Kauai to Vancouver – day 1 at sea

Oct 19, 2022 – Day 1 at sea aboard Koningsdam

2022 Hawai’i cruise

Our first day at sea out of Hawaii is pretty rough. Although the outside decks are not closed, everyone is weaving a bit when walking. Most passengers are wearing masks today – a good thing! I have breakfast in the Grand Dutch Cafe: cappuccino, blueberry muffin and a fruit and yogurt parfait. 

Captain Cook – The often-surprising tale of a well-traveled explorer – an EXC Talk delivered by Cruise Director Jayme.

At noon, the captain reports we are averaging just over 16 knots but need to average 18 knots to arrive in Vancouver at the scheduled time. The 20 knot NE wind we are currently bucking is predicted to switch to a southerly later this afternoon, so that should help increase the ship’s speed. The captain also mentions there are cases of the virus onboard, “so be careful out there, wear a mask, and wash your hands often.”

Shades of Buble performing on Main Stage
Shades of Buble performing on Main Stage

This evening I listen to the two piano players playing pop tunes in the Billboard Onboard lounge while enjoying a Tanqueray 10 gin martini (see banner photo above), and then briefly listen to the adjacent Rolling Stones Rock Room musicians playing a good rendition of House of the Rising Sun while all us old folks get in the groove! I catch the late show of Shades of Buble performing on Main Stage – a 3-man tribute to Michael Buble’s music. They sound great, and put on a good show backed by the ship’s musicians.

Before retiring to my stateroom, I take another walk around the Promenade Deck, finding a White-chinned Petrel resting on the deck. I report it to the Customer Service desk, asking them to consult with the on-board naturalist to deal with the situation. White-chinned Petrels are known to follow ships out to sea, so this isn’t entirely unexpected.

Senior ship's officers and crew
Senior ship’s officers and crew


May 26, 22022 – Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour, Denali National Park, Alaska

2022 Yukon & Double Denali Alaska land/cruise

The Tundra Wilderness Tour is an included excursion for everyone in our group. We are picked up from the main entrance to the resort this morning for our 3.5 hour road trip into Denali National Park. This was originally an all-day excursion, however we now turn around at mile 43 near where the road crosses the Toklat River. Access to facilities and services in Denali remain altered due to the Pretty Rocks Landslide and the associated closure of the Park Road at Mile 43. Nonetheless, we have a successful excursion, seeing a good selection of wildlife along the shortened route, and the scenery is spectacular. Due to cloudy weather, Denali the mountain escapes us today.

Our guide tells us the slide area is sinking several inches each day due to permafrost thawing, so the Parks Service cannot keep up with hauling in all that gravel daily to keep the road open. Building a new road using a different route is not an option, since it would take years to build and it is likely to suffer from the same sinking problem. This is being caused by climate warming – average temperatures in Denali have risen 7ºF since 1950, and are rapidly increasing over the last few years.

Wildlife sightings

  • Savage River
    • Spruce Grouse
    • Ptarmigan 
    • Caribou
  • Sanctuary River
    • Caribou
  • Teklanika River
    • Grizzly bear
  • Igloo Mountain
    • Dall sheep
    • Ground Squirrels
Denali Park Road map - Mile 0 to 43
Denali Park Road map – Mile 0 to 43