From Anchorage to Seward, Alaska / Vegan on Holland America Cruise, Day 1
We woke up with some goals. There were some cruise clarifications that were pretty important. Then there was breakfast, the sometimes-unattainable meal for a traveling vegan. And requisite basking in the breathtaking beauty of Alaska, the Last Frontier.
For breakfast, a local favorite, Snow City Café, which has the honor of being voted the best breakfast in Alaska… and V.V.’s first breakfast in Alaska.
There were a lot of folks in Snow City’s downtown location. Though many were surely from the adjacent high-rise hotels, there were also locals. The young, hip staff had a great energy. Add in some vegan options and boom! Some gal from New York is in there taking pictures of her food. The bakery case was stocked with saran-wrapped baked goodies, but the only “vegan” was this sign. I was sorry to miss the opportunity to try their treats.
For breakfast: a lime and srichacha cubed tofu scramble with veggies, a rectangular patty of hash brown that was the thing of dreams, and a side of some fresh fruit. The scramble was flavor-packed and delicious. I devoured it, leaving a spotless plate and a sustenated smile. Breakfast success in Anchorage. If only I could have a sweet bite…
After some “to do”s we were reserved on a cruise transfer bus to Seward, Alaska, where our ship was docked and waiting. But there was a bit of time to explore downtown Anchorage before departure. We headed to the weekend market, a flea market of Alaska-proud crafts and eats. I was shocked to catch the v-bomb during the perusing! Such things are usually my own lead. But it is totally exciting to stumble upon it. Yes, Anchorage does have a vegan sweet bite. It’s Sweet Herbivore.
They had several flavors of all-vegan cupcakes, including Cocoa’ccino, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, Sweet Potato Maple, and, my selection, Classic Birthday.
I’m a happy vegan in Anchorage.
On board the coach bus, we got great views on the way over to Seward. We followed the Alaska Railroad for a bit of time, looking out on the sifting tide of the Turnagain Arm and its glacier silt “sand,” which is pretty dangerous to walk on apparently.
We watched the train set model hills catch the potent sun and the dead tree forest.
And, once on the Kenai Peninsula, the gorgeous Kenai Lake with its clean, bright tropical hues. What do you call a color like this anyway?
After about 2 and a half hours, we were in Seward, Alaska. We explored downtown under the blaring bright sun and the backdrop of the majestic Kenai Fjords on the Kenai penisula… Kenai Fjords National Park.
There was a vegan sandwich option and vegan treats (unlabeled, so ask) at Sea Bean. I got myself a Cookie Tart.
After a walk back to the pier, which took long because of the mesmerizing Fjords, we passed the end line for the Alaska Railroad and returned to our ship where, hopefully, our luggage was waiting in our stateroom.
Once boarded and embarked, I had the chance to eat some vegan eats on my Holland America cruise. A salad of random things at the buffet, notably an avocado mango and hearts of palm salad, pickled veggies, and some fresh cut fruit. It was nothing spectacular but did provide some satisfaction. The salad dressings were suspect. I used walnut oil and sherry vinegar along with salt and pepper.
I also made two yummy tacos for the Lido Deck buffet. Black beans, lettuce, pineapple salsa, and pico de gallo, along with a glob of guacamole.
It was dinner on evening one I was most worried about back home. You can order from the labeled vegan / vegetarian menu for the night after for during the cruise. But on this first evening, I was assured I’d be accommodated even though there was no way to make a selection the evening before. But alas, there were no options for me in the main dining room. The Maître D seemed amused by it all but managed to ask the kitchen to throw together something. Disappointed, I ate cut fruit and garlic green beans & carrots with white rice for dinner while Ma’am ate a sophisticated gourmet meal. I am not sure what the use in submitting a special meal request form was?
Oh well. I made my vegan selections for the next evening and we were ready to hit the hay after a really long day. But first, a quick peek out on the deck of the moon, the Gulf of Alaska and the passing scenery in the still of the night. It is going to be hard to mess this up.