Summary : Embark on an expedition to Alaska with a full day in Glacier National Park, joined by a park ranger. Learn more about the culture and history of Haines and Chilkat Tlingit Native culture. There will be incredible wildlife viewing opportunities for whales, Dall's porpoises, sea lions, brown and black bears. Bird watch for eagles, puffins, black oystercatchers, and other sea birds. Kayak, stand up paddleboard, and skiff in rugged wildlife-rich coves. Hike and beachcomb in Tongass National Forest.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$5,295 to $12,295
Welcome aboard! It’s time to relax and meet your crew. And as you sail away in Sitka Sound, what’s also worthy of your precious time are 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 font 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 porpoise, 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 the prime spot for adventure. Feel the burn on a long paddling excursion. Search tide pools for microscopic life. Or, hike a 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. 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. Chilkat Tlingit members come aboard and share their tribe’s cultural history and thousands-of-year-old legacy. Soak it up. 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.
It’s your last morning of freshly baked pastries. Eat ‘em up and get in your farewells as you cruise into Juneau to transfer to the 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.
Special Guest Departures:
Spend a bit of quality time with experts who have firsthand, boots-on-the-ground experience—either connected with Alaska, the wilderness, or shine in another special area. Joining you (for part or all of your adventure), they share their insights and stories.
5/13/2018: Accomplished actor, director, producer, improviser, and playwright of the Tlingit clan Tsaagweidí, Frank Katasse
5/27/2018: Salmon Researcher/Author/Photographer, Amy Gulick
Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; shipboard accommodations; turndown service; most spirits, wine, microbrews; 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); one complimentary massage; 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.