National Geographic Sea Bird Cruise Review
Itinerary: Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness - June 2013
John felt that this was the best trip of his life. The NatGeo/Lindblad staff was thoughtful about finding anything we needed and also in making sure that everyone on the boat had a great experience. John's main wish for the trip was to see orcas. That was fulfilled right at the beginning in a spectacular display of jumping orcas, and he got wonderful photos of it. I was more than impressed by the whole glacier experience. I loved being on the Zodiacs. It was amazing how close we could get, to the point of being able to hear the sounds of the glacier as it shifted and as pieces fell off. The hikes were fun and the leaders were knowledgeable and personable On the last hike I was on, a bear was spotted across the water, so the boat called our leader to say that a Zodiac was being sent so that all of us could get closer to the bear to get good photos. I think the flexibility of the captain in being willing to change directions so we could go see whales or anything else was one of the strengths of the trip.
In terms of the food, we did not have very high expectations, but were we were pleasantly surprised. I loved the fresh bread and cookies that were baked every day. The meals were more than satisfactory, and the chef was a delight.
I think it is often who is with you on a trip that can make or break the experience. We were lucky to be with a very compatible group of people. In spite of differences in ages and backgrounds, everyone was friendly and accommodating. Most had been a variety of places, and it was interesting to hear their stories. I am not sure how NatGeo/Lindblad selects their staff, but they could not have chosen a better group of people. All of them appeared excited about the information they had to share and were willing to answer a multitude of questions. Since we were on the photography expedition, I was surprised at how many of them had photography experience. Michael Melford, the expert photographer, was both informative and more than willing to help anyone who had a question. One of the other pleasures of the trip was seeing the underwater photography of the places where we had been.
All in all, our trip was good, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone we know (actually, I already did share the booklet and the video with someone who was interested).
Thank you for the great bottle of wine that you had waiting for us in our cabin. We enjoyed it, and we also appreciated all of the effort you put into making this such a good experience.
— Kate and John