Cruising Alaska in the Time of COVID

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I stood at a railing of the Majestic Princess on a still July morning. Clouds wreathed familiar peaks; gulls wheeled, seals and salmon swirled, and the land glowed green with the southeast Alaskan summer. As I scanned the Ketchikan waterfront, it was hard to imagine a more perfect day. But something about the entire scene seemed different—downright odd, in fact. 

And then it hit me, a line from some corny black-and-white western: everything was quiet…too quiet. Where were the lines of tour buses and cabs jockeying for position, the throngs of folks bustling down the pier toward downtown, the lines of floatplanes idling, picking up guests, then roaring down

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