Summary : Embark on an Alaskan expedition with three full days in Glacier Bay National Park on an active exploration in the outback. Experience maximum adventure ashore and afloat, see tidewater glaciers Margerie and the Grand Pacific, visit Haines for hiking, biking, rafting, and history, and go birding at South Marble Island. Wildlife abounds here–watch for whales, bears, sea lions, seals, porpoises, cormorants, and kittiwakes.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$2,995 to $6,245
Welcome to Alaska’s capital city. After your meetup at the hospitality center, get ready to go. The adventure gets amped up during your week aboard the Wilderness Adventurer.
Before you do anything, look out the window. From kelp-lined channels to hemlock and spruce forests, every inch of this far northwest corner is worth exploring. And if the tides are right, head out in the skiff with one of the guides for a closer exploration of the rugged shore. Seals and sea lions haul out on rocky outcroppings, resting before they disappear in the water to search for food. Whatever you do—wilderness trekking, skiffing, or paddling—your expedition team guides the way.
This crown jewel of America’s national parks covers 3.3 million acres (that’s a tad smaller than the state of Connecticut). Let that sink in. Most visitors see the same sliver of the park as everyone else. Not you. You’re going the furthest and exploring parts that 99% of visitors never go to. And you have three days to do it. Get started! Taylor Bay sea stacks and rocky shores make for good adventure. Or hike the outwash field of glaciers winding down the Fairweather Mountain Range. The cool breeze off the nearby snow and icefields is energizing. If you motor over to Dundas Bay, keep your eye out for bears, humpbacks, and if you’re lucky, a wolf sighting. Kayak the bay. Bushwhack into the forest. Discover Glacier Bay outback.
Your camera’s memory card needs plenty of room. A National Park ranger comes aboard joining your adventures in Glacier Bay. South Marble Island is abuzz with activity. Rare sea birds, black oystercatchers, and orange-beaked tufted puffins can’t be missed. A colony of raucous sea lions adds to the hubbub. They add a distinct aroma to the air, too. Tucking into silent Tidal Inlet—the stomping grounds for bears, wolves, mountain goats, eagles—the backdrop is spectacular. At the end of the western-most arm of the bay sits Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers. And possible views of glacial calving. Step on deck with the ranger and take it all in.
There’s adventure afloat and ashore. Find a perch on the bridge with your captain, or with your guides on the bow. Follow the seal barks and chatter of birds by kayak and skiff. Pull on your gummies for a hike in boot-sucking mud across a glacial moraine. Then head up. The view is powerful. Back on the boat, don’t pass on your chance for a polar plunge, and then beeline straight for the hot tub. Bid adieu to your ranger this evening and take a forest walk at Bartlett Cove, if there’s daylight left.
Just what you need, morning stretches on deck with your guide. Warm those hard-at-play muscles. You know firsthand—conditions in Southeast change one inlet to the next. Your captain is at the helm and picks just the right spot. Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait? Whichever, the adventures are as big as the water is deep! So many hidden pockets in the Tongass National Forest. Give your paddle board skills a glide. Watch for big-eyed harbor seals from a kayak. Bushwhack into the forest of giants. Your guides know the area’s history and keep it lively.
The center of adventure. Tucked beneath snow-capped peaks, Haines has it all. Hiking, biking, rafting, and history. One thing’s for sure—the trails are irresistible. Go easy, or feel the burn—whatever your speed, the views reward in spades. Your expedition team shares the city’s captivating history. A trading outlet for Chilkat Tlingit, they called it “Dtehshuh”—the end of the trail. European explorers, the Klondike gold rush, a U.S. Army outpost—influences still apparent today. What holds your interest? Follow your curiosity on a self-led tour. Tonight, it’s a festive Farewell Dinner. A “photo journal” of your trip by your expedition team is the cherry on top.
Linger over breakfast this morning cruising into Juneau. Wish your crew and new friends goodbye.
Due to the nature of explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.
Special Guest Departures:
4/14/2018: Glaciologist/Geologist, Cathy Conner
4/21/2018: Glaciologist/Geologist, Cathy Conner
4/28/2018: Alaska Insider (TBD)
Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day; shipboard accommodations; most alcoholic beverages; non-alcoholic beverages; entry fees to national parks/preserves; kayaking; stand up paddleboarding; gear on loan (yoga mats and a limited supply of rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; items of a personal nature; optional gratuities; travel insurance; port taxes and fees; fuel surcharge may apply.