Zuiderdam To Alaska – Day 4 – Skagway

The morning began early again for me, around 7 am, about the time we had finished docking in the quiet little town of Skagway, Alaska. The morning was crisp and a once again warm, but cooler than the day before. Our shore excursion didn’t meet until 12:30 pm, so I spent the morning strolling the ship and even co-hosting Cruise Chat on Twitter. Soon, noon was approaching and it was time to disembark and meet up for our excursion.

After my family and I had disembarked, we were confused to find no other Zuiderdam guests meeting for our excursion. As soon as our guide had arrived, George, informed us that we were the only guests from Zuiderdam who would be zip-lining, rock climbing, and rappelling in the alpine forests of Skagway.

We were soon on our way, winding through the cliff side roads of Skagway. After about 15 minutes, we pulled into the adventure park and hiked up a steep hill to suit up for our adventure. We were fitted with helmets, harnesses, and zip lining gear. Afterwards, we began our hike through the woods to our zip lining platform. As our group walked closer, the tension and feeling of nervousness built in many of us. Some in our group share this in a more outwardly way than others, but you could tell that everybody had some degree of nervousness. Soon, it was my turn to be hooked up to the cable. I stepped up onto the platform and was hooked into the double cable. After a few bird calls between George and the other platform operator, I had the all clear. I leaped off of the platform with no hesitation and was suddenly flying through the air. I was in such an “awe-struck” state that I was mesmerized by the views around me. I even had a full 360 degree view as I was spinning as I moved along the cable. My short ride came to an end when suddenly my cable was caught by the stopper and I came to a very sudden stop on the last platform. I was then taken off of my cable and sent on to gear up for rock climbing.

After I had geared up for rock climbing, I made my way towards the giant cliff we would be rock climbing on. Now, this isn’t some plastic amusement park rock wall, this was an actual rock wall with climbing ropes anchored at the top of the massive ridge. The entire cliff had about 15 different lanes with varying lengths and either more or less rock features to aid you in your climb. Seeing as I have never rock climbed before, I felt confident in taking a slightly easier lane. I chose the second easiest, which had a total climbing length of around 30 feet. Pretty soon I began my climb, inching my way up towards the top of the cliff. I got off to a tough start. I was having trouble finding any footholds and began to lose my grip on a ridge above me. A tough moment, but I eventually found my footing and pushed my way up to the top of the cliff. Finally, once at the top, I repelled down the side of the cliff to solid ground at the bottom. From there we removed our rock climbing equipment and started the hike back to our bus. I was both tired and excited that I had crossed two more items off of my bucket list: zip-lining and (real) rock climbing.

About a half hour later we boarded the Zuiderdam once again and headed back to our stateroom. I quickly showered and changed all in time for the daily Mass offered aboard. Soon after Mass it was time to head down to the Vista Dining Room for dinner. The “dish of the night” in my opinion was the Alaska Seafood Bake, which was a little cake made of various types of Alaskan fish, all covered in a sweet mustard sauce.

The long day was finally ended by attending the late night comedy show. The ship’s comedian was downright hilarious. The majority of the time he played his guitar, parodying famous songs with the lyrics he thought had been the actual lyrics. If he wasn’t parodying a song, then he was making jokes about other bands including Coldplay, the Beatles, and “the McJagger band.” [Honestly, it’s tough to write about a comedian, it’s more of a “you have to be there moment,” but I thought you would appreciate hearing about my night.]

Day 4 aboard the Zuiderdam was another successful one and I am looking forward to enjoying a day of sightseeing in Glacier Bay on Wednesday.

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.