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Cruising Alaska: May 2005
Radiance of the Seas

Page 4: Inside Passage to Vancouver

To Page 1: Whitehorse-Vancouver-Juneau
Page 2: Skagway to Hubbard Glacier
Page 3: Gulf of Alaska to Ketchikan

    Just about the time we were seriously missing all of our fur-kids (see EverythingHusky.com), this little daschund appeared on our bed! We really enjoyed the towel-art, pillow arrangements and other little things that our cabin stewards set up.

    Friday, May 27: while we relaxed in luxurious surroundings, we passed or met many work boats such as this tug and barge heading north.

    The helipad became one of our favourite spots during the beautiful weather we got the last full day on board.

    The beauty of the Inside Passage. I think that the dominant peak is Mt. Palmerston (5,783 feet), located between Port McNeill and Kelsey Bay.

    The Zaandam leads a parade of cruise ships through the intricate channels of the Inside Passage.

    The American purse seiner Cape Elizabeth heads south. Cathy's 10-power zoom allowed her to get quite a few good fishboat portraits in the Inside Passage.

    Looking back to the north after passing through Seymour Narrows.

    At 21:24, another tug and barge heading north, probably to Alaska, passes Campbell River.

    Saturday, May 28: looking across the calm waters of English Bay to the skyline of Vancouver at 05:44. Later on what became an uncomfortably hot day (80°+), this bay was full of boats, from kayaks and sailboats to tugs and freighters.

    Approaching the famous Lion's Gate Bridge a couple of minutes before 6 a.m., we had very little company on the helicopter deck. Stanley Park is on the right of the bridge.

    Passing under the Lions Gate Bridge, with the sun rising at 06:02. There was a lot of scaffolding on the bridge towers for work of some sort, messing up the bridge's beautiful lines.

    Postcard Vancouver, at 06:10. The city's reputation for beauty, particularly from this direction, is understated if anything. Canada Place is just left of centre, and a bit of Stanley Park can be seen at the right.

    The best transportation deal in Vancouver costs only $8 a day, and includes busses, the Skytrain and the very cool Seabus seen here. It goes across the harbour to the large Lonsdale Quay Public Market in North Vancouver every 15 minutes. More information can be seen here.

    Lots of people waiting to go home, and hardly a cab in sight. We were in line for about an hour, and many people would have been a great deal longer than that. Our driver told us that because of new security in the Ballantyne Pier area, cabbies are just avoiding it unless absolutely necessary. For those going to the airport, taking an RCI shuttle would probably have saved a lot of frustration.

    Grouse Mountain is one of the most popular locations for visitors to Vancouver to want to see. If the weather cooperates, the views are wonderful, and there's lots to do on top, from hiking and dining to wildlife viewing - see GrouseMountain.com for more information. The Skyride costs $29.95 each, but you can get tickets for a couple of dollars less at the Vancouver Visitor Centre downtown.

    We planned our last day so that we would be at Prospect Point in Stanley Park as the cruise ship parade went by that evening. We saw the Zaandam, then the Coral Princess, and finally after about an hour there, the Radiance of the Seas (seen here).

    May 28th, 18:30 - the Radiance of the Seas heads out again, carrying another 2,000 people on a great Alaska adventure. Yes, we were jealous - another week on her would have been nice!