What separates us from the others?
1) M/V Discovery and her crew hold a US Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection (COI). This certificate assures you that our vessel has passed an extensive yearly inspection by the USCG and is in compliance with all the rules and regulations which allows us to carry passengers. The Certificate of Inspection may seem insignificant, but it is a very important accomplishment which relates directly to your safety. Riding aboard an inspected vessel assures you that the vessel has two qualified USCG Licensed Captains on board, a competent crew who is randomly drug tested and has passed safety drills, and indicates the vessel is in compliance with very detailed and specific regulations. Each year, a team of Coast Guard Inspectors board the vessel to perform annual safety exams and drills. They examine maintenance records, waste/garbage management plans, fire control plans, inspect the radar, compass, GPS, life rafts, emergency beacon, radio, navigation systems, and exhaust systems, as well as perform other electrical and mechanical checks. We also comply with a dry dock exam (the boat comes out of the water!) to assess the structural integrity of the vessel. Because we hold a COI, we have been issued a liquor license, allowing us to provide complimentary alcoholic beverages to our guests. Consumer beware — just because a vessel serves alcohol does not mean it holds a COI. Not all vessels in Alaska have a COI, and especially in recent years, not all vessels have a valid liquor license. 2) Captain Rand has been running tours in Prince William Sound with his children (who are now grown adults with families of their own) since 1992. His oldest daughter, Heather, serves as crew as well as chef. His youngest daughter, Hannah, fills in gaps as crew. His wife, Meg, joined the family business in 2010, and serves as the office manager as well as crew. We have several other friends who we consider family joining us to enrich your experience on voyages.
How do I book a Discovery Voyage?
To book a reservation, email Meg at info@null
discoveryvoyages.com or call (800)324-7602 or +1 (907)202-1017. You can also fill out our reservations form
. Either way, Meg will let you know if space is available and answer any questions you have.
What is included in my ticket price?
Should I pay gratuities to the crew? What is the norm?
Pretty much everything!
- Accommodations in Anchorage before and after your voyage in Prince William Sound
- Personal van transfers between Anchorage and Whittier by Discovery guide
- Overnight accommodations on the Discovery (see note on Single Supplement*)
- All meals, beverages (complimentary beer, wine, etc) on the Discovery
- All crew and guide services including kayaks (a selection of double or single)
- All use of equipment (kayaks, vests, rain gear, boots, hiking poles, gloves, binoculars, etc)
- All user fees
*Single Supplement: If you are a single traveler willing to share a cabin and hotel and we are unable to match you with a roommate you will not be charged a single supplement. If you want to guarantee a private cabin and hotel room, a 60% single supplement charge will apply.
NOT included: Airfare to/from Alaska, trip cancellation or delay insurance, transfer to/from airport and Anchorage accommodations (~12 min taxi ride), dinner when not on board the vessel (day of arrival to Anchorage, and last day of voyage), and gratuities for the crew (the captain does not accept gratuities).
Your Discovery crew firmly believes that a gratuity is not required nor expected, but rather earned. Gratuity amounts for the crew are certainly a matter of personal preference, but approximately 5% of the ticket price for the crew (chef plus 2 guides) as a whole seems to be the norm. Gratuities may be given directly to the crew member(s) or to the captain with designated instructions. The Captain does not accept gratuity.
What is your cancellation policy?
What is the payment schedule?
The initial booking deposit is non refundable. Cancellations received from guests or their agents after January 15th will be subject to a cancellation fee of 50% of the total ticket price. Cancellations received ninety days to the day of departure are not refundable and will be charged 100% of ticket price. We recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance (www.insuremytrip.com
) in the event illness, injury, flight delays, etc prevent you from joining the voyage.
Can I smoke on board?
We ask for the following non refundable deposits to confirm space aboard the Discovery:
- $500 per person for all regularly scheduled voyages
- $750 per person for the Grand Alaska Journey
- $4500 per voyage for exclusive charters
By January 15th, 50% of the total ticket price is required. Reservations made after January 1st require a 50% deposit within two weeks of the booking date. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Reservations made less than 90 days prior to departure must be accompanied by full payment within one week of booking. We do not accept credit cards. Travel agents must pay all deposits via agency check. Learn more about trip payment & policies.
Smoking is NOT allowed on the Discovery except for the occasional cigar (in celebration) on the outside deck only. Thank you.
What about children?
Mixed group voyages (groups of people who do not know each other) are not recommended for children under 10 years of age. There is no age minimum on a private family & friends charter.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Will I have Internet access or cell phone service?
For lodging before your trip on the Discovery, we are excited to offer you first-class accommodations in select downtown Bed & Breakfasts. Your accommodations include an extended self-serve breakfast and fresh local coffee served with a mountain view. Common areas offer comfortable furnishings to relax, read or socialize with other guests, and often open to outside decks or gardens. We have carefully selected the finest accommodations, close to downtown shopping, restaurants, and the Coastal Trail. We make it convenient to explore Anchorage before and after your voyage on the Discovery. Due to the unique style of each property, room types vary but be assured each offers its own charm. Private baths are available but not guaranteed. For more about onboard accommodations and fine dining read about the M/V Discovery »
Cell phones and Internet service are available in Anchorage and Whittier, and intermittently in Prince William Sound. AT&T and Verizon have decent coverage, but coverage is intermittent. The M/V Discovery has a satellite phone for emergencies. Our preferred Bed & Breakfasts and Hotels both feature WiFi as well as a shared computer for guest use. Internet is also available at the downtown Kaladi Brothers coffee shop and the UPS Store, both near 6th Avenue and G Street in Anchorage.
What should I bring?
Will the trip be difficult/ what is the grade of difficulty?
Will I be safe?
Average agility is required to navigate the ship’s narrow stairway leading to the sleeping quarters and restrooms in the lower deck, or to access the smaller inflatable boats for optional shoreside excursions. Trips to shore are customized to meet the desired physical activity level of the voyage and more specifically, the interests of the group. Some guests enjoy a hike with a physical challenge, some prefer easy walks along the shores, while others choose not to participate in the optional excursions and instead experience the Sound’s spectacular beauty right from the walk-around deck or spacious lounge of the Discovery
. By far, the most important qualifications are a positive attitude, a spirit of adventure, a sense of humor, and a willingness to try new and different experiences. For more information on activity levels of our Adventurer and Hike & Kayak voyages please contact us
Discovery Voyages spare no effort to assure safe travel; all crew members are trained in first aid and emergency procedures. The Discovery meets annual inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard for compliance with strict safety requirements. Each voyage begins with emergency procedure instruction. Discussion of shoreside excursions before embarking allow guests to assess the activity’s grade of difficulty, and decide if it falls within their capabilities. However, outdoor activities of this nature are not entirely “risk free”. Discovery Voyages cannot assume responsibility for injury to participants, damage to personal belongings or for expenses incurred if such might happen.
Can I go fishing?
How do I get from Anchorage to Denali National Park?
We do not offer fishing activities during our voyages. If fishing is a bullet-point in your Alaskan vacation, we strongly recommend you take a separate day or half-day charter out of Whittier, Seward, Ninilchik or Homer. We recommend contacting Whittier Marine Charters
for more information.
Do you offer charters?
If you are also planning a stay with Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, there are 3 options for travel – rental vehicle, railroad, or coach bus. Please allot 6 hours of travel time via vehicle due to construction, traffic, or wildlife sightings. You may pay to park the vehicle inside the Park. If you are interested in travel via train, you must travel the day before your first night’s reservation. Plan to overnight near the park entrance. Meet their buses at 12:30 p.m. at the train depot just inside the Park entrance. The train schedule works well with southbound travel back to Anchorage. Reservations are necessary. Contact the Alaska Railroad: Tel 800-544-0552 www.alaskarailroad.com
If you prefer travel via coach bus, The Park Connection
offers daily service from Anchorage (June-August) departing at 7am and arriving in time to connect with transportation into the Park. Be aware that this makes for a long day of bus travel. Reservations are necessary. The Park Connection: Tel 800-266-8625 www.alaskacoach.com
Yes. Charters are available for up to 12 passengers. Rates range from $6,700 to $8,500 per day based on seasonal demand and availability. For more information, see the Alaska Custom Private Cruise
page, or contact us