I can’t believe that it’s been nearly a year to the day that we left Oakland for Alaska for a two-week expedition cruise aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Sometimes you take a trip that sticks with you long after the journey has ended, and no matter when you think back on it, the adventure seems to vivid in your mind, so … recent. Our time in Alaska is one such trip.
The time leading up to our trip was very stressful for me professionally. I had just found out that my boss had quit and that my entire org structure was about to change. I had just learned who my new boss was to be and it didn’t make me happy (my misgivings proved correct – we never got along and I was miserable for the remainder of my time at the company). On top of that, I had to travel down to San Diego for a company offsite that no longer required my presence since all of the work I had done to prep my boss for it was no longer going to be used. The stress of the job situation paired with having a ton of packing left to do at home meant that I had a huge panic attack on the first night when I had to attend a small cocktail party. Thank goodness one of my colleagues was from Alaska, so I was able to spend the time talking with him about Sitka instead of having to face the reality of my new work situation. I flew home on Thursday and we flew out on Friday morning. I was never so happy to get out of town! We flew Alaska Airlines from Oakland to Seattle, with a brief touchdown in Ketchikan before arriving in Sitka around 5 p.m. The flight from Ketchikan to Sitka is absolutely breathtaking as you cruise just over snow-capped mountains before descending into a coastline dotted with small islands offshore. It reminded me a lot of what it is like to fly over Tofino, one of my favorite places on Earth, so I was immediately smitten with the topography.
Landing in Sitka, we waited a few minutes for our bags to be removed from the plane, and then we boarded a transfer van to the hotel with several of our fellow passengers. That first night in Sitka, we wandered around town, not yet really open for tourist season, and had dinner at a really charming restaurant where we sat next to another couple that we befriended during the cruise.
I’m not normally a social person (thank you anxiety and panic disorders!) but I always felt comfortable around the people we met on this cruise. No one expected me to be anything other than I am. There were no preconceived notions about anyone. We were all there to have a good time and to enjoy the wilds and splendour of Alaska. Those two weeks were some of the most relaxed I have been in the past year which I think really led to my enjoyment of our time with Un-Cruise Adventures. The other great thing is that here we are a year later and we’re still in touch with some of the people we met on the cruise, including Phil, one of the guides, and Greg and David, a couple from Texas we shared many meals with.
I think I could write forever and ever about what an amazing trip the two week Ultimate Bays & Fjords trip is with Un-Cruise, but instead I’ll leave you with a link to the posts I wrote when we returned home.
Embarking on a Two-Week Adventure in Alaska
Sailing Away from Sitka Aboard the Wilderness Discoverer
The Magoun Islands
Freshwater Bay & Pavlov Lake
Idaho Inlet & Inian Islands
Bartlett Cove & Glacier Bay National Park
Reid Glacier | Glacier Bay National Park
Kayaking Bear Track Cove (Sans Bears)
A Day Off Boat in Juneau
Tracy Arm Wilderness
Thomas Bay | Tongass National Forest
Hiking Baird Glacier
Tlinglit Culture in Wrangell
Kayaking, Hiking, and Bear Watching in Klu Bay + Taking the Polar Plunge
Misty Fjords National Monument
Exploring Ketchikan on Foot (aka So Long Wilderness Discoverer!)