We awoke to a blanket of misty morning fog as National Geographic Venture cruised towards the dock in Petersburg, a town known as Alaska’s little Norway and a hub for commercial fishing. With the past several days spent exploring the wilds of Alaska’s temperate rainforest and glaciers, we looked forward to a different sort of adventure awaiting us in town. After a relaxing morning stretch and a hearty breakfast, the gangway was unfurled, and we disembarked to partake in the day’s events. The day’s agenda was a choose-your-own adventure with a wide array of activities offered, as well as ample time to explore at one’s own pace.
Some of us set off to explore the town and its surroundings via bike, rolling off the dock and weaving through residential streets before travelling along the picturesque waterways leading into Petersburg. We stopped to enjoy the scenery at Sandy Beach Park and meander along the boardwalk in the riparian habitat. Other guests set out on an exploration of the muskeg, beginning by trekking through the rainforest and watching the familiar spruces, hemlocks, and cedars give way to scraggly pines and open spaces. We learned about the many unique species living in the muskeg, such as Labrador tea and the carnivorous sundew. In addition to bike rides and hikes, many also set out on cultural tours, such as the Haa Ani Tour, the Out-The-Road tour, and tours of the marina and docks. The most miraculous thing was that, through it all, we mostly managed to avoid getting soaked by the rain—a lucky break, given the ominous clouds that loomed overhead throughout the day. After we all returned on board, we capped off a successful day with an evening recap and a crab feast!