Meet Your Travel Agent:
The founder of Alaska and Beyond, Patty Crichton, is no stranger to the travel/cruise industry. After her first cruise in 1981, she was sold on the concept of cruising and began a long career that will continue until that last cruise into the sunset!
She managed one of the first cruise-only agencies in the country way back in 1981. She had the opportunity to sail on many ships, including many cruise lines that are no longer around, like Sitmar, Royal Viking Line, and American Hawaii Cruises. It was when she sailed on Holland America for a Thanksgiving cruise that something clicked.
A couple of years later she was sailing onboard the 3 Holland America ships (now they have 15+!) as
Onboard Cruise Consultant, spending summers in the Inside Passage of Alaska and winters through
the Panama Canal and the Caribbean. Holland America owned Windstar Cruises at the time, so she
also had the opportunity to experience their unique sailing ships in the Med.
After the onboard program was discontinued, Patty worked in Holland America’s corporate office in
Seattle for 2 years before being transferred to Michigan to represent the company to travel agents
there. She did many presentations to the public about Alaska cruises and tours, and often people
would ask about other options in Alaska.
Against the advice of colleagues, Alaska Bound Ltd. was founded in 1992 in the Detroit area as the
first Alaska-only agency in the lower 48, booking not only Holland America, but many small ships,
fly-in wilderness lodges, B&B’s, and more. It did extremely well, except Patty was spending a lot of
time driving 5 hours north every weekend to find trails and snow for dogsledding her beloved
Newfoundlands. So, in 1996, she opened a branch in Petoskey MI. (She is based in beautiful Vermont since 2018.)
She continues her focus on Alaska travel, but her loyal clients wanted other destinations after their Alaska trip. The small ship cruise industry has exploded in the last decade with something for everyone, exploring all corners of the earth: hence Alaska and Beyond!
"I am a soul-preneur, doing what I love: helping those who appreciate personal service. I am committed to recommending and planning the details of your trip, saving you time, money, and headaches at no cost to you.
Although the web is a great source of information, I believe planning an Alaska trip or luxury cruise should be done person-to-person, not by clicking a few links and inserting your credit card. Allow my experience and relationships with suppliers to exceed your expectations by appropriately matching you with the right trips for YOUR lifestyle, interests, and budget. Plus, suppliers build a percentage into their rates for agents, so you've already paid for my services- use it! (only exception is those darn airlines!)
I LOVE Alaska, Antarctica, and all of the warm inviting places in-between. And I LOVE being on a ship, smelling the fresh air and ocean, being pampered as I explore this special planet we inhabit. Having spent years working onboard, being at sea is like home.To me, there's nothing like a well-planned cruise vacation- whether luxury or adventure. And I get to experience it again every day through my clients!"