Day Six aboard the Holland America Amsterdam

In the morning I awoke to find the Amsterdam pulling up to the dock in Ketchikan Alaska and then, much like day five, day six was spent on shore rather than on the ship.

Welcome to Ketchikan
Welcome to Ketchikan

And much like Skagway and Juneau, Ketchikan is more than well supplied with jewelry and t-shirt stores.

When I chatted with a couple of people working in the jewelry stores, they all told me that once this season is over they are headed to St Thomas to work in jewelry stores there. At dinner we were joking about whether they have set up jewelry and t-shirt stores on Antarctica for those cruises.


However, on board the Amsterdam my travel companion and I had the rare opportunity for a private tour of the bridge of the ship. It truly is a fascinating experience to see the bridge of a ship of this size.

Unfortunately, I assumed that I would not be able to take any photos and therefore left my cameras in my room. The truth was, I would have been able to take pictures of the bridge. Never assume.

The question I asked on my visit to the bridge was if a second, or third officer in command was allowed to, or responsible to alert their commanding officer if the ship was going into a hazardous situation. The answer, from the officer I was talking to was that in fact they are obligated to alert their commanding officer if the ship is moving into a dangerous situation.

My follow up question was, then how is that the cruise ship in the Mediterranean was able to get so close to shore that it could run aground?

The answer, as you might expect was noncommittal at best. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Seeing how the bridge of a ship works, all the people involved in the operation, the computer systems, the navigation systems; it is beyond imagination as to how someone could run a cruise ship aground.

Hopefully before we dock I will get some behind the scenes video of the galley (kitchen). This time I will be sure to take my cameras with me.

Until tomorrow.