Have tugboat, will explore

Alaska tugboat adventure brings wilderness to you

Cruising
TOOT SUITES: Stay aboard the tugboat Swell. Photo: Jeff Reynolds, Maple Leaf Adventures.

TOOT SUITES: Stay aboard the tugboat Swell. Photo: Jeff Reynolds, Maple Leaf Adventures.

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Whales, brown bears, icebergs, hot springs - what are you waiting for?

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MILLIONS of people travel to Alaska each year but few spend nights in the wilderness.

For those with a hankering to wake up to birdsong and the scents of the forest, there's a 10-day Inside Passage cruise for you: aboard the 107-year-old wooden coastal tugboat Swell.

Operated by veteran expedition company Maple Leaf Adventures, these trips for 12 guests at a time feature up-close experiences of whales and brown bears, walks through the rainforest, Zodiac-ing among icebergs and visits to natural hot springs

The crew are all local coastal people with stories to share.

Swell is a fully restored, 88-foot tugboat. It has six private cabins with en suite baths, a cosy salon, ample deck lounges, hot tub and an open wheelhouse. Exploration equipment includes shore boats, kayaks and a hydrophone for listening to whales.

Maple Leaf Adventures say the 10- and 11-day trips offer a slow-travel way to experience the grandeur of the Alaskan wilderness.

Departures are from Sitka or Petersburg. Prices start at $10,495 per person.

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