Photography by Jim Doty

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We sailed Prince William Sound on the Spirit of Columbia.  With accomodations for 78 guests plus crew, it provides a casual, small ship cruise experience.

We spent much of our time outside on deck enjoying the unusually nice weather and enjoying the splendid Alaska scenery. All of the Prince William Sound photos were taken from onboard ship.

The crew kept telling us how unusual it was to have several days of sunny weather. The Sun Deck was a good place to make the most of it.

The Riverview Lounge was our living room. We met here for orientation and one evening's "entertainment," and just to hang out.  Continental breakfast was served in the lounge each morning from 6-9 AM.  Snacks were served at 4 PM.

Three wonderful meals were served every day in the Columbia Dining Room.  Meal times were adjusted according to the day's itinerary. Dress for the dining experience was casual.

We really enjoyed the small ship, informal, "get close to Alaska" cruise experience. The Spirit of Columbia is one of several small ships that are part of Cruise West. The cruise was everything the promotional material said and more. Cruise West delivered in every way.  The staff was first rate.

If you want a big party boat, casinos, shows, and night life, look elsewhere.  If you want to get close to some of the natural wonders of Alaska in a casual cruise experience, this is for you.

There is more information on the Cruise West page at this site.

For you night owls:  I was taking pictures late one night out on deck.  It was clear and beautiful but also very chilly.  I stepped inside to warm up and immediately was attracted to sensational smells coming up the stairs from the galley. Following my nose I wandered down to the dining room.  The night baker was more than willing to share hot goodies coming fresh out of the oven. Mmmm, along with some hot cider or hot cocoa, it was just what I needed.  If you happen to have the same baker we did, she will have samples of the next day's goodies about midnight every night.

February 22, 2001

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