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Island Spirit Cruise Review

Itinerary: Alaska Wilderness Cruise - July 2011

Island Spriit

Brian and I can certainly give great recommendations to both Linda of Sunstone Tours and Jeff Behrens and his company Fantasy Cruises and his wonderful boat the Island Spirit.

What a great combination! Linda was careful to check out what we really wanted before she teamed us up with Jeff - and the week he gave us was certainly no fantasy, in spite of his company name. He set the bar and we had a fabulous time exploring a bit of the southeast archipelago of Alaska, sharing our adventure with 32 other interesting passengers and a crew of 10 who met our every need with obvious enjoyment of what they were doing.

And what did we want? To see the real people and land of Alaska, and not from just binoculars or tourist rigged events geared for profit. Once on board we couldn't spend money, except to buy some nifty tee shirts at the end, and we saw and did so much that could never be experienced on a big ship or with a big group.

And what did we do, when we weren't sharing incredibly good meals - including a buffet lunch served in Fords Terror that would do honor to the best hotel in Beverly Hills? We kayaked as much as we wanted, and we hiked, and explored in Zodiacs, and we watched whales bubble netting (which I'd never heard of before) and we heard talks and picked the brain of the naturalist who shared our adventure, and we soaked in natural hot springs and shared drinks and enjoyed wonderful hot fresh afternoon snacks. Evenings were spent with leisurely dinners in blissful quiet bays, with the motors turned off and then we enjoyed glorious mornings - although the Alaskan sun came up well before we were ready to stir.

I might add that our group included a large range of ages. I'm 76, my husband is 81 and there were several folks older than we are, but there was also a wonderful family with the kids fresh out of college along with lots of others in the ages in between - and it worked for all of us.

Would I go again? In a heart beat: I'd love to catch the next plane to Sitka and hop back on board. And do I depend on Linda to find us more of the same? Yes, but she's got a challenge to find an outing as wonderful as we had with Jeff - but if she can find us something almost as good, that will be fine.

— Nancy Cochran