We are getting back to civilization now, sunrise is 5:13 am, sunset at 9:10 pm...somewhat more reasonable a time frame. We did sleep in today as our tour was not scheduled until later that morning. We took the HAL excursion to the Butterfly farm and Butchart Gardens. The Butterfly place was great, saw a lot of fluttering butterflies, some I was able to photograph and you will see once my photo limit is open. We also saw Flamingos, turtles, parrots and other birds. There was one moth we saw that is born without a mouth, lives 9 days with its only objective in life being to mate with another moth. Why, I don't know. On to Butchart Gardens which is a National Historic site and has been in operation for 100 years. The Butchart family planted the garden in an old limestone quarry once the quarry was mined out. Mrs. Butchart was instrumental in the planting the 55 acres and upkeep of the gardens until it was turned over to Alaska. The gardens are divided into several gardens such as the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden and the Sunken Garden to name a few. It was gorgeous and quite a walk but was enjoyed by both of us. Once back to town we saw parts of Victoria are quite nice on our way back to the ship. No casino tonight due to Canadian regulations it can not be opened. We had a relaxing Happy Hour and went dancing later after dinner. By the way the food has been great. We went to the Pinnacle 3 times and Canaletto once so we really did enjoy everything on the ship.
Although not our favorite cruise, we did enjoy the beautiful scenery and the wildlife. We enjoyed the staff and people on the ship. We enjoyed breakfast each morning in the Pinnacle Grill and all the dinners whether is a speciality restaurant or in the main dining room called the Rotterdam. We started our at a table for 6 and ended with 4 as one couple refused to sit with Donald supporters! Wow was that a fun night and believe me we did not miss their company. We enjoyed the Happy Hours and all the shows we attended. Of course it was fun to get to know Bill and Linda Applegate and to see old staff friends on board the Maasdam. I do wish the Captain and officers were around more like in the olden days, but this has stopped and that is too bad. The trip was great, the weather cooperated for the most part and now everyone can not say Oh, you have never been to Alaska because we have! So onward in the planning of our next cruise the World Cruise beginning January 4th 2017 bit first we will be in Seattle overnight at a hotel while we await a decent flight back home.