If you’re thinking of an Alaska trip, you’ve probably considered a cruise. And it’s true that cruising Alaska’s waterways is one of the best ways to see this incredible place—especially if “seeing” is all you really want to do. But what if there was a better way?
One that offered all the luxury amenities and convenience of a cruise, but also the exclusivity, flexibility and hands-on experiences of a private land adventure?
The good news is—there is! And it’s called personalized adventure yachting. It’s a way to experience Alaska in a whole new way, one entirely created by you.
Take a look at the Pacific Provider—a 160-foot expedition yacht fitted with just six spacious and elegantly furnished staterooms, ample deck space with lounge chairs, dining tables, comfy bar, and even an oversized Jacuzzi. Below, there’s a huge great room with lounge seating, bar, and entertainment system, and a well-appointed dining room with family-style seating for 12 lucky guests.
And then there’s the fun stuff—three tenders outfitted for fishing, high end fishing gear, a Zodiac, stand up paddleboards, and a fleet of kayaks—all at your beck and call so you can create the Alaskan adventures you’ve always dreamed about as you explore Prince William Sound.
Sound intriguing? Then read on to learn nine excellent reasons to forget the cruise lines this year and do Alaska on a personalized yachting adventure instead.
Who needs crowds on vacation? With just 12 guests on an adventure yacht (versus thousands on a cruise), you’ll have plenty of space to do your thing.
If you’ve ever done a cruise, you know the drill: Get up really early to claim your spot with a towel on a deck chair—and if you sleep in, you can forget a good seat. And how about those dinner seatings, rubbing elbows with an endless parade of strangers. Don’t forget the shore excursion lines when it’s time to leave the ship. Not to mention the inevitable volume of noise that accompanies thousands of people crammed into a relatively small space. There are lots of good reasons not to take a cruise.
Things are different on the Pacific Provider. You share a space that easily accommodates 50 or more with just 11 other guests—no fighting for deck space, wriggling to squeeze in a spot at the bar, or searching in vain for a quiet place to enjoy your morning coffee and the magnificent views. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of the cruiseliner experience.
Why waste your vacation with days “at sea” doing nothing when you can fill every day with custom outdoor adventures?
Take a look at a typical Alaskan cruise itinerary—notice anything odd? You’ll have at least a couple at-sea days, days with nothing to do but sit on your crowded ship and watch Alaska pass you by. If you’re lucky, your cruise director might organize a game of trivia or a little contest in the casino to keep you from getting bored.
On the Pacific Provider, there’s never a day where you’re held hostage on the boat. Each day is a new opportunity to explore an exciting destination, try a new experience, get outdoors and just live in it. With four tenders at your disposal and a ready and willing crew, you can create your own adventures. Feel like salmon fishing? Exploring the shore in search of some wildlife? Kayaking out to photograph a raft of otters? It’s your call—and the days are yours to fill in a way that makes you happy.
Ever tried fishing on a cruise liner? You can catch all the salmon you want from our tenders.
Alaska is a mecca for fisherman, but you wouldn’t know it if you’re on a cruise. Unless, of course, it’s an add-on shore excursion—and even then, who knows where you’ll go or what kind of experience you’ll have?
Now let’s talk about the Pacific Provider. Our tenders are built for sport fishing and we’ve got all the gear you’ll need to land the largest salmon.
But let’s go one better: On the Provider, our chef will even cook your fresh-caught salmon for dinner (or prepare it for you to take home after your journey). And you’ve never had sashimi until you’ve had salmon straight from the sea and artfully prepared by Chef Dave.
Not a fan of cramped and tourist-y “shore excursions?” You’ll love creating your own excursions in the Alaskan wilderness.
Things you might see on an Alaska cruise shore excursion menu: A lumberjack show, a glass-blowing demonstration, panning for gold, and a three-hour whale-watching cruise. Nothing says “real Alaskan adventure” like a lumberjack show.
On the Pacific Provider, your “shore excursions” deliver real adventure. Think nature treks in search of moose and bald eagles, taking a skiff to explore the massive tidewater glaciers in Blackstone Bay and College Fjord, fishing and shrimping the waters around Ziegler and Granite Bays, bear-spotting on Esther Island, kayaking with otters in Two Moon Bay, hiking through forests on a photographic wildlife safari—you get the idea.
And who needs whale-watching tours when the orcas and humpbacks are breaching next to your yacht?
Take a skiff to the glaciers for an up-close-and-personal experience—or see them in the distance from the deck of your cruise ship.
The Pacific Provider cruises through Prince William Sound where there are over 50 glaciers—and we take the skiffs to Blackstone Bay so you can really experience the immense size and thunderous sounds of these amazing icy works of art. Your cruise ship can’t take you there—it’s a place for expedition yachts like the Provider.
Of course, if that’s not your idea of excitement, you can always take a cruiseliner through Glacier Bay and see its 16 glaciers from the deck of your ship. Through binoculars.
Did we mention we’ll chill your nightcap with glacial ice hauled in from the bay? Try that on an Alaskan cruise ship.
Compare and contrast: Paddling your kayak to come face-to-face with otters and seals—or watching wildlife through binoculars from the safety of your ship.
Prince William Sound has some of the highest concentrations of marine mammals anywhere on earth, and our kayaks are at the ready to let you paddle right up and get to know them in person.
And it’s not just the otters and seals and other marine life—you can see all kinds of wildlife like bears, wolves, moose, deer, caribou, and Dall sheep, as well as clouds of sea and land birds.
If you feel like taking a nature hike, you can be right in the middle of the wildlife habitats, with an experienced guide showing you places the animals and birds hang out. You can see all the things you really want to see, at the pace you enjoy, with plenty of flexibility to capture the perfect photo.
Contrast that with your view of the animals from the crowded deck of a cruise ship in Alaska. Chances are good you’ll be too far from shore to see anything at all, even with the strongest pair of binoculars. And you can forget those fabulous close-up photos.
Watch humpback whales breaching off the side of your adventure yacht—without ever booking a whale-watching tour.
The Pacific Provider takes you through parts of Alaska where orcas, humpbacks, blue whales, Right whales, and Minke whales feed and frolic—it’s a rare day when you don’t see a pod of whales swimming by the yacht and shattering the surface with their massive bodies. It’s just a regular, if extraordinary, part of the journey.
Cruise ships, on the other hand, don’t offer quite the same quality of whale-watching adventure. For one thing, they often can’t go where the whales tend to gather. Whale-watching from a cruise ship requires wasting hours of time at the front deck, binoculars at the ready, in the hopes of spotting a whale. And most cruise liners won’t stop or slow down when they encounter whales, so you can forget about getting good pictures. Want to see whales on an Alaskan cruise? You’ll have to book a tour.
Dinner: Same-old same-old dining room food or your fresh-caught seafood artfully prepared to your personal standards by a private chef?
Cruise ship buffets are famous for plentiful food, lots of people, and lots of poor choices. Sure, things kick up a notch at dinner and you get plated entrees and pretty desserts. But overall, a cruise ship isn’t a place for foodies—it’s hard to feed thousands of people gourmet delights night after night with canned or frozen staples loaded up before departure. Fresh is hard to come by on a cruise liner.
Now imagine meals on your personal adventure yacht. Chef Dave, with over 20 years in the culinary arts (including a 10-year stint as a personal chef for the likes of Phil Mickelson and Dr. Dre), puts his talents to work transforming fresh local ingredients and seafood straight from the sea into healthy, delicious, and beautiful meals to tempt even the most discerning palate.
Take a look at a sample menu—breakfast on smoked salmon English muffins, eggs Benedict with citrus hollandaise, and crispy hash browns…tuck into shrimp and fish tacos or crab cake salad for lunch…dine on pan-seared duck breast with purple yams and pomegranate glaze.
Special requests aren’t a problem—he’ll create a menu around your fresh catch or whip up a batch of your favorite cookies for an afternoon snack.
Love keeping a tab for your watered-down cruise cocktails? Or are curated wine pairings, craft beers, and custom cocktails at an open bar more your style?
Even luxury cruise lines keep tabs on your drinks—everything from sparkling water to specialty coffees and especially alcoholic beverages. Over the course of the cruise, you can add thousands of dollars to your trip. And if you buy a beverage package, you’ll still spend over $100 a day (and it doesn’t include your coffees, premium wines, or top-shelf spirits).
When you cruise on the Pacific Provider, everything’s included. Chef Dave creates thoughtful wine pairings with dinner, and craft beer (including local brews) and cocktails flow freely. Our bartenders can whip up all your favorites—and even invent something special just for you. We stock a wide range of spirits, but if you’d like to bring something special from home, go ahead. Our bartender will make sure your favorite drink is waiting for you when you return from your daily adventures.
Ready to ditch the cruise ship?
Personalized adventure yachting beats cruise lines hands down, don’t you agree? If you’re planning an Alaska adventure this year, let’s put some plans in motion. With only 12 passengers per voyage, our Alaska dates are filling up fast. Why not see what’s available today?
If you’re not ready to book, sign up for our free email course to learn everything you need to know about personalized adventure yachting excursions in Alaska and the Sea of Cortez.