Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/04/2023
We’re sailing on the Silversea Muse out of Seward to Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and on to Vancouver. There are 600 passengers and 400 crew. The ship displaces (weighs) about 40,000 tons. That’s about as much as the Battleship New Jersey, which is one of the four largest US battleships ever built, and saw service from 1944 to 1991.
There is no tipping on board and seven restaurants which are included in the fare (two of them charge supplements). In our suite I have enough bottles of liquor to host a party—not airplane “nips,” but full-sized bottles of excellent spirits.
We’ve seen one infant, no small children, and only a few young couples. My observation is that the vast majority of people are well over 60, retired, and not exactly in fighting trim.
The costs of an average cruise for two in a cabin or suite range from $6,000 to $20,000 for a week. The ship is filled. There are a smattering of people from around the world, but I’m guessing that 80% or more are Americans.
My point here isn’t about the impressive beauty of Alaska nor the considerable features of the ship (it’s only six years old). I’m floored by the post-pandemic explosion of tourism. People are tired of being “penned up,” ordered around, and exposed to inconsistent warnings. I doubt that another pandemic will see people as compliant as they were before.
You only live once. That’s indisputable.
But it’s up to each of us to define what “live” means.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. —Saint Augustine
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. —Martin Buber
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. —Ernest Hemingway
The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing. —Steven Wright