Friday night SAFV (Sitkans Against Family Violence) held a fundraiser dinner cruise aboard one of Allen Marine’s (Alaska Dream Cruises) pocket cruise ships, Chichagof Dream. I had wanted to get aboard for some time to see how they refitted her. They did a nice job. One of the highlights is the Himalayan Salt Room, kind of like a sauna, lined with salt that’s therapy for sinus and allergies. In Poland there are sanatoriums in salt mines. The cruise was a shakedown for the staff, serving their first meal to paying guests this season. The meal was great and so was the service. And, of course, we were supporting a good organization. Below are some pics from the ship.
I first sailed with Captain Bob on a Silver Bay cruise in 1973. We spent quite a bit of time talking and that conversation, about Sitka, Alaska and community, was one of the things that convinced us to come back, to come back again, and to choose Sitka as our home. Lots of non-profits in Sitka have an Allen Marine wildlife cruise as a major fundraiser. Allen Marine takes us out on educational cruises with the Sitka Conservation Society and the Sitka Whale Fest. We hear chamber concerts from the Sitka Summer Music Festival on Allen boats. Most of those pictures of whales, sea otters and sea lions you have seen on this blog were taken from Allen boats
The company, now run by Captain Bob’s sons, is a driver of the Sitka economy. They build and refit boats here in Sitka (Sometimes when I ride a ferry between Jersey City and New York I am riding on a Sitka Built Allen boat.) Alaska Dream Cruises start or end in Sitka, bringing in overnight visitors. The company sources local food and sells local items in their gift shop.
It was appropriate that last night we cruised to Silver Bay, where the first Allen tours went and where we first had a conversation with Captain Bob Allen. Below are some pics from the cruise.