small cruise boat below a glacier in glacier bay national park, alaska

Our expedition vessel

Traveling by private boat with a naturalist in Glacier Bay is a thrilling way to experience this magnificen Alaskan landscape. Our boat can go where larger boats can't go, and we can enjoy secluded anchorages.

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Alaska Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $2850  
Length: 7 days
Arrive: Gustavus, Alaska
Depart: Gustavus, Alaska
Lodging: 6 nights aboard our privately chartered expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching, Wildlife & Natural History, Walking
Trip Level: Daily choice of easy or moderate kayaking, wilderness exploration, and hiking, 2-6 hours a day
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Highlights

  • Hiking, sea kayaking, tidepooling and nature walks, bird watching, and glacier excursions with your on-board naturalist
  • Abundant wildlife from humpback whales and orcas to moose, brown bears, and eagles
  • Tasty cuisine of fresh king salmon and Dungeness crab


Exceeded all expectations! The boat, equipment, itinerary, and guide—all the best!R. Anderson—Windsor, CO

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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.

References

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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Experience the wilderness wonders of Glacier Bay the ideal way: aboard a small, private expedition vessel. On this Private Journey with your own captain and crew aboard a 65-foot vessel customized for cruising, you’ll feel as if you have Glacier Bay National Park all to yourself. Enjoy naturalist-led hikes to massive glaciers and past roaring waterfalls, kayak through pristine waters among seals and whales, and marvel at the abundant wildlife, including humpback whales and orcas. The setting is pristine, with turquoise waters, tidewater glaciers, and 15,000-foot snow-capped mountains all around. This is an active adventure that you can tailor to your own interests, with your captain and naturalist bringing the fascinating natural history of this epic landscape to life for you. At night, relax in the cozy warmth of the ship, enjoying wonderful meals and wildlife watching from the deck. This is the ultimate way to see Alaska, during the prime season for great weather, gorgeous wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary


Please note: Because of the boat schedule, Day 1 of this itinerary must be a Saturday.

Days 1-4
Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching

After arriving in charming Gustavus, we board our expedition vessel and set off into the unspoiled wonderland of Glacier Bay, John Muir’s “icy wilderness unspeakably pure and sublime.” This is superb country for seeing orcas, humpbacks, and minke whales, and it’s a thrill to witness them breaching in this awesome landscape of fjords, glaciers, and towering mountains. With your naturalist guide, hike wild beaches looking for tracks of bear and moose, walk on tidewater glaciers, hike up a mountainside for bird’s-eye views, and explore by sea kayak (no previous experience necessary). Bald eagles soar and seals lounge on ice floes as you discover the breathtaking fjords and watch glaciers calve. At day’s end, return to the welcoming warmth of our 6-passenger ship for a cup of hot chocolate or glass of wine, to savor a delicious meal (fresh seafood, of course!), and enjoy wildlife watching from the deck during the long Alaskan twilight.

Days 5-7
Magical Dundas Bay, Idaho Inlet, and Point Adolphus

Rarely visited Dundas Bay is a misty paradise of rugged snow-dusted mountains, secluded glacier-carved inlets (great for sea kayaking!), and a profusion of beautiful native plants in full summer bloom. This is prime country for bears and you can safely observe them as they wander the beaches and graze the meadows. In Idaho Inlet, paddle to watch for wolves and other wildlife, then search for humpback whales in the rich waters off Point Adolphus. Disembark in Gustavus in the afternoon of Day 7.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2, Easy to Moderate. It is an active trip for people who are in good health. You should be able to comfortably get in and out of the kayaks as well as the skiffs that bring you to the beaches. Each day, you walk, kayak, and explore remote shores and fjords, then retreat to the comfort of the ship in the evening for good food, fine company, and a comfortable bunk. Each evening is spent in a different remote anchorage along our journey, and our expedition vessel serves as your mobile base camp. The cruise explores a glorious stretch of pristine glacial wilderness, where glaciers crackle in lovely fjords and the sea is filled with whales, orcas, porpoises, and sea lions. Kayaking and shore activities are as active as you like. If you want to kick back, relax, and watch wildlife from on board, that is always an option. The on-board kayaks are very stable double kayaks. There is also a skiff to ferry folks to the beaches. The shore landings are either “dry” (where there are rocks or wooden piers to step onto when you disembark from the skiff) or “wet” (which involves stepping out of the skiff into a foot or so of water and wading to shore). Getting out of the skiff for a dry landing is occasionally tricky because the skiff is moving with the waves and the rocks you step onto may be slippery.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

When to go

May to September

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$17,100 to charter the full boat, or:
$2850 (6 members)
$3420 (5 members)
$4275 (4 members)
$5700 (3 members)
$8550 (2 members)

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Acommodations aboard a private expedition vessel
  • All meals included
  • Kayaks, paddles, radios, PFDs (life jackets), and boat safety gear
  • Transfer from Gustavus airstrip to Bartlett Cove on Day 1 and from Gustavus dock to airstrip on Day 7

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare to/from points of embarkation and debarkation of the vessel, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, 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 (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $6000
100 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $300 in total for full boat charter
31-120 days prior to departure: 35% of full boat charter cost
30 days or less: 100% of full boat charter cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Our Glacier Bay Expedition Vessel

Alaska, USA

An ideal base for wilderness exploration in Southeast Alaska, our vessel is a highly maneuverable 70-foot cruiser that accommodates up to six guests. There are four guest staterooms, one with two single over/under bunks, two with double beds, and one with a double bed below, with a single bed above. Across the hall are two shared bathrooms, both with showers and vacuflush heads. The boat has a steel hull (perfect for our Glacier Bay cruising), a large main salon with a dining area, plus seating in the wheelhouse, a comfortable way to take in the spectacular Southeast Alaska scenery.

There is also a large foredeck for wildlife viewing, relaxing, and taking photos, and an aft deck perfectly suited for fishing. She carries three double sea kayaks, plus a 16-foot inflatable skiff. Built in 1958 by the Burger Yacht Company of Michigan and recently updated, our vessel is powered by two John Deere engines and cruises at a steady 9.5 knots. Taking full advantage of Alaska’s bounty, meals are prepared simply but are definitely delicious, created around fresh-caught fish including salmon, Dungeness crab, and halibut. Breakfasts are hearty, with a variety of fresh baked pastries, homemade cereals, fresh fruits, and a hot delicacy. Lunches and dinners include a range of cuisine, such as grilled halibut, smoked salmon pizza, and seafood cioppino. If you have dietary preferences, please let us know well in advance so we can have the right ingredients on board to meet your needs.

View sample menu

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Client Comments

Exceeded all expectations! The boat, equipment, itinerary, and guide—all the best! R. Anderson, Windsor, CO This was an outstanding trip. Good leaders, good company, incredible scenery and wildlife. Tony C., Healdsburg, CA
This trip was truly the trip of a lifetime for me and my family. The boat was awesome, the staff professional and friendly, and the food was fantastic. They were so willing to adjust plans based on our interests, tides, and weather. Absolutely fabulous! Margaret W., Tarboro, NC

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