We thought everything was taken care of about our cruise far in advance, that is until we got to the hotel the night before and checked in. Our travel agent had neglected to make arrangements for surface transportation from Anchorage to Seward, our departure point. The customer service rep that evening was not really into customer service, it seemed, but did tell us that the staff could take care of us in the morning. By morning, the cruise staff were in top form and had a transportation voucher for us in no time.
We had a choice between riding a bus for 2 hours or so or taking a 5 hour train ride and since the train went through areas that aren’t accessible by bus (and we ride in a bus every time we take a trip!), the choice was easy. We chose the train and it was a good choice! This was just one of the spectacular views along the way.
We had seen the Cook Inlet several times, always at low tide, but traveling by the Turnagain Arm on the way to Seward we got to see something Andi had hoped we would see, a bore tide. The Turnagain Arm is a waterway into the northwestern part of the Gulf of Alaska, so named because Captain Cook entered it thinking it would lead to the Northwest Passage he was seeking. When it turned out to be a dead end, he was forced to turn around and try again. It is one of two narrow branches of Cook Inlet. A Turnagain Arm bore tide is the only one that occurs in the far north and the only one bordered by mountains, making it unique and the most geologically dramatic bore tide in the world. A bore tide is a huge wave or series of waves that advance down Turnagain Arm in a wall of water up to 10-feet high. The one we saw didn’t appear to be that tall but was like a long continuous roll curving across the water.
The scenery on the train ride was amazing and we saw eagles, Dahl sheep and bears along the way, mostly at a distance. Glaciers, waterfalls and lakes only added to the beauty.
Along the way we got acquainted with several folks that we saw many times on the cruise throughout the week.
And then our train pulled in right next to our ship, the Celebrity Millenium and the real fun began!