HAL 2019 Repositioning – Days 13-15 Sea Days & San Francisco, CA

May 31, 2019 Paul Groves

It’s hard to believe that this is our first US port in 127 days.  We’ve used WIFI almost exclusively on this trip but now, for one day, we turned on everything to Verizon and updated the apps on all of our devices.  We’ll have to go back to WIFI once we leave San Francisco for the last three days.

(I’m sure you’ve heard this before but just in case you haven’t, I want to explain about the word “repositioning” in the title of a few of our blog entries.  Different locations of the cruising world have certain times of the year when cruises can occur e.g. Alaska is good usually from May to September.  So in May, the cruise lines move or “reposition” their ships to a port closer to Alaska when they begin their Alaskan cruise season.  In September they “reposition” their ships back to the Caribbean for that season.  So we’re on the Amsterdam’s repositioning cruise for the start of it’s Alaskan cruise season.  BTW, repositioning cruises are usually cheaper.)

We were in San Francisco for about seven hours.  Since we’ve been here before, we decided to take an excursion to see the redwoods in Muir Woods located about 45 minutes away across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Just after we crossed the bridge we stopped at the small city of Sausalito for a short visit.  Sausalito is located adjacent to the San Francisco Bay and had a thriving ship building business during WWII.  Subsequently it has became a very pricey and artsy place to live and a major tourist destination.

As we left the city we noticed what looked like mobile homes along the shore.  Turns out that these are permanently moored houseboats with many of them selling in the high $100,000s.

About 1/2 hour later we reached Muir Woods National Monument.  The Woods consists of old growth redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) (these are not the ones you normally see in California tourist brochures that you can drive through.  Those are located north of Yosemite several hundred miles away).

Almost all of Northern California coastlines we once covered in these trees.  However after the great 1906 earthquake they quickly became the source of building lumber as San Francisco was being rebuilt.  Today only a small percentage of them remain.

The Woods has wooden walkways and many hiking trails.  Until you’ve seen it, you can’t believe the beauty of these trees and how huge they really are!  There is also a feeling of quiet serenity here.  We would have loved to spend a couple of days here.  Very sadly we had to leave and return to the ship.

As we left the city we were able to see just how hilly the city is (our guide told us that the city is actually built on 42 hills!).  If you look closely at the city closeup picture you can just see one of the city’s iconic Cablecars coming down the hill.  Our last view of the city was the Golden Gate Bridge as we sat down for dinner.

The cruise is rapidly winding down as we have only three days and two ports left before we arrive at our final destination, Seattle.  We’ll spend about a week in Seattle then fly home!