is relatively short, it can be easily divided into three logical parts: the first one is a departure from Vancouver, the passage through its surrounding area, and a day at sea following after this: the second part are three stops in the south-eastern part of Alaska going one after another; and finally, the third part are two delightful days of sailing along the fjords and bays with glaciers with arriving in Whittier, the final port. Stop in the tiny town of
, just in 20 kilometers from the Canadian border stretching through the pass (strip of the American land , stretching along the shore of the ocean to the south-east from the mainland of Alaska and called, as you know, "the Panhandle" is the narrowest here) and in close proximity to the famous Klondike - Canadian territory with the same name stretching along the tributary of the Yukon River that has become famous thanks to the "gold rush" of 1896-1897.
"Island Princess" is in the port during the whole day. On board of the ship you'll be offered many interesting tours for each port, and this one is not the exception. However, in Skagway all the tourists have to be careful: a significant part of tours (mainly tours to Klondike, as well as trips on the famous railway through the White Pass and further to the "gold-bearing territories") runs with the intersection of the Canadian border, and accordingly requires Canadian multiple entry visa in the passport (as after Vancouver we left the territory of the country and found ourselves in the United States). When buying this tour on the boat you won't be explicitly warned about that (in the tour booklet opposite tours entering Canada you'll just find a "star", which tells you not to forget to bring your passport). And this is not surprising, because 99% of tourists on board are the Americans or residents of those countries, for which the visa issue is irrelevant. And those who have such problem need to be careful on this point. I had a single-entry Canadian visa, so in Skagway I chose the tour without entering the territory of the neighboring country - a journey around the surrounding fjords, acquaintance with the nature of the sea coast, the valley of the river, lake and forest: it is a very interesting and pleasant ecological route - well, and later we will ride different mountain railways and various "Klondike" during the surface travel around Alaska.
Before that the south-eastern part of Alaska appeared to me rather misty - it has its own charm, but at the same time, of course, I also wanted to see the sunny coastline of the largest US state. Well, this morning there were first preconditions for this.
But in the morning clouds still covered the sky pretty tightly - nevertheless, every ray of the sun, seen in such situations, invariably adds optimism and good mood, which, I must say, without that was also excellent. So we get on a large double-decker - and begin a journey across the Taiya Inlet.
Note the coast - tides in Alaska are very strong: the height difference in the levels in some places (eg, in the area of Anchorage) is up to 10 meters. Here it is smaller, but the difference is also very big.
The boat is running at full speed - in spite of the headwind, the upper deck from the first minutes of the tour is occupied by photographers.
Such a beauty! I love the sea so much! And it's so cool that I took this tour in Skagway!
After half an hour the ship moored at the sea wooden pier, plunging deep into the sea, in the town (or rather the village) of Haines.
Looking at this long wooden footbridge in the low water, you can clearly feel the power of the daily tides in Alaska.
And we get in the "Ford" minibus and start our mini-tour. First stop is right on the road, where eagles nest in one of the adjacent copses. They are one of the symbols not only of Alaska, but of the entire United States.
And of course, we can't ignore the delightful sea views!
And here are eagles in all their proud beauty - during the flight...
...and on the tree. They have nothing to be afraid of here - environmental issues and, especially, problems of rare animals and birds raised in Alaska are very strict.
Next stop is at the mouth of a small river close to its confluence with the bay:
Here is a house of one of the local villagers:
Fleet river, springing from the nearby lake, give its waters to the sea...