these to drive around Albuquerque - 7/30/2017 Vostok Capsule like the one that sent Yuri Gargarin into space - 7/30/2017 One of twenty Mercury Capsules created, this one never flew - 7/30/2017 This replica Gemini Capsule was created for use in HBO's documentary <i>From the Earth to the Moon</i> - 7/30/2017 This replica Apollo Command Module was built for filming the splashdown scenes in the movie <i>Apollo 13</i> - 7/30/2017 This replica Lunar Module was built for the museum - 7/30/2017 Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, the production aircraft that can fly higher and faster than any other - 7/30/2017 No place to see the Blackbird from above so I snapped this picture of the picture - 7/30/2017 Piasecki H-21 Shawnee two rotor helicopter. I love these things - 7/30/2017 Can't hardly find a Godzilla movie without these Sikorsky HO3S-1 (S-51) Dragonfly helicopters in it - 7/30/2017 Feel free to fly this one-man helicopter where you stand above the two spinning rotors. I'll be the guy in the bunker watching you and dialing 911 - 7/30/2017 The second Huey I saw on this trip - 7/30/2017 That is an Air Force II, the Vice President's ride though I didn't catch which Vice Presidents used it - 7/30/2017 The Titan II missle in its silo is huge - 7/30/2017 Not only a museum but a water park, this 747 is a platform from which many water slides eminate - 7/30/2017


Cruise plus One - Mon 7/31/17 - Pacific Science Center Museum in Seattle (Terracotta Warriors Exhibit)

Back in Seattle, I made it to the Pacific Science Center. This is a human-sized Hamster Wheel that moves water around - 7/31/2017 The museum is right next to the Space Needle. I tried to get here on Friday, 7/21 but there was a Food Festival and not a parking place to be found - 7/31/2017 The outdoor water features were well done including both passive fountains and many interactive exhibits - 7/31/2017 But I really came here to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit having seen them in Xi'an China in May, 2017 - 7/31/2017 The exhibit that runs until September 4th, 2017 is very well done with great signage telling you exactly what you are seeing - 7/31/2017 In addition to the warriors the exhibit shows many artifacts from the time period of the soldiers - 7/31/2017 You could spend all day reading the info they've provided - 7/31/2017 High-Ranking General, this figure would have had his hands standing on a bronze sword - 7/31/2017 Two types of signs on each exhibit, the informational one you saw a few pics ago and this metrics one showing how many of each figure was found - 7/31/2017 The signage was so well done but it would take multiple visits to see it all. Had I made it here before the cruise I likely would have come back today anyway - 7/31/2017 The Kneeling Archer would have been holding a crossbow when he was created - 7/31/2017 Stats on how many were found and where - 7/31/2017 The Standing Archer. Note the wall poster behind him that shows some of the warriors were found with their paint intact - 7/31/2017 I think I learned more at this exhibit than I did in China. Many more signs - 7/31/2017 Calvaryman and Saddled Horse - 7/31/2017 I don't recall seeing anywhere near 100 of these pairs - 7/31/2017 The sculptures are so detailed including the saddle straps, braided tails. Wow - 7/31/2017 This horse was excavated 13 years after the warriors were first discovered. Excavations continue today - 7/31/2017 Kneeling Musician is only partially restored - 7/31/2017 We didn't make it to the site in China that held the Musicians and other non-combat folks - 7/31/2017 Suit of Stone Armor - 7/31/2017 These were only for show in the Mausoleum, soldiers didn't wear stone armor as it was too heavy - 7/31/2017 Mass produced Bronze Crossbow Trigger Mechanism and Arrow Tips - 7/31/2017 Reproductions of the Bronze Chariots found near the tomb. These look just like the originals - 7/31/2017 The original chariots are designated by the Chinese Government as two of the artifacts that can never leave China - 7/31/2017 Armored Charioteer - 7/31/2017 We only saw these guys from a distance, there are none displayed at eye level in China that I saw - 7/31/2017 Armored Infantryman - 7/31/2017 This fellow would have been holding a wooden staff with bronze tip - 7/31/2017 I only saw the bronze animals on postcards I bought in China. Nice to see one in person - 7/31/2017 It was cool to find out about the non-soldier statues that we really didn't hear much about in China - 7/31/2017 Official - 7/31/2017 I love that he hides his hands in his sleeves - 7/31/2017 Traces of paint on the excavated figures show that when the army was created, 200 BC or so, they were brightly painted - 7/31/2017 The exhibit had quite a few reproduction statues with paint as well as interactive computer exhibits to paint your own. A great exhibit - 7/31/2017


Cruise plus Two - Tue 8/1/17 - Fly to Albuquerque, Take Pictures of Souvenirs

I had a wonderful time on my trip and brought home not only amazing memories and new friendships but many souvenirs including 40 or so postcards, 11 magnets, a dozen or so metal tokens and $7.62 worth of GOLD! - 8/1/2017


A great trip with some amazing people. Can't wait for my next one. Sam



Other photo galleries
Alaskan Inside Passage Cruise (2017) | China via Los Angeles (2017) | Iceland via Denver (2017) | New England Fall Foliage Tour (2016) | Mexican Riviera Cruise (2016) | Panama Canal Trip (2016) | Trip to the Rose Parade (2015-2016) | East Coast Rollercoaster Extravaganza (2013) | Sam & Peter's Europe Trip (2008)
 

"Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened." Dr. Suess


Contact me: Sam Cancilla, sam@samstoybox.com.

Last Modified: August 13, 2017

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