Cruising the Alaskan fjords in search for glaciers and whales
Cruising through the narrow straits and fjords of the Alaskan west coast. Watch the bubble-net feeding Humpback whales. Kayak along the icebergs and cascading waterfalls. Learn about the history and the culture at the native Tlingit village of Kake. Explore the largest national park of the USA: The Tongass National Forest.
This cruise has a lot of adventure to offer. Go and explore the Alaskan Fjords, Whales and Glaciers.
PLEASE NOTE: These are places that you might visit during your cruise through the Alaskan fjords.
Day 1: Embarkation day
Welcome to Alaska, your home on the water awaits. Come aboard, meet your crew, and unpack your adventurous spirit. Your course is set for glaciers, and the Tongass—the largest national forest in the U.S.
Day 2 - 7: Places you might visit
Tracy Arm / Stephens Passage
Wake in a fjord flanked by sheer granite walls. Grab a hot cup of joe and take it all in from the bow. Cascading waterfalls. Drifting icebergs. A lazy harbour seal or two. Layer up with gloves and a warm hat, and hop in a skiff for a better look at the glacier—the temps drop the closer you get. Your expedition guide clues you in to signs of the ice ages that carved this landscape. The geology is fascinating and so is the wildlife. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, bears, and eagles. Make waves for Stephens Passage. It’s all hands on deck watching for signs of humpbacks.
Endicott Arm / Fords Terror
Fjord cliffs reach skyward. Floating ice. And deep u-shaped valleys. There’s no abracadabra here. Mother Nature’s magic is real. Cruise past harbor seals and their pups lounging on chunks of ice. At the end of Endicott, the blue face of Dawes Glacier is stories high. Will it calve? Listen for a crack and unmistakable white thunder. The name Fords Terror originated from a trick of the tides on an early mariner. And tides permitting, your skiff driver knows its character and guides you along. It’s a mashup of towering walls, temperamental currents, and the Coastal Mountains. So many waterfalls. Mountain goats show off fancy foot work on the cliffs.
Thomas Bay / Baird Glacier
Have your rubber boots ready. You’re in for muskeg and mud in Alaska’s backcountry. Hiking along Baird’s moraine, look for shimmers of gold and quartz—this area is known for it. The glacial outwash plains look almost lunar, but you’re not alone in this moonscape. The glacial valley is a nesting hot-spot for arctic terns. Splash away the mud before a paddle along the bay’s mossy cliff walls. Back on board, it’s time for a cocktail and a soak in the hot tub.
Native culture and wildlife have gotten along just fine for centuries. Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska. It’s also the only one ever governed by four nations. The Tlingit cultures have deep roots here. And local islanders come aboard this morning with a presentation that brings their stories and legends to life. Venture into town for a view of recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park. See how many totems you can pick out on each pole. Step inside famed Chief Shakes Tribal House.
LeConte Glacier / Ideal Cove
LeConte is the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America. If tides are low, take a boot-sucking walk to check out icebergs resting on the mudflats. If it’s high tide, a skiff ride brings you up-close to its iceberg gardens. Surrounded by national forest, Ideal Cove’s boardwalk trails wind through meadows of ferns and grasses. Or test your balance paddle boarding in this quiet cove. It’s just you and the vast wilderness.
Wildlife abounds. Black bears, mink, eagles. In Behm Canal, it’s all remote waterways and the isolated Tongass National Forest. On Cleveland Peninsula, your expedition team leads a low-elevation hike with wide-stretching views. Good opportunities for panoramic shots of Southeast. In the water orca, porpoises, seals, and otters go about their business. Go about yours on a guided paddle along the canal. An intertidal shore walk circles a tall sea stack covered in green.
Kake / Frederick Sound
"Kake" comes from a Tlingit word meaning “opening of daylight.” Apropos, start your day in this native village with traditional storytelling and dancing. Count the many totems on their 132-foot pole. Drop the kayaks in Saginaw Bay or some other hidden cove along the Keku Islands. Black bears are common sights along shore. But so are eagles in the treetops and orange-billed surf scoters paddling nearby. For hikers, your guides have a route in mind. Make for the forest, far off the map. Cruising Frederick Sound, chances are high you’ll see humpbacks. The up-welling of nutrients in the water make it an irresistible feeding ground.
Baranof Island / Peril Strait
Leave it to the captain to steer you through Chatham and Peril Straits. At Baranof Island, your top-notch expedition team has the game plan dialed. Tap some of the most untouched wilderness in the Tongass. Head to the woods for an adventuresome bushwhack. Or slide into a kayak for an easygoing shoreline paddle.
Misty Fjords and National Monument
Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska. And that alone is a lot to consider. Glacial valleys filled with sea water. Sheer 3,000 foot cliffs. Sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, all find safe haven here. Kayak in Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay and you find it’s just as easy to paddle and go, as it is to sit and float and take it all in. Or skiff to the base of a waterfall for fjord-released shower.
Sergius Narrows / Neva Strait
There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is dotted with hundreds of coves and uninhabited islands. This is a prime area for spotting sea otters. It’s no surprise to round a corner in your kayak and find one looking at you and you looking at him. The protected beaches are made for exploring the intertidal zones, and spotting bears. So, boot up for a guided hike. End your day with celebration and a toast at a heartfelt Farewell Dinner. Your expedition team treats you to a photo recap of the week’s adventures.
Day 8: Disembarkation day
A last breakfast with new friends, then disembark in Sitka for your transfer to the airport or your hotel for your start of the land tour.
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