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National Geographic Sea Lion Cruise Review

Itinerary: Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness - July 2014

National Geographic Sea Lion

Fortunate with Linda's help to have made the best choice for our Alaska adventure. We had read and researched for many months and found the more we knew the more confused we became. The options as large as the state itself. With a few pointed questions, Linda matched us up with National Geographic Lindblad. Realizing it was one of the most expensive we were a little hesitant. But decided Linda and her experience seemed to understand our reluctance and she stood by her decision as being the best for us.

We can now comment, the cost was equal to the value we received. One of the best vacation experiences of all our travels. We flew into Fairbanks, were met at the hotel by the Lind/NG people and were taken care of from that moment forward. Some exploring Fairbanks and an ok comfortable hotel, which we were told was the best for the area. Denali and the North face Lodge. Exceptional wilderness experience. The lodge is family owned, open for the summer months only. First class experience in all aspects taken into consideration of where you are in the middle of no where. We hiked, we rode bikes, we had great naturalist talks. We were lucky with the weather that did not stop us from activities. We viewed an assortment of animals on the bus ride out and back. Many photo opps close to our bus. On our drive out of the park we actually had snow flurries, in the middle of July, wow.

We had a night on our own in Sitka prior to the cruise. All transfers went well and we enjoyed Sitka and the Totum Square Inn. Nice walking town. Enjoyed the Raptor Center and Arch Angels dancers. Then onto the highlight of the trip, our cruise.

Category 3 cabin. Little larger than others but still small. Clean and comfortable but not luxurious. What I would expect on an expedition ship. Food was fresh, varied, well prepared. We had some special diet needs that were sent to the ship in advance and we were pleased it was handled well. Staff excels and loves what they do. From exercise mornings to photography to naturalists, this is why one pays for the best. For seven days, every need was met, intellectually, physically and interest wise. Every day exceeded the prior. Our first day we observed bubble net feeding, we understand every unusual and it was our first day. And yet it got better each day. Kayaking, hiking always with knowledgeable staff around us. We observed much wildlife and sea life. A special was watching bears in a waterfall eating salmon as they swam by. Watching how they bite and discard, or bite the head off an let the rest go by. Once a bear positions itself well in the falls, the salmon are in over abundance.

Our fellow travelers were a mixture of ages from adorable 8 year old twins to a gentleman who had difficulty walking. From all over the states, four from Australia. Without an exception, all compatible companions. Everyone seemed to be accommodated with any special needs. Our cruise came to an end to quickly.

— J and J, Wisconsin