Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Sep 10, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Our expedition has today brought us into foreign waters. While checking in through customs, we find conditions ideal to explore the local culture of this port town. For many that means a trip to a cafe to explore donuts and Wi-Fi! For most others, it is a chance to discover a few highlights of the indigenous Tsimshian culture at the well-curated Museum of Northern British Columbia. Our expert docent guides us in the examination of the art and architecture of this coastal community. We learn about the cedar tree, which played a central role in the construction of traditional long houses, story poles, Chilkat blankets and bentwood boxes. We come to understand a little more about customs and cultural traditions, such as the presentation of wealth at potlatch gatherings, the organization of family groups, and preparation of seasonal foods. Which suddenly reminds us- lunch awaits back aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion!

Once again upon our vessel, we cruised the misty waters of the British Columbia Inside Passage. The afternoon is spent stretching our mental muscles with enlightening and engaging chats on climate and kelp forests, presented by the ship’s naturalists. The open dialogs continues while enjoying the evening’s bountiful offering of hors d’ oeuvres and drinks, prepared by the Head Chef and his team in the galley!

With rough weather on open water, evening finds us in the sheltered bay called Captain’s Cove. Our photo experts guide us in an overview on using onboard photo kiosks to review and share our favorite images with fellow passengers and staff. We are then briefed by National Geographic photographer Krista Rossow on proper etiquette when photographing people, in preparation for our visit to Haida Gwaii over the next few days. Another exquisite day in the Pacific Northwest behind us, the ship sets course across Hecate Strait, and another amazing week.

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About the Author

Sarah Keefer


With a thirst for knowledge and a spirit of adventure, Sarah moved from her prairie-oak savanna habitat in central Minnesota to the boreal forest community of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Bitterly cold but abundantly tranquil, her formal education in wildlife biology there led her to pursue a profession as a naturalist in Alaska and beyond. When she was first considering a position in one Southeast Alaska national park, recruiters touted the coastal mountain vista, world-class wildlife viewing, kayaking and hiking opportunities, and community amenities—but it was when they mentioned the superb berry season that she was sold!

About the Photographer

David Spiegel

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

David feels fortunate to live a lifestyle of adventure and travel in the outdoors, where he applies his passion for photography and videography to documenting adventure sports and conservation projects around the globe. 

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