Infinity in Alaska

Trellis Dining RoomClick for pic.
At 90,090 tons, The Infinity, a Celebrity Cruise Ship, is one of the largest ships sailing to Alaska--but she carries only 1,950 passengers, making for a spacious home away from away. Powered by an environmentally-friendly gas turbine system and azipod propulsion, Infinity glides in and out of port smoothly. The only vibration to be felt was in the aft section, when the azipods were altering course.

Hubbard GlacierClick for pic.
Infinity is a good choice for Alaska: Because it's a very "open" ship with lots of glass, passengers never feel closed-in, and are never far from a view of the passing scenery outside. A bank of panoramic elevators offers exceptional views as you move from deck to deck. You won't miss a thing while you dine, since the Trellis Dining Room has excellent views of the outside, and the Oceanview Cafe is glassed in on both sides. (Don't miss the windows in the floor, which give you a view down 10 decks to the sea.) The Constellation Lounge, high up on Sunrise Deck 11, is the official observation lounge. It offers spectacular views from walls of windows surrounding it on three sides. Acres of deck space provide plenty of outdoor viewing areas as well, especially appreciated by passengers during their day at Hubbard Glacier. Another plus for Alaska cruising is the indoor pool at the ship's AquaSpa, where you can enjoy a swim even in inclement weather.

When whales, dolphins or bears are sighted, the on-board naturalist makes an announcement so passengers can make their way to the proper side of the ship to see them. The naturalist also gives lectures during the cruise and describes scenic areas as the ship sails through them. An informative description and history of Hubbard Glacier and the Grenville Channel were most appreciated by passengers.

Juneau from Mt. RobertsClick for pic.
The Inside Passage is a series of deep channels, bays and fjords lying inside a chain of coastal islands off British Columbia and Alaska. The passage is protected from the rough seas of the North Pacific. Infinity, like many of today's huge cruise ships, sails "outside" part of the way, then enters the Inside Passage and sails along one of its most impressive parts: the Grenville Channel, which lies between Pitt Island and the British Columbia mainland and is only a fifth of a mile wide at its narrowest point. The area is characterized by dramatic scenery along the entire route with thick forests, cascading waterfalls and granite cliffs that soar hundreds of feet above the sea. Fishing boats, sea birds, seals, migrating whales, eagles and bears can be seen along the way.

Skagway viewedfrom InfinityClick for pic.
The week's highlight, however, is the morning spent at Hubbard Glacier. As the ship approaches slowly through Yukatat Bay to Disenchantment Bay, passengers prepare for the upcoming view of the longest tidewater glacier in North America. The area is so vast, with mountains towering behind, it's hard to grasp that this wall of ice is actually six miles wide and stretches for 76 miles to its source on the slopes of Mount Logan in the Yukon. Infinity sails up to Hubbard, then turns and makes her way alongside the wall of ice. Turning again, she sails back along the glacier before heading out of the bay. Most passengers are out on deck for this experience, and Infinity offers a variety of heights and angles to view Hubbard. The naturalist alerts passengers to areas about to break off the glacier's wall. The creaking and loud roar as a huge chunk of ice "calves" into the bay is as unforgettable as the visual scene.

Ports in Alaska for Infinity are the capital city of Juneau; the historic gold rush town of Skagway; and Ketchikan, home of the largest fishing fleet in Alaska. There are plenty of shore excursion options, ranging from dog sledding to flying over a glacier, hiking and cycling, gold panning or taking the scenic White Pass train trip to the Yukon border. Of course, you are also free to head off on your own to explore these Alaskan settlements.

InfinityClick for pic.
Infinity is a state-of the-art vessel that combines modern elegance with high-tech features and a warm ambience. The ship is decorated throughout with the floral artistry of Emilio Robba of Paris, adding color and flair to public areas. The back-lit onyx staircase in the Grand Foyer is stunning. A music library, full service florist and floral conservatory are other unusual features on this vessel, which entered service for Celebrity Cruises in March of 2001.

The Inside Passage on Infinity is a rejuvenating cruise experience, a chance to get away from it all in pristine wilderness enhanced by an exquisite ship, fine dining and attentive service.

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