August 4, 2017
Day 1: Welcome: Seattle, Washington
Exclusive Brickman Cruise Events
“Welcome aboard Explorer of the Seas”
Famously rainy and picturesque, Seattle sits on Puget Sound against a spectacular mountain backdrop, surrounded by water and evergreen forests, and encompasses thousands of acres of parkland. Hence its nickname, “Emerald City”. Soak up the city’s scene in one the many coffeehouses or head down to the lively Pike Place Market to feast on artisanal and local foods. Seattle is home to a thriving tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon.com headquartered in its metropolitan area. Or, visit the largest building in the world at the Boeing aircraft factory. The futuristic Space Needle, a legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair, is its most recognizable landmark.
Seattle also has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District, to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock sub-genre grunge.
Observe the view from the top of this 650 foot structure left over from the 1962 World Fair.
August 5, 2017
Exclusive Brickman Cruise Events; Private Jim Brickman Concert
Whether you are seeking adventure or leisure, Explorer of the Seas® is home to an array of spectacular innovations that will cater to whatever type of vacation you desire. Enjoy the thrill of rock climbing our signature wall overlooking the sea or spend the afternoon ice skating. Relax in the soothing VitalitySM Spa or liven things up at the exciting Royal Promenade. Grab a bite to eat at the complimentary Windjammer Café or make reservations at Giovanni’s Table for one low cover charge. There is no limit to what you can do onboard Explorer of the Seas!
Between June and early September, you may see Humpback and Minke Whales, Orcas, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises. When cruising it’s not uncommon to see whales right from the deck of the ship or your own private balcony. And, of course we have private concerts and music, plus photo-ops with Jim on board.
August 6, 2017
Inside Passage/Port of Call: Juneau, Alaska
Exclusive Brickman Cruise Events
Surrounded by fjords, forest and snow-capped mountains, Juneau is one gorgeous state capital. Its historic downtown harkens back to its gold-rush origins and you can still pan for gold. But nature is the priceless treasure. Juneau is rather unusual among U.S. capitals in that there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska or to the rest of North America (although ferry service is available for cars). The absence of a road network is due to the extremely rugged terrain surrounding the city. This in turn makes Juneau a de-facto island city in terms of transportation, since all goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat, in spite of the city being located on the Alaskan mainland. Downtown Juneau sits at sea level, with tides averaging 16 feet (5 m), below steep mountains about 3,500 feet (1,100 m) to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) high. Atop these mountains is the Juneau Icefield, a large ice mass from which about 30 glaciers flow; two of these, the Mendenhall Glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier, are visible from the local road system. The Mendenhall glacier has been gradually retreating; its front face is declining both in width and height. Juneau, is a popular cruise-ship stop, with much to see and do on a list of wonderful shore excursions from what watching to hiking, biking or kayaking. Take a float plane ride, go salmon fishing or zip-lining. A host of optional shore excursions awaits. In Juneau, a tram carries visitors 1,800 feet up Mt. Roberts to an alpine area with hiking trails, wildflowers and views of Gastineau Channel. This is also the site of the Juneau Raptor Center, dedicated to local birds.
When you’re in Juneau, you shouldn’t miss the amazing glacial landscape.
Relive Juneau’s gold-rush history and pan for gold in the authentic setting of Gold Creek.
Alaska Inside Passage, Alaska
Have your camera ready to capture the rugged beauty of the islands and mainland coast of southern Alaska. The views include glaciers, fjords, soaring cliffs and misty northern rainforest. The Inside Passage is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington state, in the United States. Ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route. The Inside Passage is heavily travelled by cruise ships, freighters, tugs with tows, fishing craft and ships of the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries, and Washington State Ferries systems.
Watch for some of the most exotic wildlife in the world, including moose and whales.
August 7, 2017
Port of Call: Skagway, Alaska
Skagway is a compact city in southeast Alaska, set along the popular cruise route the Inside Passage. It’s home to many gold-rush-era buildings, now preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad runs vintage locomotives past the famously steep Chilkoot trail and offers sweeping mountain views during its climb toward Canada. The great Klondike Rush lives on in Skagway’s charming downtown of restored 19th-century buildings and its historic railway. From the vintage train, admire the mountains and see the 1898 trail that fortune seekers traveled on foot. Optional shore excursions include panning for gold, hiking, biking, zip-lining, rafting or kayaking. For birds-eye-view take a helicopter ride to discover a nearby glacier or take the famous train ride to see where fortune seekers passed into the Klondike Gold-Fields.
Built during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush, it is a memorable vintage rail car journey.
Fly over frozen rivers of ice surging between high mountain peaks.
August 8, 2017
Cruising: Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Outdoor Champagne Reception with Jim Brickman
Just south of Juneau lies the magnificent Tracy Arm Fjord, carved by glacier activity. Among the sights to admire from the icy waters are waterfalls cascading down 3,000-foot-high granite walls. It is named after the Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Franklin Tracy. It is located about 45 miles south of Juneau and 70 miles north of Petersburg, Alaska, off of Holkham Bay and adjacent to Stephens Passage within the Tongass National Forest. Tracy Arm is the heart of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, designated by the United States Congress in 1980.
Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness contains 653,179 acres and consists of two deep and narrow fjords: Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. Both fjords are over 30 miles long and one-fifth of their area is covered in ice. During the summer, the fjords have considerable floating ice ranging from hand-sized to pieces as large as a three-story building. During the most recent glaciated period, both fjords were filled with active glaciers.
The twin Sawyer Glaciers, North Sawyer and South Sawyer, are located at the end of Tracy Arm. The wildlife in the area includes black and brown bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals, and a variety of birds, such as Arctic terns and pigeon guillemots. The mountain goats, which are usually found in the higher elevation areas, have also been seen near the base of Sawyer Glacier.
Not the most famous glacier but arguably the most dramatic. Enjoy its sunlit mist.
August 9, 2017
Onboard, dining is about more than just food. Think ambience, variety and the flexibility to decide when and what you savor. From confectionery delights to California rolls, finger foods to a five-course gourmet meal, a Royal Caribbean cruise is a journey of culinary discovery. Our innovative chefs, each trained and certified, will take your palate global with a lineup of complimentary and specialty options. Pair your meals with a beverage package and save on your favorite drinks.
Our ships also boast a sea of vacation possibilities for every guest. Like the chance to learn Italian, salsa dancing, or the recipe for a perfect martini. To conquer the rock wall and ice skating, or slow things down with a hot stone massage and duty-free designer shopping. See, do and learn more at sea than you ever thought possible.
August 10, 2017
Port of Call: Victoria, British Columbia
Exclusive Brickman Cruise Events; Private Jim Brickman Concert
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, sits on the craggy southern end of Vancouver Island. With a mild climate and an abundance of trails and parks – including sprawling, amusement-filled Beacon Hill – it’s a destination for outdoor activities. Its beginnings as a British colony show in its Victorian architecture, such as stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion, as well as in its many formal gardens. The heart of Victoria is its scenic harbor and Old Town, compact areas that are made for strolling and easily explored on foot.
Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and, at the time, British North America, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, Legislative buildings (finished in 1897 and home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia) and the Empress hotel (opened in 1908). The city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s. Known as the “The Garden City”, Victoria is an attractive city and a popular tourism destination.
Stroll the lush grounds and learn why Victoria earned the name “The City of Gardens.”
Awe-inspiring, this castle boasts 39 rooms and five stories of stained glass.
August 11, 2017
Port of Arrival: Seattle, Washington
Return to Seattle for our trip home. Having made new friends and reacquainted with old friends, and having seen and experienced the awesome natural wonders of Alaska it is time to head home.