- Wilderness Explorer
- Expedition Ship
- 76 Capacity
- 15 Days
- Price from
Summary : Explore from Ketchikan 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. 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 Western Coves voyage with Northern Passages & Glacier Bay National Park. Days 1 - 7 are aboard the Wilderness Discoverer and days 8 - 15 are aboard the Wilderness Explorer, except on *4/26/2014 and *8/30/2014 (entire voyage on Wilderness Discoverer) and 5/10/2014 (entire voyage on Wilderness Explorer).
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
$4,195 to $11,095
Welcome aboard! Meet your crew, get settled in, and keep watch for eagles as you cruise through the Tongass Narrows out of Ketchikan.
Wake in El Capitan Passage surrounded by breathtaking Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the US. Take a “wild” Alaska trek winding through high forest on an old logging trail, find your way to El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in Alaska and one of the largest mapped caves in the Americas. And if the stars are right (okay maybe it's the tides), you just may get lucky today and snag some organic oysters from a local grower.
Discover living history in Klawock—one of the most authentic Tlingit villages in Alaska. Learn the importance of carving, gaze up at totem poles coloring the town, and hear their stories. Visit the carvers' shed where the art of carving and restoring totems is passed on. Along with its small fishing fleet, this rustic community continues to thrive on the farthest reaches of the wild Alaska coastline. Explore the area on foot keeping an eye for eagles and sea birds.
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 Stephen’s Passage and Frederick Sound, are home to some of Alaska’s most abundant wildlife, including a haulout for Stellar 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.
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 find a few seals taking respite on the glaciers smaller “bergy bits.” Tides permitting, explore the narrow passage of Ford’s Terror.
While others end their adventure and new guests join later in the day, you will spend the day off the boat. Enjoy an included lunch in town and explore all that historic Juneau has to offer. A complimentary laundry service is provided today. Embark your new vessel this afternoon, and keep watch for eagles as cruise through the Tongass National Forest.
One of America’s crown jewel national parks is yours to explore and marvel at for the next three days—Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. A National Park Ranger joins you to explore coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay.
Paddle a kayak and be awed at the face of a massive glacier. Go on a boot-sucking trek through sandbars and rainforest. And ride a skiff along shore for an up-close exploration of Glacier Bay. You'll find sea lions, mountain goats, sea otters, bears, moose, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops. 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. Stop in Bartlett Cove for a visit to the Park Service's Headquarters.
Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Join the Captain on the bridge or the Expedition Leader out on deck in search of marine mammals. Camera in hand, begin your land and sea exploration of these remote reaches. Ride the skiffs for a closer inspection of the rugged and wild coastline with eyes set on the shore for possible bear sightings.
Meander along the spectacular waterfall coast of Chichagof Island. In the expedition spirit, marvel at the grand scenery as our crew expertly guides you through unsung, glacier-carved fjords. Anchor in remote waters for an opportunity to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Explore the shoreline on an intertidal walk or forest exploration with your guides.
Peril Strait runs 50 miles from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound. This haven for small boats is scenically highlighted by a very narrow connecting passageway called Sergius Narrows and an opening at Hoonah Sound. This historic and wildlife-rich waterway is a great place to watch the shoreline for bears, the waters for otters and whales, and to look skyward for eagles. The passage narrows to only 300 feet in one spot (24 feet deep). After an adventurous, but “un-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. Transfer to the airport or begin the next leg of your own adventure.
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.
Note: This expedition combines the Western Coves voyage with Northern Passages & Glacier Bay National Park. Days 1-7 are aboard the Wilderness Discoverer and days 8-15 are aboard the Wilderness Explorer, except on 4/26/2014 and 8/30/2014 (entire voyages are Wilderness Discoverer) and 5/10/2014 (entire voyage is on Wilderness Explorer).
Accommodations aboard ship; all onboard 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; transfers and baggage handling between airport/ship; entry fees to national parks/preserves.
Airfare; snorkeling gear and wetsuits ($35 rental fee); items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages and massages; optional gratuities; select optional excursions as noted; travel insurance; port taxes and fees ($350 per person); fuel surcharge may apply.