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 porpoises, sea lions, and black bears. Birdwatchers will delight in checking off their lists speces of iconic Alaska birds such as eagles, puffins, black oystercatchers, and others. Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in rugged wildlife-rich coves; hike and beachcomb in the Tongass National Forest; and leave it up to your captain to choose the best areas for wilderness exploration on this trip of a lifetime.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,795 to $11,195
Welcome aboard! It’s time to relax and meet your crew. And as you sail away in Sitka Sound, take in 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 although they’re likely to catch a whiff of you first. 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, endless. Reward yourself when you get back to the boat, the crew will have a treat waiting.
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 porpoises, Steller sea lions, salmon, halibut, and mischievous river otters. And that’s at water level. Look up, and you see bald eagles looking like golf balls in the tree tops when they're not soaring overhead. But it’s not all looking and seeing today. Your captain is on task to pick a 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 for 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. 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.
Cruise into Juneau to disembark, then 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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Themed Departure - Photography: 8/11/2019
Cameron Zegers, a photographer and teacher with a background in science and environmental education, 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); 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.