We had a short cruise to Ketchikan on Saturday morning. After sleeping in until 7am, the first thing I did was check the Wildlife Board on the way to the lounge. This was an informal and fun way to keep track of our wildlife sightings.
Well, son of a …………gun! Look at that – whales spotted at 5:15am.
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, and more – was available as we cruised into Ketchikan. It always rains in Ketchikan, or so they say. We had another nice day on the horizon.
We all gathered in the lounge, ready to disembark at 8:30am. We didn’t have to pack today, because we would be in our same cabin for Week No. 2 of our Un-Cruise. All we had to do was put our dirty laundry in a bag, and by magic, it will appear clean and nicely folded when we returned to our cabin this afternoon.
Disembarking was a sad process for those who weren’t joining Week 2 on the Wilderness Discoverer. There were hugs from the crew as we departed – it was certainly a successful week.
We had the day to explore Ketchikan, since we wouldn’t be re-boarding the ship until after 4pm. We had previously booked a Flight Seeing Tour over Misty Fjords with Island Wings, another company that comes highly recommended. We walked a short way to the “Liquid Sunshine Gauge” in town, where a nice young man picked us up in an Island Wings van.
We’ll pick up our Flightseeing Tour in the next post. Here’s a recap of our first week on the Wilderness Discoverer:
Thoughts on Week 1, the Eastern Coves of the Inside Passage:
Alaska Scenery – A+ We were so fortunate with the weather, once we left Juneau. Both Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords provided the most amazing examples of wonderful landscapes and our planet’s natural wonders. The opportunities to anchor overnight in beautiful bays provided a chance to take in more of Alaska’s beauty. The weather was the true star of the week.
Wildlife Sightings – C We saw a few whales, lots of Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoise, some eagles and other birds, and some sea otters from afar. Oh, and a bear and some mountain goats … on the very distant shore. The afternoon of our first full day was our best for Wildlife – it was sparse after that. We prepared ourselves before the trip that seeing wildlife was hit or miss, especially this early in the season. This is just how it is in Alaska, and isn’t a reflection on Un-Cruise Adventures. Our guides did everything they could to find wildlife, and our captain was always willing to stop the ship if we found something. Not every cruise is going to match up to the photos in the brochure – but some do … keep reading to see how we fared in the next two weeks.
Fortunately, the wonders of the scenery more than made up for the lack of wildlife. And, we had 2 more weeks to go. We felt a little sorry for those who only had the one week on the boat, but most didn’t seem too disappointed – the scenery was so amazing, and the activities kept us busy.
Life Onboard – A The Wilderness Discoverer was very comfortable. Our accommodations were good. The ship is clean and obviously well maintained. The crew was outstanding – friendly, helpful, professional, and all willing to help with anything you needed. The food was tasty, and plentiful – we never went hungry. We also met so many nice people, and this was an unexpected benefit of cruising on the small ship.
Off Boat Activities – B We enjoyed the skiff tours, and found kayaking wasn’t for us. We didn’t do any hikes on Week 1, because I was overly cautious. Some people were disappointed in the more strenuous hikes – they said they were too slow with too much stopping and talking about plants and such. Most who loved kayaking were in heaven – they said it was some of the best they’d done. A key learning – if you aren’t happy with the way things are going, speak up. The crew will do what they can to take care of you. And remember – this report is about our experience. Others will have a different perspective.
Overall, it was an A+ week that exceeded expectations, and we were looking forward to the coming weeks. But first, it was time to get on with today’s activity in Ketchikan.