“You have to disconnect, there is no choice,” said Lucila. “That was one of my favorite things about this adventure cruise.”
Lucila Lancaster, her husband Girish Nair and their two children Isabel (Izzy) 21, a senior at John Hopkins University studying neuroscience, and Sam, a 6’1” water polo playing 16-year-old, were planning their yearly family vacation. They took a poll in their home in Seattle and decided on an adventure vs. a beach escape. “We like hiking, moving around, seeing and photographing animals in the wild,” said Lucila.
A cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage on the M. V. Westward fit their individual schedules and their desire for a vacation that would combine adventure and education.
The Westward is an 8-passenger/3-crew historic wooden yacht, just 86 feet long, which allows it to enter coves and bays too shallow for larger ships to safely navigate. AdventureSmith Explorations, an eco-adventure tour company promoting responsible and sustainable travel, is one of the leading Alaska adventure tour companies.
The small Westward ship cruises through Alaska’s Inside Passage, able to pilot into seldom explored, secluded bays, channels, and islets for kayaking and whale watching. The adventures also include onshore hiking to gorgeous settings such as Baranof Hot Springs, Eva Lake, and Baird Glacier. The itinerary also includes cruising to the Le Conte glacier, as well as opportunities for responsible viewing of grizzly bears, sea lions, bald eagles, and other wildlife.”
“This was our first small cruise,” said Girish. “Bill Bailey is exceptional as a captain, navigating us through some really tough coves with the older boat which is not as responsive as a more modern boat. The owner-operated Westward is quite distinctive, felt very personal and family-oriented.”
“I like the stories behind the boat,” said Sam, “like how many hands it’s gone through, famous people and celebrities who’ve sailed it, and how old it is – it’s coming up on its 100th year anniversary. And the size…it’s not too big, not too small. I feel at home here. It’s a good place to bond over everything you do because there is usually someone around.”