Photos: Visiting Alaska on Azamara Quest

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Your intrepid cruisers from MeetMeOnBoard just returned from a 10-night cruise to Alaska aboard Azamara Quest. We ran away from the heat in the American desert southwest to enjoy the cool, misty Alaskan weather. Here’s a photographic report for you.

Here’s Azamara Quest ready for departure from Vancouver, a favorite port for many LGBTQ cruise travelers. This is a dynamic and gay-friendly city surrounded by incredible natural wonder. The sail underneath the Lion’s Gate bridge is a dramatic farewell to this great city.

There is nothing like a sunset at sea. As we head north to Alaska, the sky opened up in all her golden glory.

A walking trail just minutes from the crowded port of Ketchikan, Alaska offered peace and quiet. A few blocks away we watched a family fish in the creek, and met fellow cruisers out for a stroll.

Fish Creek (or Ketchikan Creek) runs through the historic town. The mining history is fun and entertaining, but for us the real star of this little city is its proximity to nature.

Whales made an appearance several times. This is one of the enormous humpbacks, which we’ve also seen off Baja California. They migrate to Alaska in the summer.

Plentiful as well  were seals and dolphins and “Alaskan Pigeons,” aka bald eagles. Captain Magnus performed the duties of naturalist, pointing out the wildlife as we encountered it.

It was distressing to see the retreat of Mendenhall glacier outside Juneau. From our last cruises over 20 years ago we remember the glacier as somewhat more perpendicular and far wider. Easily accessible by bus and with great hiking trails, this is a sight not to be missed by the cruiser to Alaska.

Dale cuddles a puppy at the dog sled musher’s camp. An excellent excursion which we anticipated as being rather cheesy was instead great fun. The dogs couldn’t wait to get harnessed up, and enthusiastically pulled the wheeled sleigh full of buffet-eating cruisers. These beautiful creatures love doing their job! The musher’s camp provides summer exercise, socialization and training for the dogs. Cuddles are included for all visitors!

Eldred Rock Lighthouse outside Skagway. We sailed the Lynn canal for several hours during our afternoon departure. The long Alaskan summer day provided spectacular snow-covered peaks, glaciers, and waterfalls, an extraordinary show of nature’s beauty, all in the most beautiful light.

The Lynn Canal.

The final day of the cruise we docked for 12 hours in our former hometown of Seattle Washington. Mount Rainier was “Out” as the natives say, meaning it was visible from the city, something of a rarity. At departure scores of sailboats dotted Elliott Bay and many landmarks familiar to us receded from view.

We’ve sailed similar itineraries 3 times, but this felt like a new adventure. If you’ve never seen Alaska, or if you want to rediscover this magical land, contact MMOB Cruise Expert Adam.