Alaskan Dream Cruise Review
Alaska’s Southeast Explorer - August 2016
What a marvelous trip I had on the Alaskan Dream Cruise from Ketchikan to Sitka. Everything was perfect &emdash; the weather was ideal, if it rained it did so early in the morning or after an activity. We saw every animal except a moose, and we were blessed by so many sightings of whales, right at the beginning of our journey. My breath was taken away that very first morning on board by Misty Fjords and its waterfalls. I delighted in the pink snow capped mountains, the magnificent blue glaciers, and the Sitka pines, sometimes silhouetted against volcanic sunsets. The water often looked like velvet and had a vast range of hues. I have only seen its blue green color in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Bermuda---maybe Costa Rica too.
The Northern Lights surrounded me twice one evening with the Big Dipper prominently visible over my head. We passengers delighted in the calls of the captain when he spotted the whales, Orcas and pods and pods of humpbacks. My binoculars worked well as I was able to spot the mountain goats and the TWO varieties of puffins. The grizzly bear was huge, and I watched him climb the mountain.
It wasn't a trip only about nature, for I have wanted to see the art of the Tlingits since third grade. I wish I had realized that I had so little time in Ketchikan before meeting at 12:30 pm, but I was able to hire a taxi to take me to Totem Row within twenty minutes of arriving at the hotel. In the early morning I discovered THE finest art gallery and was able to visit the Totem Heritage Center. I enjoyed visited the other native centers and even danced the Eagle Dance!
I did not care for Totem Square Inn in SITKA. They shut down the restaurant, so I needed to walk to the West Mark Hotel, which was much nicer. There was no direct communication from Alaskan Dream Cruises as they were so casual, not realizing that this was a first trip. I expected a big package of information like on the big ships. This did not happen and obviously was not necessary for when I arrived there they were at the airport to meet me.
It was an intimate journey, with the nicest group of people who welcomed me, as I travelled alone. The captain referred to us always as friends and treated us as such. The staff was friendly and knew what I could and couldn't eat due to spices and made each of us feel special. I will miss "cookie time" at 3:30pm! The food was all gourmet food, beautifully presented and the pastry chef so good that she will be on a cooking show this fall. We had a young naturalist who made a great movie for us of the trip as well as a Tlingit who told stories and two Rangers who boarded our catamaran and informed us and answered questions.
At the conclusion of our trip the captain raved about the weather conditions and all our sightings, saying it just might have been his best trip in six years! He showed how much he cared for us passengers and loved his job. What a great job he did. So thank you, Linda.
I trusted your judgment immediately as you were so articulate and knowledgable. And I was right! You did a great job giving this 77 year old woman a fantastic memory. Thank you again!
— Sandra Waters