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Gardyloo

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  1. A couple from the Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego) Later...
  2. Beer and wine were available for purchase; one could bring liquor on board if you chose. Otherwise no restrictions.
  3. Sunrise over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa Brighton, England Bethel, Alaska
  4. Let me make a suggestion you do a "thought experiment" along these lines. This would possibly mean changing your booking on the ship, but hopefully that wouldn't be a major issue. Book a return/round trip from the UK to Vancouver. On arrival spend a day or two - not more - in Vancouver then cruise northward to Seward or Whittier, depending on your choice or itineraries or cruise line. Do the cruise, then any land itinerary in Alaska that you want, then fly south to Seattle. Spend some time in our fair city, then take the train (or rent a car - more options for great scenery) back to Vancouver. Finish with a few days there, then fly home. The reason for this version of the trip is to use the cruise as a low-stress time to recover from jetlag and an 8-hour time change. The first day on the cruise is a sea day anyway, then the port calls in Alaska can be taken while you're not struggling with the time change, the tight timeline for land touring, and the near-24 hour daylight you'd encounter in June. By the time you get to southcentral Alaska (Whittier/Seward/Anchorage etc.) you'll be able to endure the pace and daylight more easily. Airfares from either Anchorage or Fairbanks to Seattle are quite inexpensive and frequent (only one daily nonstop to Vancouver by comparison) so flying south won't be a deal breaker. Anyway, give it a thought.
  5. With too much time on my hands, I've been scanning and cleaning up a few pictures taken on a freighter cruise across the Pacific in 1998. Here's the full trip report if interested: http://gardyloo.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Across-the-Pacific-on-a-Freighter.pdf Our ship arriving in Auckland Departing Auckland (pilot boat following) Port call, Suva, Fiji Suva market (adjacent to dock) Dedication of new ferry, along the same dock as our ship My wife returning to our cabin prior to departure from Suva Sailing from Suva Bridge Middle of the big ocean Crew member hard at work. Not. A couple of sunsets Approaching San Francisco SF Pilot arriving
  6. The PVSA (19 CFR 4.80a) requires the ships to be built in the US, same as the Jones Act for cargo ships. The "Hawaii exemption" was facilitated both by waiving the foreign port requirement (prior to which the ships all called at Fanning Island in Kiribati) and by allowing a bit of slight-of-hand in the "US origin" requirement for the ships. (These were foreign bottoms - French IIRC - which had significant work done on them in US shipyards before being placed in service, thereby allowing them to be classified as "US-built.") Basically it's a protectionist scheme supported by the shipbuilding industry in the US among others.
  7. I would not be surprised at all if the US government were to suspend enforcement of the PVSA foreign port requirement temporarily. So far the Port of Seattle hasn't followed the Canadian lead, beyond canceling the first two Alaska sailings of the year next month.
  8. Cathay Pacific has now extended the no-fee change date to the end of May. https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_US/travel-information/travel-preparation/travel-advisories/special-ticketing-guidelines-for-passengers-arriving-to-Hong-Kong.html (same url, different text.)
  9. There's a decent sized CVS pharmacy right in the same building as the Target - https://goo.gl/maps/eErPoBRzqGQaoEtF8 PS: There's no "s" in Pike Place Market.
  10. Contact Cathay Pacific and tell them it will be a "trip in vain" if you have to transit HKG, and ask that the ticket be endorsed over to another carrier like Qantas (a Oneworld partner.) Cathay Pacific has issued "special ticketing guidelines" that so far only extend to flights scheduled up to the end of March. However, it's expected that these guidelines will be extended beyond 1 April shortly, as other carriers have also recently updated their official policies regarding origin/destination/transit rules for the region. https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_US/travel-information/travel-preparation/travel-advisories/special-ticketing-guidelines-for-passengers-arriving-to-Hong-Kong.html So don't give up, just be patient for a little while.
  11. Note that the "port valet" luggage program (bags taken from your cabin straight to the airline so no wrangling on disembarkation day) only works with flights departing after a certain time, e.g. noon for Royal Caribbean. I would probably contact NCL to see if they have a similar requirement. (Apparently the individual cruise lines have different cut-off times.) I'd be concerned that with such an early departure you might have your luggage delayed, or, more likely, the cruise line wouldn't take them in the first place.
  12. https://www.hellobc.com/stories/how-to-go-whale-watching-from-vancouver/ Be advised, however, that the resident orcas in the San Juan Islands/Gulf Islands/Victoria/Vancouver area are reportedly under significant stress from human interaction (starvation, falling birth rates etc.) and heightened regulation (or even restrictions) on whale watching are altogether possible. To be honest, I'd pass on whale chasing in this area for the time being, but it's your call.
  13. The big issue at Seatac is the length of security lines, so without precheck (or flying first class, which has shorter lines) the big risk of that early a departure is getting hung up in security. You have plenty of time to enroll for Precheck or Global Entry; if you don't want to do that, I'd be quite concerned at making a 10:15 AM departure on a Saturday. It would take too many things working in concert with no room for errors.
  14. Just be aware you're basically next to a freeway that separates you from a dying shopping center. There's an Indian restaurant in the hotel's parking lot, a donut shop and (bad) teriyaki take-out place next door, and a McDonald's across the (very busy) street, also a Starbucks and a terrific taco truck during the day, so some, but not many, places to eat. You're roughly 8 miles from downtown Seattle, and the freeway is frequently bumper-to-bumper or worse. https://goo.gl/maps/vLgCX8rZew8zGBEfA
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