The NatGeo Lindblad Wild Alaska cruise on the Sea Bird (May 19th embarkation from Sitka) was incredible! We cannot say enough good things about the staff, crew and naturalists who made our 6-day cruise exceptional. In addition, our little Sea Bird made it possible to get up close and personal to some of the Alaskan inlets and passages that the larger cruise ships cannot (or SHOULD not). [I'll be writing another review to lambaste the "Disney Wonder" monstrosity that barreled through Endicott Arm at 7 knots on its way to Dawes Glacier. It was not allowed to be there AND ignored the speed limit in order to block our view of the glacier.]
From the moment we were greeted by the captain and crew at Sitka to disembarkation in Juneau six days later, we were treated like royalty, yet the atmosphere was wonderfully casual and down to earth. We were informed of upcoming talks by the naturalists, expedition choices each day, wild life sightings, wellness/exercise classes and photography workshops. The meals were outstanding and featured local cuisine with locally grown produce and sustainably caught seafood. We were transported by zodiaks (sturdy inflatable rubber boats like the ones Jacques Cousteau used) to remote shorelines where we could continue on by foot on hikes, kayak around the inlets, or hop on a stand-up paddle board! No one fell in! In Haines, Alaska we visited the Klukwan Heritage Center and floated down the Chilkat River, learning about this tribe and the wildlife that lives there.
At the end of the trip, we were treated to a wonderful video compiled by the ship's rockin' videographer and we each received our own copy of the video to take home. Our photography expert also compiled our guest photos which we submitted before dinner, and got to see after dinner (when did HE eat dinner?).