I watched the season premiere of The Deadliest Catch last night. Heart-stopping stuff as usual—the work done by the men aboard the ships always seems superhuman to me. I know I certainly couldn’t brave the brutal waves and chilling cold of the open Bering Sea. And handling the 700-pound pots as they swing precariously across the deck? Forget it. That said, I find the culture of Alaskan crab fishing fascinating and would love the chance to meet some of the people whose families have been involved in the industry for years and hear their tales.
Enter the Aleutian Ballad. Deadliest Catch fans will recognize the ship from Season Two, and from May to September it runs a “Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour” meant to give visitors a small taste of the Deadliest life. Departing from the port of Ketchikan, the 3.5 hour tour takes guests around the Inside Passage (avoiding the rough waters featured on the show). During the ride you’ll learn all about the history of Alaska’s fisheries, get a rundown of the ship’s equipment, and watch the deckhands in action as they haul the king crab pots on the deck. You’re also likely to spot whales, sea lions, and porpoises and, best of all, you’ll get to chat with the crew about their harrowing experiences at sea. The tour costs $159 for adults ($99 for children) and can be booked here.