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Cruise Diary: Ketchikan

Adventure traveler and Dutch TV personality Charlotte Van Hoorn was on board Zaandam for an Alaska cruise and will be sharing her adventure with us.

All agreed, this was the complete package…On board, on shore, on the water in small craft, in the sky, in smaller aircraft and even by dogsled…this cruise was the perfect HAL choice for a group of first timers and seasoned Mariner Society members. Beyond my usual “relax with the ship’s premium wine tasting amenity after snorkelling or a cultural visit ashore” routine, my goal was to experience the pricey, but peak experiences offered in the Special Collection of HAL excursions. To enjoy the ship’s  On Location programming as well, I chose to sail both up and back the itinerary to fit in the Encore and Wonders of the World tours. A revisit to a port meant spending the day entirely differently, although most of my chums left in Seward to explore with the Land Tour options.


So – Weigh Anchor for The Alaskan Fish Camp. This was OUTDOORS in your face. I chose the woman guide right away, hoping she had been a Girl Scout, if we got into trouble on rough waters. But, the skiff was very stable at rest or on plane and we each had a padded swivel chair for seating and were dressed in oilskins, overboots and safety gear with life vest. It was EXCITING skimming over the waters to the bay site on her GPS where the sea bed rose to ONLY 200 feet below the surface so that we could drop line for halibut or hit a school of other types of fish in the bay. 4 of us got 7 fish …

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I felt then and throughout this trip that HAL had chosen competent partners ashore who took the time and made the commitment to explain safety procedures on the various small boats, planes, helicopters and around the sled dogs and wild animals we encountered throughout the voyage. Again, these experiences were more pricey than relaxing on board or shopping ashore, but I wanted very much to EXPERIENCE Alaska and I hope the video snippets will share some of the genuine thrill I felt.

1 Comment
  • Peter Ward

    Good photography! Looks like a great way to experience an adventurous part of the real outdoors Alaska with the knowledge that you will be taken care of by well qualified HAL partners through their Shore Excursion program.

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