Author: Janell Wiseley
About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling with Penn alumni, and Penn professor Jonathan Moreno, to South East Alaska. Our boat, The Admiralty Dream, was a 66 passenger 104 foot ship that was designed to go where the larger cruise ships cannot. Cruising on this small ship gave us the best views possible while still having an intimate atmosphere where Penn passengers and those from the other schools were able to get to know one another on a first name basis and form friendships that hopefully last a lifetime.
I have lived outside of Philadelphia for all of my 34 years. Up until this point, my knowledge of wildlife has been Sea World and the Philadelphia Zoo. I have never seen wild animals in their natural habitat until this trip. Every night (and the days not spent kayaking, hiking, or going for rides in the DIB), I would stand at the bow of the ship with my camera and binoculars and wait with my whale-watching friend Alan, for the sound of a humpback as it surfaced for a breath. Then, we would scan the water furiously hoping to get glimpse of these mammals. I was never once disappointed.
Besides whales, we saw sea otters, seals, sea lions, bears, moose, bald eagles and tons more wildlife and landscapes; too many to capture here.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations and if you ever get the chance to visit Alaska, this breathtakingly beautiful part of the United States, you should jump at the chance. You won’t be disappointed.