“A cruise on the Discovery would be the prize of anyone’s trip to Alaska!” – Time Magazine
The small ship cruise adventures offered by Discovery Voyages have been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Alaska Magazine, the New York Times Travel section, Outdoor Photographer and elsewhere. Reviewers especially seem to comment on the spectacular scenery in Prince William Sound, the knowledgeable crew, the gourmet dining, and the advantages of being on board a 6-cabin yacht that can slip into narrows and inlets off limits to the big cruise ships and get you up close to wildlife and glaciers. Read what they have to say…
“The skiing possibilities suddenly seemed endless.”,
It didn’t take long to see signs of what I had travled for. I hoisted my duffel and skis aboard the 65-foot Discovery, its engines purring with life. Soon we set sail, and I spotted chutes and mountains rising thousands of feet from the 15-foot snow banks that hemmed the waterline. As I gazed off the starboard side, the skiing possibilities suddenly seemed endless.
“It’s just not passive. You’re vibrantly engaged.”
– Jennifer Landsdale, quoted in New York Times
For some passengers, taking a cruise means lounging on the open sea, ordering piña coladas and curling up with a book. The most exercise they get is walking around the buffet. But for Jennifer Lansdale and her family, going on a cruise means steering kayaks through ice-choked waterways, hiking up rocky hills and getting the exercise she doesn’t get back home in Towson, Md.
“Instantly, everyone jumped up, grabbed cameras and knocked over wine glasses, running out the door to capture the crashing ice. In Alaska, photography trumps gourmet food every time!”
For a more intimate view of the sound and exceptional photography, take a trip with Captain Rand on the Discovery. Live aboard a comfortable boat for multiple days, cruising and photographing at a relaxed pace. You have the opportunity to go ashore numerous times to photograph beached icebergs and rocky coasts. Colorful starfish are found in the tide pools, and black bears forage below the tideline.
I’ll never forget eating a gourmet salmon dinner aboard the Discovery while we drifted in front of the Surprise Glacier. All at once an enormous piece of the glacier began to calve into the fjord. Instantly, everyone jumped up, grabbed cameras and knocked over wine glasses, running out the door to capture the crashing ice. In Alaska, photography trumps gourmet food every time!
“The best trip of my life. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
– Pat Henry, quoted in The Honolulu Advertiser
Pat Henry’s Alaska moment was eyeballing a bald eagle’s eyrie through binoculars as the great predator visited its nest. But it could have been kayaking around the sea lions barking on nearby ice floes, or the puffins and orcas near Glacier Island. Then, there was the very long — and loud — moment when an apartment-size chunk of glacier calved just a quarter-mile from the ship deck, creating a boom and waves that rocked the ship. “Alaska was a truly great adventure,” Henry said. “Every day was wonderful.”
“By their very nature, small ships can sneak into narrows, shallows and inlets that are off-limits to the floating resorts…”
From toppling glaciers to belly-flopping humpbacks, many of Alaska’s most stunning natural wonders are best marveled at from the deck of a ship. You can’t even reach the state capital by land.
But what kind of ship? A big, mass-market cruise ship? A more intimate, education-oriented ship? Or the “poor man’s cruise ship,” the venerable Alaska ferries? Each has its own joys and pitfalls, its own comforts and irritations. Chances are that one type of ship suits your travel style, and the others … well, not so much.
“The beauty of Alaska’s Prince William Sound
is in a class by itself.”
The beauty of Alaska’s Prince William Sound is in a class by itself.
Plying the bays and fjords in a land of stupendous beauty. Watching John Zilavy and Melissa Pailthorp take their wide-eyed, smiling 17-month-old daughter kayaking in Harriman Fjord, my only worry was that the experience might raise young Olivia’s expectations beyond reasonable bounds.