Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leaving the rain and fog and into Canada

Emerald Lake- Yukon

No bears but evidence of their passage. We were glad they weren't around
when we got off the bus

Icebergs in Glacier Bay

Barry and Thelma dancing the night away.

Formal Night. Lance, Billie, Deirdre and Yvonne

First Cruise completed and now we are all addicted!

I think that everyone really enjoyed Alaska and definitely had the WOW factor.

Highlights had to be the Volendam, what a nice ship, not too small and not too big.
We of course have to talk about the food, and well the food and more food. It was available 24/7 and sooo sooo good. We will all have to go to the gym when we get back. But then life is for enjoying and we all enjoyed the food. The formal nights had extra special menus and our last night was a great performance, with the dining staff putting on a show. We even had the dolphins add to the show by surfing the waves as we cruised by.
Can I say we all scrub up nicely!
The thermal suite, for those of us who took up the offer was also a highlight and the best spot on the ship to watch the world go by. Check out some of the mischief we got up to there.

My favorite was Skagway, the scenery was breath taking and our guide was wonderful, informative and so very funny.
We all saw the running of the salmon. What an amazing sight to see all those salmon fighting their way up river to spawn and ultimately become bear and eagle food.

Bear sightings were few unless you consider a bear sighting as seeing a black spot on the shore line moving around.
We did see alot of whales, humpbacks, minkes and even a pod of Orca's.

Being biased of course the weather in Canada has been beauty and the weather in Alaska was wet. It lived up to it's reputation as being the wetness State in the USA.

We are now back in Vancouver and about to fly off to Europe and the next stage of our adventure!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cruise number 1 the Volendam

The ship leaving Vancover on a very wet afternoon!!! after 3 great days of Sun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A couple of pictures from our first few days

Top fo Blackcomb mountain. Although misty, it was spectacular-You just need to trust us, 'cause the pictures don't do it justice.
L2R: Morag, Marion, Billie and Lance

Ewan explaining to everyone the need to be on time for departures as he had already misplaced 2 of the flock. But all good in the hood. Everyone was re united and had a great time.

Totem poles in Stanley Park

Vancouver skyline

At the airport- Everyone is getting ready to board. It is really happening!

Vancouver- Here at Last!!!!

There is nothing like that feeling of being pushed back in your seat as the aircraft's engines roar to life and hurtle you airborne. Our Air New Zealand 747 delivered us safely to Vancouver and a beautiful day.

There is no doubt that the 13 hour flight took a toll on everyone, particularly the tour escorts
However, those that travelled business class look far too refreshed. Mental note to self- improve relationship with Air NZ

The bus transfer was 1 hour late but it was worth it as the city sighseeing tour was well worth it, and even more amazingly everyone was still pretty birght eyes and chipper by the time we got to the hotel- Amazing how many seconbd winds you can come up with.
Most slept like babies , there were a few that believed they were still on NZ time a woke at 3am- Ewan being one of them and felt that Monique should get up with him and keep him company- lucky she is one who can turn over and fall right back to sleep. Note to everyone don't get between Monique and her sleep!

Monday morning dawned slightly cloudy whoever the bustle of the city and the busy seaport reminded us we are in one of the most spectacular cities in the world. An early breakfast and for a majority of the group a spectacular train trip to Whistler.

Whistler is a picturesque little resort town and will be most impressive for the 2010 Olympics.
The gondola ride up Whistler mountain and then the peak 2 peak gondola to Blackcomb was most spectacular, even with the mystical wisps of clouds. I think that was the most impression well worth it.

Tuesday is a leisure day. The tour escorts the last to arrive for breakfast, with most of the group well on there way to exploring the wonders of Vancouver- Hoping to see bears and wolves, as those that stayed in Vancouver told us all with relish they had spotted both on their explorations on Monday.

Tomorrow we are boarding our leisure yacht for Alaska- can hardly wait!

Here are some photos of our adventures so far

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Counting down the days- Bags are out!

6 more sleeps!

Hard to believe and can hardily wait.

We pulled out the bags on the weekend. We splurged and bought new bags as all of our other bags are broken in some form or another and it won't do for the escorts to have a baggage mal function on the tour!

So here is a picture of our new bags. I would like everyone to note the big black bags (yes more than one) and the medium size beige bag. Now who's bag is who's????

Rumour has it that Costa Cruise documents have finally arrived in NZ and will be delivered to 14 Hammond St Tuesday afternoon.

Make sure you are not late Sunday afternoon. Ideally just after 3, as the bus will leave promptly at 4pm!!!!

To get on the pass you will need to show your passport and a smile, or a song.