Days 5, 6 & 7: Cruising and Victoria

Posted: July 19, 2010 by jgrantmarshall in alaska, cruise

The morning of Day 5 had us awake by 0530 because we were travelling up Tracy Arm Fjord and it promised to be a great chance to see wildlife. We all decided to meet up on the Pool Deck to be able to catch the view from whichever side happened to be better. After seeing the crowd and the chilly breeze, it was decided that the view would be fine from Barb and Gale’s balcony, so everyone but me went back to their room. I was enjoying the fresh air and really liked being able to get a 360 degree view, so I stayed at the front of the ship, sipping Earl Gray and snapping pics.


Like this panoramic shot I stitched together (with Live Photo Gallery):



On the right of the picture is Sawyer Glacier. Typically, the crew advised, they would take us in closer, but with all of the icebergs in the way, it would not be safe to go further. So, the ship stayed in this spot for about an hour. As you can see, it was another gray day, but the misty weather seemed to play especially well to the fjord’s beauty. Wispy clouds seemed to cling to the mountaintops and the gray seemed to make the water’s blue-green color that much more unbelievable. I eventually joined everyone else and we spent the morning hanging out. We did see a few whales and even a few seals basking on icebergs (really)! Tracy Arm Fjord was probably my favorite part of the Alaska cruise.


Day 6 was a day fully at sea… & it was the first time the sun made an appearance! Grant and I joined most of the other passengers and enjoyed the pool for a good portion of the day. Since the weather was good, they finally had the rock climbing wall open and Grant did his first rock climb. He got about 20 feet up the wall… Pretty good for his first attempt! That evening, it was funny to see all of the sun burned faces (like ours) at dinner!

Day 6 was also the day of my accident. My family and I were strolling the ship and I wanted to get a couple of pictures of me doing hand stands. On my last attempt, I got a little too close to the hand rail and my heel struck the underside as I swung my leg up. A week later, it is still a bit sore and swollen. …And I still had a day full of walking through Victoria the next day! Oops.


Day 7, the temperature in Victoria was nearly 90. 90 near the ocean is hot, no matter where you are! We had a tour scheduled to take us to the Butchart Gardens and also to the Butterfly Garden. Luckily our tour guide/bus driver did a great job narrating and we learned a lot of factlets about Victoria along the way. It was really a visually stunning area with all of the snow capped peaks seeming to hover over the sea.


The Butterfly Garden was our first stop and was an indoor garden, densely packed with vegetation, water features, rare birds and of course, butterflies. To mimic their natural environment, it was also very humid inside the garden. It was a fun stop and the kids really enjoyed seeing/chasing the butterflies. I would have liked to have had more learning opportunities, but I guess that is probably just the geek in me shining through again.


I’m not all that interested in plants, to be honest with you, but the Butchart Gardens were really pretty fun. The history of the sunken garden was pretty incredible (previously a cement quarry that Jenny Butchart converted into a garden). I also enjoyed the Japanese garden and wish we weren’t so hurried to get back to the bus. Fairly new to the garden is a carrousel for the kids and those young at heart. Grant and Allie enjoyed their ride, which, I think, was Allie’s first.


After the gardens, our driver was able to drop us in downtown Victoria so that we could get a little shopping in. We got out at the Inner Harbor, right in front of the Empress. It had been at least a decade since the last time Natalie and I were in Victoria, but it was still a very beautiful place to visit and clearly lived up to its reputation as Canada’s garden spot.

  1. My god ash it sounds so sareal,I cant wait to go travelling,

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