Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2018 - 18
Compass | BON VOYAGE
A small-ship cruise to the Great Land shows why size really does matter.
It's hard to get your head around Alaska.
Its 586,000-square-mile immensity, coupled with the reduced navigational abilities
of megaton cruise ships, means that many
lines stick to popular ports that provide
a broad outline, but blur the details - an
intimate encounter with an orca, the crack
of a close-by calving glacier - that truly
define the state. Going small can provide
a more complete picture, as Vancouver,
B.C.-based Virtuoso travel advisors and life
partners Sue and Bob Bradley learned on a
summer cruise aboard the 458-passenger
Seabourn Sojourn. "Larger ships just can't
go to the same places," say the Bradleys,
"particularly when cruising up the fjords to
view the glaciers." Here, the couple fills us
in on the finer points of their adventure.
"The Sojourn definitely has some of the
nicest cruise ship accommodations we've
ever encountered: Our first 'wow' moment
was when we saw the bathroom in our
suite - it was bigger than our bathroom at
home! The amenities are stellar as well; for
example, a recent refurbishment updated
the already outstanding spa area to accommodate wellness offerings from Dr.
"The ambience was a pleasant surprise -
casual and upscale at the same time,
without any sense of pretentiousness. It
was matched by attentive yet unobtrusive service: On a particularly cold and
"A glacier was calving when we were
kayaking in the Endicott Arm fjord. The
experience is impressive on its own, but
when you're down in the water among the
massive ice floes, it officially qualifies as a
lifetime memory. On our last day, we were
treated to a humpback whale show for
several hours courtesy of Mother Nature.
The captain delayed our departure so we
could watch as long as possible."
KEEPING THINGS REAL
"We stopped at the First Nations village of
Klemtu to see a presentation of traditional music and dance - what an authentic
experience! The Sojourn also held a salmon cookout on deck that was particularly
memorable. We sipped Alaskan craft beer
while looking out on the Pacific waters
where those fish came from."
"We've surveyed many cruisers, and the
number-one regret of those who have
traveled to Alaska is that they didn't stay
longer and explore it by land. For this
reason, we highly recommend an optional
Seabourn Journey extension to Denali
National Park and Preserve."
CRUISE-TOUR TO CONSIDER: An 11-day Seabourn Sojourn sailing between Vancouver, B.C., and Seward, followed by a five-day Seabourn Journey
highlighting Denali National Park and a domed-railcar ride to Anchorage. Cruise departure: August 31, 2018; from $3,999. Special Virtuoso Voyages
amenities include a dedicated host, a welcome reception, and a private shore excursion in Juneau. Post-cruise Seabourn Journey from $3,199.
T R AV E L E R
(ICON) AISYAH/THE NOUN PROJECT
Seabourn Sojourn sails Alaska's
Aialik Bay and (inset) kayaking
in the Endicott Arm fjord.
rainy day, we returned to our cabin from
a shore excursion to find that our steward
had drawn a bath for us. She timed it
exactly so the water was still piping hot
when we got back."