FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. When is the best time to visit Alaska?
2. Where will the charter take me?
3. What will I see and do?
4. How do I choose a vessel?
5. What is the difference in a Skippered-Bareboat, All-Inclusive, Fully-Crewed, or Boat + Expenses charter?
6. How do I charter a vessel?
7. What should I wear?
8. What type of luggage is best?
9. How do I obtain a fishing license, how much are they, and when is the best fishing?
10. What is the typical gratuity?
11. How can I prevent sea sickness?
12. Should I purchase Travel Insurance?

1. When is the best time to visit Alaska?

Our best kept secret is May and June. There are more dry, sunny days before July 4th than after. The days are getting longer, but there is still darkness at night allowing you to get a good nights sleep in the fresh, clean air and perhaps capture the sights of the northern lights. The shore birds have returned and the whales are feeding - this is the best time. Our chartering season extends from May through September. Many of the vessels offer heavy discounts in the early spring and fall. June has the most daylight hours giving you more time to explore. August is a favorite time to view the wildlife and catch fish.

2. Where will the charter take me?

In the spring and fall many yachts offer discounts while chartering the Inside Passage from the Puget Sound in Washington to Ketchikan, Juneau, or Sitka, Alaska.

Throughout the summer the vessels can be chartered from the ports of Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau in Southeast Alaska; Price William Sound, Kodiak and the Bering Sea further north. Many of our guests prefer the trips offered by the individual vessels, others prefer to plan their own destination. Whatever your choice, the captains are ready to help you to create the trip of your dreams.

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3. What will I see and do?

Charters usually include the whole “Alaska” experience, which means you’ll be surrounded by the exquisite beauty of the inland passages, deep glacier formed fjords, majestic snow capped mountains, water and all that comes with it: birds, wildlife, and marine life.

Fishing is fun for the whole family. Children under 16 do not need a license. Your chef will gladly prepare the catch-of-the-day.

Charters allow you to go where the cruise ships don’t. You’ll be “up close and personal” with the marine life, glaciers, watching the bears as they feed from the shorelines. Kayaks, sea cycles and various other smaller vessels are in carried along for exploration. Hiking in the lush rainforest is magical as you take in Alaska’s flora and fauna.

The essence of the trip is living the moment. Your memories will be of the unique experience of those moments.

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4. How do I choose a vessel?

Every vessel has its own personality. Some are geared more for the eco-tour experience and wilderness adventure. Most however, include everything from sport fishing to exploring the safe harbors of Alaska that include glaciers, animals, and wildlife. Some of the main considerations when choosing a vessel are:

* Number of guests
* Sleeping preferences
* Size of the vessel
* Type of charter desired (skippered bareboat, all-inclusive, Cost + Service)
* Level of service desired
* Budget
* Options in chartering a stateroom or the entire vessel
* Level and type of activity
* Trip destination
* Vessel availability.

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5. What is the difference in a Skippered-Bareboat, All-Inclusive, Fully-Crewed, or Boat + Expenses charter?

Each vessel has its own level of operation. Some vessels offer both the skippered-bareboat charter and all-inclusive choice. The main choices are:

Skippered-Bareboat: Offers the vessel and the captain only. Crew and crew services are not supplied. All costs including food, fuel, and port fees are separate. There is an expectation of help from the captain from time to time during the charter. This is the most economical way to charter.

All-Inclusive or Fully-Crewed: In this scenario, everything is included with the exception of hard liquor, tax, fishing licenses, and gratuity.

Boat + Expenses: The cost for chartering a luxury vessel varies depending on included and excluded expenses. Fees may include the vessel and exclude any one or all of the additional costs of food, wine, beverages, crew, captain, fuel, supplies, port charges, etc. Again this does vary. Please call for details.

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6. How do I charter a vessel?

Alaska Charter Boats to the rescue. We make it very simple. In establishing your preferences as outlined above, we will make recommendations on available vessels. Once the particulars of your charter are confirmed, we will send you an Agreement for your signature. A deposit will confirm your booking. Often it is desired by the Captain of the vessel to contact you to determine your charter preferences and outline a charter course.

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7. What should I wear?

Don’t forget the bathing suit, tanning lotion, and sunglasses!

Summer weather within the Inside Passage is generally mild with temperatures averaging in the 50’s and 60’s. On sunny summer days the temperature may soar into the 80’s and 90’s. However, be prepared for cooler weather, light rain, mist or clouds. Take into account that when the boat is underway, there is a breeze. During the summer, days are longer. June has an average of 18:15 hours of daylight, whereas September has almost 13 hours of daylight.

There’s no such thing as bad weather...only bad clothing. To combat the fluctuation in temperature and conditions, we recommend a layered approach to dressing. your outer wear should be waterproof and able to withstand a steady downpour.

Clothing made from synthetic materials is more effective when participating in off-vessel activities such as kayaking and nature walks. Fleece, polypropylene, capilene and wool (although it is a natural fiber it has the same qualities) keep you warm even when they are wet and wick away perspiration. Cotton will draw away your body heat and take a long time to dry.

Please keep in mind that there is limited space on board the vessel and in your stateroom. Avoid hard suitcases and pack efficiently bringing as little as possible.

Footwear Soft, non-marking soles for the boat
Knee-high rubber boots for the beach
Outerwear Waterproof rain jacket & rain pants
Middleweight wool or fleece pants
Wool or fleece jacket/pullover
Clothing Polypropylene long johns
Wool or fleece sweater
Wool or synthetic socks
Bathing Suit for hot springs
Casual and comfortable clothing
Accessories Rain Hat
Wool or fleece hat
Wool or fleece gloves
Travel Accessories Binoculars
Sunglasses
Camera equipment (batteries/film)
Water Bottle
Personal toiletries
Insect Repellent, sun block, lip balm

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8. What type of luggage is best?

It is best to use soft luggage or duffel bags when bundling your clothing and goods for the charter. The bags store more readily than hard-sided suitcases.

fish chart9. How do I obtain a fishing license and how much are they?

If you wish to fish or drop a crab pot, a sport fishing license is required. You can purchase your fishing license and King salmon stamp online with the State of Alaska, upon your arrival to Alaska, or on-board some of the fishing vessels.

Sport Fishing Regulations can be found online at the State of Alaska - Sportfishing site. For additional information on fishing in Southeast Alaska including: bag limits and seasonal availability, call the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, Sport Fishing Division’s regional office at (907) 465-4270 or 1-877-9-FISH-AK.

License Rates:
Non Resident fishing license for 1-day is $20, for 3-days is $35, and for 7-days it is $55. Non resident King salmon stamp is $10 for 1-day, $20 for 3-days, and $30 for 7-days. Fees are subject to change - check with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

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10. What is the typical gratuity?

Depending upon the level of service the typical gratuity ranges from between 15-20%.

11. How can I prevent Sea Sickness?

If you are inclined to sea sickness there are remedies available. We suggest you try one at home prior to your trip. Here's the list of remedies in order of effectiveness:

SCOPOLAMINE®:
For the absolutely "I always get sea sick" folks. This remedy is also referred to as "the patch" and can be obtained by prescription from your doctor. It looks like a little round Band-Aid and is worn behind your ear. There are a certain percentage of people who have adverse side effects to this medication. We highly suggest that if you're using this remedy for the first time, try using one at home first.

BONINE®:
This is the best over-the-counter, pill remedy. Highly recommended! However, you need to get this medication working in your system well in advance. The biggest mistake people make with pill form remedies is that they take their first dose either right before or right after entering the "open ocean" portion of the excursion. Sea sick prone people usually spew these pills out before they can take effect. For maximum effectiveness, take one dose of Bonine® the night before we plan to enter "open ocean" and another dose in the morning when you wake up. For multiple days, don't forget to keep up with the recommended dosage.

DRAMAMINE®:
This is probably the most well-known of remedies. You should try this at home first since it does cause "sleepiness".

SEA BAND®:
These are pressure point therapy wrist bands. Most people discount this remedy because it "sounds" like a gimmick. People who have actually used the band will swear that it works. The nice thing about this remedy is that it can be added along with any of the other remedies without conflict.

12. Should I purchase Travel Insurance?

Our standard policy dictates in your contract that if for any reason the captain determines that it is not safe to cruise or if anything whatsoever prevents the vessel from providing the charter, your money is completely returned with or without insurance.

Travel Insurance is recommended in the event you are not able to meet the boat as planned, or you need to cancel for a number of reasons: illness, work, family matters, emergencies, etc. It covers delays caused by lost baggage, unforseen events, cancellations and medical emergencies. They also offer primary coverage, no deductibles, coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, bankruptcy/financial default, medical evacuation, and worldwide travel assistance 24/7.

Life can be uncertain and we are able to present a travel insurance that covers all possible trip interruption and cancellation possibilities. We encourage you to read the information to determine if it would be beneficial to you at Travelex Insurance.

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We hope this helps you have a great adventure!

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