Article from Carnival Cruise Lines:
"The naturalist program aboard the new 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit - featuring the cruise industry's only full-time shipboard marine biologists and Alaska wildlife specialists - is proving to be quite popular with guests sailing the pristine waters of the 49th state.
According to Carnival President Bob Dickinson, the Carnival Spirit's naturalist program differs from other cruise lines' offerings as it features leading experts in their field whose only responsibility on board is to conduct lectures and point out the magnificent scenery and native marine, plant and animal life throughout the duration of the voyage.
"Our naturalist program, combined with Carnival Spirit's huge percentage of balconied staterooms and indoor and outdoor promenades, provides guests with a truly unique Alaska cruise vacation experience," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.
"Guests enjoy myriad sightseeing opportunities with commentary by top wildlife and marine biologists - a feature typically associated with small tour boats -- along with a spectacular array of dining, activity and entertainment options that only a large ship like the Carnival Spirit can provide," he added.
The naturalists are often on the Carnival Spirit's bridge, providing a birds-eye view for describing the passing scenery and pointing out wildlife - moose, elk, caribou, orcas, sea lions, otters, dolphins, humpback whales and other creatures -- and natural attractions such as glaciers, mountain ranges, ice fields, and fjords, over the ship's public address system.
Whenever possible, the naturalists will also advise the captain to decrease the ship's speed or even deviate the vessel's course to maximize guests' viewing opportunities.
The naturalists carry beepers and are on call should shipboard personnel spot any flora or fauna that may be of interest to guests.
"As far as I know, Carnival is the only contemporary cruise operator to make this extra effort so that guests can fully enjoy Alaska's natural beauty and splendor," Dickinson said.
He added that the announcements are particularly beneficial to those guests in the Carnival Spirit's multitude of balconied staterooms, which provide a wonderful, private vantage point for viewing Alaska's magnificent beauty.
When they're not pointing out Alaska's wildlife and natural attractions from the Carnival Spirit's bridge, the naturalists are often found on Lido deck, interacting with guests and answering questions about the region's unique animals, sea life and ports of call.
The naturalists also host on-board lectures about Alaska's wildlife, marine mammals and glaciers, along with special "kids only" lectures that detail the region's spectacular beauty in a fun, informative way.
The lectures complement the wide range of fun, "Alaska-themed" activities, including whale watching and arts and crafts sessions, available in the top-rated "Camp Carnival" program.
The Carnival Spirit's 2001 Alaska season consists of seven-day Glacier Route voyages either northbound from Vancouver or southbound from Seward/Anchorage through Sept. 5. Cruises in both directions feature Prince William Sound, College Fjord, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and the Inside Passage.
Southbound cruises also visit Valdez, Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier while northbound cruises feature a stop at Sitka. Two Glacier Bay cruises will also depart round-trip from Vancouver Sept. 12 and 19 and feature full days cruising Glacier Bay National Park and the Inside Passage, as well as visits to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan."
(Source: Carnival Cruise Lines )