Summary : Embark on the definitive glacier expedition—discover LeConte, Baird, and Dawes or Sawyer and South Sawyer. Experience Tlingit native culture on a private village tour of Kake, whale watch in Frederick Sound, look for wildlife like eagles, Arctic terns, black and brown bears, sea otters, harbor seals, and sea lions. Navigate through the iceberg-filled waters of Tracy or Endicott Arm aboard an inflatable skiff. Take in the magnificent Alaskan wilderness the surrounds you in Tongass National Park. Opt for even more of an adventure aboard kayaks or stand up paddleboards.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$5,995 to $12,295
Welcome to Alaska’s capital, where your home on the water awaits. Come aboard, meet your crew, and unpack your adventurous spirit. Your course is set for glaciers, and the Tongass—the largest national forest in the U.S.
Your captain eyes the day’s conditions and makes a choice. Whether Tracy or Endicott is the Arm du jour, wake in a fjord flanked by sheer granite walls. Grab a hot cup of joe and take it all in from the bow. Cascading waterfalls. Drifting icebergs. A lazy harbor seal or two. Layer up with gloves and a warm hat, and hop in a skiff for a better look at the glacier—the temps drop the closer you get. Your expedition guide clues you in to signs of the ice ages that carved this landscape. The geology is fascinating and so is the wildlife. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, bears, and eagles. Make waves for Stephens Passage. It’s all hands on deck watching for signs of humpbacks. It’s a big first day!
Have your rubber boots handy. You’re in for muskeg and mud in Alaska’s backcountry. Hiking along Baird’s moraine, look for shimmers of gold and quartz—this area is known for it. The glacial outwash plains look almost lunar, but you’re not alone in this moonscape. The glacial valley is a nesting hot-spot for arctic terns. Splash away the mud before a paddle along the bay’s mossy cliff walls. Back on board, it’s time for a cocktail and a soak in the hot tub.
LeConte is the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America. If tides are low, take a boot-sucking walk to check out icebergs resting on the mudflats. If it’s high tide, a skiff ride brings you up-close to its iceberg gardens. Surrounded by national forest, Ideal Cove’s boardwalk trails wind through meadows of ferns and grasses. Or test your balance paddle boarding in this quiet cove. It’s just you and the vast wilderness.
"Kake" comes from a Tlingit word meaning “opening of daylight.” Apropos, start your day in this native village with traditional storytelling and dancing. Count the many totems on their 132-foot pole. Drop the kayaks in Saginaw Bay or some other hidden cove along the Keku Islands. Black bears are common sights along shore. But so are eagles in the treetops and orange-billed surf scoters paddling nearby. For hikers, your guides have a route in mind. Make for the forest, far off the map. Cruising Frederick Sound, chances are high you’ll see humpbacks. The up-welling of nutrients in the water make it an irresistible feeding ground.
Leave it to the captain to steer you through Chatham and Peril Straits. At Baranof Island, your top-notch expedition team has the game plan dialed. Tap some of the most untouched wilderness in the Tongass. Head to the woods for an adventuresome bushwhack. Or slide into a kayak for an easygoing shoreline paddle. Find a perch on deck in Peril Strait—it’s a twisting drama of currents and history.
There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is dotted with hundreds of coves and uninhabited islands. This is a prime area for spotting sea otters. It’s no surprise to round a corner in your kayak and find one looking at you and you looking at him. The protected beaches are made for exploring the intertidal zones, and spotting bears. So, boot up for a guided hike. End your day with celebration and a toast at a heartfelt Farewell Dinner. Your expedition team treats you to a photo recap of the week’s adventures.
A last breakfast with new friends, then disembark in Sitka for your transfer to the airport or to your hotel stay or land tour.
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.
Photography-Themed Departure: 5/20/2018
A professional photographer guest host guides you on capturing the perfect shots—onboard, in-the-field, and one-on-one.
Entertainment Departure: 6/3/2018
Enjoy high-energy tap dancing, captivating harmonies, and side-splitting comedy on an exclusive entertainment departure featuring the dynamo bombshell performance duo, Letters from Home.
Family Departures: 6/17/2018, 7/15/2018
These dates have been set aside for families with kids of all ages (not just 8 years and older).
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); 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.