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Ocean Safari

By Michael Shapiro, Virtuoso Traveler

Our day at sea begins with yoga on the top deck. As about a dozen of us early risers arch into downward dog, we hear the tail slap of a humpback whale on the ship’s starboard side, then a resounding splash on its port. Our instructor understands as we all make a beeline for the rail, where we find not one, but a pod of colossal humpbacks surfacing, the sheen of their slick black fins catching the morning sunshine.

I’m on day five of a seven-night cruise in southeast Alaska aboard a small ship called the Safari Endeavour, which takes no more than 84 guests on each voyage. It’s no coincidence that this alternative to typical Inside Passage cruises is offered by a company named Un-Cruise Adventures.