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Jul 2014

24 July 2014; Sitka, Alaska.

A little delay in posting this blog. Yesterday the Amsterdam was on a Southerly course and that means that the funnel blocks the sat, dish. We are not having much luck with the weather this cruise. Although on the second day it looked like it as if the clouds would break but it did not turn out that way. Today we had another real Alaska Day, with overcast skies and the occasional drop of rain coming down. Nothing to upset the proceedings of having a great cruise but it could have been better. For those guests who packed for a sunny – warm weather – cruise, and we have a few on board, it must be a disappointment. For the rest it does not really matter, they all brought their rain coats, back packs and boots and they all went off happily exploring Sitka. Sitka is of course a bit on an anomaly compared to the other Alaskan Ports, cities and towns in as far as the history is more Russian then American. Although in the current way of life nothing feels Russian or International anymore but the history is still there in the buildings. What amazes me most is the lack of Russian names among the local population. One would expect that given the presence of them for such a time, there would be some other traces left apart from the architecture. But in my dealings with the port of the last 30 years I have never have come across anybody who said that he/she was from a family from that period. It looks as if the Russians packed up lock stock and barrel after the handover of Alaska. So what is left are the geographical names, the architecture and some cultural influences which the local population tries to keep alive. Many tours are available and one of them is the option to see Russian dances being performed. Another one, which has a Holland America connection, is a visit to the Raptor center. Here wounded birds of prey are nursed back to health. Holland America provided the grants that […]

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