Summary : Spend a full day in Glacier Bay National Park, joined by a park ranger. Explore Haines to discover its history and partake in some modern adventure on a hike, bike, or river float trip. Learn about Chilkat Tlingit Native culture. Observe stunning wilderness and wildlife such as whales, Dalls porpoise, sea lions, and black bears. Birdwatchers delight to check off their lists iconic Alaska birds such as eagles, puffins, black oystercatchers, and other seabirds. Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in rugged wildlife-rich coves; hike and beachcomb in Tongass National Forest; and leave it up to your captain to choose the best wilderness exploration on this trip of a lifetime.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,695 to $11,195
Welcome aboard! It’s time to relax and meet your crew. And as you sail away in Sitka Sound, what’s also worthy of your precious time are the unmistakable views of Mt. Edgecumbe—a volcanic wonder in its own right.
Shhh...if you don’t say a word, you can hear the sounds of these Sounds. Dense Baranof Island forest to one side. Small, wild, lesser-known islands on the other. You might even spot black bears loping on shore. And keep watch for neighboring sea lions and eagles, too. Your first day offers options to drop anchor and find adventure. Slip into a kayak. Nose along shore in a skiff. Or head into the Tongass National Forest on foot with your expedition team. The possibilities are endless. Reward yourself when you get back to the boat with a treat from the crew.
Nothing like kick starting the morning with on-deck yoga stretches and a chaser of exploration mode d’jour—motor, paddle, boots. It might be your toughest transition of the day. In and around Icy Strait, glide through giant bullwhip kelp (it can grow to over 100 feet long). Skiff to a rocky outcropping and watch sea lions play. Mud boots serve their purpose on a forest hike with your top-notch guides, who are sharp and have plenty to share about everything Alaska—animals, plants, and even geology. At the end of this unforgettable day, you’ve earned a soak in the hot tub.
Enter, the granddaddy of national parks—Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Once you round Point Gustavus, a park ranger joins you on board with a wealth of knowledge. The specialness of this place starts to sink in, as one of its truly privileged visitors. Sea lions jockey for position among puffins, black oystercatchers, and other sea birds at South Marble Island. Mountain goats climb and bears scrounge for food along the park’s inland shores. Motor deeper into the park to Margerie and Grand Pacific, two tidewater glaciers on their downward march into the bay.
Your course is set—wildlife-rich Alaskan wilderness. Head to the bridge or bow, and watch for whales and other creatures before tucking into Port Frederick or some other wild inlet. You’re about to get a close up look. Muskeg under foot, head out on a bushwhacking hike in the Tongass National Forest or board a skiff, eyes wide for bears on shore.
Not so much a canal, as a fjord—in fact, North America’s deepest at over 2,000 feet. This once major route of Klondike gold rushers is now a busy inlet for humpbacks, orcas, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lions, salmon, halibut, and mischievous river otters. And that’s at water level. Look up, and you see bald eagles. But it’s not all looking and seeing today, your captain is on task to pick the prime spot for adventure. Feel the burn on a long paddling excursion. Search tide pools for microscopic life. Or, hike the shadow-filled forest.
The unofficial adventure capital of Alaska. Hard-charging or smell the flowers, pick your speed. In this bald eagle hotspot, you have choices to make. Hit the trailhead with your guides to the top of Chilkat Peninsula or the shores of Chilkat Inlet. Some of the best trails with the best views. Or, raft along the Chilkat River on a float trip through the bald eagle preserve. The local history—native culture, influence from European explorers, as a US Army outpost, and its gold rush past. Chilkat Tlingit members come aboard and share their tribe’s cultural history and thousands-of-year-old legacy. Soak it up. Then see the sites on foot or by bike with free time in town. It’s a big day. Tonight, celebrate your voyage with a Farewell Dinner and special photo recap from your expedition team.
It’s your last morn of freshly baked pastries. Eat ‘em up and get in your farewells as you cruise into Juneau to transfer to the airport.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; 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.
Themed Departure: 8/26/2018
Jaymi Heimbuch, a San Francisco-based photographer and writer, guest hosts and guides you on capturing the perfect shots—onboard, in-the-field, and one-on-one.
Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day; shipboard accommodations; non-alcoholic beverages; most spirits, wine, and beer; entry fees to national parks/preserves; from-the-boat adventure activities, including kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding; gear on loan (limited supply of rubber boots); one complimentary massage (2018 voyages only); all meals onboard the ship. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Airfare; some premium wine, beer and liquor; port taxes and fees; discretionary gratuities to vessel's crew, typically 5-10% of fare; travel insurance; personal expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.