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Alaska with Silversea, Silver Muse

Dawes up close

Jill Romano, Owner and Travel Advisor, August 9-18, 2021

Silversea Silver Muse, Alaska

What, When, Why, Where! 

What?   Silversea, Silver Muse
11-day sailing out of Seattle, to Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Straights, Skagway, Endicot Arm and Juneau

When? August 9-18, 2021

Why? Invited to experience the Return to Cruising with Silverseas!

Where?  Alaska – don’t wait, go now and go often!

Brilliant Sunshine for our sail away from Seattle!  Looking forward to our next two days at Sea.  Love the Sea Days, where you can enjoy a lazy morning with room service while you plan your day.  Should I settle in for the Voyage Review with the Shore Concierge, listen to the guest lecture “From Glaciers to Sea” or enjoy the complimentary wine tasting – so many choices, and that is all before lunch!

Travel Tip for Today: 
​Deck 7 is where you want to be those for easy access to La Terazza restaurant, morning, noon or night on the same floor.

​Another glorious day at Sea, catching up on a work is easy with Silverseas newly updated wi-fi. Rates are reasonable for the premium package, great for those that love to stream rather than watch the cruise line TV and Movie line up.

A few new friends joined us for part of the day – dolphins!

Dinner at Indochine was scrumptious especially the seafood curry! Think of this as the place where the spice markets of Mumbai, blend with the flavors of Thailand and Vietnam.

Travel Tip for Today:
​Deck 8, for those that enjoy quick access to the shops or my favorite, the Arts Cafe, an intimate cafe for small bites from breakfast until late evening. Enjoy your lattes and tea sandwiches in the afternoon…oh and did I mention the cookies and desserts!

Today’s Port – Ketchikan
Arrived via the Tongass Narrows, be sure to be up early to watch the Alaskan scenery from your balcony or the comfort of your suite.  Our local guide says, “there are 2 seasons “Winter and August”!

Travel Tip for Today:
​Take a scroll down Creek Street, the painted houses just a few blocks from the pier and enjoy the artisan shops or pick up a souvenir of two!

Our Favorite Excursion: 
Rainforest and Raptor Center Tour – easy walk about 1.5 hours, unique rain forest as Alaska has no topsoil. Even saw a bear wandering through the woods and another down by the stream where the salmon are trying to get back into the hatchery. Brief, but well-done visit to the raptor center, with a Red Tail hawk, female bald eagle and a peregrine falcon – all rescues. Interesting visit and talk by the gentleman that has taken over his uncle’s totem carving business and the old mill.

Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska rainforest Tour
Rainforest | Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska Raptor Center Tour
Alaska Raptor Center | Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska Totem Artisan
Totem Carving | Ketchikan, Alaska

Icy Straits:
Fascinating, small port, quite near Juneau (35 miles away) Short gondola ride for those that want to see a bit of the island, walking a short way to the old cannery and shops.
The village prides itself on being home to more “brown bears, than humans”.  This is the place to be adventurous, ATV and Jeep expeditions to zip lining through the canopy of trees to kayaks and canoes and of course whale and orca excursions…there is something for everyone.

Travel Tip for Today:
Great port for bear viewing and whale watching….or try the Ziprider!!!

Icy Straits, Alaska
Icy Straits, Alaska
Icy Straits, Alaska
Icy Straits, Alaska

Dinner at Atlantide:
An elegant bar and grill where everyone can easily find a favorite or two! No better way to start your meal than with Caviar! Always a favorite of mine, consume soup and each time it was beautifully presented and delicious!

Dinner Atlantide Silverrsea Silver Muse

Rough seas and pouring with rain, sadly we were not able to visit, this time but this is the place where Alaska’s native, Russian and American history comes together! There are many tours to choose from, ATV expeditions, whale watching cruises, bear viewing excursions, etc.  Be sure to save a little time to explore by walking around the town and be sure to include St. Michaels Cathedral, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Castle Hill, Sitka National Historical Park and the Alaska Raptor Center.

Travel Tip for Today:
Inside the charming Cable House, the Larkspur Café is a cozy gem, favored by the locals.  Be sure to try the salmon chowder, sockeye lox and rockfish tacos! 

Sitka, Alaska

Easy walk into town if you are not doing a shore excursion – highly recommend the White Pass Scenic Railway (departs from a rail line, steps from the ship) ferries over to Haines, visit the Skagway Museum or a variety of wildlife viewing excursions.  Remember, as you walk around the town, forms part of the Klondike Gold Rush National History Park!

Travel Tip for Today:
“Did you know…why there are so many jewelry stores in Skagway…it’s because there a max of $132 dollars tax place on any jewelry purchase, no matter the price! So do your shopping here!

Dinner at Kaiseki Tonight
Reservations required and a small booking fee.  You can eat at the bar as you watch them prepare each delicious dish or choose for a table for 2 or 4.  Each dish was beautifully presented and delish! 

Skagway, Alaska
Skagway, Alaska
Dinner Kaiseki, Silversea Silver Muse
Kaiseki Restaurant

Morning Mendenhall glacier and whale watching photo safari through Gastineau Tours is a Must here! Short ride to the harbor about 20 mins, great commentary along the way, combing local history, beautiful sights like Auke Lake (Auke is the Tlingit word for “little lake”, so it’s Little Lake, Lake!)

Great captain, worked for the Coast Guard for years, now working these trips, full of local insights into daily life. Our guide was excellent, working about 20 years and thrilled to be working again!

Quick set up for everyone with cameras and a pointer or two for the Camera/Phone users such as, when you take a video, “start” with the phone horizontal, if you start vertical and then turn…. the video will record in vertical only and you will miss 1/3 of the scene.

Juneau, Alaska

Great time of year to see the whales, they are feeding like crazy, and we saw 15+ very near our boat and both the captain and guide were able to tell us, by their tale markings, which whales they know…it was like listening to someone greeting an old friend “look there’s Sasha!” “Over there is Flame and her calf, Bolt” (named for the lightning bolt marking on his tail!)

Travel Tip for Today: 
Remember, after madly taking photos and video…put everything down (maybe the binoculars too) and just watch and enjoy…these are precious moments with these majestic mammals.

Short ride Back Loop Road towards the start of our walking tour up to Mendenhall glacier. Gentle walk, through the rainforest, feels a bit like Hobbit Land! Our guide took time to point out where the bears have been feeding on the various plants, the flora and fauna as well as how to approach taking photographs.

Travel Tip for Today:
If you can, get down low and look back up towards your subject (everyone else will take theirs from above…get a different perspective)

We photographed a variety of interesting mushrooms, the Devils Claw, very transparent so take a picture from underneath! And of course, waters walls and streams…currently full of spawning salmon. Markers along the route signal where the glacier was in the early 1900’s outlying the speed at which it has been moving.

Did you know…the ground under your feet is rising at an average of one inch per year! Why, it’s due to glacial isostatic adjustment the pressure from the glaciers, once they have passed through, releases and the ground begins to rise again, fascinating!

Travel Tip for Today:
This type of tour also provides some great vantage points to view the glacier, many tours only take you to the Visitors Center and the effect is very minimal.

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Mushrooms, Alaska
Mushrooms | Juneau, Alaska

Endicott Arm – Dawes Glacier
This was a last-minute change as we were due to visit Tracy Arm but as the ship cannot get in very close, they opted for Endicott Arm. A “must see/do” is the catamaran trip into Dawes glacier. Normally this starts out early in Juneau, but Silverseas arranged for the boat to moor alongside and 120 pax were able to easily board and head out on our journey. Along the way we stopped at Ford’s Terror and Wedding Cake falls, with commentary along the way. But everyone was waiting to see the glacier and we were not disappointed! While the Silver Muse was able to get up to about a mile away, not a bad view for those on board…. we were right up within about a 1/4 of a mile to see this wondrous, wall of ice, with spikes like high-rise buildings. The sound of silence broken only by the “bang” as the ice calved – wow!!!

Dawes Glacier

Returned to the ship in time for lunch and continued to enjoy the view of the Dawes glacier from La Terazza restaurant!

Travel Tip for Today:
Board early if you can and sit on Deck 1, front row, great view. At each stop, they open up access to Deck 2 and 3, where this is plenty of room to view and take pictures. Deck 2 has 2 levels, so if you don’t find a place at the railing, you will still get a great view. Top Deck, go up at least once, but be prepared, even without the wind, it’s a bit chilly!

Two more wonderful days at sea, so it’s off to the Zagara Beauty Spa for a bit of pampering before I decide what else to do!

Today we turn the clocks forward one hour as we make our way back down the coastline to Seattle.

Travel Tip for Today:
“If you love Caviar, like I love Caviar” you can order it anytime, anywhere on the ship.  I enjoyed this with a cocktail up in the Observation Library on Deck 11 as we sailed along, at dinner in Indochine and in our suite.

Zagara Beauty Spa, Silversea Silver Muse

Story of the contest to create the state flag of Alaska – wonderful and heartwarming story of John Bell Benson, nicknamed “Benny”

•  Blue background is for the Alaska sky and his mother’s favorite flower the Forget-me-Not, Alaska’s state flower.

•  The “north star” is for the future of Alaska , the most northern state in the Union.

•  The “big dipper” forms the constellation Ura Major, the Great Bear, symbolizing strength.

State Flag of Alaska
Posted in North America

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