Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness Adventure Cruise

   
 

Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness Adventure Cruise

BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS

UPDATED

3 months ago

DURATION

8 Days

SEASON

May-September

RATES

USD 5,890.00 per person

EXPIRES

Aug 27, 2017
Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness Adventure Cruise
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DESCRIPTION

Where can you wake to the cry of a soaring eagle, watch tons of ice thunder from the face of a glacier, walk in a spruce forest, and observe lunge-feeding whales, while cruising in complete comfort aboard a nimble expedition ship? In Southeast Alaska — a land of fjords and islands teeming with wildlife. Since 1982, our Alaska expeditions on the 68-guest Sea Bird and Sea Lion have actively explored the magnificent Inside Passage of Alaska. With your naturalist guides, walk forest trails to cascading waterfalls, birdwatching and identifying wildflowers as you go. Enjoy Zodiac and kayaking forays, and learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage. A full day is spent in Glacier Bay National Park. You may also join our optional land extension to Denali National Park.

Hear whale blows erupt from calm waters, and the crushing booms as tons of ice calve from a glacier falling hundreds of feet to explode into the ocean. You'll explore with the benefit of the best staff-to-guest ration of any expedition team in Alaska - five on board Naturalists ensure varied perspectives. Special permits to remote areas and decades of experience, plus a commitment to spontaneity and flexibility ensure you a fulfilling Alaska expedition.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

Rates vary by season and cabin starting at $5890 per person. Please see website for full details on rates.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Embark Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska, United States

Fly from Seattle to Juneau in the early afternoon. Before embarking the ship, stop by the Alaska State Museum and visit the Mendenhall Glacier with your naturalists - an excellent introduction to the expedition staff and Alaska's natural history and indigenous culture. Embark the ship and settle into your cabin before dinner. Later, explore the port of Juneau on your own.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: dinner

Day 2: Tracy Arm & Ford's Terror Wilderness
Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska, United States

Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially-carved walls. Pass the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. Then, conditions permitting, take a Zodiac cruise for an unbeatable view of the glacier. Keep an eye our for harbor seals and porpoises, Arctic terns and Bonaparte gulls.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Petersburg
Petersburg, Alaska, United States

Humpback whales blowing their spouts in the morning light are often spotted as your ship heads toward the small, authentic 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 (added cost). Take note as you explore the town of the traditional floral painting called rosemaling that decorates the tidy homes and store fronts. Enjoy a Dungeness crab feast this evening.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Frederick Sound & Chatham Strait
Frederick Sound, Alaska, United States

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 you and your newfound friends fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from National Geographic expert naturalists. It is also fertile ground for the majestic bald eagle, which you may see keeping watch atop a tall spruce. Explore spectacular bays and inlets, following bear trails and salmon streams. Once ashore, walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters here are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up-close exploration.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Icy Strait & The Inian Islands
Icy Strait, Alaska, United States

Hike and kayak among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea otters reside. Search for whales in the rich waters of Icy Strait and, conditions permitting, lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the whales’ communication.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, United States

Spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers, freshwater lakes and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park — one of the best places on earth to observe the ebb and flow of glaciers. Here, accompanied by a National Park ranger who gives us up-to-the-minute information about this ever-changing environment, 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 exhilarating thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and clumsy yet graceful puffins are some of the creatures you may observe in these icy waters. These sea lions are a threatened species — although the population in Southeast Alaska is still robust, elsewhere in Alaska their population has declined almost 80% in the last 30 years. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. A native Tlingit interpreter joins the onboard crew to share the legend of the area.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Southeast Alaska's Islands Bays And Fjords
Admiralty Island, Alaska, United States

Today, nature is your guide as your ship sets forth without a specific plan. Stop at an isolated beach, where the tide pooling and beach combing are good and there are forest trails to walk. The landscape is often colored with swaths of wildflowers with names as curious as the flower’s ability to grow here: silverweed, chocolate lily, nagoonberry and cow parsnip. Maybe do some small ship cruising along the shoreline of Admiralty Island, where the massive brown bear is found. Later, as you walk on one of the many islands in the area, keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. This area is home to the highest density of nesting bald eagles in the world, so sightings are very common. If conditions permit, enjoy some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.

ACCOMMODATIONS: National Geographic Sea Lion and Quest

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Disembark Sitka & Fly To Seattle
Sitka, Alaska, United States

After breakfast disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. In the native Tlingit language, Sitka means "the village behind the island" and it has been home to various cultures for thousands of years. When visiting here, one can’t help but wonder about the ways in which cultures survive, passing down their characteristics from generation to generation.

Often, as you enter the harbor channel, dozens of bald eagles soar high above. This town has a strong Russian heritage, so readily apparent as you visit St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church with its onion domes. Gaze up at the grand totem poles that line the wooded trails through Sitka National Historic Park, and at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, come face-to-face with bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Sitka’s oceanfront setting is dominated by the volcanic peak of Mount Edgecumbe and surrounded by a string of small islands. The crystalline waters of Sitka Bay abound with sea stars and translucent moon jellyfish. After these visits, you'll be driven to the airport, just five minutes from town, for your afternoon flight to Seattle, arriving in the early evening.

ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a

MEALS: breakfast

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • all accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar
  • all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated
  • air transportation where indicated as included
  • shore excursions
  • sightseeing and entrance fees
  • special access permits
  • transfers to and from group flights
  • use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits
  • use of kayaks (where available)
  • gratuities (except to ship’s crew)
  • taxes and service charges
  • services of a ship physician on most voyages
  • services of our expedition staff

NOTES

Itinerary Notes: Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Alternative Itinerary: The above itinerary also runs in reverse, from Sitka to Juneau.


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