Alaskan Cruise: Holland America’s Oosterdam, Juneau

Alaskan Cruise
Taku Glacier.

There’s no question that I have been looking forward to today my whole life and it maybe the highlight of my Alaskan Cruise. Today is the day we get to experience a glacier – up close and personal!

When I woke up this morning we were in Juneau, Alaska with a couple other ships (Holland America and Princess Cruises), my phone said 3G on it, my two favorite characters on my phone. After grabbing a banana for breakfast, I made my way off the ship and went to my shore excursion staging area (pierside). I LOVE when shore excursions are met on land and you do not have to be cattle called in the main theater or something of the sort. There was only three passengers that signed up for the glacier walk today, a younger couple who introduced themselves as we were walking to our van.

The ride to the Juneau airport took about 15-20 minutes and was filled with all kinds of snowcapped mountains (an ongoing word for this trip). Once at the airport we were suited up with our flight gear, did a safety briefing and boarded a five passenger helicopter. We were off! It was a 15 minute ride to our landing zone on the glacier.

Alaskan Cruise
Towering waterfall from the rain forest.

Normally this excursion takes you to Mendenhall Glacier but there was awesome weather today so we got to go to Taku Glacier, a glacier where some of the staff members have never even been (they told us we were the sixth group to ever go there). When we came on the glacier and landed it was like something out of a movie. It was so surreal, almost having to pinch myself wondering if this was really real.

Walking around on the glacier you couldn’t help but prod and poke the ice with the walking stick, wondering how sturdy the ice was. There was nothing to worry about. The glacier we were on went approximately a mile down. There were parts of the glacier which had little streams and vanished to nowhere. I asked our guide, Matt, where the water went to? He said it was basically a big slide to the bottom of the glacier, if you were to fall in, you’d plummet to the bottom of the glacier – no escaping! That’s scary to even think about.

The flight back brought us over a rain forest where we saw a towering waterfall and lots more mountains. We debriefed and headed back to the ship.

Juneau is very walkable town with so much to do: eating, drinking, a tram, salmon bakes, shopping, etc – you name it; they have it (a things to do article coming soon)! I went to a couple of the off-the-beaten-path bars to try to find the best five beers of Alaska, sampling quite a few.

Back on board I grabbed some food and headed to the balcony to enjoy the views and read. The weather started out 55 degrees but it was up to 70 by 11am. I was going to grab some seafood in port but I’m doing a crab feast in a couple days.

Dinner tonight was in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant onboard, offered in a sectioned off area of Lido. There’s a $10 surcharge in this venue and its full service, complete with tableside service and decent red and white sauces. The only thing that threw me for a loop was they recently revamped the menu, taking off the veal parm, my favorite Italian dish.

The show tonight was a crew member production that showcased some of the crew member talents. I think this is one of the only lines I’ve sailed that does this or maybe the other ones don’t stick out as much.

Tomorrow we are in Sitka, which is a tender port. We anchor at 7:30am and the all aboard is 3:30. I don’t have an excursion planned so I’m going to explore it on my own.

Video of the Glacier Walk:

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