Catching the MS Statendam to Alaska

Our latest travel excursion began on Saturday, August 12, with a flight to SeaTac International Airport.  One of the neat things about SeaTac is all the aviation history hanging from the ceiling, such as Voyager.  Voyager (N269VA) was the first aircraft to fly nonstop and unrefueled around the world.  Voyager was designed by aeronautical genius Dick Rutan, and flown by Dick’s brother Burt Rutan and Jeannie Yeager.  Having contributed to the project many years ago, I still have a large, framed picture of Voyager autographed by both Rutans and Yeager.

After a night at a nearby hotel, we went back to SeaTac the following morning to catch the Quick Shuttle to Vancouver, British Columbia.  The Quick Shuttle is a marvelous way to get from SeaTac to Vancouver because not only do you get spectacular scenery along the way, you also get WiFi the whole trip.  Not bad for only $53 a person.

At the border we braved the daunting Canadian Customs.  Canadian Customs did their usual thorough job of diligently checking to make certain that no one dared smuggle into Canada untaxed booze.  After all, heaven forbid that a bottle of Canadian Club fall into the wrong hands priced approximately one-third of what one must pay in the country of origin.

Our bus snaked its way through the winding streets of Vancouver to the Canada Place cruise terminal.  Canada Place has some really unique architecture, with huge sail-like structures jutting into the blue Canadian sky from atop the terminal roof.

Following a brief hike through Canada Place we made our way across the gangway to our home for the next seven nights—Holland America’s MS Statendam.  Yes, this is a near repeat of our trip of last year, but this time we were reversing the course and the weather would be much, much better.  As such, the photography this trip far exceeded the results of the previous year’s voyage.

The official start of any trip out of Vancouver’s Canada Place rightfully begins when you pass beneath the Lion’s Gate bridge.  Oh, and don’t forget the lifeboat drill.

So, for the next several blog entries, sit back and enjoy a pictorial guide through the Alaskan wilderness, old frontier towns, whale watching, death-defying tramway travel, quaint steamboat rides, and other exciting adventures.



Filed under Photography, travel

7 responses to “Catching the MS Statendam to Alaska

  1. That must be a replica Voyager. It has its winglets. The original is hanging in the lobby of the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The winglets were ground off by the wingtips dragging the runway on takeoff.

    • I rather wondered about that, Roger, and I remarked to Ursula at the time about the wingtips and that it might be a replica. I also recalled seeing the Voyager sans wingtips in the Smithsonian. But it looked so real that I figured it had been restored with wingtips and loaned out.

      As I recall, though, only one wingtip detached on takeoff. The other was hanging on by threads, and Burt Rutan put the Voyager through some gyrations to tear it off so as to reduce drag.

  2. rogparish

    The original of the Voyager is hanging in the lobby of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The replica has its winglets. The original lost its winglets on takeoff, when the wingtips dragged on the runway and got ground off.

  3. rogparish

    On our three camping trips to Alaska, Canadian customs was always very interested in learning if we had any handguns.

  4. Sandra

    Wonderful pictures! Article very informative. It’s almost like being there. “Keep on, keeping on.”