Sailing to Alaska, Day 6 – Skagway

Our short day in Skagway was planned to be a mostly independent day. I’d drive our Ontario friends to Fraser so they could take the train back to Skagway, then everyone was on their own.

Approaching Skagway at 06:05 in a light rain.

Approaching Skagway in a light rain

We were in the clouds through the White Pass and everyone probably thought that I was kidding about it being sunny in the Yukon, but it did happen as is so often the case 🙂 We also saw 3 black bears along the road, which everyone, of course, was hoping to see. The “Welcome to Yukon” sign was as far north as we got, then we headed back to Fraser to meet the train.

Welcome to Yukon sign on the South Klondike Highway

I parked the car at the marina lot for further exploring, and was back aboard the Celebrity Millennium just after 11:00. I then went for brunch at the Bistro on Five, which we hadn’t tried yet. There’s a $5 cover charge for this restaurant – the crepes, one with scrambled eggs and then this sweet Italian one, were delicious! I spent quite a while talking to 2 of the servers about things to do and places to eat in Skagway, as the restaurant was almost empty.

Crepes in Bistro on Five on the Celebrity Millennium

I drove back to the train depot to try to find my friends but there were too many trains and too many people, so gave up after a half-hour.

Trains at Skagway, Alaska

I moved the car to the airport parking lot, which is where we’d need it for the drive home, then walked back to the ship, past the Sapphire Princess.

Sapphire Princess at Skagway, Alaska

Back aboard, I did some more exploring, including the Olympic restaurant, which we had reserved a table for this night. This is the top-end restaurant on the ship, with a cover charge of $40 per person. It is beautiful, as we expected after our experience in the SS United States restaurant on the Celebrity Infinity.

Olympic restaurant on the Celebrity Millennium

At 1:35pm, the Alaska state ferry Malaspina arrived.

Alaska state ferry Malaspina arrives at Skagway, Alaska

Ten minutes before our sailing time of 4:00pm, this family came sauntering up the dock – only the bare gangplank was left, as everything else had already been stowed. I could hear conversations on the dock, and heard that we sailed without 2 people. Skagway would be a tough place to be late – the next “port”, Hubbard Glacier, isn’t accessible by normal transport, so your cruise would be over.

Almost late for sailing

A harbor seal at the Skagway dock.

A harbour seal at the Skagway dock.

The ship’s casino isn’t open while we’re in any port, but is a busy place while at sea.

Casino on the Celebrity Millennium

A humpback whale came to wave goodbye as we sailed away from Skagway!

A humpback whale at Skagway, Alaska

One of the many waterfalls down Taiya Inlet.

One of the many waterfalls down Taiya Inlet.

Holland America’s Zaandam docked at Haines as we sailed past at 4:55pm. Historic Fort William H. Seward is to the right of the ship.

Holland America's Zaandam docked at Haines Alaska

The Rainbow Glacier, a hanging glacier just south of Haines.

Rainbow Glacier, Alaska

Some of the impressive peaks along Lynn Canal.

The Davidson Glacier.

Davidson Glacier, Alaska

It was chilly on deck as we sailed down Lynn Canal so there weren’t many people there, but the scenery was spectacular.

Lynn Canal, Alaska

It was a lovely evening for a close look at the historic Eldred Rock Lighthouse.

Eldred Rock Lighthouse

Another “first” for me on this trip was having a martini! This is my favourite martini creator, Komang, bringing my “20 Year” martini.

Martini bar on the Celebrity Millennium

We had a long and amazing dinner in the Olympic, and at 10:20pm I went out on deck to get a photo of the east end of Icy Strait, where we sailed into the Gulf of Alaska. While the ship rolled a bit in the open water, the stabilizers were soon set to get us back to smooth sailing.

As always, the captain kept us fairly close to shore, and this shot taken at 11:00pm is typical of what was visible through much of the night.

Mountains along the Gulf of Alaska

Tomorrow, we visit Hubbard Glacier and then sail for our final destination, Seward.

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