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19 Alaskan Dream Cruises Sitka Cruise Reviews

We selected this trip as we wanted a “small boat cruise” around Alaska’s Inside Passage; this particular option was the only one that featured a visit to Skagway and trip on the railway. Not all 20 cabins were occupied and there were ... Read More
We selected this trip as we wanted a “small boat cruise” around Alaska’s Inside Passage; this particular option was the only one that featured a visit to Skagway and trip on the railway. Not all 20 cabins were occupied and there were only 33 passengers in total – just us from UK, 7 Australians and 4 Kiwis with the rest from US (so all English-speaking). Perhaps the style of trip meant that all seemed of a similar outlook and the group got on well together. Alaskan Dream seem to be an environmentally-aware company with a good local reputation and are very welcome in the communities they visit. The small size of the boat means that they can access areas and ports unavailable to larger ships. The crew are generally long-serving with the company, competent and approachable. This particular voyage had an on-board naturalist/guide from the start, with a second joining part way through. There is at least one “off boat” opportunity every day. Cabins are compact but comfortable with ample storage space. We were in the lowest grade; the next one up seemed to have no more amenities, just slightly bigger (although they are on the same level as public spaces). The “shoilet” takes some practice but is actually extremely practical and functional (better than facilities in other boats of a similar size that we have experienced). Rain gear (jackets, trousers and boots) are available for use. Meals were, without exception, excellent; hot drinks and water were always available. The itinerary is flexible so we were able to take advantage of an unexpected permit to stay in Glacier Bay for an extra day. It also meant that potential wildlife sightings could be pursued and this was done on several occasions. There is also various interactions with each local community that we visited. We would unreservedly recommend this trip but be warned that it is not a “cruise” – evening entertainment is limited to some short wildlife talks. But if your priorities are exciting wildlife and stunning scenery with an insight into local culture, you should seriously consider this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We arrived in Sitka several days prior to the cruise. It was very nice having the cruise employees pick us up at the airport and delivering us to our place of lodging. Their overview of the town and a general layout of where things were ... Read More
We arrived in Sitka several days prior to the cruise. It was very nice having the cruise employees pick us up at the airport and delivering us to our place of lodging. Their overview of the town and a general layout of where things were was also helpful. (Not that Sitka is that big :-) ) Some positives: Overall, the cruise was very good. We saw all the expected wild life - humpbacks, orcas, black bears, brown bears and the list goes on. We were able to visit all the glaciers and locations advertised except for one and that was due to the weather. Those things happen and the alternative morning was handled very well. The Orca point lodge outing was as good as advertised. The cruise employees took care of the embarkation process and our luggage was promptly delivered to our lodging. Some negatives: The local cultural experiences got a little old. There was a method/reason to their cultural selections but we were not made aware of what it was until the trip was over. If we had of been told up front we would have had a better understanding of why we stopped where we did. Some of the cultural outings were actually good - some were really bad - the Sitka one - ugh! The boat itself was not "luxury". My wife thought it was a step up from camping. In reality, it was better than that but was by no means high end. I never understood the alcohol at dinner rules and I don't think the employees did either. On some nights they would come around and refill your wine glass - no questions asked. On other nights they charged for the refill - go figure. Also, we were about 1/2 way through the cruise before I was able to have a beer as opposed to wine for dinner. It was no biggie but the employees looked at me like I had three heads when I asked if I could have a beer rather than wine. All that being said, if these are the only negatives - I was a good trip. Other thoughts. This would not be a good cruise for significantly handicapped persons. The boat and most activities just are not set up to handle significant physical limitations. I probably would not take a small child. My guess would be age 10 and up. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We recently completed the “Alaska’s Inside Passage Sojourn“ cruise aboard the Alaskan Dream and would highly recommend this tour. This was our first trip to Alaska and only our second cruise (first being a Crystal River Cruise) and ... Read More
We recently completed the “Alaska’s Inside Passage Sojourn“ cruise aboard the Alaskan Dream and would highly recommend this tour. This was our first trip to Alaska and only our second cruise (first being a Crystal River Cruise) and it definitely did not disappoint. A good measure of a company is how they handle the situation when something goes sideways and in our case Allen Marine (the mother company of Alaska Dream Cruises) really excelled. There was a minor incident that delayed the start of our tour, we were supposed to board at 4:00pm in the evening and boarding was delayed until 10:00am the next morning. We were kept well informed by the Allen Marine Tours staff and briefed by upper management. They went above expectations to ensure that we would have a great trip. They handled the lodging and meals for the day we were delayed, and also arranged a wonderful 3-hour wildlife boat tour on which we got to see otters, sea lions, puffins and humpback whales, including one breeching. In addition we received on-board credits and all alcohol was handled by the company. There were 37 people (the boat has 20 staterooms) on our cruise along with about a dozen staff. The boat was well designed for handling this many people, and we spent much of our time in the forward lounge or on the top deck enjoying the scenery and wildlife. The rooms could use a little refurbishment and in general do not expect the over the top luxury of a big boat. The “showlet” (combination toilet/shower) took a little getting used to but was very manageable. The queen bed was very comfortable and we were in the Vista State room which stretched half of the bow end on the second floor. We had a fantastic view and often felt conflicted on if we should lower the shades due to the only 3 hours of “night” or leave them open to enjoy the view. There were a number of notable crew members onboard. Amy was the bartender and she is one of the best, a true mixologist not just the bartender. She had a different drink special each day often made with house-made syrups and mixers, she remembered each person’s preferences, and always had great suggestions. Captain Eric was very personable and maintained an open bridge policy. He was very adept at finding wildlife for us to see, and making sure that we had plenty of time to watch. Alex and Kari were our Expedition leaders; Kari was a native Alaskan (Tlingit), and Alex was the naturalist with extensive experience researching whales in the local waters for her MS degree. During an evening presentation on Humpbacks that include some incredible underwater “whale cam” video of bubble feeding, the captain interrupted as there were orcas just off the boat. As we were all watching the whales, Kari began to sing the Tlingit orca song in her native language - it really brought Alaskan cultures and wildlife together for us. The food on board was excellent and included fresh local fish (salmon, halibut, black cod, clams and several types of crab). Wildlife encounters during the cruise included orcas, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles, bears (brown and black), mountain goats, deer and porpoise. The highlight was the first evening about sunset when we ran into humpbacks “bubble net feeding”. Capt. Eric idled the boat as the waters around us exploded with the group of eight whales feeding, one time they surfaced so close off the bow we had to reverse the engine to give them room. What an incredible thing to be able to see! There was also exceptional scenery – waterfalls, forests, mountains and glaciers. We were able take to the DIBS (smaller 15 person inflatables) several times during the trip including the opportunity to explore Sawyer Glacier and Misty Fjord. We stopped in several very small towns (the smallest being about 50 people) to learn about the Alaskan way of life and more specifically the family structure and moiety of the native Alaskan people. At several of these locations there were optional hikes to view the wilderness or a trail through totem parks. We also visited several Long houses to watch and in some cases participate in native celebrations of song and dance. Overall, we had a great time on the tour and loved being able to see Alaska and learn about it from local Alaskans. If you like the glam and glitz or the casinos and stage shows of the big boats this is not the cruise for you. If you are more adventurous and don’t mind the Glamping approach of the smaller boats then this is an outstanding way to go. We would highly recommend this tour as well as Allen Marine Tours in general. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We arrived on the ship and were greeted with several smiling faces. The staff were absolutely wonderful people from all over the world. From the second we arrived, they were always there happy to help and chat with us. It felt more like we ... Read More
We arrived on the ship and were greeted with several smiling faces. The staff were absolutely wonderful people from all over the world. From the second we arrived, they were always there happy to help and chat with us. It felt more like we were being invited into their home rather than on a cruise ship. We were gathered in the lounge which felt more like a living room than a luxury cruise lounge and given complementary cocktails. Shortly after everyone got aboard we were shown to our rooms. We learned that despite food and alcoholic drink being served on the first floor, there was no public bathroom on the first floor. The only public bathroom on the entire ship was on the top floor. Huge inconvenience considering the fact that my wife is disabled. The only way up or down the stairs was a narrow, steep flight of stairs. After dinner or presentations in the lounge, we were usually stuck standing around at the bottom of the stairs waiting for our chance to be able to ascend or descend the stairs. As far as our private cabins, they were extremely tiny. The bathroom was a shower/toilet combination that you weren’t even able to stand in with arms outstretched. The shower/toilet combination was a real inconvenience with a disabled wife I occasionally had to help in the shower. As far as entertainment went, there was none. If we were underway we typically all went to our rooms to nap or read while waiting for the next scheduled group activity. I can read and nap at home. My wife and I were pretty bored while onboard the ship and it was a common complaint from more than a few people in the group. The water went out during our stay. No one was able to shower for at least 2 days and our Skagway trip was canceled and replaced with another night in Juneau. Iv heard from other groups that the toilets didn’t work for days as well. If you can’t have a fully operational boat, maybe you should retire it. Overall, I don’t regret paying for the cruise. It was ok at best. Alaska was beautiful but I wish I had gone with a different company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because of the small size of the ship, the opportunity to visit remote areas and also because the focus was on experiencing Alaska directly and personally. We stopped at many interesting locations such as Kake and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the small size of the ship, the opportunity to visit remote areas and also because the focus was on experiencing Alaska directly and personally. We stopped at many interesting locations such as Kake and Petersburg and were able to go ashore. We were able to hike and explore the shoreline at Taku and in Glacier Park. Every night featured a presentation by one of the naturalists aboard or other informational meeting. The food was great; chef was very accommodating for special gluten and dairy free diets. The crew was exceptional, they all went out of their way to make all of the passengers comfortable and to maximize our experience. One of the highlights of the small ship experience was the flexibility to act 'in the moment' when there were whales or bears or other interesting things. The captain would slow the engines and sometimes circle in the area so that we could see as much as possible. This trip was better than I imagined it could be and I am looking forward to going again on one of the Alaska Dream Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship for a more intimate look at Alaska than a massive cruise ship would have provided as well as the cultural angle. Big mistake. The cultural angle was sometimes informative but it came with some of the worst ports of call, ... Read More
We chose this ship for a more intimate look at Alaska than a massive cruise ship would have provided as well as the cultural angle. Big mistake. The cultural angle was sometimes informative but it came with some of the worst ports of call, Kasan, Metlakatla and Thorne Bay. So called "native' villages were quite boring and depressing. One would have been enough. We also stopped in Skagway (as did the big cruise ships), Juneau, (as did the big cruise ships) Glacier Bay, (as did the big cruise ships) Tracy Arm, (as did the big cruise ships) Petersburg, Wrangell and Ketchikan (as did the big cruise ships). This ship did not anchor in any remote bays and allow us to simply take in the beauty which was disappointing, instead we drove around all night as if killing time. The food at times was decent but it never felt like we were on an Alaskan cruise while eating lamb chops or Jumbalaya. There was some Salmon and Halibut but it was either overcooked or overpowered with bizarre toppings and sauce. The rooms are quite spartan and the shower/toilet is very small and hard to maneuver for me (73yrs old.) The boat itself appeared quite worn with zero amenities but that wasn't why we came. In summation, this cruise didn't justify the cost. In the future I would book one of the large ships (uggh!) because they go to almost all the same places with much more to offer onboard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We are not "cruise people." Our idea of a vacation is not being crammed onto a floating city with thousands of other people but getting out and hiking in beautiful places. However, to see the Inside Passage, you need to go on a ... Read More
We are not "cruise people." Our idea of a vacation is not being crammed onto a floating city with thousands of other people but getting out and hiking in beautiful places. However, to see the Inside Passage, you need to go on a cruise. It quickly became obvious that the large cruise lines were not a good fit for this region, as they spend too much time on open ocean and can't get into the fjords and nooks and crannies that make the Inside Passage what it is. (And "excursions" booked as extras from those big lines are a hassle and can quickly add to the price.) We also didn't want a super "active" water adventure cruise, as we're not water people. We did, however, enjoy the sea kayaking one day with ADC. After reading several reviews, we settled on ADC and decided we liked the layout of the Admiralty Dream ship the best, as you can walk around the entire craft on two levels. The cabins aren't fancy, but they have been recently updated a bit (not what you see on the website this summer), and the beds are very comfortable. Besides, we were only in our cabin to sleep and change layers. We were either on a shore excursion, listening to an interesting naturalist or Tlingit interpreter give a presentation, eating, or standing outside watching for wildlife and visiting with other passengers and crew. To be fair, we seem to have had exceptional weather and wildlife siting on our week. The crew said it was the first time this year they had seen the tops of the mountains in Tracy Arm Fjord, and we saw 13 Alaskan brown bears (aka, grizzlies), including one up close at Reid Glacier! An hour and a half of whale-watching in Frederick Sound during a magical sunset was another highlight. However, even if the weather had been wetter, the crew goes out of their way to make sure you get the most out of every wildlife-watching opportunity. Michele and Jamie were wonderful expedition leader naturalists--informed, easy-going, professional. Everyone associated with this Sitka-owned company was outstanding. They all clearly love working for this company and go out of their way to make the whole experience "real," enjoyable, and friction-free. If you want to be pampered with spa treatments, take a big cruise line trip. If you want to see Alaska and learn about it, go with Alaskan Dream Cruises! We packed layers of the same clothes we would have taken on a hiking trip and felt right at home. (Do take a warm hat, gloves, and core layers so you can enjoy being outdoors.) Note that I'm not giving an "entertainment" score because there wasn't "traditional cruise entertainment." However, our fellow passengers were entertaining! Thank you all for our most memorable trip ever! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
After cruising over 35 times on the large ships, five of those to Alaska, we decided to try a small ship. What a delight. For us, Alaska is all about the history, scenery and wildlife. Though we enjoy the large ships, the experience on ... Read More
After cruising over 35 times on the large ships, five of those to Alaska, we decided to try a small ship. What a delight. For us, Alaska is all about the history, scenery and wildlife. Though we enjoy the large ships, the experience on a small ship in Alaska is simply incomparable. The staff and management are extremely helpful and friendly. Getting up close to the glaciers and in to small remote coves was wonderful. I enjoyed kayaking in the serene inlets. The food was amazing! Fresh fish everyday. Freshly baked cookies at 3:00 pm and happy hour at 5:30. After dinner there were interesting speakers, such as the ranger from the Glacier Bay National Park, or a Klingit tribe member. Fellow passengers were enjoyable and we did get to know everyone quickly since the ship is so small. Pricing includes all shore excursions and transfers to and from airport or hotel. Fellow passengers were interesting, well travelled, retired people with mutual interests. For Alaska, I recommend Alaska Dream Cruises, owned by Alaskans who know how to provide the most personal service and allowed us to experience the REAL Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as it was smaller boat which made it easier for us as my husband Neville is blind. The crew and staff were very welcoming,and loved that the meals were not buffet. Had beautiful food. The guides on board and the ones ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was smaller boat which made it easier for us as my husband Neville is blind. The crew and staff were very welcoming,and loved that the meals were not buffet. Had beautiful food. The guides on board and the ones that came on for day trips were very knowledgable about the areas we went to. Loved the kayaking and the walks we did. The polar dip was great too. Totally recommend this type of cruise. We embarked at Juneau quaint town pity it was wet. The first day was interesting looking at Mendahal Glacier on our way to our boat. Staff gave us a great welcome as we boarded. Our cabin was awesome nice and cosy. Well maintained boat. One of the highlights was when we had 60 Whales around the boat right at dinner time. Credit to the captain for allowing us to just hang with the whales. Thanks Chicgonof Dream Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took the family cruise with our 14 year old grandson! This was an awesome experience. For people that are hooked on electronics (no TV, WI-FI, etc) we were never bored. The staff was very helpful, always keeping us informed of what ... Read More
We took the family cruise with our 14 year old grandson! This was an awesome experience. For people that are hooked on electronics (no TV, WI-FI, etc) we were never bored. The staff was very helpful, always keeping us informed of what we were seeing, where we were going & how to dress for the climate. We enjoyed the intimacy of the small cruise, only 64 passengers. If you are looking for "luxury", this is not for you. If you are looking for an experience, BOOK. If the opportunity presents itself, we will definitely booked with Alaskan Dream Cruise again. Be aware that there are no locks on the cabins doors, so our grandson I-Phone was stolen (not lost) from our cabin. From the evidence that was left, we do not believe it was a crew member but another passenger (child). With that being said, my grandson is saying this was the best trip ever! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The previous reviewer has done a very comprehensive summing up of a cruise on Alaskan Dream so I would just like to reiterate the main points. The ship is lovely and very intimate with no more than 40 passengers (we had 38). The Itinerary ... Read More
The previous reviewer has done a very comprehensive summing up of a cruise on Alaskan Dream so I would just like to reiterate the main points. The ship is lovely and very intimate with no more than 40 passengers (we had 38). The Itinerary is comprehensive (we did the South East Explorer trip)and we visited many places that the large cruise ships cannot get to. One of the best was Rudyerd Bay in Misty Fjords. What a pleasure it was to be able to go deep into the inlet without the distraction of a massive boat in the vicinity. The food was fantastic, with everyone able to have exactly what they wanted even if it was a mix and match from the menu items that was not intended by the amazing cook. The cabin was comfortable; having said that we had the most expensive cabin, called a Vista Suite, which was not as large as the Owners Cabin but which faced forward with nice armchairs. Best of all was the crew, who were, without exception, wonderful. Captain Eric was fantastic, caring and so calming with a wonderful voice. He made sure we saw everything we possibly could and hung around with the engines cut for ages when we were surrounded by whales in Frederick Sound. This is not a cheap cruise but would I have swapped it for some of the massive cruise ships we encountered en route? Not a chance! We got to know all the other passengers and the crew, which made it feel like we were on a family cruise. We saw some terrific scenery, wildlife and cultural gems. If you can afford it then do it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
When you are considering this cruise and wondering whether it is worth the extra money be assured it is worth every penny!! The crew on this ship makes it a part their code to make sure everyone has a great time and feels like family. ... Read More
When you are considering this cruise and wondering whether it is worth the extra money be assured it is worth every penny!! The crew on this ship makes it a part their code to make sure everyone has a great time and feels like family. There is no reason to purchase shore excursions because at every port there are activities planned for you. Every day we were able to get off the ship and walk around if we desired. Even though he didn't to, Captain Eric also made sure that a few of our passengers who were limited in abilities to walk long distances, were able to visit some of the destinations. He arranged for transportation to get them as close to the site as possible, which allowed them to visit all but one of the sites. And at that site he personally took them on the small Zodiac boat for a private excursion of their own! The hikes were always supervised by crew members. The ports were small towns whose economy is being revived by the influx of cruise passengers from this small cruise line. Big cruise ships can't get to many of the ports that they visit, so you won't be swallowed up in the crowds that come out of those monstrosities. You are able to interact with the true Alaskans who make this their homes and experience their culture. The small ship can also get you up close and personal with the wildlife and scenery. We were extremely lucky to witness bubble net feeding by humpback whales not once but twice. Other wild life we had were orca whales, brown and black bears, sea otters, sea lions, goats, many types of birds. None of which we had to get off the ship and take or pay for a shore excursion. The captain is able to adjust his schedule to take you to where the wildlife has been spotted and spend some time finding it and then allowing you to enjoy it once it has been located. We have some AWESOME photos because the whales and glaciers were so close to the ship. And don't worry if you aren't able to get awesome pictures of your own because you don't own high end camera equipment, at the end of the cruise you will get a disc of pictures that the crew have been taking of you and your fellow passengers through out your cruise. Getting to know your fellow passengers is another bonus to taking a small ship cruise. We had just 36 passengers on board with 16 crew. By the end of the week we didn't need name tags any longer as we were on a first name basis and shared email addresses to keep in touch and share pictures once we got home. Amy, the waitress we had for most meals since we tended to sit at one of her tables, had our drink orders memorized by the second day. Dani the bartender knew that when she brought out our drinks that someone had made a mistake because we ALWAYS ordered diet not regular coke! My mother has an allergy to nuts and chocolate, so she many times is left out of dessert options, but not with Shannon the baker around. Shannon made sure that for cookie time, lunch and dinner desserts, there was something that Mom could have. Even when we didn't have our meals on board the boat there was a dessert with her name on it. Chef Bri made some very delicious meals with the help of Dustin and Harry in the kitchen. The breakfast menu was extensive but did not vary except for a daily special, which was usually what I got because they sounded, and were so good. Lunch and dinners had a fresh baked bread, soup, salad and entree with dessert. Seafood was present on the menu once or twice a day and there was always a vegetarian option. At 3pm we had fresh baked cookies that are so delicious baked by Shannon. At 5:30 was happy hour and a light snack prior to dinner. A complimentary glass of wine or beer was offered with each dinner. Each night we had a chocolate and a paper highlighting the next days activities on our beds. The forward area of the ship had comfortable seating that passengers could mingle in while waiting for wildlife to be spotted and the large windows afford great views and easy access to the "bull pen" at the front of the ship where many great photos of wild life were taken. Another great place for a good view was the ships bridge. The only times the bridge was closed to passengers were when they were docking or concentrating on close manuvers. It was interesting talking to Captain Eric and his crew, Nick, Jeff John and Kristen. I just can't say enough about the leadership and teamwork that this crew exhibits. The company that they work for should be very proud of the team and if you sail with them you will be very luck indeed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
When you are considering this cruise and wondering whether it is worth the extra money be assured it is worth every penny!! The crew on this ship makes it a part their code to make sure everyone has a great time and feels like family. ... Read More
When you are considering this cruise and wondering whether it is worth the extra money be assured it is worth every penny!! The crew on this ship makes it a part their code to make sure everyone has a great time and feels like family. There is no reason to purchase shore excursions because at every port there are activities planned for you. Every day we were able to get off the ship and walk around if we desired. Even though he didn't to, Captain Eric also made sure that a few of our passengers who were limited in abilities to walk long distances, were able to visit some of the destinations. He arranged for transportation to get them as close to the site as possible, which allowed them to visit all but one of the sites. And at that site he personally took them on the small Zodiac boat for a private excursion of their own! The hikes were always supervised by crew members. The ports were small towns whose economy is being revived by the influx of cruise passengers from this small cruise line. Big cruise ships can't get to many of the ports that they visit, so you won't be swallowed up in the crowds that come out of those monstrosities. You are able to interact with the true Alaskans who make this their homes and experience their culture. The small ship can also get you up close and personal with the wildlife and scenery. We were extremely lucky to witness bubble net feeding by humpback whales not once but twice. Other wild life we had were orca whales, brown and black bears, sea otters, sea lions, goats, many types of birds. None of which we had to get off the ship and take or pay for a shore excursion. The captain is able to adjust his schedule to take you to where the wildlife has been spotted and spend some time finding it and then allowing you to enjoy it once it has been located. We have some AWESOME photos because the whales and glaciers were so close to the ship. And don't worry if you aren't able to get awesome pictures of your own because you don't own high end camera equipment, at the end of the cruise you will get a disc of pictures that the crew have been taking of you and your fellow passengers through out your cruise. Getting to know your fellow passengers is another bonus to taking a small ship cruise. We had just 36 passengers on board with 16 crew. By the end of the week we didn't need name tags any longer as we were on a first name basis and shared email addresses to keep in touch and share pictures once we got home. Amy, the waitress we had for most meals since we tended to sit at one of her tables, had our drink orders memorized by the second day. Dani the bartender knew that when she brought out our drinks that someone had made a mistake because we ALWAYS ordered diet not regular coke! My mother has an allergy to nuts and chocolate, so she many times is left out of dessert options, but not with Shannon the baker around. Shannon made sure that for cookie time, lunch and dinner desserts, there was something that Mom could have. Even when we didn't have our meals on board the boat there was a dessert with her name on it. Chef Bri made some very delicious meals with the help of Dustin and Harry in the kitchen. The breakfast menu was extensive but did not vary except for a daily special, which was usually what I got because they sounded, and were so good. Lunch and dinners had a fresh baked bread, soup, salad and entree with dessert. Seafood was present on the menu once or twice a day and there was always a vegetarian option. At 3pm we had fresh baked cookies that are so delicious baked by Shannon. At 5:30 was happy hour and a light snack prior to dinner. A complimentary glass of wine or beer was offered with each dinner. Each night we had a chocolate and a paper highlighting the next days activities on our beds. The forward area of the ship had comfortable seating that passengers could mingle in while waiting for wildlife to be spotted and the large windows afford great views and easy access to the "bull pen" at the front of the ship where many great photos of wild life were taken. Another great place for a good view was the ships bridge. The only times the bridge was closed to passengers were when they were docking or concentrating on close manuvers. It was interesting talking to Captain Eric and his crew, Nick, Jeff John and Kristen. I just can't say enough about the leadership and teamwork that this crew exhibits. The company that they work for should be very proud of the team and if you sail with them you will be very luck indeed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I have had a life-long dream to cruise Alaska. BUT... which cruise line??? Then after doing some research, we knew we wanted a small ship cruise. BUT... which small ship cruise? The more we read about them, the more confused ... Read More
My husband and I have had a life-long dream to cruise Alaska. BUT... which cruise line??? Then after doing some research, we knew we wanted a small ship cruise. BUT... which small ship cruise? The more we read about them, the more confused we got. We read all small ship reviews that we could find, and the name, Linda Androlia of Sunstone Tours & Cruises, kept popping up over and over again. Reviewers were very complimentary of the advice they had received from Linda. So we called her, and they were absolutely right! Linda is an expert on small ship cruises. In fact, her company specializes in them, and she's been on all of the small ship cruises that she recommends. After our conversation, she suggested Alaskan Dream Cruises. She thought it would be the perfect fit for us. We had never even considered this company, but after we took a look at what they had to offer we were sold. We will cruise on American Dream this coming June and we are so excited we can hardly wait! We'll post a review after our trip, of course. BUT... in the meantime, if you need help planning your perfect small cruise trip, CALL LINDA at Sunstone Tours & Cruises. You can't go wrong.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was a trip of a lifetime. We have travelled a lot, but this way exceeded our expectations. Here are 10 reasons why people should do this particular trip - 1. Understanding Alaska Being a company with native routes, ... Read More
This was a trip of a lifetime. We have travelled a lot, but this way exceeded our expectations. Here are 10 reasons why people should do this particular trip - 1. Understanding Alaska Being a company with native routes, they have a true understanding and empathy with the nature, the wildlife, the people, the balance. 2. The food is great. 3. The parent company, Allen Marine, has a really mpressive infrastructure in the area - so if something unforeseen happens (and occasionally it does) they are able to solve it seamlesslessly, effortlessly without inconveniencing the passengers in any way. This is great, proactive management. 4. Being a small ship - they are able to nestle up close under glaciers, to change course to follow a pod of whales, to moor up in small native Indian communities. 5. Being 50 people on board, you have the opportunity to discover real friendships. Also, with just 50 people on board - when you arrive somewhere you do not swamp or overwhelm the town. 6. The bar prices are entirely reasonable. 7. The itinerary combines classic Alaska, stunning wildlife and an insight into the indigenous people of Southern Alaska. 8. Our captain, Captain Ken, totally understood what we, the passengers, hoped for from our Alaskan Adventure and made every effort, turned every corner, did everything he possibly could to deliver it. 9. I doubt that you could find a more smiley, more positive staff and crew aboard a boat in North America than this lot. They were a delight. 10. I paid a little bit extra to get a larger cabin - would I have paid twice as much for the Alaska Dream Experience - yes I would! Well done, one and all. And if all this wasn't enough - the sun shone for 8 days, the glaciers 'calved' and the killer whales came out to play! Tim Edmunds Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I came across Alaskan Dream Cruises' web site last fall when my wife and I were researching our Alaska vacation. Without exception, online reviews were glowing, and so we decided to book ADC's Eight Day Glacier Bay and Island ... Read More
I came across Alaskan Dream Cruises' web site last fall when my wife and I were researching our Alaska vacation. Without exception, online reviews were glowing, and so we decided to book ADC's Eight Day Glacier Bay and Island Adventure on the Baranof Dream, sailing mid-May. The experience exceeded our already high expectations. The cruise began and ended in Sitka, a small town in SE Alaska. We flew there one day early on Alaska Airlines from Seattle, with a stop in Ketchikan. (Delta is now offering service from Seattle as well.) We were met at the airport by ADC staff and transported to our hotel for an overnight stay, which was arranged and paid by us separately. Formal activities started the next morning with an optional walking tour of Sitka sites - we elected to spend most of this time on our own. This was followed by an excursion on a sightseeing boat, which ended with our transfer to the Baranof Dream in the afternoon. For vacationers like us who've only been on large ship cruises, the Baranof Dream was a refreshing change. It accommodates up to 49 passengers (we had about 40), along with approximately 20 crew. It was small enough to let us easily reach anywhere on the boat in minutes, but sufficiently large so that we felt safe and never cramped. The lounge and dining room were comfortable and spacious. Visits to the bridge were welcomed, and I enjoyed my time there chatting with the captain and his staff, who were all very personable and eager to please. Most of our fellow passengers were older than fifty, although a few younger people were along too. Dress was thankfully informal. (There were no laundry facilities on board, so we had to pack for the duration.) Our AAA-class cabin was utilitarian, with a combination toilet/shower separated by a curtain, a small closet, two chairs and tables that we used for storage, and a very comfortable queen bed with an adjacent large window. The sliding metal door didn't lock and there was no safe, but we had no reservations about leaving valuables in our cabin, as all the other passengers were in the same boat, as it were. (Although it wasn’t luxurious by any means, our cabin served its purpose very well - we spent very little time there apart from sleeping – hence my high rating.) Food was excellent: three meals a day with plenty of choices at tables shared with other passengers, served by friendly staff, most of whom performed other duties as well. A late afternoon snack was offered every day, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages were always available at the bar. Our Cultural Expedition Leader gave a summary of the following day’s events each evening, peppering his presentations with fascinating stories and facts rooted in his heritage as a native Alaskan. We also had a naturalist on board, who provided insights into Alaska’s abundant animal and plant life that we saw. Thanks to their efforts, we felt a powerful connection to all that we encountered, as opposed to simply observing it passively. Activities during the cruise included visits to glaciers, which allowed us to view them from a safe distance from the Baranof Dream and from a small skiff (large chunks of ice that periodically calve from the glacier pose a hazard to nearby watercraft), and visits to a lodge and two small communities. We spent several hours in Juneau, where we took an optional tram ride to the summit of Mount Roberts, which we found well worth the additional cost (approximately $30 per person). We particularly loved our sunset hike through the forest at Glacier Bay National Park. Kayaking in Windham Bay was enjoyable, though we would have liked to have spent more time there. If I can call attention to one highlight of the trip, it would be the many opportunities we had to watch humpback whales, orcas, and other wildlife, with spectacular scenery as a backdrop. Sightings prompted the captain to slow down and stop to give us ample time to photograph and observe without feeling rushed. Disembarkation was organized, and we were taken to a hospitality room before transfer to the airport. If you’re looking for an Alaska cruise experience that follows the waters less travelled, I recommend Alaskan Dream Cruises highly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We just finished our Alaskan Dream Cruise on the Baranof Dream. Not sure I can say enough good things to do the experience justice. First of all, this is a casual, small ship cruise - 48 passengers max. No fancy clothes, no shows, no ... Read More
We just finished our Alaskan Dream Cruise on the Baranof Dream. Not sure I can say enough good things to do the experience justice. First of all, this is a casual, small ship cruise - 48 passengers max. No fancy clothes, no shows, no gambling or shopping. That said, the company seems to be seamlessly and authentically integrated with the local communities and cultures. As passengers we were educated about the nature and culture of the areas we travelled by lay-experts in these areas. We learned so much, and were made to feel so comfortable in the environments we visited. The captain and crew were generous, respectful, accessible, always available to help or answer questions, friendly, (not obsequious), efficient and highly capable. The food was outstanding in every detail at every meal (and more!). The cabins, community areas and decks were always super clean and neat. The activities (kayaking, RTV, sightseeing) were all safely and efficiently coordinated. The places we went were just beautiful, and we saw tons of wildlife: black and brown bears; mountains goats; sea birds (puffins!); orcas; porpoises; and hundreds of humpback whales, sea otters and sea lions. The captain was always willing to stop and look at wildlife, pull into out of the way places for waterfalls and glaciers. We never felt rushed or crowded. All excursions, meals and activities are included in the cost, so you're not nickeled and dimed to death, unless you want to drink. (1 beer or wine at dinner is included.) This is a company with remarkable expertise and integrity all around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Who: my early 70's retired teacher husband and I. Other passengers were in the 50-70's age range, well educated and well travelled. There were lots of engineers, teachers/professors, and healthcare workers. Fifteen were from ... Read More
Who: my early 70's retired teacher husband and I. Other passengers were in the 50-70's age range, well educated and well travelled. There were lots of engineers, teachers/professors, and healthcare workers. Fifteen were from Australia and four were from New Zealand. If you want to laugh a lot, go on a trip with Australians. None of us liked big ships. We were all about getting up close and seeing places the big boats couldn't go. Where: 11 days from Sitka to Ketchikan including Tracy Arm, Haines, Skagway, Juneau, Orca Point, Glacier Bay, Hobart Bay, Petersburg, Wrangell, Thorne Bay, Kasaan, and Ketchikan. We started out with a walking tour of Sitka including the Russian Bishop's House, the Sheldon Jackson Museum and St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral and then cruised Sitka Sound on a dayboat (otters, brown bear) before meeting up with the Alaskan Dream. After dinner the captain spotted some Orca's and we whale watched for a while. We awoke the next day at the mouth of Tracy Arm. Despite the ice, our small ship was able to go as close as is allowable. We all had a chance to go out on a DIB (zodiac) to really experience North Sawyer Glacier. We also saw South Sawyer Glacier. On Day 3 we awoke cruising the Lynn Canal to Haines. After breakfast, we toured Fort Seward with a local guide. In the museum we learned how Totems were created. We continued up the Lynn Canal to Skagway which we toured in a vintage bus and then drove up the road, stopping along the way at various sights to Canada. After stamping our own passports we boarded the train for a return trip to Skagway. Our trip back was the last trip of the day so we made extra stops to pick up hikers. We finished up the day at Orca Point Lodge for a dinner of King Crab legs, salmon and prime rib along with salad, stir fried veggies as well as appetizers. The evening finished with a campfire and s'mores. It was my first s'more made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. (Won't be my last.) On Day 4 we cruised Glacier Bay. Wildlife spotted included more otters, lots of mountain goats, marmots, puffins, kittywakes, seals, another brown bear and some kayakers. We had a national park naturalist as well as a native Tlingit guide on board for the day. On our way out, we stopped at Bartlett Cove to return our naturalists and to stretch our legs on land. We checked out a native canoe and a complete humpback whale skeleton who had a run-in with a large cruise ship and lost. We spent July 3rd in Hobart Bay riding RTV (ATV's with big tires). My group saw only fauna, but another group spotted some baby bears. We also kayaked, hiked and went out in the DIB looking for wildlife (two different bears, eagles, a seal and a variety of other birds). July 4th was spent in Petersburg starting with the Sons of Norway Hall for some history and Norwegian cookies and then a tour of the town and a bog hike. Some of the group checked out the laundramat. There was a parade with floats. That night we floated outside of Wrangell watching the fireworks. We had to wait until 11 PM when it was dark enough. On July 5th we landed in Wrangell. Most of the passengers went to see the petroglyphs while others toured the museum of Wrangell. It was a wonderful little museum. Take money since the gift shop is nicely done with a lot of interesting books and t-shirts. July 6th included stops at Thorne Bay which was a former logging town until they were put out of business by the US gov't (Tongass National Forest) and Kasaan, a tiny native town with a wonderful long house and a variety of Totem Poles. July 7th had us cruising Misty Fjords and visiting Metlakatla on Annette Island. Metlakatla is different from most native towns as they came to Alaska from Canada with Father Duncan who encouraged them to keep their native culture and language as well as embrace Christianity. They danced for us and showed us around town as well as sharing Father's Duncan's cottage with us. Our last night was on shore at the Cape Fox Lodge while they prepared the ship for the next cruise. The boat: we had the most basic cabin, #208. It had twin beds with a nightstand between them. At the foot of one bed was a club chair and a closet with four drawers. At the foot of the other bed, was a sink and the combined shower/toilet. The mattresses, sheets, towels and shower curtain were luxurious. As small as the shower was, nothing got wet that wasn't supposed to. There were two sets of binoculars in our room and two sets of raingear including boots hanging on hooks outside our room. There was a lounge with a bar at the front of the boat. There were binoculars at every window plus a library, some games and a mini natural history museum. With two naturalists onboard at all times, any time we had a question, we had an immediate answer. The dining room, near the rear of the ship, seated us all and we enjoyed meals with all the passengers at one time or another. There was on group of eight from Virginia aboard but it took a while to figure out who they were since they mingled with the entire group as if they didn't know anyone else aboard. The Food: in a word, fabulous. Each meal was ordered from the menu and breakfast included 'the special' as well as the usual suspects (pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt, pastries, scones, fresh fruit and a variety of juices). Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa were always available as was hot cider. Lunch and dinner always featured a soup and several entrees. Dinner had a choice of salads as well. Lunch and dinner always had freshly made rolls and the desserts were fantastic. All meals were beautifully plated and tasted even better. Chef "B" always had vegetarian choices as well as meat and fish. She never repeated a recipe although in some cases we hoped she would. I ate fish every day and hope to keep up the practice now that I am home. The portions were moderate but that was because there was always fruit, granola bars and ginger candy in the lounge and at 3 PM there were cookies (nice big ones from a fantastic pastry chef (Maria)) and hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 PM. I would love to see how four people turned out such wonderful food in such a small kitchen but there just wasn't room for me to watch. The crew was wonderful too (no, I do not work for Alaska Dream Cruises) with a great work ethic and ability to multi-task. The bridge was always open to us and we availed ourselves of the opportunity frequently. With only 41 people, we bonded quickly and more than a few tears were shed by both crew and passengers as the trip came to an end. This wasn't a luxury cruise. There were no casinos, no shows except for the ones right outside our windows, no dressing up. There were no extra charges except for drinks beyond the complimentary beer or wine at lunch or dinner. The only bill we came home to was for tips and a few small souveniers.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
A few weeks home now and going through our photos it's hard to believe just how much we managed to do in just 11 days! The wildlife viewing opportunities on this trip were astonishing and whenever there was something to be seen, the ... Read More
A few weeks home now and going through our photos it's hard to believe just how much we managed to do in just 11 days! The wildlife viewing opportunities on this trip were astonishing and whenever there was something to be seen, the captain and crew made sure the passengers got to experience it as best as they possibly could. We spent hours slowly cruising behind whales, circling icebergs with seals on them, drifting past sea lion colonies, and nudging up to cliff faces for a closer look at mountain goats. On the excursions in the DIB, we would position the boat to get the best shots of eagles, bears, seals and other Birdlife as well as the amazing scenery around us that we almost seemed to take for granted on a daily basis. It is only looking back on our photos we appreciate how magnificent it all was at the time. We were on the same cruise as previous reviewer CTGranny with our 8yo son and she has pretty much covered it all with her comprehensive review. Just a couple of extra points though ....... From Skagway we took a Trolley Car tour of the town followed by a bus trip to Fraser BC where we boarded the Yukon White Pass Railroad for our return to Skagway. We also spent the day in Juneau before our Orca Point Lodge dinner. Whilst in port we went on a trip to Mendenhall Glacier and had tickets to ride the Mt Roberts Tramway. We also had plenty of time to explore ourselves a bit and enjoy the city. In Wrangell we were treated to a jetboat ride up the wild Stikine River to glacial headwaters. We encountered magnificent scenery and moose along the way. All of these activities were inclusive in the cost of our cruise which we saw as amazingly good value. We were very worried that 11 days on a small boat would be too much but every single day brought a new adventure and fellow travellers closer together. The owners, captain and crew of this ship are to be highly commended for the way in which they are so enthusiastic about sharing this beautiful part of the world with their guests and how they really care about making this once in a lifetime experience truly something to remember. We certainly won't forget it and hopefully neither will our son for quite some time to come. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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