AdventureSmith Exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage

Aug 2016

The screech of a hawk is a distinctive and unusual sound for the suburbs of Boston. All week, several of the birds have been flying circles around the tall cedar tree outside my workspace. I feel sure their cry was foreshadowing the call of the raven, the revered bird of the Tlingit. In a few days I will leave to explore the wilds of Alaska, and the raven is just one of the many animals I might encounter.  Salmon and kayaks and glaciers-OH MY! When I heard I would be traveling with AdventureSmith  exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage I could barely contain my excitement about reaching this bucket list destination. The company is an award winning, small ship cruising expert and this particular itinerary is brand new for their clients. It is exciting to know I will be one of the first to experience the route and share that adventure with all of you.

AdventureSmith exploring Alaska's Inside Passage

My home for the week will be the historic MV Westward, recently renovated and equipped with her original slow-turning diesel engine.  Built in 1924, the 86′ boat was modeled after a traditional salmon cannery tender. The rear fantail is characteristic of many workboats in the Pacific Northwest during that era. Originally owned by Campbell Church Sr., the Westward would ferry passengers from Seattle to Alaska and experience Church’s hunting and cruising expeditions. Over the years, the boat has seen a who’s who of the rich and famous. Now, the eight guests aboard will be taking in the Alaskan scenery and viewing wildlife on a much different adventure.

MV Westward photo via Pacific CatalystII

Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Here is small taste of what’s to come with AdventureSmith and Exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage:

  • Meeting a crew that spends their life on the water. I’m fascinated to hear their stories.
  • The seafood-enough said!
  • Sunrise explorations for brown bears feeding on salmon near the flats of the bays.
Brown Bear photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

  • Learning about the Tlingit Native American culture from a village elder, listing to their sing song language, echoing the sounds of water, waves and the call of the raven.
  • Kayaking the tidal pools and inner channels
  • Seeing Le Conte glacier and hopefully watching it calving
Glacier calving photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

  • Scanning the water for humpback whales
Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

  • Anchoring in tiny coves that the Westward’s small size will allow and watching the sun set after an incredible day.
  • Eating dinner in absolute quiet with new friends. Hearing the sounds of sea lions and perhaps a distant whale echoing across the islands.

In addition to the experiences,  AdventureSmith is a firm believer in sustainable travel. In 2005, they introduced the industry’s first carbon-free cruising program. Their mission to connect to the local environment on each and every trip, working with regional conservation groups enables guests to learn about local efforts and enjoy enhanced experiences in all of their destinations. The company embodies the metrics of responsible travel.

Destination Alaska with AdventureSmith photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Photo credit Pacific Catalyst II

Come along as I take you across the narrow lanes of the Inside Passage in southern Alaska. It will surely be a voyage of discovery in every sense of the word!

  1. Natasha says:

    That sounds like an amazing adventure. I look forward to reading all about it.

  2. Our son lives in Anchorage, so we have been there several times, but we are dying to sail the inside passage. Beautiful!

  3. What a cute craft. Looks like a magnificent journey is in store for you.

  4. I hope you enjoy Alaska as much as David and I did when we went last year. My blog posts on our trip still rank as my most popular so I think there is a lot of interest out there.

  5. Cathy says:

    Alaska is on our ever growing list! Looks like a great adventure!

  6. Diana says:

    How’s the weather? Going on similar trip in a few weeks. Please highlight anything you are glad you packed & what you wish you had. Excited for you & for me!

  7. That must have been a lovely trip on the Inside Passage. I’ve been to Alaska, farther north, and would love to do this trip as well one day.

  8. I’ve been following along on social media. Your experience looks quite enticing and a lot more granular than the view I had from one of the behemoth cruise ships. Hopefully, no humpback whale will decide to breach while under your kayak. 😉 PS: Beware Patti’s selfie stick.

    • alison says:

      Glad to see you following along Suzanne. I’ve never been on one of those behemoth ships, and this is a far cry – barely appropriate to call it a ship, I would say the MV Westward is more of a yacht. It’s been such a great opportunity to get off the beaten path. Many days we haven’t seen another soul all day. Highly recommend!

  9. We love small cruise ships. Yours looks like a really great way to explore the Inside Passage :-). We look forward to reading about your experience!

  10. Been there, done all of those same thing! Even got the perfect pic of the bear seeing his reflection in the water. 😉 Loved my Alaskan adventures and hope you are having a fabulous time!