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2022 RUPA CRUISE

The wait is over! We believe it is now safe to travel once again. Back in 2019 we had planned to have a cruise to Alaska in 2020, but you all know what happened to that plan. Now, with nearly everyone having had their shots for the dreaded Covid-19, most people feel it is safe to cruise again. Cruises are filling up almost as fast as the Airline is coming back. Everyone who had planned to cruise back then, and had their cruise cancelled, is now signing up for the cruise they missed. Since there is quite a long lead time from the time this article is written and published, delivered and responded to by the readers, we must plan a cruise like this well in advance. So with that said, I am pleased to announce that the next RUPA Cruise will be the 14-DAY GREAT ALASKAN EXPLORER by Holland America sailing from Vancouver B.C. Our ship will be the Noordam; it will depart Vancouver on September 18, and return on October 2, 2022. From the crystalline waters of Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm to the peaks of Misty Fjords and stops in Juneau, Skagway, and Sitka; every day on this 14-day roundtrip cruise is incredible. This is a cruise to experience glaciers, fjords, inlets, rivers, streams and wildlife galore, so bring those binoculars.  Plan to arrive a day or two early to take in the sights of modern Vancouver. Boarding the ship usually begins around noon with departure at 4:30 PM.

Day 2 will find us sailing Alaska’s Inside passage, one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, it offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife, humpback whales and Orcas plying the bountiful waters, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline.

Day 3 finds us in Ketchikan which has long been an important hub of the salmon-fishing and packing industries. It is one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park, while the attractions of Saxman Village just outside of Ketchikan offers the chance to see Tlingit culture in action, with working carvers and a dance show in the clan house

Day 4 a day at sea and scenic cruising.

Day 5 will see us at Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Juneau is the most remote, most beautiful and strangest state capital in the United States. It is not connected by road to the rest of the state.

Day 6 will find us cruising Tracy Arm with steep cliffs and glacier-covered mountains flanking the fjord, while the twin Sawyer Glaciers flow from the peaks down to the sea, sloughing off stories-high chunks of water frozen centuries before. Even more glorious than nearby Glacier Bay, Tracy Arm is part of the 5.7 million acres of pure wilderness of the Tongass National Forest (America’s largest).

Day 7 is another day of scenic cruising.

Day 8 will find us at Icy Strait Point, a historical town filled with history and culture. Back in the old days when a freezer was a piece of ice, fishermen in Alaska had two problems. The first one was finding the fish, although that wasn’t too complicated, the ocean was chock-full of fins; but the second problem was a little harder. The government regulated how long you could keep your catch on the boat, and it wasn’t very long. Canneries were the answer. Each cannery had its own currency, a true company town and they had their own workforce, and their own laws. But canneries didn’t survive the advent of refrigeration. Most were taken back by the forest or simply left to rot. With one exception: Icy Strait Point, which was beautifully restored.

Day 9 Glacier Bay: Here you can take in the sounds—the creaks and groans of “living” ice, the shrill cries of gulls and soaring eagles, the splash of a breaching humpback whale. Frosted peaks towering over mossy forests, wide tidewater glaciers (there are seven in the park), and marine wildlife are givens at Glacier Bay. The ship will spend most of the day in the bay giving you an ample chance to witness the calving of the Glacier.

Day 10: At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields, and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway—but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for those looking to explore Alaska’s colorful history, pristine wildlife and unrivaled natural beauty.

Day 11 finds the ship anchored off the town of Sitka and everyone must be tendered to shore. Sitka offers a unique glimpse into Alaska’s history. Russia controlled Alaska from the mid-1700s until the United States purchased it in 1867, and Sitka was settled as the capital of Russian America, known as New Archangel. You will be able to see vestiges of Russia’s influence. Stroll past the onion dome of St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Russian Bishop’s House, both National Historic Landmarks. Or, stop by the visitor center of the Sitka National Historical Park to peruse fascinating collections of Russian and Native Alaskan artifacts.

Day 12 is a day of cruising through Misty Fjords. This area was sculpted by glaciers over millions of years, Misty Fjords’ u-shaped “canals” wind through steep canyons of granite, shrouded in western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar. It is a part of Tongass National Forest and home to grizzlies, salmon, whales, mountain goats and deer.

Day 13 is a day at sea.

Day 14 will find us sailing the inside passage on our way back to Vancouver.
Summer temperatures can range from 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit so pack warm clothing. And don’t forget waterproof gear, even when traveling by ship: More than a meter and a half of rain falls here each year! We also recommend a water bottle, thermos or reusable coffee cup: On scenic cruising days, cruise ships ban paper and disposable plastic products that could litter this unsullied environment. Information above taken from the Holland American website.
To view this cruise on the Holland website go to www.hollandamerica.com. In the destination box select Alaska & Yukon, in the duration box select 9-16 days, in the departure box select Vancouver and click on the search button. This cruise will be the last one on page 2.

Sample pricing per person for this cruise start as follows:

$1969 for an inside cabin $2469 for an outside cabin $3369 for a Verandah cabin
$4969 to $5169 for a Signature Suite Port charges and Taxes are $355 pp $7569 to $8569 for a Neptune Suite

Other categories are available on request.
The “Have It All” promotion that includes beverages, wifi, and other extras, are about $500 to $600 more pp. If prices become lower we will adjust the price. All prices are subject to change until booked. Deposit refundable until final payment.

Once again, we are working with Jerry Poulin at Jerry’s Travel Service. If you have questions, please call him at 508-829-3068 or gpsp@aol.com for the latest prices and information.
When you book with Jerry, you will get an onboard credit of $25 to $150 pp depending upon the category of cabin booked, two cocktail parties, a bottle of wine in your cabin, and a dinner at the Canelletto specialty restaurant. One final note: this cruise is open to all, friends and family, Flight attendants and RUAEA members. Submitted by: Rich Bouska rbouska1@comcast.net