Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise 2012 – Miss Elizabeth

The message coming over my cabin intercom aboard the Wilderness Explorerseems unbelievable. During our stop in Glacier Bay, the voice said, we picked up a stranger. This mysterious lady will soon be greeting us in the ship lounge. First, there are no people just wandering around Glacier Bay. During our three days in Glacier Bay, we didn’t encounter a single other human being.  In the distance, we sometimes saw giant cruise ships. But they quickly came and …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise Summer 2012 – Glacier Bay

We seem plunked down in a different world.  It looks like something from the depths of history. Or maybe from planets beyond our orb. Great shards of ice glisten like diamonds in deep sapphire waters. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys.  Mountains, some as high as 15,000 feet, rise straight out of the ocean. Snow draped peaks tower over sparkling fiords. “It feels like you are going back in time, back to …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise Summer 2012-green ship

ABOARD THE WILDERNESS EXPLORER– A bamboo plant grows in a bowl in my cabin. Reusable water bottles by the sink are a reminder to conserve water and drinking utensils. Cloth napkins on the dining table take the place of paper. No Styrofoam or plastic cups or glasses are used on this vessel. Daily menus are posted on a bulletin board. No paper menus are printed. Recycling efforts are everywhere. “We take our commitment to conserve and protect …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise 2012 – activities

Barb Cann overcame two of her fears so she could share an unforgettable trip with her family. “I don’t like planes and I don’t like boats,” she said. But Barb decided to take the long flight from her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Alaska for a weeklong cruise aboard the Wilderness Explorer with her husband Tom, her daughter Jessica Rich and her son-in-law Tom Rich. It was the first cruise Barb had ever taken in her …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise Summer 2012 – shipmate Merriweather

Merriweather McCarty had never been to Alaska. But only two days into her cruise on the Wilderness Explorer, the 20-year-old had decided she would like to live in Alaska and work aboard the ship. “It’s really cool,” she said. “I didn’t know there would be this much to see and do. “ As the youngest passenger on the cruise, Merriweather said she found plenty to keep herself entertained.  The average age on our cruise was about 50. …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise 2012 – Shipmate Janet

A science teacher at a boys’ private school in New York City, Janet Lien has studied and taught about glaciers and Alaskan wildlife. But she wanted to see the real thing in person. “It’s a lot different to see it for yourself than it is to read about it in a book,” she said.  “I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska… I have never spoken to anyone who has ever been here and didn’t like it.” Deciding that …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise Summer 2012 – Captain Marce

For five years, Captain Marce Branniff watched the two beautiful ships sitting unattended and slowly sinking into decay. When their cruise company went out of business, the ships were brought to port in Seattle and left. “Ships are made for sailing,” Marce said.  “It’s not good for them to just sit and rust.” Keeping an eye on the boats and worried about their future, Marce was surprised to get a call one day from Dan Blanchard asking …

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Jackie’s Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise: The Ship

ABOARD THE WILDERNESS EXPLORER — My cabin has a new flat screen TV. The Wilderness Explorer has a big library of DVDs. But I never turned on that TV. No way could it compete with the glorious show that Mother Nature is playing outside the huge windows in my room. Gigantic humpback whales breach not far from my window. Cavorting and cartwheeling, they snort huge sprays of air and seawater as their bodies slap down on the …

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Wilderness Explorer Alaskan cruise Summer 2012 – pre cruise in Juneau

When I left Indianapolis, the temperature was 103 degrees. When my plane landed in Juneau, the weather was 56. What a difference a flight makes. I am in Juneau to board the Wilderness Explorer for an eight-day cruise into the Alaskan wilderness. Our trip will take us through Alaska’s Northern Passages and Glacier Bay, ending up in Sitka. Since it is my first time in Alaska, I chose to spend an extra day in Juneau before my …

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