Whales and Sea Kayaking in a Glacier-Carved World


In the storied wilderness of the Inside Passage, glaciers crackle in deep fjords and the sea is filled with whales, orcas, porpoises, and sea lions. Our discovery of this majestic Alaskan realm is aboard a historic 12-guest wooden vessel that brings us into hidden places big ships can’t even dream of entering. With our on-board naturalists sharing insights into the natural history and native cultures, we navigate to islands, bays, and coves, hike in old-growth forests, kayak in narrow inlets including spectacular Ford’s Terror, and encounter a bounty of Alaskan wildlife, from humpback whales to brown bears and bald eagles. At day’s end, you’ll savor the welcoming comfort of our boat and enjoy a delicious meal in a beautiful anchorage.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Juneau / Ford’s Terror (Southbound Departures)

From Juneau, we head into Stephens Passage, keeping an eye out for bald eagles and orcas as we cruise to Limestone Inlet. Our skiff ride upriver often reveals bears, jumping salmon, and nesting waterfowl. Navigating around icebergs, we enter Endicott Arm, on the lookout for whales as they dive for krill. At Ford’s Terror, a spectacular natural amphitheater, we paddle beneath sheer 5,000-foot granite walls wreathed in ephemeral mists.

Days 3-5
Admiralty Island / The Brothers

After a hike in the highlands above Ford’s Terror, we head for Admiralty Island, with its plentiful brown bears. At The Brothers Islands, we hike and watch for humpbacks and orcas in this prime summer feeding ground. From our idyllic anchorages, the sound of breathing whales or the call of an eagle frequently drifts across the evening calm.

Days 6-7
Thomas Bay / Scenery Cove / Petersburg

If the whales are around, we’ll shadow them (and drop our hydrophone to listen to them!), then head to Thomas Bay, watching for black bears on the beaches. Anchoring at Scenery Cove, we ride upriver by skiff for a hike on the ice of the Baird Glacier. Depart on Day 7 from charming Petersburg, with its Norwegian and Tlingit heritage.



Explore one of Alaska’s prime wildlife areas by historic small ship
Sea kayak amid icebergs and beneath towering granite walls
Hike on glacial moraine and in old-growth cedar, hemlock, and spruce forests
Watch calving glaciers, bald eagles, and breaching whales


Length: 7 days
Cost From: $4250  
Arrive: Juneau, Alaska (or reverse)
Depart: Petersburg, Alaska (or reverse)
Lodging: 6 nights aboard a 75-foot historic boat with six cabins, some with private bath
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate sea kayaking and hiking (no previous kayaking experience necessary)