Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers

WHY WE LOVE THIS ADVENTURE

TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

Visit this wildlife-rich area and bushwhack your way into the beauty of the Alaska wilderness; keeping an eye out for black bear and eagles.

WHALE WATCH

Sail through rich waterways that serve as busy highways for humpback whales, orcas, Dall’s porpoise, and Steller sea lions.

GLACIER COUNTRY

Enjoy the majesty of the ice; visit tidewater glaciers, enjoy a skiff ride weaving among fallen icebergs, and listen for “white” thunder.

LOCAL HISTORY

You will learn about glaciology, the diverse wild and marine life, and cultural history from knowledgeable crew and a visiting National Park Ranger.

LESS IS MORE

Fewer passengers on-board means that expeditions are made up of small groups and the crew can devote more attention to their guests.

ALL ACCESS

The smaller size of this ship gives you a unique perspective as you glide past magnificent glaciers and explore pristine waterways that you would never experience on a bigger ship or by land.

WHALES, WILDLIFE & GLACIERS

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You can choose more than one

This sample itinerary is only a guideline; variations may occur to maximize your experience.

Day 1 – Sitka, Alaska – Embark

Welcome aboard! It’s time to relax and meet your crew. As you sail away in Sitka Sound, you will be drawn to the unmistakable views of Mt. Edgecumbe—a volcanic wonder in its own right.

Day 2 – Krestof Sound/ Nakwasina Sound

Shhh… If you don’t say a word, you can hear the sounds of these Sounds. Dense Baranof Island forest to one side. Small, wild, lesser-known islands on the other. You might even spot black bears loping on shore although they’re likely to catch a whiff of you first. And keep watch for neighboring sea lions and eagles, too. Your first day offers options to drop anchor and find adventure. Slip into a kayak. Nose along shore in a skiff. Or head into the Tongass National Forest on foot with your expedition team. The possibilities, endless. Reward yourself when you get back to the boat, the crew will have a treat waiting.

Day 3 – Icy Strait

Nothing like kick starting the morning with on-deck yoga stretches and a chaser of exploration mode d’jour—motor, paddle, boots. It might be your toughest transition of the day. In and around Icy Strait, glide through giant bullwhip kelp (it can grow to over 100 feet long). Skiff to a rocky outcropping and watch sea lions play. Mud boots serve their purpose on a forest hike with your top-notch guides, who are sharp and have plenty to share about everything Alaska—animals, plants, and even geology. At the end of this unforgettable day, you’ve earned a soak in the hot tub.

Day 4 – Glacier Bay National Park

Enter, the granddaddy of national parks—Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Once you round Point Gustavus, a park ranger joins you on board with a font of knowledge. The uniqueness of this place starts to sink in, as one of its truly privileged visitors. Sea lions jockey for position among puffins, black oystercatchers, and other sea birds at South Marble Island. Mountain goats climb and bears scrounge for food along the park’s inland shores. Motor deeper into the park to Margerie and Grand Pacific, two tidewater glaciers on their downward march into the bay.

Day 5 – Chichagof Island

Your course is set—wildlife-rich Alaskan wilderness. Head to the bridge or bow, and watch for whales and other creatures before tucking into Port Frederick or some other wild inlet. You’re about to get a close up look. Muskeg under foot, head out on a bushwhacking hike in the Tongass National Forest or board a skiff, eyes wide for bears on shore.

Day 6 – Lynn Canal / Captain’s Choice

Not so much a canal, as a fjord—in fact, North America’s deepest at over 2,000 feet. This once major route of Klondike gold rushers is now a busy inlet for humpbacks, orcas, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lions, salmon, halibut, and mischievous river otters. And that’s at water level. Look up, and you see bald eagles. Looking like golf balls in the tree tops when they’re not soaring overhead. But it’s not all looking and seeing today, your captain is on task to pick the prime spot for adventure. Feel the burn on a long paddling excursion. Search tide pools for microscopic life. Or, hike a shadow-filled forest.

Day 7 – Haines, Alaska

The unofficial adventure capital of Alaska. Hard-charging or smell the flowers, pick your speed. In this bald eagle hotspot, you have choices to make. Hit the trailhead with your guides to the top of Chilkat Peninsula or the shores of Chilkat Inlet. Some of the best trails with the best views. Or, raft along the Chilkat River on a float trip through the bald eagle preserve. The local history—native culture, influence from European explorers, as a US Army outpost, and its gold rush past. Chilkat Tlingit members come aboard and share their tribe’s cultural history and thousands-of-year-old legacy. Soak it up. Then see the sites on foot or by bike with free time in town. It’s a big day. Tonight, celebrate your voyage with a Farewell Dinner and special photo recap from your expedition team.

Day 8 – Juneau – Disembark

Gather for breakfast before returning to historic Juneau or transfer directly to the Juneau airport. Safe travels to all!

Beginnings

After meeting your crew and fellow passengers, you will set sail from Sitka, Alaska toward Krestof Sound.

Endings

The last night on the ship, you will have a special farewell dinner, and the next morning after breakfast, you will disembark in either Juneau, Alaska for your return flight home.

Price Includes

All on-board meals; premium spirits, wine, and beer; non-alcoholic beverages; exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all adventure activities and equipment from the boat. On some vessels wellness offerings are also included such as hot tubs, fitness equipment, yoga, and massage rooms.

Weather

You will find Alaska’s summer temperatures surprisingly pleasant. Daytime highs for June – August range from 60°F – 80°F. Nighttime lows are refreshingly cool, dipping into the 40’s – 50’s. May and September are usually 5° – 10° cooler. During this time of year, expect a few days of cloudy weather and rain, but also some clear days. Look forward to long daylight hours and enjoy the beautiful light change on the landscape.

Glacier Bay National Park

Visit this dynamic wilderness, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and observe for yourself the beauty, wonder, and power of an ever-changing landscape. This marine and terrestrial sanctuary protects the abundant wildlife, glaciers, temperate rainforest wilderness, and cultural heritage found in the area. Watch for humpback whales, calving glaciers, icebergs, and be inspired.

Group Size

This is a small-scale cruise and depending on the dates you select, your vessel can hold up to 88 guests and has a generous guest to guide ratio of 2.5 guests for each crew member. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about the landscape, ecology, and culture of the area, as well as have expert instruction for all your adventure activities.

The Boat

Your vessel will depend on which launch date you choose. All ships offer ample vantage points for taking in the sights. Ships carry all the adventure equipment for guests including kayaks, paddleboards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, and more. All cabins are equipped with a TV and DVD, iPod docking station, air conditioning, private bath with shower, and generous closet space. Your vessel will include a fully stocked bar and cozy library to sit back and relax and is also equipped with a hot tub, fitness area, and massage suite to enjoy.

Meals

You can look forward to a delicious daily menu filled with meals that include locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh Dungeness crab or Alaskan prawns. For breakfast – you can choose from an early riser breakfast with fresh baked pastries and fruit or a full breakfast with hot, cold, and specialty dishes. For lunch – you will find a range of salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups. For happy hour – enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in the lounge. For dinner -choose from several entrées including fresh, local seafood and meat or a vegetarian dish with a chef-selected wine pairing. Be sure to leave room for an indulgent dessert, such as tiramisu.

Gear Up

Travel in Alaska is often characterized by its cool, humid climate. We recommend investing in good rain gear, quick drying base layers, warm socks, and a solid pair of calf height rain boots with a good rubber sole. Every adventure is better with the right gear!

Flexible, Fun & Full!

Your days will be filled from the moment you wake until you retire to your cabin with opportunities for group meals, off-ship outings, and presentations in the evening. You can choose to participate in the activities and presentations each day or sit them out, but one thing is for sure, this cruise will keep you moving!

Adventure Specialists

We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.

 

QUICK FACTS

Length: 7 nights
Price: $4,695 – $12,295 per person; $250 for port taxes & fees; Kids ages 8 to 13 save $500 per child
Season: May – August
Min. Age: 8 years
Activity: Expedition Cruise
Adventure Level: Mild

Overview of Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers

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