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Copper10-8

Life and live from Nieuw Amsterdam up north to Alaska

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3 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Thanks very much Father Mac! 🇳🇱

You haven't aged a bit....🗿🗿

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Jon you said Carnival has purchased the White Pass RR,  Since HAL is owned by CCL, I presume that will be good for HAL and Princess passengers.  I wonder if the fares will be higher for non Carnival owned lines. As I write these lines you are still docked in Skagway.  I hope ypu ave a nice cruise as you head back to Vancouver.  If the sun is shinning that ride between Vancouver Island and the Canadian mainland is splendid--The scenery is breath taking.  If it is raining that is not so good. 

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Copper, Enjoying your pictures and the travel log and information on your cruise.  Happy Anniversary, even though I am a bit late.  Enjoy the rest of your cruise as you head back south.  I was on the Nieuw Amsterdam a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the ship.  They have made some changes in the Crow's Nest from your pictures.

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Belated Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

You are having lovely weather for your anniversary cruise.

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Now traveling downhill the tracks in British Columbia; Summit Lake; Meadows and stopping in Fraser, BC, the official point of entry for Canada Customs, and thus the site where two officers from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) / Agence des Services Frontaliers du Canada (ASFC) boarded the train to inspect passports. It was a very casual inspection with them walking down the aisle as we held open our docs to the picture page

 

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Departing Fraser, the rails follow the Trail of '98 along the lake shore; you can stand on the narrow exterior platform on both sides of your train car, but you are not allowed to cross between cars; passing the Klondike Highway aka Yukon Hwy No. 2. It links Skagway to Yukon's Dawson City and its route somewhat parallels the route used by prospectors in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush

 

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Beaver dams! Bennett Lake, followed by our 45 min stop in Bennett, BC, an abandoned town next to the lake and along Lindeman Creek (formerly known as the One Mile River). The town site is now part of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada and is managed by Parks Canada.

 

Bennett was built during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897–99 at the end of the White Pass and Chilkoot Trails. Gold prospectors would pack their supplies over the coast mountains from the ports and then build or purchase rafts to take them down the Yukon River to the gold fields around Dawson City, Yukon. When the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad was completed in 1900 it went right to Whitehorse, passing the town. This led the entire economy of Bennett, based on stampeders and river travelers, to collapse.

 

The former St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a simple rectangular wood frame structure with a steeply pitched gable roof and an adjoining tower with a steep spire. Constructed in 1899, It is the only building left in the once-thriving community of Bennett

 

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If you want to read about the history of the gold rush there is an very interesting book written by Pierre Berton called "Klondike The Last Great Gold Rush"

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Box lunch on the train, Pennington Station, named after Frederick Pennington, one of the original investors in the White Pass railroad, it served as a section house for railroad crew rather than a passenger transfer point; crossing the BC border over into the Yukon Territory and seeing tough dudes in kayaks, and the last miles to the WP&YR train depot in Carcross, originally known as Caribou Crossing, YT. Now over 100 years old, that depot is still the meeting point for Yukon explorers and rail passengers, just as it was during the gold rush

 

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20 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Thanks very much Father Mac! 🇳🇱

One more question:  what time should we reserve specialty restaurants not to interfere with shows?  

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42 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

One more question:  what time should we reserve specialty restaurants not to interfere with shows?  

 

They've changed the show times on this (and I've heard, other) ships from 8:00 and 10:00 PM to 7:30 and 9:30 PM - I wish they would have kept the original times; they gave you a bit more time to "move around." Having said that, last night we had a 7:30 reservation in Canaletto and we had no probs making the 9:30 show. So, I would say, make your reservations for 7:00 or 7:30 PM

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Carcross is a Yukon town sprawling with history. Old and new blend in well together and give the town a special feel. First Nation history and culture is showing off in the colorful paintings on buildings and the artistic carvings of the totem poles tell stories of an eventful past.

 

The name Carcross is the short form for Caribou Crossing, which was the original name of the community. It earned its name for the herds of caribou that used to cross the narrows of the lakes in the days before the gold rush. At the time, various towns across Canada were called Caribou Crossing, which often made the mail end up in the wrong part of the country. Therefore, in 1994 the name was changed to Carcross. Today, Carcross has a population of 410 people. Some ridiculously good ice cream was to be had adjacent the Matthew Watson General Store and you could have your passports stamped

 

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Heading back to Skagway via Gray Line bus, about a 2 1/2-hr drive including a photo stop of the "welcome to the Yukon" sign, going the other way, and a mandatory U.S. CBP stop at their Skagway post in the mountains. This inspection was even less involved than the one by CBSA in Fraser. The officer looked at Wes, our driver's, passenger manifest and waved us on. Glad we took this trip! :classic_smile:

 

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Skagway is an artifact of the Klondike Gold Rush that made it infamous. In 1897, prompted by the cry “Gold in the Yukon!” thousands of prospectors gathered supplies and headed north in search of fame and fortune. Sitting at the terminus of the Inside Passage, the town provided a port and resting point for gold-seekers before embarking on the difficult ascent up the Chilkoot and White Passes in search of gold. Not surprisingly, Skagway’s population mushroomed from 2 to 10,000 quickly making it Alaska’s largest metropolis with all the amenities of a real city. This included unsavory elements which resulted in 80 saloons, several bordellos and plenty of sly thieves

 

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Ruby Princess at Skagway's Ore Dock and Celebrity Solstice, one of two cruise ships at the Railroad Dock. The local tug Anna T. taking a break

 

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Pinnacle Grill anniversary dinner for two at 6:30 PM which was very good, with compliments to PG Manager Arya and his outstanding staff! The entertainment tonite was the "Alaska in Concert" presentation; the music and footage from the BBC's "Wild Alaska" series, no longer accompanied by live music from the former Adagios or current Lincoln Center Stage musicians

 

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Happy belated anniversary.  Lovely wedding photo.  

 

On our 1st cruise to Alaska, we did many of the excursions you and your wife are taking.  Brings back so many memories.  Our child was 10 years old then.  He's now an adult.  DH and I returned to Alaska 5 years ago and enjoyed it just as much.  I don't believe Alaska could ever get "old".  Your photos and commentary are almost forcing me to consider going again; this time it would be just my son and me, as DH passed on two years ago.

 

What?  No live music with the BBC video?  That was part of the joy of that experience.  In fact, my sister and her husband who first sailed HAL this past spring raved about that show, saying it was one of the best things they'd ever seen at sea.  I sincerely hope the recorded music won't become the norm for this particular show, but I fear it may well be.

 

Again, thanks for taking the time to write such a wonderful travelogue.  We all appreciate it, I'm sure.

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Posted (edited)

Day 5 - 08/14/2019; Scenic cruising Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. In order to get to the park, Nieuw A, after departing Skagway yesterday evening, had to sail down the Lynn Canal again, passing the community of Haines on our starboard side. Capt. Carsjens (originally scheduled to leave us in Skagway, now staying until Ketchikan) then executed a hook shank to starboard and rounded Point Couverden, turning into Icy Strait (thus named when the entire Glacier Bay was a glacier with its calving ice drifting via this “icy strait” into the open sea)

 

From here, it was a straight shot on a north-westerly course, passing Pleasant Island on our starboard side, to Point Gustavus where, off Bartlett Cove, we had a 0700 hrs. appointment to pick up two National Park Service Rangers, as well as a cultural (Hoonah Tribal) interpreter. One park ranger goes to the bridge and act as "play-by-play commentator via the ship;s p/a system, and the second ranger plus the cultural interpreter go to the Crow's Nest where they set up shop with interactive material and other goodies) Ruby Princess was ahead of us and, after having picked up her ranger party, moved into Glacier Bay proper first.

 

The National Park regulations allow for two large cruise ships in the Bay and they are required to have park rangers on board. They are on board both for the education of the guests, as well for ensuring that the ships keep to the rules of the road and do not go sightseeing where it is not allowed.

 

We proceeded northbound into the Bay, passing Strawberry Island, Willoughby Island, Francis Island and Drake Island and the schedule had us passing Queen Inlet by 0745 hrs. Next up was our first look at Lamplugh Glacier at 0915 hrs. Lamplugh is eight miles long and is named for English geologist George William Lamplugh who visited Glacier Bay in 1884. Thirty minutes later, we were at Johns Hopkins inlet which we would by-pass on our way to Tarr Inlet and Margerie Glacier, arriving there around 1100 hrs.

 

The way it works under park rules and regulations, the S/E Alaska pilot (remember, still onboard since Kake, before Juneau, and until Ketchikan) brings the ship close-in to the glacier and, once in position and stopped, the ship’s captain then takes over to conduct his “balcony maneuver;” basically a full swing ensuring that both port and starboard balconies get the same amount of time facing the glacier.

 

After spending about 40 minutes in front of Margerie, Nieuw A backtracked her course back into Glacier Bay and to Bartlett Cove where the rangers and Alaskan native were picked up by the National Parks boat and taken back to Park HQ. Capt. Carsjens then set a course for Ketchikan via Icy Strait, Chatham Strait, Sumner Strait, Clarence Strait and Tongass Narrows.

 

Tonight was the second of the two gala nights onboard Nieuw A. It was also the first performance by the five-person cast of the Step One Dance Company (what would have been their first performance on Sunday evening had to be cancelled when one of their male dancers took ill) called “Humanity.” We have seen Humanity before, as recent as last March on Koningsdam, and both feel it’s a good one. Tonight was no exception, especially since the normal six-person company was performing one person short. Outstanding dancing with high energy and real talent. The music, although piped-in, was good also! Great show! Here’s hoping Mr. Bill Prince does not say goodbye to the Step One dance company on this and the other dam ships, as he has done with the larger production casts of RWS & Associates and Belinda King Creative Productions just about at that time when the production shows were showing marked improvement!

 

As usual, we finished up the night with the BB King All-Star band in the Queens Lounge. Pic is a look at Ruby Princess in front of Margerie Glacier while we awaited our turn

 

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Edited by Copper10-8

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How the National Park Service rangers and Hoonah cultural interpreter from Bartlett Cove come onboard

 

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20 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

Day 5 - 08/14/2019;

After spending about 40 minutes in front of Margerie, Nieuw A backtracked her course back into Glacier Bay and to Bartlett Cove where the rangers and Alaskan native were picked up by the National Parks boat and taken back to Park HQ. Capt. Carsjens then set a course for Ketchikan via Icy Strait, Chatham Strait, Sumner Strait, Clarence Strait and Tongass Narrows.

 

 

So, glacier viewing is complete by around noon?

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18 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

 

So, glacier viewing is complete by around noon?

 

More like 3:00 PM; I left out Johns Hopkins after Margerie to see if you guys were paying attention; you obviously was! :classic_wink:

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Lamplugh Glacier is eight miles long and is named for English geologist George William Lamplugh who visited Glacier Bay in 1884

 

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What?  No live music with the BBC video?  That was part of the joy of that experience. 

 

I agree with severnseasnomad on this.

 

The live music was the highlight of this and last year's Alaska cruise. I am probably one of the few who is not  fan of the Step One Dance Company. HAL nightly entertainment is beginning to leave me cold. 

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