Mike Faust, editor of Cruise Currents, recently sailed on board Zuiderdam for a seven-night Alaskan cruise and chronicled his trip for us. What’s your favorite Alaskan port? Let us know in the comments below!
Day two aboard the Zuiderdam is coming to a close and it is still light as can be out. The sunset is scheduled for 10:34 and it is currently only 10:06. We’ve now had sunlight for almost 24 hours and the weather has been beautiful. Sunny and in the high 60′s at one point. Perfect weather to sail through the Inside Passage.
The morning began with a bright and early sunrise around 5:00 am. I opened the blinds to my balcony and we had just started sailing into the Inside Passage. Suddenly our ship was surrounded by rising mountains, some capped with little dustings of snow at their peaks. Some mountains even has little lines of snow making their way down the cliffs. Upon further inspection with binoculars, we discovered these to be streams of gushing water cascading down the mountain and emptying into the passage.
Later, I decided to walk two miles around the full wraparound promenade and by doing so, I was able to soak in some of the most breathtaking vistas I have yet to see. As I would round the corner of the ship, suddenly a whole new, changing landscape would begin to emerge. As I neared the stern of the ship, the wake would come into view. Looking back at our wake, I could see our zigzagging wake snaking its way through the mountains. It was a totally unique point of view all thanks to the Zuiderdam’s full wraparound promenade.
Finally, we began to turn out towards the Pacific Ocean and away from the close up mountains we had been viewing throughout the day. After saying goodbye to the beautiful mountain vistas, it was time to head up to the Lido deck to dine in Canaletto for dinner. Canaletto is the Zuiderdam’s Italian restaurant, located steps from the covered pool. The mood of Italy is set by the Italian music playing and the striped “gondola” shirts worn by the courteous and friendly crew. Garlic bread and olive oil began our dining experience and was soon followed by a tray of various Italian meats, cheeses, and vegetables. For an appetizer, I enjoyed a delicious vegetable and seafood soup. For the main course, I was served cheese linguine with a side of greens and Parmesan cheese. My Italian dining experience was finished with a traditional classic Italian dessert – vanilla bean and strawberry gelato.
After finishing in Canaletto, I retired to my stateroom to soak in some of the views of the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, my timing was perfect and I watched two whales breach the water and spray water high into the air. Not only did it catch my attention, but also the attention of officers on the bridge. It was a perfect way to end the night – sitting, watching, and enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cool Alaskan evening.