In the Eyes of an UnCruiser


Interview by Krista Koehn, Expedition Guide

Imagine you are eating dinner and you are told halfway through a multi-course meal of Dungeness crabs that there are whales breaching just off the bow of the ship. Obviously, you skip the last round to see what is going on...

I recently sat down with an Uncruise guest, Kelly, to learn more about her Alaskan adventure from Juneau to Sitka. She joined us for a week on the Safari Endeavor with her parents, her brother and his wife, and her two daughters, ages 8 and 10.

Kelly, why did your family come on the cruise?
We’d been planning to come to Alaska for decades. My mom turned 80, so we finally had a good reason to get here. And the girls are old enough now that they can do all the activities and will remember the trip.

How do you think the trip was for your daughters?
Spectacular! They will never forget this. My ten-year-old has always been interested in wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation, and this just reaffirmed her passion. Every guide was willing to teach each of them and answer questions and encourage their curiosity.

Were the outings well-suited for the different ages in your family group?
The outings were absolutely well-suited, and some days, we were even up for another round!

What was your favorite expedition?
The bushwhacking expedition made me feel like I was exploring the forest the way an animal would see it…. Crawling and clambering around felt like how a bear sees the wilderness. I’ve never gone off the trail as much as I have with the bushwhacking trips. So how do I choose between that and kayaking and having the harbor seals pop up and watch you? Paddleboarding and kayaking were both a great way to explore the shoreline in a really peaceful manner. So really, I can’t decide.

Tell me about your favorite wildlife encounter:
It would either be the orca or the humpbacks. With the orcas, it felt like they were putting on a show, but with the humpbacks it felt like they were just living their lives and we were right in the middle, observing their breaching and tail slapping. Both were really special experiences.

How was the crew?
Eleven out of ten! Outgoing, fun, informative, and very safety conscious. I was impressed with all the departments. Whatever the company’s doing to create that culture, they’re doing it right. (Shucks, Kelly, you’re making us blush!)


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