Summary : Spend two full days in Glacier Bay National Park on this small ship cruise to Alaska, including wilderness exploration in the Tongass National Forest and the Glacier Bay outback. See magnificant glaciers like Margerie, Grand Pacific, and Dawes. Look forward to orca and humpback whale sightings in Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait. Search for black and brown bears, eagles, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and sea birds. This active itinerary includes adventure options like kayaking, paddleboarding, and skiff rides in remote inlets.
Activities : Child-Friendly, Kayaking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,695 to $9,495
Hello, Juneau! It’s off to the hospitality area you go. Up the gangplank, your crew meets you with a hearty welcome. The adventure begins, sailing west toward Icy Strait.
Glacier Bay has a wow-worthy list of title: National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Biosphere Reserve. At 3.3 million acres, add "Endless Adventure Playground" to the list. Head for the Glacier Bay outback. These are places most visitors never see. Dundas and Taylor Bays are in the southernmost reaches of the park. It’s less windswept tucked into a bay, but no less wild. Kayak around sea stacks. Or comb for critters if the tide is right. In far reaches, share the beach with sharp-eyed eagles and bears. Skiff deep in Dundas and make for the hills. A bushwack into the forest gets your heart pumping. Paddle through kelp in Taylor Bay. Backstroking sea otters hardly bat an eye at your boat. Your bartender has an Old Fashioned ready. Perfect timing too. It’s happy hour and time to swap stories of this big day with your shipmates.
An early morning pick-up. A National Park ranger comes aboard to share expert insight. Plus off-the-map places in bay that most visitors pass by. Have your binoculars handy—South Marble Island is a birder’s slice of heaven. Puffins scoot through the water. Guillemots and gulls chatter up the airwaves. The snoozing sea lions don’t seem to mind. Cruise to the far end of Tarr Inlet where Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers calve into the water. Backed by knife-edged peaks, pull into narrow Tidal Inlet. Bears like to forage along this shoreline. Mountain goats too. Back at Bartlett Cove, if time and daylight allow, take a forest hike around the park’s HQ, and say farewell to your ranger.
Chatham Strait stretches for 150 miles in the Tongass National Forest. Options aplenty, your captain navigates to the best. Anchor in a remote Chichagof Island inlet. Backpacks loaded and adventure toys lowered (skiffs, paddle boards, kayaks), it’s time to go play. Energy flows as you hike up through moss-covered trees. Stick to the water and don’t forget to look above and below the surface. A nosy seal could be watching your every stroke. Beachcomb rocky shores. Tiny creatures cling to rocks. Tonight, take a nightcap to the sun deck and watch the sky.
Salmon streams dot the coastline—where there’s salmon, there are bears. Kuiu Island is home to one of the world’s densest populations of black bears. Scope the intertidal zones of Saginaw Bay for them from a kayak or skiff. Eagles fish here too, their white noggins give away their perches. Kayak along the Keku Islands or take the pace down a notch checking out tide pools and abundant life in the intertidal zones. It’s remote, and remarkable.
Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feast in the krill-rich waters. After your breakfast, look for whales eating theirs. Chances are high they will be—time to hang and enjoy the show. Based on wind and weather, your expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Paddle into the deeps of Port Houghton or Windham Bay or head ashore for a hike. When a bear takes notice, they generally scram. But carrot-billed black oyster catchers give you a talking-to. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska.
Snow-covered mountains. Glacier-carved valleys. White thunder of calving ice. It’s an impressive wilderness area. Skiffing up Endicott Arm, harbor seals pups laze around on icebergs. If the tides are right, slip into Fords Terror. The fjord’s steep walls are streaked with waterfalls. Choked with ice, at the end of the arm, meet Dawes Glacier. Blue ice marches down from the Coast Mountains. With a sharp crack, a calving slice makes a mega-splash. Tonight, celebrate with a festive farewell dinner and “photo journal” from you expedition team.
Mmmm, fresh baked pastries over one last breakfast. Your crew and new friends wish heartfelt goodbyes. This morning, transfer to the Juneau airport.
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.
Wellness-Themed Departures: 9/2/2018 with Anna Winton and Tracy Jennings-Hill; 9/1/2019 TBD
In the world's greatest spa—courtesy of Mother Nature—travel with purpose and well-being. With your wellness host, take a journey of serenity and renewal in a stunning landscape. Enjoy special wellness, mindfulness, and fitness presentations, small group nutrition workshops, beach and on-deck yoga, and guided strength training sessions. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; turndown service; most spirits, wine, microbrews; non-alcoholic beverages; entry fees to national parks/preserves; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; stand up paddleboarding; gear on loan (yoga mats, and a limited supply of rubber boots); one complimentary massage (2018 voyages only); all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; items of a personal nature; some super-premium alcohol; optional gratuities; travel insurance; port taxes and fees; fuel surcharge may apply.