Join us as we head North to Alaska for a week of Freestyle Fun

Join us for a Live Voyage Report aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Pearl in Alaska, June 2 to 9, 2013! Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Join us for a Live Voyage Report aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl in Alaska, June 2 to 9, 2013! Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Not only is today the first day of June, it also marks the start of yet another exciting Live Voyage Report here on From the Deck Chair, and one that will take us to the great state of Alaska aboard a ship that has remained a favorite in this region since she first sailed here in the spring of 2007.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll board Norwegian Cruise Lines 2006-built Norwegian Pearl at Seattle’s Pier 66 for a week of fun and adventure in Alaska. Along the way, the Norwegian Pearl will call on Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria. She’ll also spend a full day sailing the pristine waters of Glacier Bay National Park – a must-see on any voyage north.

The State Capital of Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The State Capital of Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

I have cruised to Alaska numerous times but for me, this destination never loses its appeal. To start with, the scenery is unparalleled and constantly changing. I’ve experienced rain that came down so hard I thought I would be swept away, and blazing sun so hot you’d swear you were in Greece. Throughout it all, the snow-capped mountains and tree-lined shores pass alongside your ship like some sort of magical slideshow. Brooding and mysterious when shrouded in rain-drenched fog, Alaska is one of the few destinations in the world where I cross my fingers for rain.

Alaska, 1998: Holland America Line's Maasdam, as seen from the deck of Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Wind. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Alaska, 1998: Holland America Line’s Maasdam, as seen from the deck of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Wind. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Despite my having cruised to Alaska before, this will be my first journey to the state from Seattle. I’m looking forward to discovering the benefits of sailing out of Seattle as opposed to my native Vancouver, and see how the two ports of embarkation compare.

The full itinerary, both here and onboard:

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I’m also excited to step aboard the Norwegian Pearl for a proper voyage. In 2009, I took the opportunity to sail aboard her on a short two-night repositioning voyage between Vancouver and Seattle. A little less than 48 hours isn’t nearly enough time to see and do everything she has to offer, but I remember her having one of the best Spa and Thermal Suite facilities I’d ever seen, coupled with an interior design that was fun, vibrant and loaded with features.

Bowling in Alaska? You betcha! Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Bowling in Alaska? You betcha! Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Pearl was also the first modern cruise ship to feature bowling lanes at sea, located in the Moulin Rouge-esque Bliss Ultra Lounge.

While I am looking forward to being back onboard Norwegian Pearl, I’m doubly interested in doing so after sailing aboard the brand-new Norwegian Breakaway last month at her inaugural in New York City. I’m curious to see what features and amenities have made their way from Norwegian Breakaway and the 2010 Norwegian Epic to the Norwegian Pearl.

Norwegian Pearl's forward-facing Spa is one of the best at sea. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Pearl’s forward-facing Spa is one of the best at sea. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

But perhaps more than that, I’m looking forward to this voyage because my first and second trips (of many) to Alaska were onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships: once in 1998 aboard the then-newly-stretched Norwegian Wind (now Star Cruises’ SuperStar Aquarius), and again in 2005 aboard the Norwegian Sun.

What is it like to “Cruise like a Norwegian” in Alaska? Tune in this week and find out!

Nestled in the valley of a mountain range, Skagway today retains its turn-of-the-century charm, albeit in a touristy sort of way. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Nestled in the valley of a mountain range, Skagway today retains its turn-of-the-century charm, albeit in a touristy sort of way. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Our Live Voyage Report continues tomorrow, as we embark the Norwegian Pearl in Seattle, Washington and head North, To Alaska! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

2 Responses to Norwegian Pearl Live Voyage Report – Day 0

  1. Nicholas Sabalos says:

    Bon voyage, Aaron!

    My “virtual bags” are packed!

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