The first vessels that Bob and Betty Allen used to conduct their Sitka-based sightseeing cruises in the 1970’s were an elegant old motoryacht, and two harbor cruise vessels they had purchased from a Seattle business. The boats performed reliably, but Bob felt that some of the vessels’ design features were lacking: aisleways too narrow, windows too small, not enough outside deck space. He wanted all his customers to have plenty of room to move about, and he wanted every seat to have the best view possible.
After looking far and wide Bob came to the conclusion that there was not a boat design in existence suitable to the “Alaska Up Close” tours he envisoned operating. That realization is what led our company down the path to becoming a shipbuilder as well as a tour operator. Since building our first custom sightseeing vessel in 1984, every vessel we’ve built has been specially-designed to conduct the type of tour it is assigned to operate.
Today, Allen Marine Tours is unique in its ability to showcase the best of wild Alaska. We custom-build all of our vessels in our shipyard in Sitka, and almost 250 years of first-hand knowledge goes into the design of every one of them.
Letting you feel as close to nature as possible is a key component of Allen Marine Tours’ philosophy and our vessels reflect this with spacious cabins, comfortable seating, wrap-around windows, large open decks and quick stable rides that allow you to feel at one with your beautiful surroundings.
In addition to our efforts to create first-class passenger accommodations, we are also innovators in waterjet technology; we were the first in the world to design and build a catamaran with a four-engine/four-waterjet propulsion system – a configuration that offers exceptional reliability, speed and maneuverability. This state-of-the-art technology and unparalleled maneuverability allows our Captains to provide our guests the finest-possible sightseeing experience.