Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alaska Trip Day 1 - Prince William Sound Whittier

We spent beautiful 9 days last summer in Alaska. It was indeed the most beautiful place I have ever visited. Alaska trip will have around 9 posts, else I might just lose out on so many thing to talk about and share pictures.

It took a lot of research and planning to finalize this trip to come up with the perfect itinerary for us, in my opinion.

Day 1: We flew in Anchorage at midnight. The magic started on the plane itself, it was pitch dark in Seattle at 9:00 PM but as we approached Alaska the sky started getting some colors. We landed in quite late maybe 1:00AM, and the sky still had some hue of Orange. Picked up the car, checked in, pulled in the curtains and slept.

The day started at 8:00 with a bright sun and a beautiful drive to Prince William Sound in Whittier. The road from Anchorage to Whittier is through the beautiful TurnAgain Arm. We were already getting late for our Prince William Sound Cruise and since we knew we would be driving this arm another 5 more times, we did not stop. The scenery was breath taking.

First Click in Alaska, while waiting for Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to open

The road to Whittier goes through Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel(Whittier tunnel), which opens every 15 minutes for opposite direction. On reaching WhittieriIt all started with the 26 glacier cruise,

Close up View of 26 Glacier Cruise Route Map, Phillips Cruises and Tours.
On board Ship, the view was breathtaking
The cruise began and it started getting chillier. It was quite sometime before we reached a glacier, but there were several other receding glaciers at the distance, glistening like silver specks on the green mountains.

We saw a lot of wildlife from jellyfish, otters, killer whales but the most memorable was the breaching humpback whale, I shall share the video on youtube, it was indeed the highlight of the day. How often do you see a humpback breaching not once, not twice... just lost the count.

If the breaching whale was not enough, we saw some enormous and loud calving at the glaciers. We went closest to the Surprise glacier. These glaciers are humongous and make the sound of a loud rock falling and breaking into water,

The view from the ship was dreamy, as I had probably seen on LOTR(maybe) where you have hundreds of waterfall surrounding you, and I did not know when to click the picture, when to awe and when to start recollecting all my dreams.

Some other ways of travelling Alaska are either by train or cruise, but we chose to drive. It gave us the flexibility to stop where we wanted, do some trails and hikes late in evening.

Alaskan Rail, Whittier

None of these pictures can ever do justice to what I saw in Prince William Sound in person. I had hundred of pictures from this cruise. We also managed to do the Bryon glacier hike thanks to the prolonged daylight. More about those in later posts.