Petroglyphs, Wrangell, and a Sunny Silver Shadow Evening
I’ve been trying to get back to Wrangell, Alaska for nearly a decade. Today, Silversea’s Silver Shadowhas made that dream a reality.
Situated on Wrangell Island just north of Ketchikan, the town of Wrangell is small – so small, it’s technically a borough, with a full-time population of about 2,300 as of 2010.
I first came here back in May of 2005, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sun. Norwegian, at the time, had been courting Wrangell as a new emerging cruise destination within Alaska; sort of similar to what Royal Caribbean was doing with Icy Strait Point. Beginning in the summer of 2000, one Norwegian ship had made a weekly call on the city, bringing with it up to 2,000 tourists at a time. As it turned out, my initial timing was very good: Norwegian dropped that call on Wrangell from their itineraries after the 2005 season.
An analysis of the situation in Wrangell – prepared in 2006 by a consulting firm bidding on the task of liaising with the cruise industry on behalf of the city itself – found that most guests did enjoy their time in Wrangell, but that improvements could be made to the overall passenger experience. Still, it left Wrangell with no large ship calls for the entire 2006 season – and beyond.
One of the recommendations the report made was that Wrangell was poorly suited to inclusion on the weeklong runs that Norwegian had been trying to operate. It was a much better candidate, the