Forget the megaships. The best way to experience Alaska’s watery wilderness up-close-and-personal is aboard a luxury yacht.


The company tag line reads “Luxury in the Pursuit of Adventure.” They got that right. Our week-long voyage aboard American Safari Cruises’ new flagship vessel, Safari Explorer, served up plenty of luxury and adventure.

Here’s their winning formula:

Take 36 curious travelers age young to young-at-heart, 18 expert and friendly crew and put them together for 8 days aboard an elegantly outfitted yacht. Add in all-inclusive extras such as adventurous activities, gourmet meals, premium wines and spirits, on-deck hot tub and sauna, massage treatments and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Then top it off with plenty of bears, whales, bald eagles, seals and sea lions, and float them among shimmering icebergs, beneath thundering waterfalls, and to the lip of calving glaciers. Oh, and demand nothing of them but that they have fun.Think you could stand it?

Click here to view a full gallery of photographs from the voyage.

Still not convinced? Read travel writer (and fellow passenger) Suzanne Wright’s day-by-day accounting of the cruise

Ready to hop aboard but craving a warm-water destination? Come join me in Mexico’s nature-rich Sea of Cortez March 8 - 15, 2009 aboard American Safari Cruises’ 22-passenger luxury yacht, Safari Quest. I’ll be aboard as ‘photo host’ providing one-on-one field instruction to help you bring back vacation photos that will make your friends and family feel like they’ve come along for the ride.

So, get your digital equipment ready. Polish up your SLR. Dust off your vintage Brownie. Or-if you aren’t a photographer at all-just pack up your sunglasses. This promises to be an extraordinary adventure.

Check out my online gallery featuring last year’s fun-filled AMS Sea of Cortez photo cruise.

To learn more, click here. For booking and reservations, contact American Safari Cruises toll-free at (888) 862-8881 or visit their website at

Hope to see you there!

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".