Hi Cindy,

I have attached some pictures for you to see.  Frankly, I spent more time just looking at everything rather than taking pictures.  Yes, we had an AMAZING time.  It was the perfect cruise for us and we had so much fun with the people we met, or just staring out at the world around us.  The other passengers were on the cruise for the same reasons we were, and our group got along very well. We could get plenty of alone time or socialize as desired. The American Queen expedition staff on the ship were out of this world.  I can’t believe how much I learned.  We all were thrilled that the pilot would slow down and turn the boat if we encountered whales.  Everything was well organized and ran smoothly.

The head of the waitstaff always had the day’s menu at breakfast so David could indicate what he wanted and they prepared lunch and dinner with no salt added.  Frankly, it was delicious and the “regular” menu items were not overly salted.  The chef used his skill rather than salt to create amazing dishes.

I did go kayaking!!  (David has no clue how to steer, but fun anyway!)  No sea sickness, though it really wasn’t rough, just rolling in open waters.  The only time it rained was in Sitka!  Whales galore, eagles, dolphins, seals, otters, and bears in the creek in Kake, along with the first run of salmon.  “Only” 9 Eagles and one juvenile there – Lol!

In Sitka, part of Lincoln street was closed off much of Tuesday for street eats/vendors which was fun.  Mean Queen, Beak, and Bayview Pub were great restaurants.  Many locals so you know they are good with great friendly service.We walked to Sitka National Historical Park and LOVED the trails with the totems.  Beautiful rain forest trails and small museum were a delight despite misty, rainy day.

Halibut tacos in Petersburg were awesome!

Jet boat up Stikine river to Shakes Lake and Glacier was fantastic.  Also really enjoyed the hike/walk to Talbot lake. The guides explained so much on both trips.  We heard from others that their paid excursions were great.  Some tours were cancelled due to lack of interest.  Others had waitlists and the team was able to get more boats/guides to accommodate the extra people at the last minute!  Who does that these days?  We loved the recap at the end of each day and preview of the next day in the lecture lounge.  I got a book about the lighthouses from the ship’s library and read that every night before bed.

Is there a way to tell American Queen Voyages that the expedition staff on that cruise were incredible?  They constantly went above and beyond my expectations.  I know they all worked hard behind the scenes to make our experience so great.  I also loved that fact that they would join different tables for dinner so we could get to know them better.

This is the only way to see Alaska’s Inside Passage as far as I am concerned.

Thank you for all of your advice and for all of your help.  We loved our cabin  and appreciate everything you have done for us.  We truly got away from it all; something I really needed after such a stressful year of teaching.

Take Care,

Barbara and David




Note: The letter has been edited slightly to remove personal details