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A Day Aboard the Safari Endeavour

04-01-2020

Daydreaming of Alaska? Here's a bit of inspiration. Julia, a guest aboard the Safari Endeavour, shares an excerpt from her travel journal during her summer 2019 UnCruise.

Today was our first full day on board the Safari Endeavour here in Alaska, and boy was it fun! I woke up around 7:30 and immediately made my way to the 300 deck for some stretching. Our guides lead us in some optional morning stretches every day so help us get ready for our activities. It’s such a nice way to wake up, take in the world, and limber up. I should do this at home!

After stretching, we headed on down to the dining room for breakfast. Onboard the Endeavour, our breakfasts are plated and we get a choice of daily specials as well as classic staples like eggs, toast, etc. This morning I opted for the crème brulee French toast. I’m not sure my waistline is enjoying this cruise as much as I am... I washed it down with some coffee and conversation with some of my fellow guests. We were all pretty excited for the day’s activities.

Breakfast consumed, we all headed back to our cabins to don our adventure gear. Some of the guests signed up to go ashore for a bushwhack, so they wore head-to-toe rain gear and boots. I opted for the guided kayak out in Frederick Sound, so I put on some warm clothes and gloves just in case it got windy. As a solo traveler, I wasn’t sure who my kayak partner would be, but I was excited anyway.

Turns out, my kayak buddy was none other than Bob from Colorado! His wife chose to do the bushwhack, so he said he’d paddle with me. I let him sit in the back to steer us. Was that a good idea? Turns out no. But that’s okay! We had fun anyway, despite going in zig-zag patterns. The nice thing about the guided kayak was that we had one of our expedition guides to lead us, so as long as we stayed in somewhat of a straight line behind them, we couldn’t get lost. Bob and I had a great time just chatting, paddling, and keeping an eye out for eagles or seals.

After about an hour and a half, our guide suggested we start heading back so we wouldn’t be late for lunch. Given that breakfast was so tasty, I was really excited to see what lunch had in store – and that made me paddle even faster!

Our group returned to the boat, and went three kayaks at a time onto the launch platform where the guides were waiting for us. The launch platform is pretty cool, because you just paddle right onto it and step out of the kayak, without having to get wet or climb onto a swim step. It’s pretty convenient. Bob and I parted ways and I went back to my cabin to get warmed up before lunch.

Around 12:30, the hotel manager came over the loudspeaker announcing that lunch was ready. I headed down to the dining room, sanitized my hands, and found new people to sit with. I like that there aren’t assigned seats. It means I get to meet new people at each meal. Pretty soon, the stewards came around with some homemade bread and a really good cheese spread. Then they took our lunch orders, and I opted for a half and half plate of the Alaskan halibut and the roasted pork. Every lunch comes with dessert, so once we finished our meals, the stewards brought around chocolate mousse. Mmm.

After we finished lunch, our expedition leader announced that we’d spend the afternoon “cruising for critters” in Frederick Sound. I was so excited about this, because I’ve been hoping to see some whales. Well, see some whales we did! We spent three hours slowly moving through the sound, and saw at least four humpback whales and some sea otters. There was an epic series of breaches and everyone on the bow got a great view. I went up to the bridge to watch from where the captain was and enjoyed hearing his take on everything. It’s fun when even the captain and chief mate get excited about the wildlife!

We continued to cruise with some whales nearby while all of us moved into the lounge for happy hour. People mingled, sipping on whatever cocktail they got from the bar and snacking on the bites put out by the galley folk. It was a fun time for everyone to catch up on what activities they got up to in the morning. During this time, the guides also came around and took our “adventure orders,” where we made our selections for activities the next day. Then around 6:00, the hotel manager announced dinner.

Tonight’s dinner was SO good. I had seared Alaskan sockeye salmon with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and roasted lemon puree. For dessert, we had baked Alaska! So fitting, and so delicious. I will most definitely be dreaming about that tonight.

After dinner, we headed back up to the lounge for a presentation by one of our guides. Tonight’s was actually a fun simulation game all about the Alaskan gold rush, created by our guide Nate. We broke up into three teams and had to make various decisions as if we were in the gold rush. My team didn’t win… but that didn’t matter. We still had a great time and learned a lot.

Gold rush game finished and after-dinner drinks consumed, some guests decided to stay in the lounge to continue socializing. I grabbed one of the DVDs from the boat’s movie library and retreated to my cabin, settling in early to rest up for another day of adventures. I had a blast today and can’t see what we get up to tomorrow!

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