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2013 Alaska Cruise

Grand Princess in Haines, Alaska
The Grand Princess in Haines, Alaska

Sailing away from San Francisco

Alcatraz from our stateroomBay BridgeSailing under the Golden Gate

San Francisco is an incredibly beautiful port to sail from.

From Alcatraz Island in the middle of the bay, to the Bay Bridge with Treasure Island in the middle of it, to sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge, the voyage always starts with a high point here.

The One5 loungsInside The One5 lounge

During Sail-away, The One5 Lounge is reserved for Elite passengers - those having more than 15 cruises with Princess - and Craig Patty often take advantage of this to sample their first food and get a good view of the sail-away.

 Craig & Patty in the Elite LoungePatty getting food at the buffet

At sea on the Grand Princess

Alexander Renior signatureThis cruise was an Art Appreciation cruise, meaning that artists were on board the ship and would be demonstrating their abilities, as well as selling their works during the sea day auctions on board. This happens two or three times a year across the entire Princess fleet. This also means that high-end art collectors target this cruise as one they would like to be on.

The four artists on this cruise were...
Alexander Renoir - grandson of the famous Impressionist giant Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Martiros Manoukian - currently a very in-demand artist with an arresting series of styles in his work
James Coleman - former Disney creative director and an artist who has mastered all the major painting styles
Alison Lefcort - the leading POP artist painting today

All except Martiros actually completed at least one painting while on the cruise and he unveiled a major work.

Artists working on-board

Alexander Renoir
Alexander Renior starting a paintingpainting in processpaintings well along
one painting doneAlexandar Renior at the canvassideways view showing paint buildup from technique

Alexander Renoir developed a triple canvas painting, one of which immediately sold, and he had to create a replacement painting for the set. This set sold in the final auction on the cruise, along with a good number of his other paintings.

His style of painting, using a pallet knife and a 'wet-on-wet' technique, produces vibrant color mixes and a depth of paint shown in the side view.

Alison Lefcort
Alison Lefcort 03Blues Brothers 02Alison Lefcort 01Alison Lefcort 04

Alison is the pre eminent POP artist of our generation and here she is working on a painting of the Blues Brothers.

She had almost finished the painting during the cruise. It sold - unfinished - during the last auction and the customer would have to wait for her to get it done.

Her painting of Marilyn Monroe is an iconic image in today's art world.

Marilyn by Alison Lefcort
James Coleman
James Coleman 01James Coleman 02James Coleman 03James Coleman - Koy Fish

James Coleman almost completed two works during this cruise. As you can see, the style of painting used in the Koy Fish painting is quite different from the seascape shown above. His background is with Disney and he was in charge of animation for Beauty and the Beast.

Sorry about the coloring of the first photo, but the light was low and I didn't want to use a flash, but this sequence does show his scene development. One thing that cannot be shown is the fantastic clouds and representations of mist that this picture shows. This picture was sold before it was finished and James was able to add some special birds for the customer. Note the eagle near the light on the right.

There are few, if any, other artists who have mastered all of the modern techniques of painting and James enjoys creating works in different styles. In fact, he often will have two to three works in process at the same time, all using different painting styles. He feels this allows his creativity to take any direction it chooses at any point-in-time. It also makes collecting his art a much more varied and interesting proposition.

One of his most recent large works was shown as a JPG photo representation during the final art auction and brought a bid in the many thousands of dollars.

Martiros Manoukian

Martiros Manoukian didn't attempt to produce any art on board, but he is one of the most successful artists in the world and several of his works were sold for very high prices while on this cruise.

His worked was discouraged while he lived in the Soviet Union, but he came to the United States when it broke up in 1991. Here, and around the world, he has exploded onto the art scene and his works are varied, vibrant, and in great demand. He has over 4000 originals on display around the world.


Ship & plane leaving Ketchikan south

Cruise ship and seaplane heading south into the fog from Ketchikan.


seaplane harbor Looking at the Grand Princess through the trees.

Patty on a wooded path in the mountains in the middle of Ketchikan.

Cruise ships lined up in Ketchikan.

seaplane landingcruise ships in Ketchikan

Seaplanes landing and docked in town.

Glacier Bay

Patty & Craig heading into Glacier BayThe Sanctuary heading into Glacier BayCruise ship route through Glacier BayRendu Inlet GlacierLamplugh GlacierJohns Hopkins Glacierentering & leaving Margerie Glacier

Patty & Craig entering Glacier Bay.

Glacier Bay from The Sanctuary on the Grand Princess.

The route the Grand Princess followed through Glacier Bay. Only two cruise ships a day are allowed through this bay.

Rendu Inlet & Rendu Glacier

Lamplugh Glacier

Johns Hopkins Glacier

Approaching & leaving Margerie Glacier


map of the Haines areaFt. Seward, Haines, AKGrand Princess docked in Haines

Ft. Seward, AK was built to protect the U.S. coastline from Canada.

The Grand Princess docked in front of Ft. Seward and the long dock was pretty uneven and rough. There was an electric passenger mover to help those who had trouble walking.

Bald Eagle 01Bald Eagle 2

In the morning we took an excursion up the Chilkat River to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. There we boarded flat bottomed boats that could manuver in as little as 3' of water. It was a preserve unreachable by any other means and we saw a number of Bald Eagles and their nests.

Brown Bear in Lutak InletFireweed flower

evening view from HainesIn the evening we took a photo tour and were able to catch a Brown Bear along a water barrier. We took this shot from our vehicle. It is not exactly safe to approach an adult Brown Bear too closely.

This view along the Lutak Inlet represents the scenery around Haines - talk about open sky.

The fireweed flower gradually loses its blossoms and, when gone, the first snow is supposed to be 6 weeks away. 


docked in Juneau

We have been in Juneau several times and got off the ship only to look at a few shops.

Our pictures consist of docking in Juneau and watching seaplanes take off and land. It was a relaxing stop.

seaplane taking off seaplane landing

Victoria, B.C.

Patty particularly wanted to have High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C., so we took the excursion there.

Following tea we walked back to the ship through beautiful Beacon Hill Park. We had done this before, but each time is really fun.

By the time we had returned to the ship, the fog was really starting to roll in. Ships and fog can yield some really fun pictures.

ship and the fog rolling inlight boats in the fogVictoria being overcome by fog

Our 17th Anniversary

Our final day at sea - 17 August - was our 17th wedding anniversary. Patty started the celebration by ordering a full breakfast to our room - since we were sleeping in, it was after the formal breakfast serving was closed. Champaign, tea, and rolls were had out on our balcony; the rest of the breakfast we took in our mini-suite.

That evening we enjoyed an anniversary dessert.

We then said good by to our tablemates...

...Joe & Johanna...

... and Debbie & Bill.

Meeting Captain LawesPatty & Craig - 175h Anniversary

We had a wonderful anniversary, got our picture taken with Captain Lawes, and took a portrait to remember it by.


It had been a relaxing and really fun anniversary cruise, but we were glad to get back to Kiki and Kitty.