The morning sun found a few early risers scanning the sea for birds as National Geographic Venture made its way up Johnstone Strait towards Alert Bay. The first sighting of marine mammals occurred just before breakfast as a trio of sea otters were relaxing together midwater. We noted that these otters were surprisingly south of their expected location.

At Alert Bay, our guests were shuttled to the cultural center and given a tour of sacred artifacts, which we weren’t allowed to photograph. Later, we were welcomed into the Big House for an inspired ceremony featuring traditional music and dance. At the request of the performers, no photos have been shared. You will have to take my word for it that it was a truly spectacular experience.