Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Westerdam to Alaska: Victoria, BC/Debarkation

For Westerdam’s evening port call to Victoria, BC, we chose a “pub” tour and sampled beers at three micro-breweries. The bus ride through the city with our knowledgeable and entertaining bus driver was almost more interesting. We’d like to come back to Victoria again for a daytime tour to Butchart Gardens, which we heard weren’t as impressive at night, even though they are softly illuminated.

Sadly, our cruise had come to an end, but the Holland America Line service didn’t stop. Based on post-cruise transportation plans, all Westerdam passengers were assigned specific debarkation times. Ours was 8:45am and that’s exactly when we walked off the ship. By 9:40 we had taken the Budget Rent-a-Car shuttle from the pier to downtown, picked up our car, and were pulling into the parking lot at The Museum of Flight where we spent several hours wandering through the exhibits, including Air Force One (that would be the plane that was used primarily by President Lyndon Johnson).

Seattle has so much to see and do that I heartily recommend spending several days pre- or post-cruise to explore the area. Our Seattle CityPass was good for nine days and served us well both before and after our Westerdam cruise. Included for $54 are six admission tickets, each with a little tip revealing a CityPass secret to skip main ticket lines for:

1. Space Needle: Day & Night admission: two visits to the top within 24 hours
2. Seattle Aquarium: general admission
3. Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour: one hour cruise
4. Pacific Science Center: general admission & one 2D or 3D IMAX® film
5. Woodland Park Zoo: general admission
6. The Museum of Flight: general admission
or Experience Music Project Science Fiction Museum: general admission

Here’s a bird’s eye view of what we saw today at The Museum of Flight…

Space Capsule

President Johnson’s Desk Aboard Air Force One

United States Navy Aircraft

Just a part of the 6-story glass and steel Great Gallery containing 43 historic aircraft tracing the history of the first 100 years of human flight.

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