May 19, 2019 - National Geographic Quest
Last night, under the light of a full moon, National Geographic Quest crossed into Alaska after a magnificent week exploring British Columbia and the San Juan Islands. Guests onboard awoke to a beautiful scene of snow-capped mountaintops and glacial valleys after happily receiving an extra hour of sleep due to the time change. Morning coffee conversations on the bow continued as guests bonded alongside a shared backdrop of some pretty spectacular views. As the ship continued through the Inside Passage, New Eddystone Rock, a basalt rock named by Captain Vancouver for its resemblance to the lighthouse rock off Plymouth, England, was highlighted as just one of the many wonders of the region.
After a pleasant brunch prepared by the talented staff on board, guests readily embarked in another afternoon of exploration, this time to a remote area known for its grand presence. Sculpted by the staggering force of glaciers, Misty Fjords National Monument welcomed those of us aboard with immense rock walls, lush vegetation, and ribbons of waterfalls, which paired perfectly with the continuous and united sense of exploration found among guests. With the sun shining, zodiacs cruised past Sitka spruce, red cedars, and western hemlock trees as kayakers maneuvered about the stellar waters, all in search for more wildlife and natural wonders within the Tongass National Forest.
When sun-kissed guests came back to the ship, they were treated to a special wine tasting featuring an assortment of Pacific Northwest wines. Quite a treat following an afternoon out! Afterwards, the lounge was full of eager listeners ready to learn about ethno-botany and the practical uses of Alaska’s flora. The holistic, medicinal, and cosmetic uses of these plants were highlighted, and sparked some fascinating conversation: Not too shabby for a first day in Alaska.
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