We’re in Ketchikan today. We have a 12:15 excursion. Seattle was a 3 hour time difference, here it’s 4 hours. We got up at about 6:30am this morning. This time when I ordered coffee via the room service TV thingy it confirmed my order so I guess it’s working. Coffee arrived after my shower. Happiness.
I’m going to insert only a few photos into the blog and the rest will be a slideshow or something. I took so many photos!
We headed back to the ship, dumped our purchases and headed back out for our tour. The excursion started at the pier. We boarded a huge bus for just 5 of us. The bus ride was about 10 minutes to the float plane. We boarded the 6 passenger plane and flew to the Tongrass National Forest. We met our guide and hiked a very short way to an overlook of a stream where bears come to feed. When we arrived, there were no bears. A few minutes later, 1 appeared. It left and another came on the other side of the stream. All in all, we saw 5 bears. Four at the stream, and one blocking our path which was very close by us. We just stood there and snapped photos. I’m guessing with 6 of us, it doesn’t pay any attention to us.
Floatplane and Bear Tour videos:
Something flew right next to my head. I thought it was a butterfly or dragonfly when it buzzed near my head until the tour guide came over and told me it was a Humming Bird.
We returned to the ship where our afternoon canapés awaited.
Later we met up with some friends, Mark and Michael, we made via a gay cruise travelers networking website at the martini bar and then for dinner at the buffet.
The buffet? Yes, we did. It was necessary due to time constraints. By the time we finished our excursion it was late and we still wanted time to see the show. The buffet has so many stations and most of the food was pretty good.
Here’s the rest of the photos from today. You DO NOT need a Facebook account to see the photos! Click here to see them.
Tomorrow is an insane excursion day!
Here’s the Celebrity’s excursion description if you’re interested.
Alaska Bear Adventure (KE22)
Travel by floatplane to one of the finest bear-viewing venues in Alaska. After a short van ride to the trailhead, you will hike approx. 0.5 miles on a well-maintained trail to the viewing platform overlooking rapids where salmon head upstream to spawn. It is here where black bear gather to feed and bald eagles perch in the surrounding trees waiting for the fish scraps left by the bears. The likelihood of seeing bears are good, although sightings are not guaranteed. Approx. 40 minutes total flight and 60 minutes at the viewing platform. Tour is available from late July.
Begin your experience with the thrill of taking off from the Ketchikan waterfront by DeHavilland Beaver floatplane with a veteran Alaska bush pilot, on this unique wildlife expedition. Only available to a small number of visitors, your pilot will guide you to a remote site in the Tongass National Forest noted for its salmon rich streams and abundant wildlife. A 20-minute flight takes you by historic homesteads and over the sparkling waters of Alaska's fabled Inside Passage. View an unfolding landscape of forested mountains and pristine lakes on your way to a choice remote viewing location. Upon landing you will be met by an Alaskan naturalist, and driven approximately one mile by van, along a forest road, to a trailhead. A short hike along an improved trail leads to a viewing platform overlooking a salmon spawning stream. Few forest locations in North America offer the wildlife viewing opportunities found here!
From the viewing platform, you will look down on the stunning rapids as the fast flowing creek cascades towards the sea and the large numbers of salmon in the stream congregate to complete their spawning journey. This is where black bear gather to feed on runs of pink, Coho, and Chum salmon, as they head upstream to spawn. Bald eagles perch in the surrounding trees waiting for fish scraps left by the bears. In addition, a variety of birds, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink and marten frequent the area. Ample time is allowed to observe the wildlife activity in this forest ecosystem before the hike back to the van and the short drive to your awaiting aircraft. Interpretation by your pilot and guide will enhance this truly intimate natural experience, perfect for the nature lover and photographer.
The likelihood of seeing bears are good, although sightings are not guaranteed. Comfortable hiking footwear and waterproof outerwear are recommended. Approximately 40 minutes total flight and 60 minutes at the viewing platform. Tour is available from late July.