|The Admiralty Dream // All photos by the author|
Travel Agent has spent the past few days sailing onboard Alaskan Dream Cruises in southeastern Alaska. Run by Allen Marine Inc., the line is running its second season of overnight cruises after purchasing ships from the bankrupt Cruise West.
We were onboard the Admiralty Dream sailing out of Sitka. We flew in a day early to get acquainted with the port, and the next day (the first of our cruise) we enjoyed a walking tour of Sitka and a wildlife boat tour where we saw sea otters and bald eagles. After the tour we docked with the Admiralty Dream for our first night onboard.
|A totem carver in Kake|
The next day we docked in Kake, a small, predominantly Tlingit village. Alaskan Dream Cruises, we were told, is the only line that docks in this community. While there we visited a totem carver and saw the world's largest single-tree totem pole, as well as a native dance performance. In the afternoon, after we had set sail for our next destination, we broke off from our preplanned route to follow a pod of humpbacked whales that happened to be in the vicinity- since Alaskan Dream Cruises is such a small cruise line, it is able to keep its routes flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities like this.
|ATVs in Hobart Bay|
The next day we had another port visit in Petersburg, a small fishing village with a strong Norwegian heritage. We were able to enjoy a one-mile bog walk through the land behind the village, as well as a bus tour and some free time for shopping. The next day in Hobart Bay was the "soft adventure" day of the itinerary- guests had the chance to explore the bay and surrounding area in kayaks, ATVs and Zeegos. None of the vehicle excursions were particularly strenuous, and while travelers generally needed a partner to participate, the guides were happy to pair with any FITs in the group.
After departing Hobart Bay we sailed down the Tracy Arm, where we visited both the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. Despite heavy fog early in the day the weather soon cleared and we were able to approach quite close to the glaciers- the Admiralty Dream can get within a quarter of a mile, ice conditions permitting, because of its small size.
Tomorrow the ship will dock in Juneau, and the next day the ship will continue to Orca Point Lodge and Glacier Bay before sailing back to Sitka for disembarkation. We'll be leaving the cruise in Juneau, however, to check out some extra activities around the port- stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for details.