Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness
Kayak along scenic coastlines and observe iconic Alaskan wildlife as you sail amid fjords, glaciers, and islands.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
Breathtaking views, wildlife, glaciers, waterways. Once in a lifetime way to the see the 49th state!”
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• Book by November 30, 2015 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Seattle and Alaska on our May 14-21, 2016 departure.
• $500 discount extended to all guests under the age of 18.
Experience the breathtaking glaciers, enchanting fjords, secluded coves, and magnificent wildlife of Southeast Alaska up close in the summer! Our Forest Service Special Use Permit for Tongass National Forest enables you to hike and kayak in wild and remote areas of Southeast Alaska. Our Aug. 27—Sept. 3, 2016 departure runs in reverse. Click here to view this itinerary.
- Active Adventure: Kayak into protected coves to get up-close views, hike through lush forests to cascading waterfalls, and take excursions by expedition landing craft for more wildlife sightings.
- Stunning Vistas: Explore the renowned Glacier Bay National Park, Frederick Sound, Tracy Arm, and South Sawyer Glacier.
- Wildlife: Watch iconic wildlife such as bears, whales, Steller sea lions, and sea otters, and myriad birdlife, including eagles, guillemots, and puffins.
- Flexibility: Enjoy cruising aboard our small ship, which allows the flexibility to change course for wildlife sightings and explore small coves that larger hips can’t access.
- Cultural Experiences: Get a firsthand perspective of Alaska’s lore and indigenous people from a Tlingit cultural interpreter. In Sitka, visit the onion- domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church.
May 14–21, 2016 Itinerary
Day 1 — Sitka, Alaska / Embark Ship
To begin your Alaska cruise, fly from Seattle to Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which is readily apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, we have close views of species usually seen at a distance in the wild—bald eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. Gather for a welcome dinner this evening. (D)
Day 2 — Southeast Alaska's Island, Bays, and Fjords
Today, nature is our guide as we set forth with the flexibility to take advantage of wildlife and weather conditions. We may stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beach comb, and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. Sightings of bald eagles are very common. If conditions permit, we'll do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Icy Strait and the Inian Islands
Cruise among the Inian Islands, home to an abundance of Steller sea lions. Hike nearby islands, kayak, and search for whales in the rich waters of Icy Strait. Conditions permitting, we'll lower the ship's hydrophone to listen in on the whales' communication. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Glacier Bay National Park
We spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. You'll see glaciers that end abruptly at the water's edge and observe them "calving" -tons of ice crashing into the sea -accompanied by an exhilaratingly thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks as well as harbor seals, Steller sea lions and puffins are some of the creatures we may observe. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. A native Tlingit interpreter joins us onboard to share the legend of the area. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It's not uncommon to observe their fascinating behavior — breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding — as we fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from our expert naturalists. We'll explore spectacular bays and inlets, following bear trails and salmon streams. Once ashore, we’ll have the opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up close exploration. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Petersburg
Search for humpback whales as we head towards the small, true Alaskan town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Explore a unique Southeast Alaskan ecosystem, the "muskeg," with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There is an opportunity for optional flightseeing or bike riding. Enjoy a Dungeness crab feast this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially carved fjords. We’ll also pass the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, we'll use our expedition landing craft to provide unparalleled up close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises, and arctic terns. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Juneau, Alaska / Disembark Ship
Visit Mendenhall Glacier, set in the dramatic Mendenhall Valley, located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. After our visit, our Alaska Cruise ends and we’ll drive to the airport for our afternoon flight to Seattle. (B)