Alaska cruising minus the crowds

We are planning an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise. A friend travelled on a ship with fewer than 100 passengers that provided a better view of wildlife and more personal service but the line no longer operates. Could you suggest other reputable operators and any must-see destinations?

- J Partridge, Figtree, NSW.

American Safari Cruises ( has three ships sailing in Alaskan waters this season, on eight to 15-day itineraries. The largest, the Safari Explorer, can accommodate up to 40 passengers.

These cruises attract enthusiastic adventurers who like to travel to wild and spectacular places where few others go, with style and luxury on the menu as well as adventure. Hiking and sea kayaking among ice from melting glaciers are some of the highlights of their Alaska trips.

The Boat Company ( is a non-profit, educational organisation that offers seven-day luxury eco-cruises through south-east Alaska on board two vessels that accommodate up to 24 people.

For a slightly larger cruise-ship category, the 382-passenger Silver Shadow will be making continuous seven-day voyages between Alaska's Seward and Vancouver between mid-June and early September, on an itinerary that includes the Hubbard Glacier, Sitka and the Tracy Arm fiord (

Glacier Bay, Endicott Arm, Sitka and Ketchikan are scenic highlights but on any cruise you run the risk of RSI from the photo opportunities.