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, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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$7,495 to $10,895
Velkomen! Petersburg, nicknamed “Little Norway”, has its fair share of charm. Check in, drop your bags, and 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. Overnight at Tides Inn (or similar).
Flightseeing to a glacial icefield, fishing charter, or easy-going dock walk? Weather will factor in on your mode of transportation for these activities, but whatever the day brings, enjoy it! Explore the town 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 along, 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 belly-warming cocktail.
Into the wild you go, on the western shore of Kuiu Island. Just shy of 67,000 acres of islands, islets, and forest sits in the Tebenkof Bay Wilderness Area. And a little farther north, the Bay of Pillars. Have your rubber boots at the 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. The crew has a dry towel and a hot toddy ready if you decide to take the “polar plunge”.
2,500-foot high granite fjord walls. Rushing waterfalls. Snowfields and glaciers blanket the high country of South Baranof, giving way to coastal forest of hemlock and spruce. It’s wilderness with a capital W! Your captain knows these waters like the back of her hand. Skiff and paddle among little-known inlets with your guides, and likely seals, otters, and sea lions, too. There’s brown in this green landscape—Baranof is a hot spot for bears. Take a scrambling bushwhack in search of lupine, big views, and massive rainforest. Underway again, pop up to the bridge to look over charts with your captain and mates.
At the whim of the whales, watch for humpbacks migrating through Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait. The krill and plankton here are just to their liking. Grab your binoculars and gather with your shipmates on the bow. It’s a sight to see when lots of whales appear far and near. Look for the tell-tale bubbles and blows. And have your camera point-and-shoot ready. Grab a spot on a kayak or skiff and search along with your guides in tucked-away nooks. It’s also a favorite spot of orcas and Dall’s porpoises—and likely one of yours too.
Tlingit call the island Kootznoowoo, meaning “Fortress of the Bear.” Inspiration for the name is clear—the highest concentration of brown bears in the world, more bears than the lower U.S. states combined live here. It also claims the world’s greatest congregation of bald eagles. But back to the bears. Wake in the heart of this wilderness, near Windfall Harbor. Pull on your gummies (boots) then hop aboard the skiff for a wet landing and a hike to a bear sanctuary. A local guide meets you on the beach for an orientation, then leads the way to the bear viewing area. Take it all in—these are powerful creatures. Relax with a quiet kayak excursion or write postcards on the sun deck later in the day.
Alaska wilderness delivers! Flowing a little slower than your typical river, you find a river of ice and the southern-most tidewater glacier—LeConte. It’s a grand finale of a day. 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 caught in the glacial outwash field. 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.
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.
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.