Summary : Explore the back passages and narrow waterways of the most remote areas of Alaska’s Inside Passage from Sitka to Ketchikan. The 15-day Alaska adventure cruise to Inside Passage Eastern Coves navigates the waters and wilderness by small ship, enabling you to reach rarely seen areas where explosive scenery and pristine beauty are around every turn from Misty Fjords National Monument to Baird Glacier. Also, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and remote wilderness exploration are highlights of this adventure. Spend days cruising among massive icebergs, hiking into wildlife-rich forests; standing atop a glacier; kayaking, paddle boarding and riding a skiff along a dramatic fjord; learning about the Tlingit culture; and whale watching. In between exploring Alaska’s wilderness, enjoy life onboard by relaxing in the hot tub or sauna, socializing with friends in the lounge, or taking part in a yoga class.
Note: This expedition combines the Northern Passages and Glacier Bay with Eastern Coves. Days 1 - 7 are aboard the Wilderness Explorer and days 8 - 15 are aboard the Wilderness Discoverer.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
$999,999,999 to $0
Welcome aboard! Meet the crew, settle in, and relax with your shipmates. Within minutes you’ll cruise the scenic channels of the Inside Passage.
Running 50 miles from Salisbury Sound to Chatham Strait, this haven for small ships is scenically highlighted by a very narrow connecting passageway called Sergius Narrows and an opening at Hoonah Sound. This wildlife-rich waterway is a great place to explore the shoreline for bear, the waters for otters and whales, and to watch for eagles. The passage narrows to only 300 feet in one spot (24 feet deep.)
Meander along the waterfall coast of Chichagof Island. In the spirit of expedition un-cruising, marvel at the grand scenery as the crew expertly guides you through the hidden treasures of the region. In the evening you’ll anchor in a remote shelter providing another grand opportunity to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Enjoy another delectable dinner onboard and relax in the hot tub before calling it a day.
Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Join the Captain on the bridge or the Expedition Leaders/Naturalists out on deck in search of marine mammals, primarily in the Icy Strait/Pt. Adolphus area. Ride the skiffs for a closer inspection of the remote coastline with eyes set on the shoreline for possible bear sightings.
Early morning, enter Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Here you’ll pick up the National Park Ranger who will be with you to explore coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. One of America’s crown jewel national parks will be yours to explore and marvel at for the next three days. Here in the bay there are sea lions, mountain goats, bears, moose, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops.
Linger near South Marble Island and spot the many species of birds that call this area home, keeping your eyes on the water and the island for brightly-colored puffins. After searching for more wildlife, stop at the Park Service’s Headquarters at Bartlett Cove for a hike through the rainforest or possibly a native cultural presentation. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay. Enjoy two consecutive evenings in virtual isolation inside Glacier Bay at anchor in a hidden cove as larger vessels have exited the bay. Conditions permitting, you’ll also have a rare opportunity to hike or kayak or tour via shore boat.
While others end their adventure and new guests join later in the day, you will spend the day off the ship. Enjoy lunch in town and explore all the many things historic Juneau has to offer or one of the other optional excursions available for purchase. A complimentary laundry service is provided today. Later this afternoon keep watch for eagles on the cruise into the Tracy Arm Wilderness.
At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls, hundreds of cascading waterfalls, and some of the largest floating icebergs in all of Alaska, sits the twin Sawyer Glaciers—North Sawyer and South Sawyer. The fjord is home to brown and black bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals, birds such as arctic terns and pigeon guillemots, and mountain goats, usually spotted high on the cliffs. Later today, move into Frederick Sound—summer feeding ground for the northern hemisphere’s largest concentration of humpback whales. Keep watch for humpbacks, orca, and Steller sea lions.
Choose kayaking and a lush forest trek on a scenic Cascade Creek trail. Or go big on the 5-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking. Discover the origin of its “Devil’s Country” nickname during a reading from “The Strangest Story Ever Told,” about the area’s mythical shape-shifting creatures called Kushtaka.
In an area known for glaciers and rich in gold and quartz, take on the otherworldly boot-sucking Baird Glacier until you stand atop the mile-wide glacier. Adventure and natural beauty are sure to please whether you choose kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff riding, or hiking today. An abundance of bright red and green navigation lights guide you along “Christmas Tree Lane” as you cruise the winding Wrangell Narrows this evening.
Home to native culture, wildlife, and wonder—Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska and the only one ever governed by four nations. Brush up on your Tlingit culture and view recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park.
Wildlife abounds in Yes Bay and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—humpback whales, orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters. Say yes to a kayak paddle up the bay or venture out on a wildlife-seeking hike along one of the area’s scenic trail.
Affectionately called “The Yosemite of the North”, Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska. Glacial valleys filled with sea water and steep, sometimes sheer, walls are a haven for ducks, brown and black bear, mountain goats, Sitka deer, mink, moose, river otters, and other wildlife. Glide through Walker Cove by kayak or explore by skiff soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world. This evening join the Captain in a farewell toast and reminisce about your Alaskan journey over a sumptuous dinner.
Enjoy a farewell breakfast before disembarking the ship this morning. Transfer directly to the Ketchikan airport or begin your add-on overnight stay or extended land tour.
Due to the nature of the exploration, the itinerary is a guideline and may change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.
Accommodations aboard ship; all meals; intriguing lectures; sightseeing and adventure activities as listed on itinerary; use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities (excludes snorkel gear and wetsuit); on-deck yoga classes; services of the staff both on board and ashore; embarkation transfers and baggage handling between airport/ship; entry fees to national parks/preserves.
Airfare from your home city; snorkeling gear and wetsuits ($35 rental fee); items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages and massages; optional excursions; optional gratuities; travel insurance; port taxes and fees (2013: $350 per person); fuel surcharge may apply.