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National Geographic Quest Cruise Review

Itinerary: Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness - August 2018

National Geographic Quest

Just got back from the most wonderful trip through Alaska. This was one of those last minute trips and we were so lucky that Whitney found a cancellation and were able to fit us on the ship.

We took the National Geographic/Lindblad, Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness trip on the National Geographic Quest in the middle of August. It was quite an adventure. Getting to our room was quite a unique experience. We were in cabin 202, which was right up at the bow of the boat and we kind of had our own private entrance to the room. Only downside of the whole trip was the fact that the stateroom was right next to the anchor, but somehow, even though it was loud, we were almost always out of the cabin and never heard it.

The food on the ship was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. It was nice to be able to meet new people every night and experience the different cuisines of the area, such as a crab feast! No saving seats, everyone mixes and mingles.

We started out at a hotel the night before the trip started at the Four Points Sheraton in Juneau. Right across where the ship docks. It was beautiful and just what we needed to do a little shopping and relaxing before we embarked on the ship. In the morning we set off on what we didn’t know yet, was going to be a trip of a lifetime. First place we went to was Tracy Arm Fjords. Lots of wildlife greeted us as we sailed around. The waterfalls and Glaciers were absolutely breathtaking.

Next day was Petersburg. Before we got there we saw some amazing humpback whales and watched as they played and we even saw one come straight out of the water. Breaching they called it, something they like to do apparently. Petersburg itself was a small quaint town that really gave us an insight into a true Alaskan village. Definitely not a place a big ship would stop so it was really wonderful to stop in a place off the beaten path that still holds the charm and history of the Alaskan natives. Then we were off sailing again and watching out for any wildlife we could see. Even saw a couple bears down by the water’s edge with their cubs, even though they were not so little.

Fast forward a day or two, Glacier Bay National park was one of our favorite. We got to get up close and personal with the Glaciers of the area, and even got to witness them Calving. That’s when a large chunk of ice falls off and crashed into the water. A remarkable sight to witness. We got to hear stories of the area by a true Alaskan Native, and were also joined by a park ranger to give us knowledge and history on the area. It was breathtaking.

The next day we got to get off the ship and explore the beaches and some of the smaller wildlife that you can’t see from the ship, like the tide-pools. We also got to examine some bear footprints which were larger than we thought they would be, compared to our tiny little footprints. Bald eagle sightings were everywhere, all day every day, which was fascinating to see them in their natural habitat. They are quite majestic when they fly.

Sitka was the last stop. This last day was quite bittersweet but it was a perfect way to wind down from a fantastically rich experience of wildlife and knowledge. It was a very Russian inspired port. We got to go to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, and got to get up close and personal with the bald eagles that we had only seen from afar on the trip. It was shocking to see how BIG they were in person.

All in all this was the most fantastic trip, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

— R and K, Colorado