About The Boat Company

Small boat cruises in Alaska

History of The Boat Company

In the early 1950s I spent several summers in Southeast Alaska working on a salmon boat owned by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), a company started by my forbearers. From that experience, the memories of Southeast’s wild and awesome beauty never faded.

As a result, in 1979, my wife and I put together a group of friends (fellow foundation trustees, heads of conservation groups etc.), chartered an ex-Canadian minesweeper out of Vancouver, and headed up the coast on a two-week journey to revisit the area. Any concern about cohabitating on a boat soon disappeared, as we all became totally subsumed by the grandeur of the area.

Shortly after that trip we bought an old wooden-hulled ex-US Navy minesweeper (the M/V OBSERVER), converted it for use as a tour boat and set out to introduce as many people as we could to Southeast Alaska – and so was birthed, The Boat Company.

At The Forefront Of Eco-Tourism & Eco-Cruising

The Tongass National Forest is this earth’s last substantially intact, temperate rainforest. The area it encompasses contains 34 million acres and covers almost 95% of the area known as “Southeast” Alaska (larger than the state of Texas). It is home to an incredible array of wildlife: whales, salmon, eagles, sea lions, bear, sea otters, deer, orcas, puffins, et al. Its topography of high mountain peaks, glaciers, deep fiords, islands and thick forests, allows for few roads. The only practical way to experience what the Tongass has to offer is by boat.

Personally I love the wilderness, but I have also reached a stage in life where, at the end of a day filled with fishing, kayaking, hiking, berry picking or watching wildlife, I’m ready for a long, hot shower, a gourmet meal, good wine and a warm, comfortable bed.

It seems many others feel the same, as over the years we have grown from a one-boat, 12-passenger operation to two boats carrying 20 (M/V LISERON) and 24 (M/V MIST COVE) people respectively. And, we don’t intend to get any larger. We want to adhere to our original intent of introducing people, in an intimate way, to one of the world’s greatest places, in the hopes that they too would feel that the area was worth conserving for the generations to come. Won’t you join us?

Michael A. McIntosh Sr.
Founder, The Boat Company