Our last port of call on our Alaskan Cruise. Juneau, the capitol of Alaska, home of governmental home of Sarah Palin. This is our first view of Juneau from our balcony..an actual city! The weather was gorgeous, we got into the high 60's with sun! We were told by our bus driver that they typically have 30 days of sun the whole year. On the agenda this day was whale watching and seeing the Mendenhal Glaciers. We had to be at our tour pick up point at 7:15 am. We boarded a bus (we had a great driver) who gave us a narrated tour of our route and also since we were a few minutes ahead of schedule stopped so we could see this glacier, which I can't remember the name of. We had like 5 minutes to pile off the bus take pictures and jump back on.. it was worth it.
We were taken to the docks and we all got onto the whale watching ship. The captain and crew were great in helping us spot whales and making sure everyone was safe and comfortable. There was a marine biologist on board who gave us a lesson regarding the whales and the habitat and their behaviors.. there were both Orca's and hump back whales. We were told if we spotted a whale before the crew, be sure to call out and let them know. You could either sit inside and watch out the windows or you could go on the 3 decks outside. The very top deck was closed while we were traveling for safety but opened when a whale was spotted. Not far out to sea we spotted a whale, it turned out to be a mother and her calf. The calf as youngsters are apt to be was playful and gave us a great view as he(she) jumped and spy glassed us and played.
We also saw sea lions and bald eagles. The whole trip was about 3 hrs and a lot of fun.
After the whale watching we boarded the bus again and headed to the glacier. We had an hour there. By now we had seen a number of glaciers and I was wondering what the heck we would do for an hour. The tour driver kept saying the one complaint was that an hour wasn't enough time. I didn't get it until we got there. He said he would be back at the spot he dropped us at and be sure to get on the right bus, by the number of the bus. There was a large visitors center and trails down to the glacier. We opted to hike the trail which was very easy to maneuver. Along the way we say a beaver dam and a sign pointing out bear scat.. which is as close to a bear as we got.
We saw the glacier, which is huge and really breath taking. As we hiked along, we were walking at the edge of a river and pieces of the glacier were washed up here and there. We stopped and took pictures and kept hiking, it was so beautiful. There was a huge waterfall near the glacier that we wanted to walk down to but didn't think we had enough time for. We sent Tianna to run down there to see it. No, one hour was not enough time at all, we needed at least another hour. We didn't even make it to the visitors center. We got back on board the bus but after waiting a good 10 minutes we had to leave several of the passengers behind since a lot of the other passengers had other tours to catch. Those left behind would have to call a taxi to get them back to the ship.
Once back to the dock of the cruise ship, we tried to go find some lunch but everything was so crowded we didn't think we had enough time. We had to be back on the ship by 3:00pm. So, we just walked a little bit around town, finished souvenir shopping and caught a tram back to the ship. After getting back on the ship we high tailed it to the buffet for a quick, late lunch. Tonight was another formal night.. and lobster was for dinner.
The lobster was good.. I mean I love lobster but it was lobster. Our table mates, Jackie, Noah and Kevin were dining again at the steak house so we ate their share of lobster. We were such pigs!! Tianna didn't go to dinner with us but came down later for desert and some of the smoked salmon appetizer.
Tonight, the show was a Vegas style stage show.. it was kind of boring...tomorrow out to see headed back to Vancouver.