Summary : In Southeast Alaska—a land of fjords and islands teeming with wildlife—you can wake to the cry of a soaring eagle, watch tons of ice thunder from the face of a glacier, walk in a spruce forest, and observe lunge-feeding whales. This Alaska tour explores the magnificent Inside Passage with a small number of guests in the company of naturalists. Walk forest trails to cascading waterfalls, bird watching and identifying wildflowers as you go. Enjoy Zodiac and kayaking forays, and learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$5,990 to $7,990
Arrive in Juneau. Explore the newly constructed Alaska State Museum, with its sprawling collection of natural history and cultural artifacts, and explore downtown Juneau. Settle into your cabin before dinner. Later, explore the port of Juneau on your own.
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially carved fjords. You’ll also pass the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, you'll use your expedition landing craft to provide unparalleled up close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises and arctic terns.
Search for humpback whales as we head towards the small, true Alaskan town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Explore a unique Southeast Alaskan ecosystem, the "muskeg," with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There is an opportunity for optional flightseeing or bike riding. Enjoy a Dungeness crab feast this evening.
These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It's not uncommon to observe their fascinating behavior—breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding—as you fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from expert naturalists. Explore spectacular bays and inlets, following bear trails and salmon streams. Once ashore, you will have the opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up close exploration.
Cruise among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions reside. Hike nearby islands, kayak, and search for whales in rich waters of Icy Strait. Conditions permitting, lower the ship's hydrophone to listen in on the whales' communication.
Today, nature is your guide as you set forth with the flexibility to take advantage of wildlife and weather conditions. You may stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beach comb, and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. This area is home to the highest density of nesting bald eagles in the world, so sightings are very common. If conditions permit, you can do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.
After breakfast, disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which is readily apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, enjoy up close views of species normally seen at a distance in the wild—bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. After your visit, drive to the airport for your afternoon flight to Seattle.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Sitka to Juneau): 5/18/2019, 6/1/2019, 6/15/2019, 6/29/2019, 7/13/2019, 7/27/2019, 8/10/2019
National Geographic Global Explorers:
Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, this unique program will offer kids and teens the opportunity to choose cool activities—from earning a Zodiac “driver’s license” to recording wildlife sightings in their Field Notebook—all designed to help them develop what National Geographic Education defines as the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of an explorer. They’ll take part in all kinds of cool activities—like learning about glaciers by making ice cream sundaes, or using glacial ice to paint water colors. They will be encouraged to use their creativity—with photos, videos, music, writing, drawing and more, to tell stories about all they’ll see and do.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Pre- or Post-Trip Extension: Denali National Park
Discover the wildness that lives at the heart of Alaska; add an inland exploration of Denali National Park to your coastal expedition. Explore from a comfortable, elegant wilderness lodge. Guests partaking in this extension must sign a participant agreement. From $6,190 per person (6 Days). Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Accommodations and meals aboard ship; shore excursions; use of kayaking equipment; park entrance fees; port charges; group transfers as indicated in itinerary; service taxes; services of natural history staff. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; optional extensions; individual transfers; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, internet, etc.; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Lindblad Expeditions; © Michael S. Nolan (bears at waterfall, seal, glacier, whale); © Ralph Lee Hopkins (kayaker, Zodiac and bear, orcas, eagle); © Steward Cohen (totem pole, woman with binoculars)