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Our journey begins on Friday, July 31. We’ll be flying Delta Airlines (surprise, surprise… not!) from Tampa to Anchorage via Atlanta. After traveling for the better part of the day, we’ll arrive in the early evening (Anchorage time) and will be checking into the Anchorage Marriott Downtown. Why the Marriott? Two words: Marriott Points. It’s free (just like our Delta flights). Plus, it had decent reviews from other travelers on TripAdvisor and is situated in a good location.

We’ll be in Anchorage for just two nights before the cruise. We’ve made no firm plans yet on what we’ll do in Anchorage on Saturday yet. But, unlike Barcelona in March, I suspect it will not involve eating tapas. :-)

On Sunday, we’ll head to Seward via the Alaska Railroad to embark on our 7-night Southern Glacier Bay Discovery cruise aboard Holland America’s Veendam. I’ve read that the train trip is very scenic and enjoyable.

This is a map of the ship’s route:

Southern Glacier Bay Discovery

Southern Glacier Bay Discovery aboard HAL's Veendam

And, here’s the planned itinerary:







Seward (Anchorage) Alaska


08:00 PM


College Fjord Cruising CO

06:00 AM

09:00 AM


Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising CO

10:00 AM

07:00 PM


Haines, Alaska

06:30 AM

09:00 PM


Juneau, Alaska

08:00 AM

06:00 PM


Ketchikan, Alaska

02:00 PM

08:00 PM


At Sea




Vancouver, British Columbia

07:00 AM



The itinerary looked pretty good as it’s not overly port intensive. Normally, this would be seen as a negative by us. We mainly cruise as an expedient and economical way to get to a lot of places in a brief amount of time. But, Libby—being pregnant—wanted to do something relaxing (indeed, sans forthcoming baby, we would have likely gone to Asia this summer).

Given that we’re rather experienced travelers, we usually explore destinations (including cruise ports) on our own. I’m not sure what we’ll do in these ports this year, and we might even opt for “easy” activity tours organized by the cruise line.

At the end of our cruise, we’ll leave the ship and head to the airport in Vancouver. We’re a little bummed about not getting to see more of Vancouver, but at least we’ll be able to add Canada to the list of countries visited.

We return home on August 9, which happens to be our 12th wedding anniversary.

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