We had a great time and it was wonderful to have everything planned with the schedules and confirmations in hand. All we had to do was just show up.
The Victoria Clipper was great, perfect transportation from Tacoma, easy loading, and offloading, and steps from our hotel. Same for the bus tour. The tour package itself was terrific, a great transportation option from Victoria to Vancouver, and extremely efficient. Very impressive.
The cruise itself was nice. Holland America is a thoughtful line and the Volendam is well maintained. As a boat owner we appreciated the attention to detail and the quality of their maintenance. The service, housekeeping, waitstaff, and bartenders could not have been more friendly or efficient. I will say that their boarding and disembarkation process is incredibly, INCREDIBLY efficient. It was amazing and impressive.
In terms of shore excursions, Tracy Arm and Glacier Wilderness were excellent. To see the glaciers up close was really remarkable. Two different experiences. The first in a larger boat with a lot of people, the second in a smaller group, literally walking up to the glacier.
Two highlights for me were seeing and watching the salmon spawning process. We saw them in both Skagway and Ketchikan and it was amazing. The other was returning south on the inside passage the last full day, Martha and I were up on the bow of the ship, leaning against the rail watching what we thought were porpoises/dolphins, and they swam up right beneath and alongside us long enough for us to see that they were baby orcas! There were two little pods of them and it was fleeting, but spectacular. The scenery on the clear days of snow capped mountains falling straight down to the blue green water, and the vast empty wilderness we encountered along the way was also a more listing memory and reminder of what a beautiful world we live in, and how important it is to preserve it for future generations.
Thanks again, Rochelle. You did a wonderful job in coordinating everything for us, and making it a smooth trip!!!! –The Watson’s & The Morris’, Alaskan cruise & British Columbia, July 2013.