We have cruised to Alaska several times on larger ships, but decided to try the Lindblad/National Geographic cruise because we have taken others of their cruises and loved them - and because we wanted to go where the bigger ships can't go and do what the larger groups can't do. We were not disappointed.
What sets Lindblad/National Geographic apart for me is its emphasis on adventure, its excellent group of knowledgeable naturalists, its lectures and presentations about the places and the things to be seen and experienced, and the opportunities offered to guests to explore the destinations with guides to explain and to help every step of the way.
Every trip we have been on has also had at least one National Geographic photographer on board who talks about his/her (always interesting) photography career, offers tips about photographing whatever the destination might be - and helps everyone on board who wants some advice about cameras, picture taking and picture processing.
The destinations are carefully selected before the cruise and changed if need be due to weather conditions or because something really interesting is happening somewhere that shouldn't be missed.
The activities and excursions are excellent. On this trip, there were plenty of opportunities to hike, to ride in Zodiacs (known here as Dibs) to get even closer to the wildlife or the interesting glaciers and shorelines, to ride bikes, to flightsee, to kayak or even for the brave to swim in the waters of Alaska - and all guests are led or accompanied by naturalists and guides who provide information and assistance (if need be) all along the way.
There are no casinos or cabaret shows on board and no need to dress up for any occasion, which appeals to us very much, but may not appeal to others.
The rooms on this ship are very small, but we did manage to find a space for everything we brought. The beds (twins) are comfortable but small; I wasn't sure how someone much over 6-feet tall would be able to sleep comfortably.
The food was very good. The customer service was terrific. The staff, as on all trips we have taken, have been friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.
The only opportunity for exercise on board besides walking around the ship is to use one of three exercise machines, which are located on the top deck, which is essentially outside, which can be tough in the rain, the wind or the cold.
Although the room looks like most of the other rooms and is as well-appointed as they are, there is one drawback to consider, which is that it is located next to one of the two sliding entry/exit doors located on that deck. The doors are heavy and very noisy, which resulted in our not being able to sleep until everyone else on board had quit coming in or going out for the evening. If you are a light (or even a medium!) sleeper, I would recommend not staying in room 208 (or 209, which most probably has the same problem). I read one of the other reviews, which suggests that there is a similar issue with rooms on the 100 level deck.
A lovely, charming town with much to see and do.
Great way to get some exercise and see the bears! We would have liked to have been able to cycle faster and go further, but I am sure the guides are very concerned about safety and about the group being able to stay together, so it made sense.View All 4 Glacial Fjord Bicycle Tour Reviews
We took a ride in one of the Dibs boats to see the wildlife and the scenery.
We were on board with the park rangers hearing them lecture about the wildlife, the glaciers and the culture of the area. The glaciers are spectacular.
We hiked in the morning and took a Dibs ride in the afternoon, when we saw many sea lions very close by. An excellent experience.