Just as I have trouble imagining conditions of the trip my great grandfather took across the North Atlantic 162 years ago, he would not have believed the experience I had this past week on the Volemdam cruise ship where the biggest hardship seemed to be prohibitively expensive satellite WiFi.
The Volendam is a 785 foot long, 63,000 ton Holland America Lines ship that cruised to Alaska along the inner passage and in the North Pacific.
With 1400 passengers and 620 crew, this ship offered a relaxing week with tons (literally) of food, a casino, pool that sometimes had waves in it as the ship waved from side to side, several dining rooms and bars, a 500 seat theatre with nightly entertainment and a deck boardwalk that allowed me to walk my 10,000 steps every day. In fact, over the past seven days I have, according to my phone pedometer, walked over 75 km and climbed 125 flights of stairs.
We stopped at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan and spent one full day cruising around Glacier Bay. Photos of those excursions will follow. But for today, the photos will be of the boat itself.
Grandfather Porterfield, who likely ate salted meat, beans and rice for five weeks would have been astounded by our ships kitchen and the incredible selection of tasty food available to us.
All in all this was a very pleasant week of relaxation and decadence and I can only say good things about the Holland America Lines ship, crew and holiday experience.
I wonder how my great grandchildren will travel? A space station vacation, perhaps?