After a dull Alaska cruise on a large ship, we decided to try again and were not disappointed - this was a truly a wonderful expedition on the Lindblad/National Geographic Sea Bird. It wasn't only the humpback whales, killer whales, sea otters, brown bears and sea lions - we saw plenty of them for extended periods of time - but the chance to explore ashore in the wilderness. It was as if a veil was lifted and the boring scenery of endless spruces and hemlocks became a magical world of wildflowers, ferns, mosses, rushing brooks and birdsong. Our eyes could not get enough of the colors and shapes of the icebergs as they floated by. We were also introduced to culture of the native peoples.
All the staff was excellent - the naturalists impressed us by their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness. Our expedition leader John Mitchell was extremely well organized, an excellent communicator, and above all had a wonderful sense of humor. The dining/cabin stewards were fine young people, always eager to please. The hotel manager responded to all our requests.
The dining experience was top notch. Delicious food, and lots of it.
Rooms were always tidy and clean - but they are among the smallest we have encountered, on large ships and small. We missed having a chair and writing table in the room. On the other hand, there was plenty of room to store everything we brought with us. We liked having an interior entrance, because we were able to keep the curtains open at all times without an privacy concerns. We were adjacent to the lounge but the cabin was quiet at all times.