We are not alone. Alaska’s beauty, wildlife and history speak to many visitors. Unfortunately, that means huge cruise ships full of thousands of passengers. Fortunately, our voyage seldom overlaps with theirs. Our twin expedition ships M.V. Sea Lion and M.V. Sea Bird, are small, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships, yet can comfortably accommodate 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. This means that we spend our time in Alaska feeling that it’s all ours. Only visits to resolutely Alaskan towns like Petersburg remind us that civilized (and charming) life exists here, too. And while whale watching is synonymous with Alaska, it is by no means the only unforgettable experience in store for us. Thanks to our fleet of Zodiacs and a brace of sturdy kayaks, with a moment’s notice we can be off the ship and out exploring — prowling around just-calved bergs and ice floes dotted with harbor seals. We can land on picturesque beaches to launch our kayaks or hike into the forest. Our adroit captains know their way around a coastline and like nothing better than to surprise and delight us by pointing the bow into a cascading waterfall or an alluring strait that leads straight to who-knows-where.