Humpback whales feed in the Inside Passage
Whale watching, sea kayaking in glacial fjords, and hiking in temperate rainforests delight us every day on our journey from Juneau to Petersburg aboard our private expedition vessel.
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Cost From:||$3850 see pricing|
|Arrive:||Juneau, Alaska (or reverse)|
|Depart:||Petersburg, Alaska (or reverse)|
|Lodging:||6 nights aboard a comfortable 75-foot historic boat describe|
|Meals:||All meals included|
|Activity:||Hiking / Trekking, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking|
Daily choice of easy to moderate kayaking and hiking, 1-4 hours a day
- Explore one of Alaska’s prime wildlife areas by historic small ship
- Sea kayak amid icebergs and below towering granite walls
- Hike on glacial moraine and in old-growth cedar, hemlock, and spruce forests
- Watch calving glaciers, bald eagles, and breaching whales
The crew was professional, knowledgeable, and fun! We enjoyed breathtaking scenery and many spontaneous wildlife experiences.Dan and Brigid M.—Salinas, CA
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
Email Area Manager
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.Email Area Manager
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
All that makes Alaska extraordinary—breathtaking wildlife and pristine wilderness on the grandest scale imaginable—can be found along the Inside Passage, the storied corridor of islands and glaciers along the southeast coast. We discover this realm the ideal way, aboard a historic, 11-guest wooden vessel that brings us into hidden places big ships can’t even dream of entering. With our on-board naturalists, we kayak into narrow inlets like amazing Ford’s Terror, whose sheer granite walls are wreathed in ephemeral mists, hike in cathedral-like old-growth forests, and encounter wildlife up close, from humpbacks to bald eagles. At day’s end, we savor the welcoming comfort of our boat and enjoy a delicious meal in a beautiful anchorage.
Itinerary at a Glance
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
Juneau, Alaska / Ford’s Terror / Wood Spit (Southbound Itinerary)
In Juneau, we board our historic vessel and cruise south to Limestone Inlet, where a skiff ride up the river may reveal bear, jumping salmon, and nesting waterfowl. Entering into Endicott Arm, we look for whales as they dive for krill or bubble net for herring. At Dawes Glacier, we linger to watch the glaciers as they calve icebergs into the sea. A treat awaits us at a seldom-visited anchorage called Ford’s Terror, a spectacular natural amphitheater that resembles a flooded Yosemite. We anchor here to explore by sea kayak (no experience necessary), cross saltwater rivers, and paddle beneath 5,000-foot granite walls shrouded in otherworldly mists. Wood Spit offers an introduction to the region’s fascinating geology, Tlingit culture, and Gold Rush history.
The Brothers / Admiralty Island
Setting out for The Brothers Islands, we watch for humpbacks and orcas in this prime summer feeding ground and listen to their ethereal songs with the ship’s hydrophone. After a hike through temperate rainforest, we head for 100-mile-long Admiralty Island, with its numerous brown bears and bald eagles. From our idyllic anchorage, the sound of breathing whales or the call of an eagle drifts across the evening calm.
Thomas Bay / Scenery Cove / Petersburg
If the humpbacks are out our front door, we spend time shadowing their movements, then head south for Thomas Bay, watching for black bear on the beaches. Anchoring at Scenery Cove, we take the skiff along the glacial river and hike the glacial moraine of Baird Glacier. On Day 6, we celebrate together at the Captain’s Ball, and the next day, we dock in the charming fishing town of Petersburg, with its mountain setting and Norwegian and Tlingit heritage. Depart on Day 7.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
What the Trip is Like
This trip is Level 1+, easy to moderate, according to our trip grading system. The expedition vessel serves as our mobile base camp. We explore remote coastlines and fjords by day, then enjoy the comfort of the ship in the evening for good food, fine company, and a comfortable bunk. Southeast Alaska is one of the few places in North America largely untouched since the first explorers trod through its ancient forests 200 years ago. Following in the wake of the naturalist John Muir, who was deeply inspired by Alaska’s wild grandeur, we cruise a glorious stretch of wilderness where glaciers crackle in lovely fjords and the sea is filled with whales, orcas, porpoises, and sea lions. Along the way, we pass countless miles of old-growth forests of spruce, hemlock, and cedar, home to bears and bald eagles. With just a few hours of cruising each day, there is plenty of time for walking, wildlife watching, or sea kayaking all in the company of an on-board naturalist who shares insights into the local botany, natural history, and native culture.
You should be ready for a variety of weather conditions. Layered clothing works best in the changing weather conditions typical of the Pacific Northwest Coast and Southeast Alaska. Layers are easier to pack and more versatile than a single heavy coat. Don’t bring down jackets or ski clothes (they don’t dry well in the damp climate). Good rain gear is essential; it will enable you to remain comfortable in the wind or rain. Bring your high rubber boots (or use the ones provided on board) for wading and for use in the kayaks and small boats (you will wear these everywhere we go).
No previous kayaking experience is required. Unlike whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking skills can be learned quickly and easily. The waters of the Inside Passage are protected from the open ocean and are generally calm. It is not our intention to kayak on stormy days or when sea conditions are truly "rough" with high winds and waves (indeed, such occasions are infrequent in these waters during the summer). Nevertheless, unpredictability is the rule for the weather in Alaska, and we cannot guarantee good kayaking weather throughout. And with such a comfortable “mother ship,” we can always opt out of any kayaking or hiking to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and the great views from on board.
May 26-Jun 1, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 9-15, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 16-22, 2013 Petersburg to Juneau
Jun 23-29, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 30-Jul 6, 2013 Petersburg to Juneau
Jul 7-13, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Jul 14-20, 2013 Petersburg to Juneau
Aug 4-10, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Aug 11-17, 2013 Petersburg to Juneau
Aug 18-24, 2013 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 1- 7, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 8-14, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Jun 15-21, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Jun 22-28, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Jun 29-Jul 5, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Jul 6-12, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Jul 13-19, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Jul 20-26, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Jul 27-Aug 2, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Aug 3- 9, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Aug 10-16, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Aug 17-23, 2014 Petersburg to Juneau
Aug 24-30, 2014 Juneau to Petersburg
Prices are for 2013
Cabins 1 & 6 with private bath: $4400 per person
Cabins 2-5 with shared bath: $3850 per person
Cabin 4: single occupancy cabin, no single supplement
Single Supplement for Cabin 2-3: $1925
more on pricing
Trip Cost Includes:
- Expert leadership of a Trip Naturalist and Captain
- Accommodations aboard a 75-foot research vessel
- All meals included
- Beer and wine with dinners
- Kayaks, paddles, radios, PFDs (life jackets), and boat safety gear
Trip Cost Does Not Include:Airfare to/from points of embarkation and debarkation of the boat, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, accommodations in Juneau or Petersburg, travel insurance, optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as immunizations (if any), and other expenses of a personal nature.
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: $500
150 days prior to departure: 50%
90 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Our Inside Passage Expedition Vessel
Our 75-foot research vessel is a historic wooden boat that accommodates up to 11 guests. Constructed in 1932 as a marine research boat, she can maneuver around icebergs, follow whales, get close to glaciers, and tuck into tiny coves that most passenger vessels wouldn’t even dream of approaching. Delicious meals, including fresh-caught seafood, are served by the chef in the warm, wood-paneled salon, and a fleet of sea kayaks on board add to the spirit of exploration and discovery.
Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.