Sailing to Alaska, Day 2 – Grenville Channel

The 2nd day on a northbound cruise to Alaska is “at sea”, with lots of onboard activities but not a lot to see scenery-wise normally. On this sailing of the Celebrity Millennium, however, we got a huge bonus thanks to Captain Zisis Tamaras.

Sunrise in Queen Charlotte Sound, off the north coast of Vancouver Island, shot from my balcony at 05:44.


Sunrise in Queen Charlotte Sound

At 10:00 we went to the main restaurant, the Metropolitan, to start an explanation of the food services on board, including a galley tour and “Taste of Millennium”, which was displays by each of the specialty restaurants. This is Executive Chef Jason Banyon describing some of the things needed to make it all work.


Executive Chef Jason Banyon of the Celebrity Millennium

Fruit carving being done in the galley.


The displays from all the restaurants stretched halfway around the atrium.


Just before noon we tucked into a small channel west of Princess Royal Island instead of the usual route out in Hecate Strait. This was much better!


a small channel west of Princess Royal Island

A great route with far better weather than what had been forecast – a superb day on the British Columbia coast.


A superb day sailing up the British Columbia coast

About 12:30, the captain made an announcement that instead of sailing the route that had been scheduled, we would be sailing up Grenville Channel. This very narrow passage is one of the most scenic channels on the coast – commonly used by Alaska cruise ships 50-plus years ago, it’s almost never used by today’s large ships. This photo was shot at 2:52pm as we approached the narrowest part of the channel.


Grenville Channel

Grenville Channel certainly got people up top – and many of them stayed for hours to experience this very special event.


Grenville Channel

It takes a small-ship cruise to see the coast “up close and personal” – usually!


The BC coast up close and personal

The view of Grenville Channel from our balcony.


Grenville Channel from our balcony

The narrowest part of Grenville Channel is just ahead, at 3:58pm.


The narrowest part of Grenville Channel

What can you say about a view like that?


Fine wine, with nature’s best just yards away from the window – this is Alaska cruising at it’s most comfortable.


Fine wine, with nature's best just yards away

A capella quartet “North by Northwest” performs in Cafe al Bacio.


This is Cafe al Bacio, an area that we spend quite a bit of time in 🙂


Cafe al Bacio on the Celebrity Millennium

We saw a few bears during our close-up sailing. There’s a black bear in the middle of the grassy patch here.


black bear seen on an Alaska cruise

Classical string trio “Beacon Street” performs in Cafe al Bacio.


Cafe al Bacio on the Celebrity Millennium

We’d seen rain ahead for much of the cruise through Grenville Channel, but we didn’t catch up to it until about 4:30. Our balcony is well sheltered for rainy-day cruising.


A rainy day in Grenville Channel

After the rain, a special treat.


A rainbow in Grenville Channel

The BC coast is very quiet today, but there are signs of the logging/lumber industry that made it a very different place a few decades ago.


Old logging camp in Grenville Channel

Sun on our ship but heavy rain to the side.


Rain in Grenville Channel

Our position at 5:15pm, seen on our TV. While this map is much better than we’ve had on other ships, the other displays have had information such as speed and lat/long, information that I like to see.


Map of our Alaska cruise position

Coastal patterns. Normally I take few photos on Day 2, but after editing I have 152 photos from this day.


Patterns on the BC coast

The evening sky at 10:01pm.


Tomorrow is our first port visit, at Icy Strait Point, the cruise ship facility at the village of Hoonah.

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