This cruise was the replacement for the one that was canceled in April of 2020. It’s one we’ve done before, and I like it a lot. It sails roundtrip from San Francisco and visits Astoria, OR; Seattle, WA, Vancouver, BC; and Victoria, BC.
Let’s talk about Astoria. This is a small town that sits on the Columbia River near the ocean, and it’s a really nice port of call. There’s a nice walking path that follows the river. What we end up doing every time we’re there is to follow that path up the river and then turn right to go up through town. We weave around a bit to get to Irving Avenue, where we turn right and go uphill to the Cathedral Tree Trail. That’s a really pretty trail that goes up through the woods. Two times when we’ve gone up it, it’s been pretty slick and muddy, and that’s what we found on this trip. Many sections are steep and muddy with the slipperiest tree roots you’d never want to see. But we forged ahead to our goal. The trail comes out on an open hilltop, where the Astoria Column sits. That’s a tower that, theoretically at least, you can climb for a really great view of the area. Every time we’ve gone up there before, the column has been closed, and I was assuming that would be the case this time. Not so. It was open, so after slogging up through the mud, we got to climb 164 steps up the spiral staircase to the top. The view up there was, indeed, spectacular, but it was too cold to stay for long. You’d think I would have gotten some photos of that view, but it never occurred to me to do that. We came back down and started the long walk back to the ship. And it started to rain.
The day after Astoria was Seattle day, where we’d planned to do an Urban Adventure Quest. It was a rainy day in Seattle, and we wimped out and just stayed on the ship. It’s always nice to stay on the ship when most other folks have gone ashore, since there are no crowds anywhere.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
I can’t even begin to relate how much we liked this place. Big, long suspension bridge that was hard to stay upright on and lots of fun. A network of smaller bridges up in the trees, which we would have loved to loop back around and do a second time. Sadly, there wasn’t enough time for that. We also really liked the walkway seen below that curves around a cliff side. So much fun.
The only fly in the ointment on this excursion is that at the get-go they herded us all into the Princess Theater where we sat for over an hour. We weren’t happy about that. There was also a stop in Stanley Park on the way out. We could have done without that, since we’ve pretty much covered all of Stanley Park. We would much rather have had more time at the suspension bridge park.
Victoria is the mandatory foreign port stop for a lot of Alaska cruises, and it’s a very pretty place. There’s a great walking path that goes along the coast from the cruise port.