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CRUISE ALASKA


“I’m sailing into a world of mountains yet to be conquered and forests never explored”


After a morning spent watching a glossy-black mother bear feast on spawning salmon, courtesy of a seaplane flight to far-flung Neets Bay outside Ketchikan, we’re left feeling breathless and shaken. “Don’t worry, they’re no threat,” whispers our guide Joshua. “Just make subtle movements and speak quietly.” There really is nothing to disturb them, I think. Only our slow-paced shuffle back through the forest to the waiting seaplane. Onboard Royal Princess once again, we cruise south, beginning our assault on the near-mythic Inside Passage, the crowded network of shipping routes and splintered islands that form natural stepping stones between south-east Alaska, Vancouver Island and our final port of call, Vancouver in British Colombia. To sail through it, locked between mountains and ocean, takes time, and it’s a journey requiring your clients to reset their clocks and sense of scale. Standing on deck on the penultimate evening,


ABOVE: Brown bears can be spotted on Admiralty Island


BELOW: Eldred Rock Lighthouse, Alaska


ALASKA


Smarter Suggest upgrading to a stateroom with a balcony for ocean views, from £1,159pp. A good set of binoculars is also essential.


Better Recommend booking an excursion the day before in Anchorage, otherwise your clients’ options are limited while waiting for their cruise to depart.


Fairer Royal Princess’s captain and crew enforce a leave-no- trace policy while onboard and on excursions. For example, all onboard water is either bunkered (purchased from port communities) or recycled onboard.


60 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE 13.01.2020


oblivious to the bartenders and black jack winners below, is to feel like a pioneer as far away as you can possibly be. Right now, I’m sailing into a world of mountains yet to be conquered and forests still never explored. This is south-east Alaska as it always has been. And for a few short moments, I have the strongest sense that it all belongs to me.


BOOK IT A seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise in south-east Alaska costs from £599pp based on two sharing an inside stateroom cruise-only, including accommodation, main meals and entertainment. • princess.com


For more information visit • travelalaska.com


Mike MacEacheran @MikeMacEacheran


Journalist Mike has travelled to 24 US states and was a first-time cruiser on this trip to south-east Alaska.


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