June 2008 Archives
The inclusive tourism market incorporates people with disabilities and those who are ageing and who have access needs (mobility, vision, hearing and communication). Significant numbers of Australians and people from overseas have disabilities – 600 million worldwide. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 4 million Australians have a disability . Based on the National Visitor Survey 88 per cent of these people travelled within Australia in the previous year, 7 per cent travelled overseas and most travelled in independent groups with an average size of 4.1 people. The accessible tourism market has recently been valued at $4.8 billion to the Australian economy  with significant latent demand.
Yet, finding tourism experiences and day trips that are accessible has been a major issue for people with disabilities and those with access requirements. Many disability organizations provide member created word of mouth lists, tips and stories to help others plan their day trips and holidays more easily. However, these information systems are incomplete and problematic.
A prototype Web “portal”, www.sydneyforall.com, aims to make it easier to find accessible destination experiences around Sydney for those with access needs.
Behind the scenes (sorry, Nondisclosure Agreements in effect), some interesting "Green Wheelchairs" are in development. Take some hints from bicycle designers:
Several readers specialize in outdoor access and even maintain public web sites on the accessibility of trails. The following grant offer from the American Hiking Society might be enough to convince a hiking-oriented non-profit to do something significant to improve trals accessibility:
The American Hiking Society ( http://www.americanhiking.org/ )
2009 National Trails Fund is open for applications. The National
Trails Fund is the only privately funded, national grants pro-
gram dedicated solely to building and protecting hiking trails.
Now in its eighth year, the fund has awarded nearly $382,000 to
105 grassroots organizations all over the United States working
to establish, protect, and maintain foot trails in America.
American Hiking will be awarding two different types of National
Trail Fund grants in 2009:
1) American Hiking Society Trail
Grants, which will range from $500-$4,999 each; and
2) Nature Valley Trail Grants, which will be for $5,000 each. Twenty
applicant organizations for the Nature Valley Trail Grants will be
selected as prospective grant recipients and will be featured on
Nature Valley's Web site ( http://www.wheresyours.com/ ). Nature
Valley Trail Grant award winners will be chosen by public vote
from October 1 through 31, 2008. The top ten projects will each
Wild Iris Medical Education offers a useful course entitled, Traveling with Disabilities and authored by Anne M. Becker, MS, RN, CNS and Miriam R. Breslauer, BS, MS.
The course is free through June 30, 2008
Here a description of the learning objectives:
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
* Discuss the special needs of disabled travelers using various modes of transportation.
* Describe the role and duties of a healthcare professional who assists a disabled traveler.
* Identify three groups of disabilities that may affect a person's ability to travel alone.
* List examples of advance preparation for the trip of a disabled traveler.
* Summarize the elements of a medical documentation travel file.
* Identify the disability-related challenges to traveling on a commercial vehicle.
* Identify potential hazards at vacation destinations that may affect a disabled person's ability to function in a crisis.
For the course see:
Reality Tour in Brazil contacted us to let us know that the trip I recently took to Socorro in Brazil is part of the itinerary that they regularly offer. Contact them for more details.
VSO Mongolia volunteers and staff extricated ourselves from work for a couple of days to go to a green valley in the Mongolian countryside to take stock of what we have achieved, in our annual volunteer conference.
Gathering over thirty volunteers from Africa, The Philippines, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Britain, with placements as far afield as Bayan Ulgii, Choibalsan and Darkhan, everyone seemed pleased to get together. On the second day I assisted Nickson Kakiri in leading a session on mainstreaming disability in all of our work here, and we discussed and (re)discovered issues of disabilities, rights, exclusion and working with various challenges. We reflected on some positive work done in the last year, including work on universally accessible buildings, and a recent accessibility audit of the Equal Step Camp, our conference venue, in this remote village apparently known only by its train siding, 'Point 290'.
The camp had recently installed a ramp and accessible toilet, and its generous volunteers, on our arrival, had also erected a ger and made us some great meals, a horhog, and a bonfire. VSO's scarce funds seemed in this case to have been directed towards a very promising locally owned and highly sustainable enterprise.
Most of the conference sessions were held in a wooden hall, which worked well with improvised flipcharts and the occasional powerpoint presentation. As Secure Livelihoods Programme volunteer coordinator, I led a session - on a grassy riverbank - which included an update of all livelihoods volunteers' work, where we later returned at dusk to wade in the river, like the local horses.
Regular readers will remember my recent trip to Brazil, the REATECH disability expo attracting 32,000 people, and the visit to Parque dos Sonhos in Socorro, Brazil. The visit to the Parque dos Sonhos ranch was organized by Joedson Nunes of Reality Tours.
Nunes (as he is known is known) has just forwarded the following itinerary. Judging from how well he covered logistics and service on my visit I have no hesitancy in recommending him. The activities available at Parque dos Sonhos include the one kilometer long zipline that I took, zorbs, canopy walks, rafting rappelling, hiking -- and great Brazilian food
See the itinerary below.
To the extent that the Travel Industry Association takes seriously the disability community as a travel market the following letter from Roger Dow, TIA President and CEO, is a hopeful sign:
As you may know, TIA has been sharing information in recent months on the personal benefits of travel and taking a trip. I am happy to note that the media is beginning to report on the contributions travel makes to individuals, as illustrated in articles in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
The Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST), the number one resource on Universal Design for Learning, has released version 1.0 of UDL Guidelines. According to cast:
As the UDL field has grown, so has the demand from stakeholders for Guidelines to help make applications of these principles and practices more concrete.
These UDL Guidelines will assist curriculum developers (these may include teachers, publishers, and others) in designing flexible curricula that reduce barriers to learning and provide robust learning supports to meet the needs of all learners. They will also help educators evaluate both new and existing curricula goals, media and materials, methods and assessments.
You can pick up your own copy of the guidelines from CAST’s website at http://www.cast.org/publications/UDLguidelines/version1.html
Coverage of plummeting airline service continues to include excellent case studies revealing the details of counterproductive social responses to disability. Here an incident involving intimidation combined with physical overstimulation by the flight crew resulted in a predictable panic response from a passenger with autism. There appears to be some disconnect occurring in American's customer service training regarding the simple facts of certain disabilities.
Julie Deardorff tells the story behind an American Airlines flight departing from the Raleigh- Durham International Airport. Here she reports:
But the mother, Janice Farrell, told Crump that the flight attendant made matters worse.
"She kept coming over and tugging his seatbelt to make it tighter, 'This has to stay tight'. And then he was wiggling around and trying to get out of his seatbelt. And she kept coming over and reprimanding him and yelling at him," Farrell said.
One of the pilots came back to the cabin with a stern warning and Farrell says the frustration level escalated.
She says Jarrett picked up on that and things only got worse.
"He just melted down. He saw me getting upset. He was upset. He was on the floor rolling around," she said.
Para diretor do Ministério do Turismo, Diogo Demarco é preciso que grandes empresas, governos, entidades e consumidor final exijam empresas certificadas no setor.
O consumidor irá impulsionar uma verdadeira revolução no setor de turismo quando começar a exigir a certificação das empresas das empresas do setor, acredita Diogo Demarco, diretor do Departamento de Qualificação e Certificação e Produção Associada ao Turismo, do Ministério do Turismo.
Começa a terceira edição do Festival Internacional de Turismo, em Foz do Iguaçu, PR. O evento, que teve início nesta quarta-feira, 25 de junho, e acontece até sábado, dia 28, espera receber cerca de 2.500 profissionais ligados a indústria do turismo. Com sede nas instalações do Hotel Boubon Cataratas, o evento inclui a realização do II Fórum Internacional do Iguassu e o III Encontro Paranaense de Pesquisadores em Turismo (EPHTUR), além de uma Feira de Turismo que vai ocupar 1.500 metros quadrados do centro de convenções do Hotel Bourbon Cataratas.
Disability Studies in Education
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a historic document because of the unprecedented prominence that it gives to Inclusive Tourism and Inclusive Destination Development.
To hone in on those topics when reading the CRPD head straight for Chapter 30 entitled, Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. Then backtrack to Chapters 18 through 21 for Liberty of movement and nationality through Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information.)
The manual Human Rights. Yes! published by the University of Minnesota provides simple analyses and is helpful for those preparing to advocate for ratification of CRPD. Chapter 14 The Right to Sport and Culture has a section called Tourism that is its module on disability and travel.
Before I offer a critique let me begin by noting that two of the three citations for the section are my research so rather than coming across as uncharitably harsh on someone else’s work let me admit that this section would have been better if my original work had provided the authors with a more well-rounded argument.
Former guerrilla fighters in El Salvador are helping to boost the
country's income through tourism. Claire Marshall reports on BBC:
Desde PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE:
Más de 21 millones de personas, en su mayoría adultos mayores, visitan al médico cada año como consecuencia de accidentes en el hogar. Con la intención de reducir esa cifra, el "Home Safety Council" declaró a Junio como el Mes de la Seguridad en el Hogar, que insta a las personas a crear un ambiente más seguro en el hogar y evitar caídas, incendios, o envenenamientos.
(Para ver este reporte presentado por AARP dirígete a: http://media.medialink.com/WebNR.aspx?story=35276)
Travolution is a valuable information source for those who watch the travel industry and trends like "travel 2.0" (think Web 2.0 + travel).
TripWolf.com is a travel 2.0 "social guide" to travel - especially the growing trend toward independent travel.
Here Jennifer at the TripWolf blog interviews Kevin May of Travolution in a piece called Travel Trends.
This news item by Matt Kersten apears in the Greymouth Star. It follows th story of Shirley and Roy Dyer whop were trapped for 11 hours on a Tranz Alpine train in New Zealand:
The owner of the Tranz Alpine passenger train has promised to better accommodate disabled people in the future — if and when it introduces new carriages on the Christchurch-Greymouth service. Taylorville man David Brooks filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in February after his cousins — Shirley and Roy Dyer, from Rolleston — were left on the Tranz Alpine train for 11 hours because there was no facility for them to disembark at Greymouth.
At national Public Radio Melissa Block interviews sip and puff sailor Hilary Lister.
Have a listen here "Quadriplegic Attempts Solo Sail Around British Isles"
ESCAP and the World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the
Government of India's Ministry of Tourism, are organizing a Seminar on
Expansion of Tourism for Socio-economic Development in India, 24-26
June, in Guwahati, Assam.
The seminar aims to strengthen the capacity
of India to formulate and implement appropriate policies, strategies
and programmes to enhance the role of tourism in socio-economic
development. Participants will include officials of government
agencies, representatives from the tourism industry including
airlines, hotels, tour operators and travel agents, and members of the
Network of Asia-Pacific Education and Training Institutes in Tourism.
Marta Gil is president of Amankay Research Institute (Amankay Instituto de Estudos e Pesquisas)
She will become host of the popular Brazilian radio program Breaking Down Barriers - Access for All (Derrubando Barreiras - Acesso para Todos). She replaces current host Mara Gabrilli as Mara assumes her city council responsibilities for São Paulo taking a 3-month hiatus from the program.
Parabems (Congratulations) to my friend Marta! We hope to hear lots of reporting on inclusion in tourism.
The following announcement on the change in host is in Portuguese.
According to this article in the Epoch Times:
New Jersey-based Megabus.com offers affordable, fuel-efficient travel and handles its reservations strictly via the Internet. On Tuesday the company announced on its website its latest upgrade: double-decker buses. These vehicles, produced by Belgian company Van Hool, are the first double-decker buses in the United States used for intercity travel....
The double-decker buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi, video, reclining seats, and seatbelts for safety. They are also readily wheelchair-accessible. Space is economized, as luggage is stored at the rear of the vehicle.
Estamos recrutando 12 intérpretes de LIBRAS (Língua Brasileira de Sinais) para trabalharem em nossos navios, na temporada de 2008/2009.
Eles ficarão embarcados (contratação CLT) e à disposição para auxiliarem os passageiros surdos.
Gostaria que vocês divulgassem essas vagas e, tendo alguma indicação, podem passar meu telefone/email para que os interessados me procurem.
A ajuda de vocês é importantíssima, pois são vagas diferenciadas e temos um prazo curto para preenchê-las.
You can huff and you can puff and you still can't get in at TripWolf.com -- well, not unless you got one of the limited pre-beta invitations.
But don't worry. It won't be very long at all now until the site's front door opens and Rolling Rains blog readers can see what the travel pack at this new " travel 2.0" site out of Germany has created.
Expect the unexpected.
You will find the usual Friends, Favorites, Photo upload options, Google mashups, user-generated reviews, ratings, private messaging, and almost wiki-like freedom of access to content creation.
However, this is some sophisticated stuff. The site makes good use of the Marco Polo resources. You will also find a unique workspace/workflow metaphor using Scrapbooks. Scrapbooks hold media that you want to drop into your personal Journal entry or Trip report (not yet implemented) and can be shared as .pdf in a JIT ( just-in-time) publication. Pretty foxy!
I recommend orienting yourself to the site's features and workflow with the video on the homepage. Then head on over the entry for Glacier Bay National Park and see what has been going n behind closed doors.
Then, give TripWolf.com an accessibility shakedown cruise and send your feedback to their IT team.
Por la Jorgelina aparecia noticias en España al sito TermómetroTuristico.es hoy sobre el movimiento de turismo que incluye todos.
Tour Watch: una red social dedicada al turismo y a la discapacidad cuenta de nuestro red social para professionales, professores y estudiantes de turismo.
Porque no vienes disfrutar nuestro "Day on the Beach" en Santa Cruz, California dia 19 de julio:
I stayed with Craig and Andrea Kennedy during the 2008 SATH Congress in Florida. It has been an act of discipline but I have kept quiet about their new product the the GADA (Go Anywhere, Do Anything™) Belt. Today they released the press release that follows.
Having fallen out of my wheelchair at some of the most unpredictable times I could certainly see the value of the non-intrusive protection and restraint system that Craig was testing at the congress. Especially in sports and outdoors situations this product make sense for even the most agile wheelchair users.
From a press release:
BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund—a groundbreaking grantmaking collaborative supporting the human rights of people with disabilities—today announced its first grants competition.
The broad objective of the Fund -- which was launched by the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, and an anonymous donor on the first anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) -- is to empower disabled persons organizations in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to effectively implement and monitor the CPRD.
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA:
BOSTON, MA – El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad, una iniciativa colaborativa que apoya los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad – anunció hoy su primera competición por subvenciones.
El objetivo amplio del Fondo – que fue lanzado por el Open Society Institute, el Sigrid Rausing Trust, el Departamento para el Desarrollo Internacional del gobierno británico, y un donante anónimo, en el primer aniversario de la Convención Sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD) de las Naciones Unidas – es el de empoderar a organizaciones de personas con discapacidad en el mundo en desarrollo y la Europa del Este/antigua Unión Soviética, para la implementación y monitoreo efectivos de la CDPD.
The following article in English and Thai on the UN CRPD was forwarded by Saowalak Thongkuay of Disabled People's International (DPI). Saowalak is an important facilitator of Inclusive Tourism in SE Asia and DPI a diligent institutional ally in this work.
When I read about Andrew Shelley's accomplishments I wonder if isn't secretly trying trying to raise the annual amount people with disabilities from the US spend on travel by a few million dollars from his own pocket. Take some time to listen to this interview of his worldwide journey.
Then check out his site Beyond the Chair at http://www.btcmovie.com/
"Pérolas do Dicas do Pernambuco", um boletim eletrônico, publicou o seguente por Rita de Cássia Nogueira Lima Promotora de Justiça de Habitação e Urbanismo
The Department of Conservation (DOC) on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is sitting up and taking notice of access tourism.
DOC manages more than 1.9 million hectares (about 4.7 million acres) of land on the West Coast, which is about a quarter of New Zealand's protected public land. Within its 600 km (373 mile) long West Coast boundary are two kiwi sanctuaries, five national parks, two Wilderness Areas and a World Heritage Area. The West Coast has remarkable collection of natural features which includes rainforests, glaciers, wetlands and an ocean habitat that is home to the world's stronghold population of Hector's dolphin. DOC also looks after more than 150 actively managed historic places on the West Coast ranging from historic buildings to mining sites. This richness of natural and made-made heritage attracts about 1.2 million visitors per annum to the region, but to date, little attention has been paid to tourism for PWDs.
A report by Dr. Sandra Rhodda of Tai Poutini Polytechnic on access tourism on the West Coast (http://www.tpp.ac.nz/taipoutini/report.asp?id=4#item) and a talk given by her at the New Zealand Eco Tourism Conference in 2007 highlighted the issues for people visiting the coast with some level of disability. The report highlighted specific design elements required at sites that need to be taken into consideration where tourism operations are providing facilities for people with mobility difficulty. These include ensuring appropriate surfaces in car parks and on footpaths, providing access through kerbing and channelling, having suitable access to toilets, and removing barriers at the entrance to tracks.
The examples of issues faced by people with mobility difficulties outlined in the report highlighted the need for DOC to have a whole of site design approach when carrying out upgrades to facilities and attention to detail. As a result, DOC has carried out some projects to improve access for PWDs and is planning to undertake further work at front country sites in the coming years.
Work completed in the last twelve months includes:
• Knights Point, South Westland: provision of parks for PWDs; sealing of the footpath to new viewpoint; provision of accessible toilets. The design brief included wheelchair access through kerbing and channelling (previously, footpath was gravel, there was no break in the kerbing, and no provision for PWDs parking).
Cumverland island, Georgia is open for suggestions on accessibility. Have a look at the video below and offer them your insights. Notice the ability to add both comments and captioning at Overstream.com
Oak Park resident Beatrice Leonard is developing a television show for people with disabilities.
"We're the ears, eyes and legs of folks with disabilities until they can get there, to show them that it's possible," Leonard said.
Here's a review of her interview by Monique Caradine and a video clip.
A website designed for a major luxury travel brand by digital design agency Fortune Cookie has cruised to success at two major design awards. Kuoni’s luxury travel brand Voyages Jules Verne (VJV) has received two prestigious awards for excellence in web design (www.vjv.co.uk).
Earlier this month, VJV and Fortune Cookie celebrated success at the 2008 Travolution Awards, where the luxury travel brand picked up the ‘Best User of Technology (Tour Operator)’ award.
I am reproducing this press release from PopCap Games in its entirety below. It reports on a study on video game-playing by PwD. It would be interesting to relate these fact about computer use to strategies for improving services in travel & hospitality for customers with disabilities
"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ~ Kenneth Grahame
Except maybe reflecting on it afterwards!
Below are links to each Rolling Rains post on exploring Glacier Bay, Alaska. Starting with:
Cruising in Alaska
"The glory of God is humankind fully alive." ~ St. Irenaeus
As I hurriedly prepared for this trip an expected theme formed in my mind around the word "transfers." I anticipated movement from wheelchair to plane, plane to ship, ship to kayak and through it all movement further from daily patterns. What remains with me are still life vignettes and moments outlined against the movement of time. The transfers I recall in retrospect are more substantial than the simply physical.
Awe is the healthy human response to the expansive beauty of wilderness such as Glacier Bay, Alaska. It was evident in my shipmates aboard Sea Wolf. Curiosity, joy, gratitude, resolve, and camaraderie further marked the voyage as a time outside the ordinary.
This trip was the co-creation of all who set up the conditions for it to unfold. The foresight of Sea Wolf owner Kimber Owen who adapted the ship for wheelchair access set up the equalizing environment. The selection of wildlife-viewing sites was expert. The skill of the crew and the humanity of all who shared the trip made it easier to feel fully alive.
Even with huge grizzlies and powerful mountain goats, fluking whales and racing Dahl's Porpoises I leave holding onto the image a pair of hands that look like mine -- thin, curled, weak -- helping me put on a borrowed pair of gloves. What in another place appears only to be weak is what revealed the invincible resiliency of interdependence. Weakness exposed to weakness.
Awe is a healthy human response to a human fully alive. Disability is a medium of revelation. Glory in paradox.
I believe in helplessness.. We are all helpless to each other...
Most of the people that I know are embarrassed by what they can't do on their own
- Colin Bates
Listen to someone who has overcome his lack of disability to share in the wisdom of our culture -- the culture of the disability community:
"I am a customer. I am paying for your service and I expect my needs to be met!" This is what we, those who have a disability, should make perfectly clear before going on a trip.
That trip is a process. We imagine it. We plan it. We do it. It is essential that transportation, lodging, and tourism attractions are accessible. If any one of those links fails the trip does not take place. It is like renting a car without a steering wheel.
The greatest lack in Argentina? The transportation network transportation and cars to rent to get to a hotel.
The big step forward? The quantity of hotels with accessible rooms. National Parks with physical and programmatic accessibility for visitors with disabilities.
The challenge? Human Resource training -- The best ramp is useless if the worker does not know how to take care of his or her guest needs.
Nélida Barbeito, Tourism Professional
Por Nélida Barbeito, Lic. en Turismo y Asesora en viajes y accesibilidad desde el Clarin.com:
"Soy un cliente. ¡Pago por su servicio, y lo quiero acorde a mis necesidades!"
Esto deberíamos vociferar quienes tenemos alguna discapacidad antes de iniciar un viaje. El viaje es un proceso: lo imaginamos, lo planeamos y lo realizamos. Para ello hay que considerar los aspectos que deben ser accesibles: traslado al aeropuerto, al hospedaje y a los atractivos. Si falla un eslabón, el viaje no se concreta. Es como alquilar un auto sin volante.
¿La gran falencia en Argentina? El transporte terrestre de enlace (para llegar al hotel, al atractivo), y los autos de alquiler. ¿Un gran avance? La cantidad de hoteles que construyen habitaciones accesibles y los parques nacionales, en especial las concesiones, que ofrecen dispositivos especiales.
¿El desafío? Capacitación de recursos humanos. De nada sirve la mejor rampa si el anfitrión no sabe cómo atender las necesidades de sus huéspedes.
This wonderful article on the Olympics and Paralympics appeared on NineMSN. So many potential training contracts and translation case studies revealed in one short expose!
The following news comes from Only Finance.com:
Travel insurers have been accused of contravening the Disability Discrimination Act by unfairly treating 9 million sufferers of medical conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease etc in the UK.
Managing Director of karmainsurance.com, Brian Wright who made the allegation, said they flout the law which requires insurers to justify their action if they wished to differently treat people with medical conditions from others.
Reminding that premiums ought to be based on actuarial statistics and thorough knowledge of a condition, he said the opposite is usually what happens.
On June 3, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the terms of a settlement agreement with the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., to make the museum more accessible to people with visual impairments. Ray Bloomer, director of education for the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University, provided DOJ and the museum staff with technical guidance on the accessibility needs and expectations of visitors who may be blind or have low vision.
De 18 a 22 de junho, será realizada em São Paulo a terceira edição do Salão do Turismo - Roteiros do Brasil.
O Núcleo de Conhecimento apresentará uma palestra com Ricardo Shimosakai falando sobre Turismo Adaptado, juntamente com um dos participantes do projeto de acessibilidade e inclusão do Ministério do Turismo na cidade de Socorro. A palestrá acontecerá no dia 21/junho (sábado) às 14:00. Mais informações acesse o seguintes site http://www.salao.turismo.gov.br/
If my travelogue did not make it clear already let me compliment the arrangements made by Sherri Backstrom of Waypoint Yacht Charter Services in Bellingham Washington and the foresight and commitment shown by Kimber Owen, owner of the wheelchair-friendly Sea Wolf. Articles will appear in various publications. One went off to Sandra Vassallo at ebility.com in Australia this morning and two more are in process.
Pioneers like Kimber and Sherri shift cultures.
To get to the Sea Wolf ported in Gustavus, Alaska we flew in a six-seater prop bush flight from Juneau on Air Excursions. Not quite adept at accommodating passengers with mobility limitations the pilot's brute-force solution to not having the proper equipment landed me on the floor as I noted on May 24. They won't make many more mistakes like that -- and accessibility will improve for those who will increasingly come for early-season cruises on the Sea Wolf (i.e. after June 1 Alaska Airlines flies jets into Gustavus with a more polished passenger loading protocol.)
The night before the cruise we stayed at Annie Mae Lodge. The meal was sumptuous and the welcome was like family. The owners have built a stylish Alaskan lodge and given great detail to accessibility. My room had a roll-in shower. I can recommend Anni Mae. As our community provides them with business we will see the trend to inclusion spread to other venues including the towns single - but inaccessible - grocery store.
There is an inconspicuous daily service called "Why Go" that provides thought-starter quotes and photos related to travel. This one landed on my desk recently. Returning from cruising Glacier Bay, Alaska with short stays in Juneau and Seattle the reflection seemed appropriate. On this particular excursion it was as much the wonderful companions as the spectacular physical beauty that was transformative:
As you may know, I spent the last three months in Africa. A wondrous, magical place. But as shadows lengthen across the KBHR window, thoughts turn to homecoming. Journey’s end. Because in a sense it’s the coming back, the return, which gives meaning to the going forth. We really don’t know where we’ve been until we’ve come back to where we were. Only, where we were may not be as it was because of who we’ve become. Which, after all, is why we left.
- Bernard in “Northern Exposure,” Episode 3.21
contributed by Luci
One of the disadvantages of traveling on short notice is the inability to research deeply into the history and offerings of a place before visiting it for the first time. For those are considering an accessible cruise in Glacier Bay here is a list of links on the natural history of the region:
Glacier Bay National Park
Explore-a-Park: Glacier Bay
Alaska Magazine: Ancient Ice
All the activities, food, and conversation delayed me from exploring the two upper decks of Sea Wolf. The lift from the first to second deck is short -- just enough for me to fit.
The lift was definitely higher tech than the Alaskan Elevator in Elfin Cove!
And then sometimes the whole point was to not go anywhere at all!