We were scheduled for a long stop in Icy Strait Point today, from 8:00am until 6:00pm. While Cathy and I really like the Icy Strait Point visit, many people don’t because “there’s nothing to do”. Maybe that means that there’s little shopping – I’m not really sure, because there’s actually lots to do.
This was my view at 05:10 as we sailed up Chatham Strait between Chichagof Island to the west and Admiralty Island to the east.
A broader look at the same view – sunrise was an hour earlier, at 04:03.
The view as we turned into Icy Strait, which leads from Chatham Strait past Glacier Bay to the Gulf of Alaska.
Our usual stop at Cafe al Bacio, at 07:10. This has rapidly become our favourite place on the Celebrity Millennium. The yellow lab, Janie, is a seeing-eye dog who is very popular with people who are missing their dogs. Only assistance dogs are allowed on the ships.
We were in no big hurry to get off the ship – this is the view from our anchoring position. Three different names may be seen for this spot – the anchoring position is Point Sophia, the cruise ship facility is called Icy Strait Point, and the village a mile away is Hoonah. It’s also commonly mis-spelled “Icy Straight Point”.
I’ve always argued that a balcony cabin isn’t a requirement to enjoy an Alaska cruise, as the weather is often not conducive to being out on it. On a morning like this, though, it’s very nice. And as I write this post, the door is partly open so I can hear the sound of the wind and waves.
The Celebrity Millennium at anchor, with a tender at the Icy Strait Point dock and a whale-watch boat heading north.
We always take advantage of the wonderful walk along the beach and through the forest. We started our walk just before 11:30.
A little detour from the walking path takes you to the bottom of the ZipRider, a wild ride indeed! I’d be up for it except for the cost – I just can’t wrap his mind around paying about $1.50 per second for any thrill.
At the other extreme, the peaceful coastal rain forest.
Skunk cabbage was blooming at many damp areas in the forest. I heard another walker call it “stink lettuce” 🙂
Three of us decided to continue the walk to Hoonah, about a mile, while the rest of the group took a shuttle bus into town ($8 per person round trip). I was surprised to see that the path is being concreted – to me, it seems like a large expense with little or no benefit.
A lovely little waterfall along the path.
The view from the path as it cuts through a rocky bluff.
The group gathered at The Office bar for some Alaska beer with a wonderful view on the harbor. Yes, we could have gotten the same thing aboard the ship, and with our drink package the same thing is free aboard the ship for Cathy and I, but we’re happy to put a few dollars into the local economy. Cathy and I had tried to book a whale watching trip, but our favourite operator was already booked and we didn’t look any further. We did see whales from the cruise ship, but not nearly as close as the sightings we would have gotten from a small boat.
On the walk back to the ship, the 3 of us stopped at the little cemetery beside the road.
As well as some Russian Orthodox grave markers, there is this Tlingit Indian bear sculpture.
Back on the ship, watching the tenders shuttling people back at forth, at 4:15pm.
Finishing this day with a shot of the moonlight at 11:38pm. For our visit to Juneau tomorrow, we have a van rented to do some exploring.