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To jump to Juneau click here
To jump to Skagway click here
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To jump to Denali click here
To jump to Fairbanks click here
We just returned home from a fantastic cruise to Alaska!
Rosemarie McBride and I left Phoenix by air on July 13
BC. We then boarded the Coral Princess cruise ship for a 7
trip up the Inland Passage, stopping at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.
The ship then took us to Glacier bay and College Fjord
docking for observation from the ship. Our final port was in
Whittier where we departed the ship and took a train to Denali for two
days, and then continued by train to Fairbanks for another two days.
flew back to Phoenix from Fairbanks on July 24.
Our ship for this cruise is beautiful, as I'm sure all the Princess ships are. The Coral Princess is somewhat smaller than the Diamond Princess on which we sailed to Hawaii, but is still very large. The main difference I noted in the amenities between the two ships was that we had one large dining room for anytime seating (our choice) and one for fixed seatings. The Diamond Princess had three smaller ones for anytime dining and one for fixed seatings. The passenger capacity is about 20% less on this ship.Some of the specifications of the Coral Princess are:
Built by Chantiers de L'Atlantique Shipyard of St. Naizare, France December 2002
Port of Registry Hamilton, Bermuda
Class Notation A1 Passenger ship
Gross Registered Tonnage 91,627 tons
Net Registered Tonnage 53,394 tons
Overall Length 964.3 feet
Total Width less wings 105.6 feet
Total Width over wings 126.0 feet
Total Height above keel 203.4 feet
Maximum Passengers 2368
Normal crew 930
Propulsion Type 2 Synchronous Electric Motors
Diesel Engines 2 Diesel electric Wartsils 16V46C
Gas Turbine General Electric LM2500, 25 MW
Output of Main Engines 40,000 kW (52,000 HP)
Thrusters 3 bow thrusters, 3 stern thrusters Rolls Royce
Propellers 2 Fixed Pitch Propellers, Five Blades
Rudders 2 semi-Balanced Splade Rudders
Stabilisers 2 ACH Engineering
Fuel Capacity 1938 tons Heavy Fuel Oil (for the Diesels)
1786 tons Marine Gas Oil (for the turbine)
Fresh Water Capacity 2199 tons
Cruising speed 21.5 Knots (24.7 Mph)
Maximum Speed 23.4 Knots (26.9 Mph)
Phoenix to Vancouver and a day at sea
Monday, July 13, 2009 and Tuesday, July 14
We had a 6:15 AM flight from Phoenix, which meant we had to be at the airport by 4:15! We decided to stay in a local hotel the night before to make this schedule possible. The one we chose allowed us to park our car there for the duration of the cruise and provided a shuttle service to and from the airport.
We caught the shuttle a little before 4 AM and were taken to the airport. Check-in was easy and quick as we had printed our boarding passes the day before. Our first leg was to Seattle on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800. It was smooth and arrived right on schedule. We had a 2 1/2 hour layover and boarded our Horizon Airlines (Alaska Airlines' local feeder) Bombardier Q400 twin turboprop, 76 seat high-wing airplane. The flight to Vancouver was less than an hour and smooth.
In Vancouver we had to pick up our luggage and pass through two customs stations, one at the airport to enter Canada, and the other at the cruise terminal to board the ship back to the USA (Alaska). After passing Canadian Customs, Princess took our luggage. A Princess supplied bus took us on a narrated tour through Vancouver on our way to the cruise terminal. After passing through US customs, we boarded our ship and went to our cabin. Our luggage was awaiting us in the cabin.
Before our bus ride, the driver asked all of us how many were aware of the US Direct program the city of Vancouver has with the Canadian and US Customs Services. No one had. There is a program that not too many travel agents are aware of where you can fly into Vancouver, exit to a secure area and board a bus. This bus has the door sealed by Canadian Customs and drives directly to a secure area at the cruise terminal. Here you leave the bus and proceed directly to the ship. There is no Canadian Customs and no US Customs. It is as though you never actually set foot on Canadian soil. It sounds great. Although we were lucky and had no wait at either customs area, sometimes there is a wait of several hours.
To continue to Ketchikan, click here.
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Dick Mason, Prescott, AZ 7/28/09