Summary : Highlights of this trip include exploration in four designated Wilderness Areas or National Monuments, and a visit to the LeConte Glacier—ice gardens or glacial icefield. Learn about Tlingit culture and take a private tour of Kake native village. Call into Admiralty Island for a bear tour where you'll hike and look for bear with a local guide. Whale watch in Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait, and look for wildlife by kayak, paddle board, or skiff. Back country wilderness exploration awaits you in Alaska on this trip of a lifetime!
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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Velkomen! Petersburg, nicknamed “Little Norway”, has its fair share of charm. Check in. Drop your bags. Then head into town. This hardworking fishing harbor bustles with action—trollers, seiners, longliners, crabbers. Beachwalk and bird watch. The views are pretty good, too, with the Coast Mountains and Devil’s Thumb looming from across the bay. Rest easy tonight, you have a big adventure tomorrow.
The day is yours for the taking. Choose between flightseeing over snow-capped coastal mountains to a glacial icefield or a fishing charter in calm waters. Take in this quaint and authentic Alaskan community’s charms on a walking tour of the Petersburg docks led by a local resident. Whatever the day brings, enjoy it! Make the scene with the locals; you’re on your own for lunch. Late afternoon, you’ll get a warm welcome aboard the Safari Quest. Settle in with champagne for an evening sail into whale-loving Frederick Sound.
Please Note: Petersburg activities are subject to change due to weather conditions.
At the northwest end of Kupreanof Island, dancing, legends, and totems tell the Tlingit story. Tribal members share Kake’s history—settle in, it goes back thousands of years.
Later, keep your eyes peeled on the woods and the shore for ambling black bears. And don't forget to look up now and again for bald eagles. Across the water, the Keku Islands dot Keku Strait. Slide into a kayak or skiff and glide along the fingerling islets and passageways. Make for shore on a tidal zone stroll, turning up sea life clinging to rocks. Back on board, you’re greeted with a Viking handshake and a belly-warming cocktail.
South Baranof Wilderness Area
Into the wild you go, on the western shore of Kuiu Island. Tebenkof Bay Wilderness Area, located on Kuiu Island, is just shy of 67,000 acres of islands, islets, and forest. Experience the 2,500-foot granite fjord walls and rushing waterfalls at South Baranof. Get your rubber boots ready—muskeg, woods, and tide pools set the stage for guided hikes. Kayaks and skiffs bring on the search for seaweed, kelp, harbor seals, sea stars, and jellies. Or try your hand at paddle boarding. Balance not quite so steady? The crew has a dry towel and hot toddy ready if you take a “polar plunge” — by choice or by accident!
Cruising through Frederick Sound, pass by The Brothers Islands with sea lion haul outs, sea birds, and humpback whales on all sides. Search and stop for it all. At Admiralty Island National Monument kayak, skiff, and weave in and out of the bays and islets keeping your eyes out for Alaska brown bears and nesting bald eagles. Tlingit call the island Kootznoowoo, meaning “Fortress of the Bear,” and Admiralty Island has a higher density of bald eagles than all the other states combined. After another big day, pop up to the bridge to look over charts with your captain and mates.
Your skiff travels up Endicott Arm, rushing through turquoise water dotted with bergy bits. The driver pauses for seals lazing on icebergs, the more inquisitive ones periscoping out the water to watch you with their big, black eyes. “Oohs” and awe all around. Your guide plunges her net in the water, pulling out a hunk of glacial ice to touch and taste if you’re feeling adventurous. Zipping further up the Arm, pass deep U-shaped valleys carved by glaciers before spotting the main attraction: Dawes Glacier, its icy blue magnificence more moving than you imagined.
When you come this far, you might as well go all in. This is the way-back backcountry of Alaska's wilderness. In this playground, it’s all an option day. Kayak and skiff in water almost clear as glass—the mirror image of fjord walls playing on the surface reflecting your week of adventure. Take it all in. A seal pup could pop up at any moment to “break the ice.” Trekkers get even closer to the mountains. Hike alongside the fjord walls as Cascade Creek falls in a rush beside and beyond your footsteps. Immersed in this hidden wilderness, recreation has never felt more remote yet in-the-middle of it all.
Alaska wilderness delivers! Flowing a little slower than your typical river, you find a river of ice and the southern-most tidewater glacier, LeConte. Tides and currents decide your LeConte Bay adventures. Drop anchor in Ideal Cove and hike along the Three Lakes trail. High tide? Pass ice-riding seal pups as you motor through the glacier’s ice gardens. Low tide? Walk among icebergs the size of cars caught in the glacial outwash field. It’s a grand finale of a day. Cap off your week with a celebratory Farewell Dinner and slideshow.
After one last breakfast with new friends, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; 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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Petersburg at Tides Inn or similar; transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; shipboard accommodations; most spirits, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages; entry fees to national parks/preserves; from-the-ship adventure activities, including kayaking and stand up paddleboarding; and gear on loan (limited supply of rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; some premium alcoholic beverages; port fees and taxes; discretionary gratuities to vessel's crew, typically 5-10% of fare; travel insurance; personal expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.