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2005-08-25 14:30:41.646633+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Despite deciding against the cruise ship experience, we thought it would be cool to spend some time on a big boat tooling around the islands, so we booked a leg from Petersburg to Juneau on the Alaska Marine Highway. This particular route left at night, went over to Sitka, then back through the islands to Juneau.

The hardcore ferry riders sleep on deck chairs in the solarium, or pitch their tents on the deck (and then try to secure them from the wind), we got a stateroom. While there were some cool conversations on the boat, and there were some cool views, since we'd already seen quite a bit of shoreline, I'd consider flying. By the time you add a meal or two to the stateroom the overall cost is comparable to a flight.

We didn't get good sleep that night, so we ended up skipping the Sitka tour. Of those we talked to about Sitka, it sounds like we missed little; Alaska's coolness is in its scenery and its people, not its architecture from a bus in the early morning. Instead we had breakfast (given what I'd heard about ferry food, surprisingly good and in-line with Alaska food prices), and watched the fish jump (yes, in that first image I actually caught one in the air, they were that numerous, the second is a context shot for the first) and the purse seiners operate:

One of the criteria we used in dismissing the cruise ship experience was the notion that we'd have to dress up for dinner to please the cultural mores of a bunch of midwesterners. Those interested in karmic retribution will note that we did eat on a ship with a dress code for the dining hall: "Please: Shirts & shoes required for service in cafetera. Thank you!"

If standing out in the wind got to be too much, there was a rather nice observation lounge, all the way around windows, comfy seats (but no sleeping).

And while I said I'd skip it next time, the views were pretty cool. So maybe doing it once is a good thing.

[ related topics: Photography Sociology Boats Public Transportation Dan & Charlene's 2005 Alaska Trip Alaska ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2005-08-25 15:20:42.685124+00 by: petronius

.....we'd have to dress up for dinner to please the cultural mores of a bunch of midwesterners.

Speaking as a lifelong Illinoisan, Smile when you say that! ;)