Frequently Asked Questions
Goodbyes and good memories.
How do you pronounce Nuliaq and what does it mean?
Nuliaq is pronounced "NEW-lee-ack". (Note it ends in a Q, not a G!) Nuliaq is an Inupiat word that means True Wife, Sea Wife or True Love.
Will I get seasick?
It is extremely unlikely. Nuliaq is a very stable vessel and Prince William Sound has a myriad of coves and miles of protected waters. If you are prone to motion sickness, we suggest taking Bonine which we usually carry on board. We also have wristbands and ginger which some people claim help. We can also find a quiet passage if you feel you will be uncomfortable.
How long are your trips?
They can be as long as your schedule allows. We count one day as 24 hours rather than going by calendar days. We recommend 4 days minimum because of the variety of activities, distances and sights we cover. Most clients charter for 4 to 7 days their first trip. Repeat clients usually want longer trips after their first charter with us. Your 24-hour day begins when we leave the dock. For instance, if we leave the Valdez dock at 4 PM on Monday a 4-day trip would end at 4 PM on Friday.
Will you put us with another group?
No. We do not mix groups. Different people have different agendas. However, we have made an exception this year by offering two watercolor workshops to people who may not know each other. Our first workshop experience was so positive that we decided to share the experience with others. We believe your days will be more rewarding if you are doing what you enjoy with the people you want to spend your time with - whether it is co-workers, friends, family or people with whom you have a common interest.
How many people can we bring?
It depends upon how much privacy and space you want. Nuliaq is certified for 12 overnight. Generally, groups range in size from 2 to 6. (Click this text to see boat layout and stateroom pictures. ) We have two staterooms available: one accommodates 3 people (one double and one twin bunk bed) and the other has one queen-sized bed. Additional sleeping room is available on the two large convertible dinettes which can be curtained for privacy - one in the pilot house and the other in the salon.
Now this is a crowd!
Do we have to fish and eat seafood all the time?
Only if you want to. We pride ourselves in our menus and are happy to cook your catch. We can satisfy the health or junk food addict, seafood freak or the meat and potato lover. We just need to know your preferences before we leave the dock.
I have special dietary needs. Will this be a problem?
We have a compact but full-sized galley and have served a variety of foods over the years. Unless you require rare or exotic foods, chances are you will have no problem as long as you advise us ahead of time. Our only caveat is that we do operate out of Valdez which is a small town and sometimes special foods are not available.
Friends prepare for dinner together.
What about bringing children and pets?
No pets. Period. We never know when we might have guests with pet allergies and we want to protect them. We try to provide a pleasant, relaxing cruise in an adult environment.
We prefer not to take young children we do not know. (USCG does require that everyone under 13 years old wears a lifejacket at all times on deck.) Children can feel bored and restricted. Coupled with the confines of a boat, it could make it a difficult trip for everyone.
They found the best viewing spot!
Will I have internet service on the boat?
Internet and cell service are spotty once we leave Valdez. In an emergency we can usually cruise out to a location where we can get service. Typically, we do not have service when anchored in small bays at night. We have plenty of outlets for charging your electronic equipment.
Another secluded anchorage.
How do I get to Valdez and the Nuliaq?
Ravn Air has two 50-minute flights a day to and from Anchorage. If you drive from Fairbanks (7 hours) or Anchorage (6 hours) be sure to allow additional time for meals, scenic stops and wildlife.
What should I pack?
As with most boats, storage space is limited. We suggest soft-sided luggage. We provide all food, linens and fishing gear. We do not provide liquor. We also have many games and books onboard plus extra binoculars. Bring casual, comfortable clothing that you can layer for temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is cool near the glaciers and can be windy on the water in the afternoons. Waterproof boots are handy, but not essential. If you do not have any waterproof gear, we keep a couple extra rain jackets, pants and boots you may use.
When is the best time to view whales and bears and catch salmon or halibut?
Of course, we can't guarantee you will see or catch anything but we do know that the earlier in the season, the more likely you are to see young wildlife - bear cubs, sea otter pups, young goats, and bird nests or small chicks.
May - Young animal & sea life, halibut, rock fish, bear, birds.
June - Halibut, rock fish, whales, young sea & bird life, bears.
July - Halibut, salmon, bears, whales, sea and bird life.
August - Silver salmon, whales, bears, sea and bird life.
Doe and kid surprised us!
Eagle with chick in nest.
What are your rates for a charter?
We charge a minimum of $1500/day or $600/person/day whichever is greater. We do give special rates for special events, large groups or longer trips. See Workshops page for example. If you want to see if your group fits in this category, please email, text or call us for a price quote.
We do not take credit cards.