Our Forest Service Special Use Permit for Tongass National Forest enables you to hike and kayak in wild and remote areas of Southeast Alaska. To begin your Alaska Cruise, you will take an early afternoon flight from Seattle to Juneau. Meet your naturalists and visit Mendenhall Glacier, located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Embark the ship and take the time to settle into your cabin before dinner. After eating, take a few hours to explore the port of Juneau.
11 Days | 10 Nights
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, two glacially carved fjords. You’ll also pass the towering Dawes Glacier and the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as being bluer in color than anything else on earth. If conditions permit, a landing craft will provide unparalleled up-close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises, and arctic terns.
Search for humpback whales as you head towards the town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Explore a unique Southeast Alaskan ecosystem: the "muskeg," filled with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There will be an optional opportunity for flightseeing or bike riding. In the evening, enjoy a feast of Dungeness crab.
These waters populated with both killer and humpback whales. It's not uncommon to observe a mix of behaviors, including breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding, as you fill the deck and listen to a detailed play-by-play from the onboard naturalists. You'll explore bays and inlets, following bear trails and meandering salmon streams. Once ashore, you’ll have the opportunity to walk along a placid forest trail. The still waters make for excellent kayaking, offering another option for thorough exploration.
Cruise the Inian Islands, where an abundance of sea lions reside. Hike nearby islands, go kayaking, and search for whales in the waters of Icy Strait. Conditions permitting, the ship's hydrophone will be lowered to listen in on the whales' fascinatingly complex underwater communication.
You'll spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, glaciers and mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. You’ll witness glaciers “calving," where tons of ice crash thunderously into the sea. Animals such as mountain goats, harbor seals, sea lions, and puffins are some of the creatures that may be observed. A native Tlingit interpreter will join you onboard to share the fascinating mixture of regional legends.
Nature will be your guide as you set forth to take advantage of the wildlife and weather conditions. You may stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks in the soil as you move from the forest regions to the meadows. Sightings of bald eagles are very common. If conditions permit, you'll go kayaking, keeping an eye open for marine and terrestrial life.
After breakfast, you'll disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which will become apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, you'll have intimate views of avian species that can only be seen at a distance in the wild, such as bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Your Alaska cruise will then come to a conclusion as you drive to the airport for an afternoon flight to Seattle. Consider extending your Alaskan experience with a voyage Denali National Park.