August 23, 2022 – More rain greeted us in Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in Alaska. The town is located at the tip of a deep fjord in Prince William Sound with spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains. The southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carrying oil from Prudhoe Bay is in Valdez.
Our tour for the day was aptly named “Valdez on your own.” A shuttle bus picked us up at the cruise ship terminal to take us around the town. Our goal was to wander around the small boat harbor near where we had camped in our RV in August, 2013. We enjoyed wandering around looking at boats, browsing in some of the shops and eating a snack of garlic-rosemary fries at the Potato where we enjoyed talking to our server about the town. She told us the RV park is still there and told us where to find it.
Our shuttle ride back to the cruise ship dock took us near the RV park. As we drove through town our driver pointed out points of interest. Back at the cruise ship dock we wandered around the to see a monument dedicated to the men and women who built the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from 1969 to 1977. Another interesting sculpture has a giant octopus attacking a lighthouse.
Back on board ship we returned to our stateroom to find a bottle of champagne to celebrate our 52nd anniversary courtesy of the Viking Orion crew. We took the champagne with us to dinner to enjoy with our meal. We were surprised after dinner when our server brought us a cake to add to our celebration!
We had limited time to spend in Valdez because of the cruise ship schedule. There is a lot more see and do there. If you would like to read about our 2013 Valdez adventures please visit these posts: Waterfalls, Glaciers and Salmon in Valdez , Wildlife and Glacier Cruise from Valdez , and Bear Sighting on our last day in Valdez.
August 24, 2022 – The weather didn’t cooperate for our scenic cruising day. Rain and fog kept us from seeing much scenery so we mostly relaxed and enjoyed being on the ship. When the fog lifted for a few minutes I was able to capture a few pictures.
We were sailing through Yakatat Bay towards the Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America. The glacier is more that six miles wide where it meets the ocean and up to 400 feet tall.
As we approached the glacier we ventured out on the deck in the rain hoping for a better look. We were cold and wet but when we finally got close enough for a good view the weather cleared for a few minutes.
Next up – A new port and more wildlife sightings.