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Part 1: Vancouver

The Crystal Harmony leaves from Vancouver. This section has some facts about Alaska and covers our short tours to Gastown, the Chinese Gardens, and Stanley Park.
Part 1A: The Ship

Read about the Crystal Harmony in all its splendor. Deciding what tours to take during the trip is important to do early, and we did that right away. Then out to sea, relaxing and traveling our way to our first stop.
Part 2: Ketchikan

We were lucky to be there when the salmon were spawning. It's fascinating! The town itself was charming, with lots of its history preserved.
Part 3: Sitka

Sitka was the capital when Russia owned the land and much of its influence can still be seen. Seeing the eagle preserves was a treat.
Part 4: Wrangall

Wrangall, an outpost for gold prospectors was not a pretty place. We stayed mostly on the ship.
Part 5&6: Skagway
and Haines

Skagway is a quaint town. Some of us took a bike trip down a steep hill; some of us didn't. Haines used to be a military town, called Fort Chilkoot.
Part 7: Juneau

The capital of Alaska is now Juneau and is a large city of 27,000 people (large for Alaska). The town was very colorful and shopping was good.
Part 8: Glacier Bay

Seeing huge glaciers "calve," (pieces dropping into the sea, making loud noises and lots of waves), was special.
Part 9: Hubbard Glacier

Food is always a main focus for a cruise and this was no exception. Some of us particularly enjoyed a cooking class by an Hawaiian chef. One of the recipes — Jumping Shrimp — is in my cookbook.
Part 10: Valdez

Valdez is the end of the oil pipline that starts in Prudoe Bay. Its history is fascinating and was one of my favorite stops.
Part 11: Seward

This was the best stop. We visited Mitch Seavey's dog training school and were treated to a dogsled ride that's used to train the dogs when there is no snow. Learning all about the Ididarod was wonderful (and so were the dogs).
Part 12: Anchorage

Anchorage was our last stop. Several people were going to go on to Denali park by train, but we were happy to head back to Sarasota.
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