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Intimate Look at Alaska

April 22, 2001

Regarding "The Cool of the Bay" (March 18) about visiting Alaska on the Wilderness Explorer ship: In May 1992, my husband and I spent 10 days on the Wilderness Explorer on a repositioning cruise from Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska. The 19 other passengers were an interesting and eclectic group.

Cabins were indeed spartan. However, where else can you climb into an upper berth and hear the water on the other side of the porthole? Dinner would be held to wait for a glacier to calve, and the captain sailed under a waterfall to wash the deck. Instead of 10 stories up, we could almost touch the water, and we went into places no large ship will ever go.

Another trip to Alaska found us on one of the large cruise ships, which certainly have their place, but the Wilderness Explorer made for a unique experience.

MARY KIERNAN La Mirada

The article on the Wilderness Explorer was interesting. Unfortunately, these small vessels may run aground.

In 1999, the Wilderness Explorer and the Wilderness Adventure, both operated by Glacier Bay Tours and Cruises, ran aground in Alaskan waters. When this occurs, the Coast Guard usually takes over, forcing the evacuation of the passengers. Without a good travel insurance policy, it can be an expensive adventure to get home.

HERMANN PAUL SCHLANDER Palm Desert

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