- Wilderness Discoverer
- Expedition Ship
- 76 Capacity
- 22 Days
- Price from
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, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
$7,295 to $17,795
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 find a few seals taking respite on the glaciers smaller “bergy bits.” Tides permitting, explore the narrow passage of Ford’s Terror.
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.
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 (rental fee) or guided treks. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a cold microbrew or cocktail.
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 (rental fee), 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.
Wake in a remote cove surrounded by breathtaking Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the US. Take a “wild” Alaska hike 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. Locals—bears, harbor seals, humpback and orca whales, deer, eagles, humans too—enjoy the calm and serenity of the island. And chances are, you will too. Take time to take it in from a kayak and learn from locals about making a life in remote Alaska.
Discover living history in Kasaan—one of the most authentic Haida villages in Alaska. Learn the importance of carving, gaze up at totem poles coloring the town, and hear their stories. Visit the longhouse and carvers' shed where the art of storytelling, carving and restoring totems is passed on. Along with its small fishing fleet, this rustic community continues to thrive on the outer reaches of the wild Alaska coastline. Explore the area on foot keeping an eye for eagles and sea birds.
Alaska’s southernmost 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 off the ship. Enjoy lunch in town and explore the notorious Creek Street, once a red-light district. Later this afternoon, keep watch for eagles as you cruise through the Tongass Narrows out of Ketchikan.
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. This evening, join the Captain in a toast and reminisce about your Alaskan journey thus far.
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.
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.
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.
Choose kayaking and a lush forest trek on a scenic rainforest trail, or go big on a roundtrip 11-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake. 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.
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, wolves, harbor seals, and birds such as arctic terns and pigeon guillemots. 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.
Pack up and bid adieu to your Wilderness Discoverer crew this morning. Optional excursions are available for purchase or you can spend the day leisurely exploring downtown Juneau, and enjoy lunch in town. Later this afternoon, board the Wilderness Explorer and get acquainted with your new crew and travel companions as you cruise toward Glacier Bay National Park for your next day's adventure!
One of America’s crown jewel national parks will be yours to explore and marvel at. 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. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay. Enjoy 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.
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.
Today's agenda is flexible. Perhaps you'll explore a tidal inlet by kayak; enjoy a rain forest hike; or come face to face with a humpback whale while exploring a secluded cove. The possibilities are endless—your Captain knows best.
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 or your hotel.
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 5/23/2015, 6/20/2015, 7/18/2015, 8/15/2015, 8/22/2015
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 gear and wetsuits; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages; optional excursions; optional gratuities; travel insurance; port taxes and fees; fuel surcharge may apply.