Cruise ship season has officially kicked off in Kodiak. The Crystal Symphony called on Alaska’s emerald isle early Tuesday morning, and brought with it 480 passengers and 550 crew members. Despite the rain, hundreds of tourists were able to explore the downtown area. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs caught up with some of them and filed this report.
— (Cruise Ship 1 :17 “Welcome to Kodiak, where are you folks coming from? We’re from California.”)
I caught up with Toni Bauter (Bowder) and her husband Ed while they were taking shelter from the rain in downtown Kodiak. After a long, wet morning walking around in the island’s not so uncommon rainfall, the couple was happy chat.
— (Cruise Ship 2 :17 “And so what are your impressions of Kodiaks o far, and you can be honest. Well, other than the rain it’s beautiful, it’s lovely. We didn’t get a tour today and we decided to just walk around and we did the museums, and the church, and McDonalds. It’s amazing how you can get tired of cruise food.”)
It was the pair’s first time in Kodiak, and Ed was all about the eagles.
— (Cruise Ship 3 :17 “Well, like I’m out for these bald eagles taking pictures. So we were outside and we caught a couple in a tree, but they were kind of wet and they weren’t going to do much, they weren’t going to fly or anything. I don’t think they could with how wet their feathers were. But I did get some pretty good pictures.”)
Toni said her favorite part of the day was visiting the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.
— (Cruise Ship 4 :17 “It had the whole skeleton of the gray whale on the ceiling, and that was fascinating. And then the video of the Kodiak bears and that was very interesting and the people were so friendly.”)
Pamela and Charlie Montgomery from Vancouver, Canada, were also impressed by the whale skeleton.
— (Cruise Ship 5 :17 “Look at that, that’s quite amazing isn’t it, to see that? Fantastic, fantastic.”)
But for the Montgomerys, it wasn’t the wildlife or museums that wowed them the most.
— (Cruise Ship 6 :17 “We have to express to you how courteous your drivers are. Everywhere we’ve crossed a road and we wait for a car to go by, and they stop and wave you by, is that a custom?”)
A short drive back to the cruise terminal, while being courteous of the roaming tourists, of course, brought me to Jim O’Connor, the ship’s Shore Excursion Manager. In between helping passengers onto various tour buses, O’Connor, who is originally from Melbourne Australia, said the Crystal Symphony began its voyage in Los Angeles in early December.
— (Cruise Ship 7 :17 “And we’ve been all through the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, all through Asia, we’re sort of doing a grand loop and we come back now down to L.A. eventually. And then we keep on moving through the canal, over to New York, through the top through Iceland and then we have a season in Europe. It’s a mix, we have one guest on board that’s on board for 12 months. We have some that started back in Auckland, maybe in January, been on for a couple of months. Majority though are two week cruises that continually move. And sometimes some guests will stay on for a double cruises for a month and so on.”)
As for Alaska, the ship arrived in Kodiak from Dutch Harbor, and will sail for Seward and Ketchikan next, which means plenty more opportunities for Ed Bauter to photograph eagles.
— (Cruise Ship 8 :17 “Probably get some fish that they’ll go for, and I’ll go for them, OK.”)
In Kodiak, I’m Brianna Gibbs