Alaska had always intrigued us. We had associated it with the Artic, oil, Anchorage, amazing scenery, wildlife and large cruise ships. The amazing scenery and wildlife were of interest to us but not the large cruise ships. Then someone told us about the Inside Passage. We discovered that we could explore this on a small ship. So we booked a seven night trip from Ketchikan to Juneau with Un-Cruise Adventures. We and the 58 other passengers on the Safari Endeavour were treated to an amazing experience by 35 enthusiastic crew members.
We went at the beginning of May expecting cold weather and rain most days. Southeast Alaska is the thin coastal part of Alaska north of Vancouver. It can be very wet as the annual rainfall is 1,550 mm. We were told to bring layers of clothing, raingear, wellington boots, gloves, scarves and beanies. In the event apart from some drizzle in Ketchikan, there was no rain, the skies were blue every day on the ship, and the sun shone during the day. While we took some cold weather clothing, the raingear and wellington boots were provided on the ship. We were told that May and September are the best months to explore the Inside Passage, and so we were very fortunate to have picked May.
We were on Safari Endeavour’s first trip of the season. The crew was fresh and enthusiastic. The ship wasn’t full (it can take 84 passengers). The people in the three small towns we visited during the week were happy to see us. The curator of the excellent Ketchikan museum told us: “We can’t wait for the cruise ships to arrive at the start of the season, and we can’t wait for them to leave at the end of the season!” At the height of the season there can be as many as five large cruise ships - each with more than 2,000 passengers - in any of these small ports at one time. The number of visiting tourists then outnumbers the number of local residents significantly.