My wife and I flew commercial and got on a cruise ship last week. Been there, done that a few times.
But the side trips in Alaska opened our eyes to forms of commute most of us rarely experience.
To me a float plane was a curiosity – a throwback to Indiana Jones. They are actually a handy way to get around the rugged terrain in Alaska. We took a short flight on Ellison Air, in its 6 seater, Cessna U206G Stationair and experienced the convenience. Indeed, Lake Hood next to Anchorage’s international airport is the busiest seaplane port in the world with up to 600 takeoffs and landings every summer day. Throughout the cruise, we were getting buzzed by float planes.
We did a whale watching, "citizen science" trip on a “safari vessel” from Gastineau Guiding in Juneau. I was struck by the perimeter seating, the large opening panel windows, the padded armrests, exterior decks, handrails, restroom and other features on the 43 foot, aluminum hull Sounder. There were 17 guests, and 2 crew on the boat for about 3 hours, and you could easily plan a day-long offsite on a vessel like that.
I have not taken a bus for longer than an hour since my college days. So, I was not sure about a 4 hour ride (including immigration at the border) from the Port of Vancouver to Sea-Tac airport. The Prevost (part of the Volvo Group) H3-45 coach is a very comfortable ride. Floor to ceiling height of 6 1/2 feet, cargo capacity of nearly 500 cubic feet, flush-mounted, frameless windows all added to the experience. We sat in the first row with lots of leg space, panoramic views and continuous conversation with the Traxx Coachlines driver.
I could get used to those means of commute every day!