Summary : Explore Alaska on an active, exciting expedition to see the region’s iconic wildlife and epic landscapes in the compact timeframe of one work week. Take long hikes on world-class trails through forests of towering trees, kayak long routes deep into glacially carved fjords, and raft to an ancient Alaska native village—all with a nimble expedition ship as your moving basecamp. This expedition will enable you to paddle on long, naturalist-guided kayaking journeys into Alaska’s dramatic bays; raft the Chilkat River with local guides and call at the ancient Chilkat Tlingit village of Klukwan; explore Haines, the “adventure capital of Alaska,” via raft, bicycle, or hiking boot; and zip around incredible icebergs and view glaciers in Tracy or Endicott Arm.
This trip can be combined with select dates of their Sitka to Juneau voyage for a more in-depth Alaskan experience.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips! This trip can be combined with select dates of their Sitka to Juneau voyage for a more in-depth Alaskan experience.
$4,420 to $7,710
Arrive in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, which is nestled between Mt. Juneau, Mount Roberts and Gastineau Channel. Above it all sits the Juneau Icefield, at 1,500 square miles it is one of the world’s largest non-polar masses of snow and ice and is the source of many glaciers including Taku Glacier and Mendenhall Glacier.
Transfer in downtown Juneau with a stop at the impressive Mendenhall Glacier en route to the Alaska State Museum. Embark on the National Geographic Sea Lion.
This morning maneuver among the ice of LeConte Glacier, one of the most active glaciers in Southeast Alaska and the southernmost tidewater glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Since its discovery in 1887 the glacier has retreated 2.5 miles but is stable at this time. The glacier produces great numbers of icebergs that shoot up from beneath the surface of the inlet as well as calving from the upper face of it. These bergs get caught up on the shallow moraine and along the shoreline making for interesting sculptures for us to photograph. The captain will bring the ship in as close to the glacier as he is able based on the amount of ice in the channel and if conditions allow, expedition landing craft and kayaks will be deployed for tours among the ice.
This afternoon transit the Wrangell Narrows, the breathtaking beauty of this convoluted 22-mile waterway is lined with 60 lights and buoys to mark it because of its winding nature and navigation hazards. Unlike the large ships which are forced to navigate “outside” waters your small, maneuverable ship can safely deliver you an incredible journey through this passage where eagles majestically perch in the tree tops.
Explore along the rugged coastlines of Kupreanof, Kuiu or Prince of Wales Islands seeking out humpbacks and other wildlife along the shoreline, expert staff will be on deck with binoculars on the lookout. The area is home to Sitka black-tailed deer, black bear, Alexander Archipelago wolves, moose and around 300 species of birds. It is a perfect opportunity to search for black bear, eagles and whales that are all lured to the shoreline in search of salmon that populate these waters.
Later explore the coast by kayak or go ashore to hike trails and visit salmon streams learning about the rainforest ecosystem as you go.
This morning arrive in the small town of Wrangell located on Wrangell Island. The Tlingit people and their ancestors have made this island their home for thousands of years. Wrangell was founded by Russians as one of the oldest non-Native settlements in Alaska. They started trading for furs with area Tlingit in 1811 at the site of present-day Wrangell.
Spend the morning either on an optional jet boat excursion up the Stikine River or exploring town including a visit to Chief Shakes Tribal House and the Petroglyph Beach. The tribal house, a Tlingit Indian clan house of the Naanyaa.aayí Clan, has been restored several times, most recently in 2013 with the intent to preserve totem poles and traditional Alaska Native architecture.
Petroglyph Beach in Wrangell has the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast and is easily accessible boardwalk to a deck that overlooks the glyphs, the Stikine River and Zimovia Strait.
This afternoon cruise Eastern Passage and Blake Channel, narrow waterways on the backside of Wrangell Island where others rarely venture.
Spend the morning cruising down the 108-mile-long Behm Canal located in Misty Fiords National Monument.
Sculpted by nature, the glacially-carved cliffs of Misty Fiords National Monument, sometimes called “The Yosemite of the North”, is located near the southern boundaries of the 17 million-acre Tongass National Forest. Join naturalists out on the bow to gaze in wonder at the near vertical rock face that rises 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level and drop 1,000 feet below it. Taking its name from the almost constant precipitation that is characteristic of the area and the fine wispy clouds move in and out of the winding waterway. Explore by expedition landing craft and kayak for a closer perspective of the dramatic waterfalls that plunge down the steep fiord walls to the salt water below.
Disembark the ship in Ketchikan, the southeastern-most city in Alaska. Ketchikan has a colorful history, which once included a red-light district located on busy Creek Street. The city sports many different monikers such as the “Salmon Capital of the World” due to the large number of fishing boats and canneries, and the “Rain Capital of Alaska”. Ketchikan averages nearly 13 feet of rain a year! Visit the Totem Heritage Center to view the priceless collection of 19th century Tlingit totem poles rescued from abandoned village sites near Ketchikan. The airport, located on Gravina Island, is just a short ferry ride across the half-mile-wide Tongass Narrows from the city situated on Revillagigedo Island. Transfer to the airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Juneau to Sitka):
5/21/2020, 5/26/2020, 6/15/2020, 7/5/2020, 7/25/2020, 8/14/2020
National Geographic Global Explorers:
Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, this unique program will offer kids and teens the opportunity to choose cool activities—from earning a Zodiac “driver’s license” to recording wildlife sightings in their Field Notebook—all designed to help them develop what National Geographic Education defines as the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of an explorer. They’ll take part in all kinds of cool activities—like learning about glaciers by making ice cream sundaes, or using glacial ice to paint water colors. They will be encouraged to use their creativity—with photos, videos, music, writing, drawing and more, to tell stories about all they’ll see and do.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera—point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; optional extensions; individual transfers; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, internet, etc.; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Stewart Cohen (totem pole, woman with binoculars); Ralph Lee Hopkins (red kayak, Zodiac and bear, orcas, eagle); Sven Lindblad (sea lions); Michael S. Nolan (seal, Zodiac and ice, whale); David Vargas (yellow kayak)