Summary : Embrace the ultra Southeast Alaska expedition by combining all the wildlife, wonder, wildness, and adventure of the Eastern and Western Coves with Northern Passages and Glacier Bay. Explore from Juneau to Sitka through isolated waterways and secret passages where bigger cruise ships can’t travel. You’ll have the opportunity to see wildlife and wilderness up close as you are surrounded by the majestic beauty of the remote Tongass National Forest and Misty Fjords National Monument. Plus, 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 native culture; and whale watching. In between exploring Alaska’s wilderness, enjoy life onboard by relaxing in the hot tub or sauna, and socializing with friends in the lounge.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
$10,795 to $17,095
Welcome aboard! Meet your crew and get acquainted as you set sail.
Snow covered mountains, glowing blues, and the white thunder of calving ice take your breath away at the face of Dawes Glacier. As you glide through Endicott Arm, you’ll likely spy harbor seals and their pups lounging on “bergy bits” in the water. Tides permitting, explore the narrow passageway of Fords Terror, marvel at its towering walls, the many waterfalls that spill down them, and the high Coastal Mountains that frame the skyline.
Make the most of today!! As your captain navigates through Southeast’s remote fjords, watch for whales—humpback and orca are frequent residents of these waters. Perhaps you’ll hike through an other-worldly, landscape of hanging waterfalls and every shade of green, or kayak and paddle board into the wild inner reaches of a salt chuck—a tidal salt-water lake—keeping a lookout for bears, heron, moose, mink, and harbor seals.
Step into the back country of Alaska's wilderness, in an area known for glaciers and rich in gold and quartz. Explore glacial landscapes marked by moraines, muskegs, and mud. 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. Before venturing into town, local islanders join you on board for an in-depth presentation on Tlingit and Haida cultures. View recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park and step inside the famed and historically significant Chief Shakes Tribal House.
Wildlife abounds in Behm Canal and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters. Paddle along the canal or venture out on an intertidal shore walk or low-elevation trek on the Cleveland Peninsula.
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 sheer 3,000 foot cliffs are a haven for sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, moose, river otters, and other wildlife. Glide through Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay by kayak or explore by skiff soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world.
Alaska’s southern most city and “salmon capital of the world” also claims fame to having the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. While others end their adventure and new guests join later in the day, you will spend the day ashore. Enjoy lunch in town on us and explore the notorious Creek Street, once a red-light district. A complimentary laundry service is provided today. Later, keep watch for eagles as you embark and cruise through the Tongass Narrows out of Ketchikan.
Awake in a remote cove surrounded by breathtaking Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the US. Joined by your expedition team, it’s a water ops morning. Spend it paddling a kayak, paddle boarding, or exploring by skiff. Then settle in as you cruise the northern tip of Prince of Wales Island, nestled right in the heart of the Tongass.
Take a walk on the wild side winding through high forest on an old logging trail, and find your way to El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in Alaska and one of the largest mapped caves in the Americas. Learn from Forest Service Rangers about karst and the geologic forces that created this intricate cave system. Locals—bears, harbor seals and humpbacks, deer, eagles, humans too—enjoy the calm and serenity of the island. Take it all in, and chances are, you will too.
It's Captain's Choice today as you explore the intricate passages and shores along Chatham Strait's Kuiu or Baranof Islands. Join your expedition team on (or in!) the water. Conditions permitting, take to the water by kayak, skiff, or snorkel. Snorkeling* is optional, but hidden beneath the surface lies a magical array of sea life only seen from below. Take a deep breath and go for it! Today's discoveries will be within some of the most untouched wilderness of the Tongass National Forest.
Lush forest, spectacular views, play time, and wildlife—they are all in abundance in Frederick Sound. Keep watch along the coastline for birds, wolves, and black bears. With many secluded coves to choose from, you may slip into the waters of Deep Cove, Patterson or Saginaw Bay, or perhaps another hidden gem to explore by skiff or paddle a kayak. Gear up for snorkeling* or guided treks. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a cold microbrew or cocktail.
There’ll be plenty of wildlife viewing today. The Brothers, a pair of tiny, rocky islands at the confluence of Stephens Passage and Frederick Sound, are home to some of Alaska’s most abundant wildlife, including a haulout for Steller sea lions. The area is also the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the northern hemisphere. Keep watch for orca, humpbacks, and porpoise.
At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls, hundreds of cascading waterfalls, and some of the largest icebergs in all of Alaska, sits the twin Sawyer Glaciers—Sawyer and South Sawyer. The fjord is home to brown and black bears, deer, mountain goats, harbor seals, and birds such as arctic terns and pigeon guillemots.
Spend the day leisurely exploring downtown Juneau and enjoy lunch in town on us. Later this afternoon, re-board and get acquainted with your new travel companions as you cruise toward Glacier Bay National Park for your next day's adventure!
Plying the remote waterways of Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, your captain sets the course for adventure today! Wake up at anchor and kick off your morn with on-deck morning yoga stretches, then slip into a kayak or try out your skills paddle boarding and gliding along rocky outcroppings with your guides. While you keep watch for harbor seals who frequently play in these protected waters, bald eagles will likely keep an eye on your improving paddling skills from the treetops.
One of America’s crown jewel national parks is yours to explore—Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. A National Park Ranger joins you to uncover coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. Linger near South Marble Island to spot the many species of rare sea birds that call this area home. Keep your eyes on the water and the island for brightly-colored puffins and Black Oystercatchers. With much to see all around you, you'll find sea lions, mountain goats, bears, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay. Your day is complete with a stop in Bartlett Cove for a visit to the Park Service's Headquarter.
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.
Meander along the waterfall coast of Chichagof Island. 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.
There aren’t many straight lines along the shores of Kuiu Island and with many secluded coves to choose from, you’ll discover the region’s intertidal zones, or from your skiff or kayak, watch for whales and sea lions. Gear up for a guided hike with your expedition team for a new perspective of the vast, stunning Tongass National Forest. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a frosty microbrew or hot toddy.
Running 50 miles from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound, 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.) After an adventurous, but “non-perilous” day, toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of your trip presented by your Expedition Leaders.
Gather for breakfast this morning as you cruise into Russian-influenced Sitka for disembarkation. A transfer will be provided to the airport.
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.
Reverse Itinerary: Sitka to Juneau 4/30/2016, 5/28/2016, 6/25/2016, 7/23/2016, 8/20/2016
National Parks Centennial Celebration: 8/20/2016 only
Joined by a Park Ranger, commemorate the 100th anniversary of our National Parks when you sail into Glacier Bay.
All onboard meals; non-alcoholic beverages; exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day; entry fees to national parks/preserves; most from-the-vessel adventure activities and equipment; wellness program; hot tub, sauna, fitness equipment, and yoga mats. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare from your home city; snorkeling; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages; boot rental; optional gratuities; travel insurance; port taxes and fees; fuel surcharge may apply.