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Alaska Trips Not Affected by Ban

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Feb. 17, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Northwest Navigation Co., which operates the small cruise boat, M/V David B in Alaska, is unaffected by Canada’s recent extended cruise ship ban for the summer of 2021. The company will still be offering multi-day cruises this summer, as are a number of small US-flagged Alaska boutique cruises, yacht charters, and niche market adventure cruises that specialize in remote wilderness small group tours.

Motor Vessel David B

Canada’s ban on cruise ships with over 100 passengers may force major cruise lines that are registered in countries outside of the United States to cancel their Alaska sailings due to laws that require those ships to stop in countries outside the United States. As one of several small US-flagged vessels that operate with 12 or fewer passengers, the David B is unaffected by Canada’s ban and will be able to continue regularly scheduled operations in southeast Alaska.

“Most people are not aware that there is a class of small American boats which run tours in Alaska,” says Christine Smith who’s the co-owner, chef, and naturalist aboard the David B. “Boats like ours are unique, for example, we have a maximum of just eight passengers. Some of our closest competitors carry only 10 or 12. The boats are big enough that we’ve always given people plenty of space. There’s never been a good name for our niche, but some people call us a micro-cruise, boutique cruise, small boat or small ship cruise. We offer light impact eco-tours that are more on the adventure side of Alaska cruises. We focus on being in nature and visit wilderness locations for our anchorages, hikes, and kayaking excursions.”

If Canada continues with its ban on cruise ships, Alaska’s economy will be adversely affected. A recent article in the Washington Post noted that only 48 passengers cruised Alaska in 2020. “We operated last summer too, but because of our small size I don’t think our passengers were even included in the tally,” Christine said. “We’re a very niche market. You really have to look to find boats like ours. But for the people who do find us this year, they’ll see a quieter Alaska, even if the large cruise ships find a way around Canada’s ban.”

For more information about Northwest Navigation visit: https://northwestnavigation.com/

About Northwest Navigation Co.:

Northwest Navigation Co. is based in Bellingham, Washington, and owns and operates the Motor Vessel David B. Since 2006 Northwest Navigation has offered multi-day, small boat tours in Alaska and Washington state. The David B is an historic 65-foot boat originally built for Alaska’s salmon fishing industry in 1929. Jeffrey and Christine Smith started Northwest Navigation in 1998 with the purchase and restoration of the David B.

Vessel Image 72dpi: https://northwestnavigation.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/David-B-Image-72-dpi-scaled.jpg

Logo 72dpi: https://tinyurl.com/nwnav-logo

MEDIA CONTACT
Sarah Kirkish
Office Manager/Reservations Specialist
360-474-7218
sarah@northwestnavigation.com

News Source: Northwest Navigation Co

Sign me up, Sarah!

Bear watching on Alaska CruiseSo, you hear about the once in a lifetime trip your friends took to Alaska on the David B… Or maybe you are searching about small ship cruises to Alaska and find our website… Or you are reading Outdoor Photography magazine and see one of our ads.

Eventually, you click on “Contact Us” and sign up for our newsletter to find out more about the David B and its crew.

Then one day, Christine’s photos of Alaska’s wilderness and a witty article about a previous trip from Jeffrey seals the deal and you get excited enough to book a trip.

What do you do next?
Say “Sign me up, Sarah!”

Here’s how it works. I’m Sarah, and let me take you through what you can expect in terms of making a reservation with us and what it’s like working with me, “shore support” for the David B.

I take the reservations (as well as serve as cat staff to Harriet and Oswald (Jeffrey and Christine’s cats,)Shore support David B Cruises while the David B is in Alaska during the summers.) It’s my pleasure to answer the questions you have about our trips. I’m even more delighted when someone I am communicating with signs up.

So when you say, “Sign me up, Sarah!” the first step is the deposit. I’ll send you an email invoice to pay. We take payments through QuickBooks online. This way I don’t have access to your credit card information and it’s all on their secure server.

Once we receive your reservation deposit, I’ll send you our Welcome Letter. It highlights all the details of your trip so you can start planning your flights and hotels. Of course, I am always happy to answer your questions with suggestions about side trips and what to do if you plan to stay a few extra days in port before or after your trip.

Shag Cove in Glacier Bay - David B CruisesThen things are pretty quiet after that for a while. I’ll probably do some knitting or play with Harriet.

When your trip is a little over 90 days away, I’ll contact you again with a reminder that your final payment is due. You can pay online again or send us a check if that’s more convenient. If you make your reservation less than 90 days before the trip sails, then you would have paid in full at that time.

Again 6 weeks out, I’ll be in touch to make sure we have all of your Health and Liability forms filled out. This is where you can tell us your food allergies, special diets or what interests you most about your upcoming trip so we can customize the adventure just for you.

As your trip approaches, the emails become more frequent with a trip reminder two weeks out making sure your flights are confirmed, and finally a few days beforehand to make sure you know how to find the boat on the day of your trip.

On the day of a trip, even though I’m not there, I’m just as excited as you are! However, my job isn’t finished yet. Merch for David B cruisesAfter I get a text from Jeffrey that everyone has arrived at the boat safely, boarded, and you are underway I usually don’t hear anything, but I am available to the crew throughout the trip – just in case.

After your trip, I’ll send you an invoice for any David B Gear you purchased to take home such as a book, coffee mug or sweatshirt. And finally, I’ll send a post-trip survey to find out how we did.

So if this has made you interested in signing up with us, don’t hesitate to contact me and say “Sign me up, Sarah!”

Stay safe and stay well,
Sarah

PS – If you have any questions about any of our trips in Alaska, the San Juan Islands, or the Inside Passage, send me an email or give me a call at 360-474-7218.

PPS – Also, if you would like a private tour of the David B contact me to schedule an appointment for our spring Open Boat on the afternoons of  April 10 or 11 from 2-6pm.  Each appointment will 30 minutes with a 15-minute gap between appointments. The maximum group size will be 5 and masks will be required.

Alaska Photography Workshops

“Every day was filled with wonder.” –  Denise L., Trimble, MO.

Photography workshop in AlaskaWhy choose a small ship adventure aboard the David B for your next photography workshop?

  • Because the 65-foot David B will take you to wild, remote, and unbelievably beautiful locations in southeast Alaska, including Glacier Bay National Park.
  • Because you will have the time to immerse yourself in nature while you practice the art of photography.
  • Because our instructors are there to help you as much or as little as you want so that you can focus on your craft.

As far as travel on the boat goes:

…there is no mail to read and answer; no newspapers to excite you; no telegrams to fret you or fright you—the world is far, far away; it has ceased to exist for you—seemed a fading dream, along in the first days; has dissolved to an unreality now; it is gone from your mind with all its businesses and ambitions, its prosperities and disasters, its exultations and despairs, its joys and griefs and cares and worries. They are no concern of yours any more; they have gone out of your life; they are a storm which has passed and left a deep calm behind.

-Mark Twain 1898
Following the Equator

We think that Mark Twain expresses life aboard best, and after the year that was 2020, we would like to offer you all of that, plus a fun, creative, and active way to enjoy creating photographs.Photo workshop in Tracy Arm Alaska

For more details about any of our photography workshops, keep scrolling, visit DavidBCruises.com, or contact us at 360-474-7218 or send us an email.

Warmest Regards,
Captains Jeffrey and Christine Smith
Owners/Operators Motor Vessel David B

 

Alaska’s Fjords with Pack Creek Bear Viewing

Photography Workshop with bear viewing
Opportunities to capture memorable images of the stunning scenery and epic wildlife (think: whales, brown and black bears, porpoises, moose, sea lions, otters, mountain goats, eagles, wolves, etc.) will be plentiful as we trace the complicated waterways of the northern Inside Passage.
Dates:
May 28-June 4, 2021
 – 2 spaces left!
May 27-June 3, 2022

Get the Details

 

 


Southeast Alaska’s Fjords with Adventures NW Magazine
Photography workshop in Alaska

The Tracy Arm / Fords Terror Wilderness is one of southeast Alaska’s premier locations for landscape and wildlife photography. This remote wilderness is only accessible by boat and is one of the best options to photograph tidewater glaciers, deep canyon-like fjords, and wildlife, such as humpback whales, killer whales, and brown and black bears.
Dates:
June 27-July 4, 2021 – 4 spaces left!

June 26-July 3, 2022

Get the Details

 


Glacier Bay Photography Workshop with Matt Meisenheimer Photography

Glacier Bay Photography Cruise

Explore Glacier Bay National Park and take beautiful photographs. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in dynamic landscapes and search for iconic wildlife.


Dates: July 7-14, 2021.  2 spaces left!.

Get the Details

 

 


Glacier Bay Photography Workshop with Adventures NW Magazine

Lamplough Glacier in AlaskaDuring this interactive workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to make photographs aboard the M/V David B as we cruise the awe-inspiring waters of Glacier Bay, exploring and photographing from the boat, skiff, and on land.
Dates:
July 17-24, 2021 – 4 spaces left!

July 16-23, 2022

Get the Details

 

 

 

 


San Juan Islands with Adventures NW Magazine

San Juan Islands Photography Workshop
The San Juan Islands, located in Washington state, are a world-famous cruising destination and also an absolutely amazing place for nature and landscape photography. Because we believe in exploring and examining the beauty of nature, we’ve teamed up with Adventures NW Magazine for an exciting, hands-on photo workshop aboard the M/V David B.

Dates:
September 30-October 3, 2021 – 6 spots available!

September 29-October 2, 2022

Get the Details

How Will COVID-19 Affect My Trip?

As the calendar turned from 2020 to 2021 we started asking ourselves more often what the new seasonCovid Policy David B Cruises will look like in terms of COVID-19 precautions and policies. We feel that the virus is still a moving target and it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Our hopes are that the vaccination rollout will gain momentum and the vast majority of us will be vaccinated soon. For now, we are keeping our COVID-19 policies in place. You can visit our COVID-19 policy page for more information. In the meantime, here’s what we’re working on making sure that travel aboard the David B, while the coronavirus is still an issue, is as safe as possible.

 

Here’s what travel will likely look like this summer:
Rescheduling: You may still reschedule a trip due to COVID without penalty, but only one more time for folks who scheduled in 2020 and just once for folks who schedule with us in 2021. We plan to return to our regular cancelation policy when vaccines become widespread. We anticipate this will happen in late summer or early fall.
Pre-Travel Preparations: We are still asking folks to take extreme caution prior to their trip through quarantine, mask-wearing, and proper hygiene. You will need to provide proof of a negative test that was taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding. We are also looking into the possibility of requiring a second rapid test that will be administered just prior to boarding. Because it is still unknown if a vaccinated person can spread the virus we will be looking to the CDC guidelines to see if vaccinated people can skip testing or if we will need to require testing for those folks as well.
Vaccinations: Like many small and large businesses in tourism, we would like to require vaccinations for all of our passengers. However, there may be many legal implications, and there simply may not be enough vaccinations available until later spring or early summer.
Your crew, Jeffrey and Christine, will become eligible for their vaccinations in February or late March in Washington state according to the current vaccination timeline. It is our intention that the crew will be vaccinated prior to the season beginning.
Canada: Our north and southbound Learn to Cruise trips that run through Canada may have to be modified depending on when the border is open to non-essential travel. Last year Canada Customs had us stop and Alaska Scenerydo a health check. We were then given permission to anchor if needed due to any weather or mechanical issues. No one was allowed to get off the boat for any reason. If this continues to be the case, our plan is to cruise up the Inside Passage in 4-6 days possibly running 24/7 and anchoring only if necessary. Once we cross the border into Alaska, we will make up the remaining days by cruising in Misty Fjords National Monument. It’s a good time of year for bear viewing, and with the reduction of cruise ships, Misty Fjords will be quiet, remote, and stunningly beautiful. We will be monitoring this closely and will likely know in March if the border will be open in late April when we leave to go north.
Alaska: Alaska’s Health Mandate for interstate travel is still in effect and requires that all travelers arriving in Alaska must take a test at least 72 hours prior to arrival in Alaska, have proof of a negative test, and fill out a health declaration. For our Northbound Learn to Cruise trip that ends in Ketchikan, Alaska allows us to count our days underway as quarantine days after people board in Bellingham with their COVID-19 negative test.
Hotels/Taxis: Last season, in an effort to protect the communities from potential exposure we asked that passengers arrive at the David B on the day of the trip and we then picked everyone up at the airport with the exception of Petersburg where taxi service or walking was acceptable. We are still working out whether this will be necessary for 2021.
What ifs: If you or another guest arrives aboard the David B and begins showing symptoms of COVIDDavid B Small Cruise Ship in Fords Terror-19, you will be isolated in your cabin and the trip will end. We will return to the dock and you will be required to quarantine in a hotel at your own expense until you test negative.
Like you, we are so tired of the virus and can’t wait for it to be a memory, but while we wait for that day, we’ll continue to work hard to make sure we are doing everything we can to make your trip safe. We’ll continue to update you about changes. If you have any questions about travel this year aboard the David B, please call or email Sarah. She’s great at fielding your questions.
We look forward to seeing you on the David B!

Preparations for a New Year

David B in Glacier BayThere have been a handful of times we’ve waited out a storm while tucked into some comfy cove. As the storm blows through, the gusts of wind pull on the anchor chain and the boat swings. Sometimes a gust will blow so hard it yanks the boat with a big shake. As the storm rages, we shelter at anchor and watch the wind speed. We check to make sure the anchor holds. We wait. We watch. We play cards. We bake cookies. We ride out the storm.

Eventually, the wind calms, and the skies begin to clear. This past year has felt like one long storm that won’t ever let up. At times we’ve wondered if our figurative anchor would hold. But now there are days where it feels like the storm is just beginning to ease and the skies are starting to clear. Sure, there are still big gusts out there that can blow us around but that won’t stop us from planning for this new year.

Our 2021 season is scheduled to begin on April 22 with our sold-out northbound Learn to Cruise from our home port in Bellingham to Ketchikan. As we look ahead we’re excited to once again see we have a busy season in front of us. Over the last few months, we’ve been working on lots of big and small projects. Jeffrey recently completed a realignment of the engine and replaced a couple of bearings on the thrust shaft. Next month, we will be hauling out and we plan to have a new rudder installed, so in some ways it all seems normal. But the virus is still with us and it’s still a consideration as we plan for the new season.

We are updating our COVID-19 policies regarding vaccinations, travel to the boat, hotel stays, deposits, and reservations. We’re hoping that vaccines will be widely available so that people who want to travel with us can be vaccinated. Nevertheless, we might have to fall back on the COVID-19 policies we put into place for the 2020 season, which we found to be effective. Because the situation continues to change rapidly we will continue to keep you informed.

In the meantime, we will continue to prepare for 2021 and we look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Stay well,

-Christine

PS – If you have any questions about any of our trips in Alaska, the San Juan Islands, or the Inside Passage, send Sarah, an email or give her a call at 360-474-7218.

PSS – I almost forgot to mention, but we will be having an Open Boat over the weekend of April 10 and 11. It will be a little different than our usual as we will be showing the boat by appointment only. Each appointment will 30 minutes with a 15-minute gap between appointments. You can email Sarah for availability. We’ll have more info coming soon!

A Day in Glacier Bay

One of the trips we did last summer was an 8-day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park. It was wild, remote, peaceful, and stunningly beautiful. We put together this little time-lapse video of one of our favorite days from the trip. It was remarkable from our overnight anchorage at Margerie Glacier to a mid-day stop at Lamplough Glacier and then on to Johns Hopkins Glacier. It was a fulfilling day and one that we won’t forget.
We have two trips with space available for Glacier Bay in 2021. Join us for a Photography Workshop with Adventures NW Magazine on July 17-24, 2021 (Trip #382), or come explore Glacier Bay with us from July 27-August 3 (Trip #383). Both trips are nearly sold-out so be sure to book soon. Visit our schedule and rates page for availability.

Preparations for a New Year

David B in Glacier BayThere have been a handful of times we’ve waited out a storm while tucked into some comfy cove. As the storm blows through, the gusts of wind pull on the anchor chain and the boat swings. Sometimes a gust will blow so hard it yanks the boat with a big shake. As the storm rages, we shelter at anchor and watch the wind speed. We check to make sure the anchor holds. We wait. We watch. We play cards. We bake cookies. We ride out the storm.

Eventually the wind calms, and the skies begin to clear. This past year has felt like one long storm that won’t ever let up. At times we’ve wondered if our figurative anchor would hold. But now there are days where it feels like the storm is just beginning to ease and the skies are starting to clear. Sure, there are still big gusts out there that can blow us around but that won’t stop us from planning for this new year.

Our 2021 season is scheduled to begin on April 22 with our sold-out northbound Learn to Cruise from our home port in Bellingham to Ketchikan. As we look ahead we’re excited to once again see we have a busy season in front of us. Over the last few months, we’ve been working on lots of big and small projects. Jeffrey recently completed a realignment of the engine and replaced a couple of bearings on the thrust shaft. Next month, we will be hauling out and we plan to have a new rudder installed, so in some ways it all seems normal. But the virus is still with us and it’s still a consideration as we plan for the new season.

We are updating our COVID-19 policies regarding vaccinations, travel to the boat, hotel stays, deposits, and reservations. We’re hoping that vaccines will be widely available so that people who want to travel with us can be vaccinated. Nevertheless, we might have to fall back on the COVID-19 policies we put into place for the 2020 season, which we found to be effective. Because the situation continues to change rapidly we will continue to keep you informed.

In the meantime, we will continue to prepare for 2021 and we look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Stay well,

-Christine

PS – If you have any questions about any of our trips in Alaska, the San Juan Islands, or the Inside Passage, send Sarah, an email or give her a call at 360-474-7218.

All Cylinders Coffee is Back

We want you to start your day right –with a cup of our very own custom roasted coffee.


All Cylinders is a medium roast with low acid and a nice smooth flavor. It also has a bit of a chocolatey finish to help make sure you too are firing on all cylinders.

For over 90 years, the steady heartbeat of the David B has been its original Washington Iron Works, 3-cylinder diesel engine. We’ve always felt that the Washington was as much a piece of kinetic sculpture as it is machinery. The people at Washington Iron Works built their engines with pride. Over the years, we’ve talked with several former employees who worked at Washington Iron Works and they have all talked about how special it was to work there. While Washington made several thousand engines in Seattle, very few remain. Many were removed during World War II and then as more modern engines became less labor-intensive even engines like the David B’s were removed from boats. There are only seven Washingtons that are still operational in boats. It is a testament to the people who worked at Washington Iron Works that the engines they built were made to last and after 90-plus years, our Washington is still firing on all cylinders.

You can find All Cylinders coffee in the David B’s store:  https://store.northwestnavigation.com/

Beach Meadow Bear

Beach Meadow Bear

We came across this black bear feeding in a meadow at the edge of a bay we were skiffing in. It briefly looked up at us for a moment before going back to eating sedges. Join us on one of our Alaska cruises and we’ll search for bears on the beach with you too.

Two humpback Whales

Two humpback whales

On one of our Alaska cruises trips last season, we came across a large group of humpback whales. There were maybe around 30 or so. I don’t know what they were up to, but they seemed to be busy at the surface. The main group was maybe a 1/2 mile from where we were watching them when these two surfaced in front of us on their way to join the others.