"About 10 to 12 years ago David (Lethin) was at a cannery here in Ketchikan and decided with the interest of people that he wanted to teach people what was out there, how to catch the product and what it looked like and what was involved," said Deb Corbin with the tour.
Lethin created the tour and the Aleutian Ballad is the only genuine Bering Sea crab fishing vessel licensed to carry leisure passengers. It took eight months in dry dock to create the amphitheater with stadium seating and heaters.
Every guide on board is a commercial fisherman, teaching people about the career that through "Deadliest Catch" has captured the attention of millions of people.
"We are just trying to show people a life that is out there that they don't get to see that we get to live," crew boss Alan "Kiwi" Brann said.
And they couldn't be more passionate about it. The tour is concentrated in the waters off Annette Island, waters owned by the Tsimshian Tribe.
The tour contracts with the tribe so that they can do things they aren't allowed to do in Alaskan waters, like feeding dozens of eagles in a spectacle few people ever get to see.
But that's just the beginning of the show. The crew actually pulls in a 700-pound Bering Sea crab pot.
It's a hands-on experience and so much more than any TV show could ever teach them.
"Education is a huge thing," Brann said. "Yeah the Deadliest Catch,' that is part of our thing, but there is so much more to crab fishing."
For Troy "Chief" Huls, who spent 23 years fishing, he gave up almost everything to be on the water. Brann too, including girlfriends, family time and any sort of stability -- all for the rush they got from fishing.
"We are trying to show them that what we did for a living, and why we did it, and how it affected us," Huls said.
"Unless you've been there it's indescribable," Brann said. "When you're catching fish wide-open it's just heart-pounding, it's adrenaline rush and everyone is working in unison as a team."
That same spirit is felt today. Real stories from real fisherman of the Bering Sea.
"This thing is never going to become a canned tour," Huls said." We're not actors. People ask us, Are you guys paid actors?' I say, No, I lived it. I was there.'"
In only its second season, the tour is one of the most popular in the state and according to TripAdvisor.com, and one of the top 10 most popular tours in the country.
"Ya know I think it's because it comes from the heart and our boys really enjoy doing what they are doing," Corbin said. "It's really sharing our lives with people and I think it's the real thing."
A for this crew, a dream come true.
Contact Megan Baldino at email@example.com