Why Choose
Alaska Yacht Charters

The ‘real’ small Alaska cruise ship difference

“Alaska small boat cruises” and “Small Alaska Cruise Ship” are terms that the “mid-size” cruise ships have adopted to describe their Alaska Inside Passage cruises and cruise boats carrying 40-80 passengers. But ….. there is a real difference between the Alaska cruise experience and “up close wildlife viewing” that these boats offer compared to the relaxed cruising atmosphere and intimate wildlife encounters we have onboard the Discovery. In most of the places that we visit even 20 people seems like a crowd for an Alaska cruise and it is a well known fact that your chances of seeing wildlife are better in smaller groups.


Intimate Group Size (8-12 guests)
See Wildlife Upclose
Get Personal Attention from the Captain and Crew
Get Personalized Experiences Tailored to your Small Group
Delicious Meals with You in Mind
No Cruising at Night with Loud Motor Noises


Smallest Midsize Ship Size (40-80 guests)
See Wildlife from a Distance
Get Little Attention from the Captain and Crew
Get Experiences Tailored to the Masses
Meals Prepped for the Masses
Possible Cruising at Night
A word from the captain

If you’re looking for smaller group travel in southeast Alaska for your Alaska cruise, there are several options that are “relatively comparable” to Discovery. Below are a few things to keep in mind.

Discovery was built as a yacht. This is important because it is reflected in her skilled craftsmanship throughout her design and capability. She was William Morris’ second largest yacht.  Incredible attention was given to the seaworthiness and comforts as she was built to host and entertain Hollywood elites on the open Pacific ocean.

Despite Discovery’s colorful history, she was in rough shape when we bought her. Having 18 years of Alaska Charter experience aboard 3 previous Classic Yachts proved to be advantageous as we knew exactly what it would take to make the boat well outifitted and comfortable.

Discovery was the perfect canvas –  just right to comfortably accommodate small groups exploring Alaska. Our original restoration began the winter of 1998 and every year since I seem to find something to improve to make her even better for both guests and crew. Truth be told from a young age I had a dream to one day own one of the finest well maintained Classic Yachts in the world and although it’s been a many year process I am humbled and proud to have achieved such a feat. 
Discovery has an open floor plan with separate forward, dining and main saloons in addition to outside seating on both decks as well as covered fantail seating.  Rain or shine even at full capacity there is ample room to watch the scenery, socialize, game or read inside or out!

Aside from the boat, which you may have picked up on that I have a bit of an affinity for, there is of course also the captain and crew. My dad John was a commercial troller out of Sitka in the late 70’s so some of my earliest memories were aboard that boat fishing with dad. Although I was too young to be much help then, it is uncanny what young impressionable minds absorb. In kind, marine life has become second nature to our boys from a young age.  Mom, dad and I moved onto a sailboat in 1980 and my spare time was occupied sailing, rowing and playing on the docks. An advantage that started young and blossomed from there. 2024 will be my 44th year chartering in Southeast Alaska and consequently, I know it very well.

It is so beautiful and I love that it is our summer playground that we can share with guests. It is hard to go wrong or be disappointed with Alaska in general, but with so many years of local knowledge we have the advantage of knowing where to look for wildlife and where to drop your lines in when you choose to cruise with us. There are some great boats and operators in Southeast Alaska but many years days and hours of sitting in that Captain’s seat sets us apart for your Alaska cruise.

We are also owner operators and care about the experience for every single guest. This year my wife Jamie will be aboard again keeping the boat looking sharp and guests well taken care of. Also, our son Brandon will join us this season as first mate/deckhand and hopefully one day be the 3rd generation captain. 
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