Statistics show that over 60% of all visitors to Alaska arrive by ship. Although we’ve taken cruises in the past, the idea of seeing “The Last Frontier” from a large cruise ship didn’t hold much appeal. Our priority was to experience the region’s extraordinary scenery and abundant wildlife in the most intimate and authentic way possible. That’s why we decided that traveling the Southeast’s famous Inside Passage on the 45-passenger Alaskan Dream catamaran was the better option for us.
The difference between our small-ship experience from that of the bigger cruise lines was highlighted as we passed through Glacier Bay. While we admired the dramatic views, one of those 3,000 passenger Holland American ship passed us by. That's when a fellow passenger who had never cruised before asked me which I preferred: our boat or the large luxury liners.
As I started to answer him, our ship made a sudden turn towards the coastline. The captain then announced that he had spotted a bear. Within minutes, the Alaskan Dream was yards from the one thing most of us want to see while we’re here, but few do (and we didn’t even need binoculars to get a good look). After we took our pictures, I turned to my new friend and simply said, “there’s your difference right there!”
So if you want Alaska to be the main event versus just a side show to all the distractions on big cruise lines (eating, gambling, entertainment, etc.), perhaps you want to consider a this different kind of cruise experience.