Summary : Explore the incredible Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska in the company of passionate Alaskan insiders, savoring the spectacular highlights of Alaska, from Sitka and Glacier Bay National Park to Skagway and Misty Fjords. Witness the scenic beauty, intriguing native culture,and amazing wildlife. Linger in the midst of a pod of foraging, spouting, breaching whales. Get up close to thundering tidewater glaciers and see stunning wilderness alongside naturalists and cultural guides. Experience small-ship Alaska cruising in true Alaska style.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$6,190 to $8,390
Explore beautiful Sitka, the only community in Southeast Alaska that faces the open ocean waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Visit fascinating historical sites that highlight the community’s rich Alaska Native and Russian history, including the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Russian Bishop’s House, and St. Michael’s Cathedral. Embark for the winding narrows north of town while spotting for bald eagles, sea otters, bears, whales, and other wildlife.
Savor the serenity of raw wilderness on an unscripted day of Southeast Alaska discovery. The options are countless, dictated by the day’s unique circumstances. Opportunities may include a coastline kayak paddle, up-close whale encounters, or a hike through an alluring old-growth forest. You might do a beach landing on an unspoiled shoreline to explore a tidal flat or track along with a foraging bear from the safety of your DIB (shallow water expedition craft). Regardless of the activity, experience the magic of the archipelago’s many remote coves, bays, and inlets.
This remarkable national park fjord extends 65-miles, contains eight tidewater glaciers, and provides pristine habitat for a wide-array of wildlife, including both brown and black bears, wolves, mountain goats, Steller sea lions, and humpback whales. The highlight for many is the Margerie Glacier, known for its dramatic calving displays. A Glacier Bay National Park Service Ranger narrates the day’s program and a Native Huna Tlingit interpretive naturalist joins you on board to reveal traditional cultural ties to this ancient treasure.
Stroll the boardwalks of the rollicking Klondike gold rush town of Skagway, and then board the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad for a journey retracing the steps of the gold-seekers into Canada. Built in 1898, the railroad climbs nearly 3,000 ft. in 20 miles and offers stunning wilderness views. This excursion crosses the border into Canada, so passports are required. A guided walking tour through scenic Haines features a visit to pre-WWI Fort Seward National Historic Site, with parade grounds overlooking Lynn Canal.
Spend the day visiting highlights of the scenic capital city of Juneau, including the world famous Mendenhall Glacier. In downtown Juneau, visit the newly renovated Alaska State Museum. There will also be time to explore on your own. You may choose to visit the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Alaska State Capitol, or take in the spectacular panoramic views of the Mount Roberts Tram. Delve deeper into local Native culture and history by exploring fascinating exhibits, art displays, and a walk-through clan house at the recently opened Walter Soboleff Center. End the day’s adventure with a relaxing evening at Orca Point Lodge, an exclusive day-lodge on Colt Island. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, beach, and marine life touch-tank. Dine on Alaskan salmon, Alaskan king crab, or prime rib from the warmth of the lodge, or nestled next to a beachside bonfire.
Journey through Tracy Arm Fjord, an area the famous naturalist John Muir referred to as, “A wild, unfinished Yosemite.” This glacial fjord is renowned for its pristine waterfalls, towering icebergs, abundant harbor seals, and granite cliffs that rise from sea level to 4,000 feet. At 32 miles long and averaging just a mile wide, the unique features of Tracy Arm are contained in a relatively small geographical space, adding to the dramatic beauty of the area. As ice conditions permit, navigate the entire length of the arm, stopping in view of both the Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. DIB excursions provide the opportunity to view the majesty of the area in even greater detail. Later, scout for humpback whales and other marine mammals in the world-renowned whale waters of Frederick Sound.
Discover the charming Mitkof Island fishing town of Petersburg. Founded by Norwegian fishermen in the late 1800s, Petersburg is nicknamed Alaska’s “Little Norway.” Experience this Scandinavian culture with a folk dance show by local youth at the iconic Sons of Norway Hall. Later, enjoy a narrated bus tour and take time to explore the vibrant community at your own leisure.
Home to a little over 2,000 permanent residents, Wrangell is the only town in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three flags, and ruled by four nations—the Tlingit, Russia, England, and the United States. Enjoy several options to explore this colorful history, including a guided walking tour and a trip to the Wrangell Museum. Visit the intriguing State Historic Park, Petroglyph Beach, which contains the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska.
Experience the frontier spirit of Alaska’s timber years on a tour of Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world. This tight-knit community is located on the eastern side of Prince of Wales, an island renowned for its high concentration of black bears. Meet resident artisans and enjoy a walking tour of the town while keeping an eye out for the island’s fauna. In Kasaan, walk an enchanted forest path laden with intricately carved totem poles to the Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House, the only remaining traditional Haida longhouse in the United States. Inside stand four original house posts, or “Gáats,” that were most likely carved at Old Kasaan in about 1880 and then installed at Naay I’waans (Whale House). The tallest interior post, the “Head House Totem,” dates to an even earlier time and was brought here from its original location inside Son-i-Hat’s uncle’s house in Old Kasaan, about 7 miles away.
Immerse yourself in the extraordinary history, art, and cultural traditions of the Metlakatla Indian Community on Annette Island. Visit a traditional Tsmishian longhouse, enjoy a ceremonial dance performance, and meet Native artists. Later, your ship will glide beneath the 3,000-foot glacier-sculpted cliffs of Misty Fjords. Discover the fjord’s natural history, listen to the calls of a myriad of seabirds, feel the mist from glistening waterfalls, and see famous New Eddystone Rock, a stunning volcanic core.
Disembark in Ketchikan, otherwise known as Alaska’s “First City” and “Salmon Capital of the World.” Transfer to the airport or your hotel is complimentary.
Cruise information is subject to change without notice based on navigating conditions. Itinerary order is also subject to rearrangement based on permit allocations. Tour operator is authorized by Special Use Permit to provide guiding and outfitting services in the Tongass National Forest. Itinerary subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Ketchikan to Sitka): 7/31/2018
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; ground transportation from local airport to select hotels in embarkation city day prior to sailing; ground transportation from airport or downtown hotel to ship in embarkation city on the day of sailing; ground transportation from the ship to downtown hotel or airport on the day of disembarkation; complimentary non-alcoholic beverages; complimentary glass of beer or wine with dinner; select shore excursions as indicated in the itinerary; use of recreational equipment like kayaks; gear on loan (binoculars, rain jacket, rain pants, and boots). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; pre- and post-cruise hotel accommodations; non-complimentary beer, wine, or alcohol; discretionary gratuities to crew; travel insurance; all taxes and port fees; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © ADC