Our first experience of Cruising was a celebration holiday to Canada and Alaska with Princess Cruises. Starting with some time in Vancouver and visiting a friend on Vancouver Island followed by a cruise Northwards along the inside passage aboard Coral Princess. On arrival in Alaska we took a Princess Land Cruise
There followed something of a gap before going in search of the Northern Lights, with Hurtigruten on one of the post boats. The Norwegian Coastal Express, not really cruising as they are ferries serving the local community, the lifeline, with a few tourist passengers to help support the service. They go to the smallest of communities on a bus like timetable, on a daily basis, delivering and picking up all manner of things. Calling at some tiny places at 3am, horn blaring to wake the dock, then leaving a short time later back into the night. The dock hands go back to bed.
A little busy leaving Southampton
As we age we are more inclined to seek more comfort in our travels. We have also fallen out of love, to some extent, with air travel. Partly due to health considerations, and then there is of course, the environmental impact. However, the main reason is the inconvenience. Arrive at the airport hours before the flight, queue and then another queue followed by lots of waiting around, otherwise known as opportunities to shop, and provide more profit to the airport. Then at last you are boarding the plane with the restricted amount of luggage, hussle for stowage, and then settle down into your allocated seat. Airline food according to the schedule. You arrive at your destination relatively quickly, but need some time to recover. Almost forgot about waiting at border control and luggage collection.
Compare that to driving to Southampton, pulling up within yards of the ship. Somebody takes your luggage away and somebody else your car. A short while in the Cruise Terminal followed by a brief period passing through security. Minutes later we are aboard our ship, and our holiday has started. We can wander around, enjoy the the facilities, eat our fill, of good food, in our own time, and all in comfort. Very relaxing. A totally different experience.
Having said all that, there are still times when air travel is both necessary and rewarding.
The ice flows at and Mountains around Baffin Bay and the NorthWest Passage. Without the airplane these views would not have been seen.
We would not have got all the way to Vancouver or to Alaska. There are several galleries with some of our photos from the trip.