Petersburg offers guests aboard National Geographic Quest the chance to explore a true Alaskan town. Pulling into port, the buildings, boats, and slopes of the community were shrouded in the area’s trademark fog, setting an ethereal vibe that carried through the morning. Explorers had the chance to experience one of the truly fantastic ecosystems of Southeast Alaska — the muskeg. This boggy, saturated landscape hosted a wide variety of plants, carnivorous and otherwise. As we trekked through the trails we heard a wide variety of bird species; from bald eagles to Steller’s jays, Southeast Alaska was truly alive with avians.

After the hike, I had the chance to lead a biking expedition through town. This is the ultimate way to capture the local flavor of Petersburg: the sounds of nets unfurling on the fishing docks, the scents of the processing plants and restaurants, the colors of the Scandinavian artwork. We took it all in and, as one guest told me, “This is what real living looks like.” Following a day of fun, we came back to National Geographic Quest and enjoyed an evening of local cuisine, good company, and educational programming. This was truly a day worth remembering!