Summary : May is a great time to be in Glacier Bay because you have it largely to yourselves. Your ship, the Catalyst, carries only 12 passengers and is trim enough to explore the narrowest of fjords and shallow coastal waters. Feast on fresh-caught seafood and share the day's discoveries over a glass of wine. Best of all, enjoy the sea kayaks and motorized inflatables for exploration both far and wide. For those who take paddle in hand, the use of sea kayaks allows a more intimate, seal's eye view of the tidewater glaciers, inlets, and estuary streams that make this coastal wilderness one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse areas in North America.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart from Juneau at 1:15 pm. As you head south down Gastineau Channel, watch as the symptoms of civilization slip into your wake. Soon the power lines and cruise ships are far behind you. Your first night's anchorage is in a quiet harbor outside the borders of Glacier Bay National Park. Here you launch kayaks and take your first paddle together.
Enter Glacier Bay today, and stop in Bartlett Cove for a Park Service orientation. Following an opportunity to explore the area on foot, cast off and head further into the Bay. At Shag Cove, the anchorage for this evening, you may see brown bears, mountain goats and a myriad of sea birds.
Today's cruising will lead you to beautiful Blue Mouse Cove. This is an excellent spot to explore by foot, as well as by kayak. See the evidence of bears ransacking a tree for insects or find moose munching on willows. A newly grown forest arises out of the land as it rebounds from the weight of melting ice.
As you weigh anchor and head out into the morning mists rising from a mercury calm sea, see bear trails winding from the ridges down to the waters edge. At this time of year snow is still low on the flanks of the mountains, and animal trails can easily be identified.
The highlight today will be a visit to the Grand Pacific Glacier, or it may be the otters that you may see as you kayak in John Hopkins Inlet; or, it may just be the particular shade of blue that the sky takes on after the sun sets late in the evening. In any case, it promises to be a day of superlatives.
As you continue your casual wanderings around the bay, the geology begins to assert itself. Biological life here is so fresh, the whole area being ice-filled within the last two-hundred years, that the "bones" of the place are still very apparent. Fresh scars and marks resulting from the Glaciers gouge are still as fresh and crisp as they were when the ice finished its work. Watch for mountain goats to be low, feeding and sunning themselves near sea level. Occasionally you might see bears moving from one island to another, swimming in pursuit of fresh vegetation for their early season salad diet. There will be opportunities for either a hike or a paddle following the days run.
Rise to greet another day in the wilderness. Travel the edges today, looking for stellar sea lions who haul out on small islands. These islands also host a gathering of puffins. Glacier Bay boasts a large array of quiet coves and bays, each of which plays host to a stunning variety of plants and animals. Choose between this abundance for an anchorage for the night.
Leave Glacier Bay proper today and head west down Icy Strait and enter Dundas Bay. Even less visited than Glacier Bay, Dundas Bay is home to bears, whales, otters and hoary marmots. Anchor at the head of Dundas and explore its river estuary on foot.
Leaving Dundas Bay, travel eastward up Icy Strait. Cruise through some of the richest fishing grounds in SE Alaska and watch for Humpback whales. This abundance draws harbor seals, stellar sea lions, and sea birds of many species. Anchor for the night at a small cove that provides shelter from the larger waters of Icy Strait, as well as a place to explore by foot or paddle.
You will be up early to make connections or to take advantage of the many attractions in the Juneau area. Arrive at your mooring by noon and say bon voyage until the next voyage together.
While this is a planned itinerary, each trip differs slightly depending upon the time of the tidal currents, the weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities, and the wishes of the passengers.
Accommodations aboard the Catalyst; all meals onboard ship; wine and beer; excursions; entrance fees; leadership of crew and local guides; boots; kayaking equipment; and permits, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary.
The cost of air flights, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary; airport taxes; passports; visas; immunizations; insurance of any kind; laundry; excess baggage; items of a personal nature; discretionary gratuities; medical costs; costs of hospitalization; additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond control.