From Juneau next stop Wrangell which is located near the delta created by the Stikine River, visited earlier in our trip when we drove down the Stewart-Cassiar Highway in Yukon. This area is very rich in wildlife and famous for the LeConte Glacier. We took a jet boat tour out over the delta to see this close-up. As we approached the sea became increasingly filled with small icebergs (although this is a very loose definition, see this) and our progress towards the glacier slowed as the captain navigated through the icefield, reassuring us that the 3 inch steel plating under the boat would save us from a titanic-like end. This was one of the best trips we’d done as the glacier was calving at regular intervals and the icebergs we encountered were simply stunning in their colouration
On our way back to Wrangell a shout went up as someone had spotted whales, correctly identified as orcas by Helen. This small family group put on a show for some time
Our route back to Vancouver duplicated some of the northern route but one particular highlight was Misty Fjord which lived up to it’s billing
That evening we continued, past the New Eddystone Rock
A few hours in Prince Rupert were gainfully used in the library to top up our stock of podcasts and series on iplayer before continuing overnight down the Inside Passage, spending the day at Alert Bay.
Alert Bay is adjacent to Telegraph Cove, visited only a few days before, and the Johnstone Strait, home to a hundred or so “resident” orcas, Robson Bight and Seymour Narrows, nemesis of many a ship.
Arriving in Vancouver we decided on a quick visit to the city, jaded as we were by several days partying with an Australian couple on board. This ended in disaster as our hour in Vancouver required a 3.5 hour queue to rejoin the ship despite the promises from ship staff this wouldn’t be necessary. Overnight to Seattle, our first visit to this impressive city and the first stop of the “Grand Voyage” for the 200 or so guests who joined in Vancouver.
All guests travelling through to Sydney had been invited to a gala dinner at Chihuly Garden and Glass, located directly underneath the Space Needle. An impressive location on both counts
Our partying over for the time being our final stop in Canada was in the beautiful city of Victoria, the retirement capital of Canada thanks to the benevolent climate and sea air. Our bus driver describes it as a place for those who are “newly wed, overfed or nearly dead”.
Our 4 month trip to Canada was over. We’d started in the east, zigzagged through the centre, had a fabulous time with family in Winnipeg, gone up north to Hudson Bay and Yukon, dropped into Alaska a few times, returning for the major cities of BC before sailing off into the sunset from Victoria. A truly magnificent country, with fantastic scenery, natural riches and a proud and friendly population. There were many places we missed out on, mostly due to incompetence but also due to problems caused by COVID.
We will be back.
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