Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pre-Cruise: Seattle Day Two

When I think back to today’s adventures in Seattle, two four-letter words will come to mind. The first is “rain” because that’s what the weather was like when we awoke. The second is “walk”—my sore feet attest to the fact that Seattle is a great walking city. We started the day with a cup of Seattle’s Best coffee. This is the center of the universe in terms of coffee shops and we’d have been remiss not to have stopped at one.

After making our way through Pike’s Market, we found the Pike Place Hillclimb stairway that leads under the highway and comes out in front of the Seattle Aquarium. Fortunately, some local residents pointed us in the right direction. The few signs in the market weren’t very clear.

Past the Aquarium and Miner’s Landing, we got our tickets at Argosy Cruises for the one-hour harbor cruise and were soon on our way aboard Royal Argosy. This is really the way to see the Seattle waterfront and especially the iconic Space Needle. Our guide pointed out major parks and buildings and explained how significant the shipping industry (both cargo and passenger) is to the region. We got a bit of history and humor and thoroughly enjoyed the brief cruise. Although the day began with rain, it cleared up and we spent most of our time in Elliott Bay on the open observation deck, but we could duck back into the interior and still see everything through floor-to-ceiling windows. Royal Argosy carries 800 people for cruises that include dining, but there were fewer on our 11 am cruise-only.

The Crab Pot Restaurant in Miner’s Landing caught our attention as we docked back at pier 56 so we headed straight there for lunch. We were seated right away, but by the time we left there was a long line of hungry folks waiting for a table.

Instead of going back up the Hillclimb, we walked toward Bell Street Pier, where Norwegian Star was docked today, and found the public elevator that is an easier “climb” back to the Pike Place Market level. Again, it could have been marked better—even our walking tour map only estimates its location.

Nearly six hours of walking and we’re really ready to board Holland America Line’s Westerdam tomorrow. Holland America Line and the Fairmont Olympic Hotel offer what appears to be a seamless transfer process. We'll share more about that later.

Thankfully, once Westerdam sails we’ll have some sea time to catch our breath before we reach Alaska and our first “stop” at scenic Glacier Bay.


Sam DeBord said...

The waterfront in Seattle is a beautiful area to visit - the rain doesn't care when you visit, thought. Glad you enjoyed it.

Fraser Yachts said...

I would love to visit in Seattle...just wait for an invitation