Alaskan Passage

Natural History and Native Heritage of Alaska’s Southeast
Featuring Acclaimed Interpreters of the Natural World Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson
on the 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer

Alaskan Passage route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $3795  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Ketchikan, Alaska
Depart: Juneau, Alaska
Lodging: 7 nights aboard adventure vessel
Meals: All meals included on board
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Small Ship Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Wildlife & Natural History, Whale Watching
Trip Level: Daily choice of wildlife viewing from the boat or skiffs, easy to rigorous hiking, and options for sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding


  • Explore the spectacular yet secluded inner coves of Alaska's Inside Passage
  • Experience dramatic glaciers, misty fjords, and old growth and rainforest
  • See whales, eagles, bears, and more wildlife, from our boat, by kayak, and on foot
  • A very special opportunity to learn from, and interact with, distinguished authors Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson

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.


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.

This trip is currently sold out, but we are accepting names on a waitlist and encourage you to call for more information.

Experience Southeast Alaska’s astounding beauty and learn about the fascinating cultures of its native people in the company of distinguished authors Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson. From Ketchikan to Juneau, we voyage along the Inside Passage, the spectacular waterway lined with immense glaciers, misty fjords, temperate rainforests, and islands teeming with wildlife. Our days are filled with hiking, kayaking, and whale watching in the company of our naturalist guides and guest speakers, who further enrich our journey with engaging evening presentations. Our home base is the Wilderness Adventurer, a 60-passenger vessel that’s wonderfully comfortable, yet small enough to venture into tiny coves and anchorages.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Ketchikan, Alaska / Embark

Welcome to Alaska, the Great Land!  Ketchikan, Alaska’s southernmost city and “salmon capital of the world,” also claims fame to having the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. We board our ship, and leaving Ketchikan behind, enter the glorious world of  Misty Fjords National Monument. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...D

Day 2
Misty Fjords National Monument

Home to nearly every ecosystem in Southeast Alaska, Misty Fjords is a realm of stunning glacial valleys filled with seawater and 3,000-foot vertical cliffs that are a haven for  wildlife. We soak in the splendor of this largely unknown corner of the world with an up-close look at this majestic, 2.3-million-acre wilderness as we explore by skiff or kayak. 
Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 3
Behm Canal

Wildlife abounds in Behm Canal and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters.  We paddle along the canal or venture out on an intertidal shore walk or a low-elevation hike on the Cleveland Peninsula. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 4

Home to native culture, wildlife, and wonder, Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska and the only one ever governed by four nations. Before we venture into town, local islanders join us on board for an in-depth presentation on Tlingit and Haida cultures. We’ll view recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park and step inside the famed and historic Chief Shakes Tribal House. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 5
Glacial Landscapes / Wrangell Narrows

We head into the back country of Alaska’s wilderness in an area known for glaciers and also rich in gold and quartz. As we explore glacial landscapes marked by moraines and muskegs, the natural beauty is all around us, whether we choose kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff riding, or hiking. An abundance of bright red and green navigation lights guide us along “Christmas Tree Lane” as we cruise the winding Wrangell Narrows this evening. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 6
Thomas Bay

Our flexible schedule offers the chance to be on the water or ashore when and where unique opportunities beckon. We can choose kayaking and a lush forest hike on a scenic rainforest trail, or a more challenging hike to glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking in the meltwaters of Patterson Glacier. We’ll also discover the origin of the glacier’s nickname, Devil’s Country, during a reading from “The Strangest Story Ever Told,” about the area’s mythical, shape-shifting creatures called Kushtaka. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 7
Tracy Arm Wilderness / Frederick Sound

At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls, cascading waterfalls, and some of the largest icebergs in all of Alaska, we discover the twin Sawyer Glaciers. We explore this fjord,  home to brown and black bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals, and birds including arctic terns and pigeon guillemots. Later today, we move into Frederick Sound—the summer feeding ground for the northern hemisphere’s largest concentration of humpback whales—and keep watch for humpbacks, orca, and Steller sea lions. Overnight aboard the Wilderness Adventurer...BLD

Day 8
Juneau, Alaska / Disembark

Disembark after breakfast and transfer directly to the Juneau airport or begin your add-on overnight stay or extended land tour...B

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

A journey to the Inside Passage is filled with wildlife opportunities, but by their very nature, animals are unpredictable and sightings of any particular species cannot be guaranteed. The weather in Alaska is also notoriously unpredictable, and our planned activities and their order may change due to weather conditions or to maximize wildlife encounters. 

Alaskan Passage 2015

Download our 2015 Alaskan Passage brochure for our wonderful new program with Guest Speakers Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson aboard the intimate 60-guest expedition vessel Wilderness Adventurer. Or request a print copy to be sent by mail.

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2, 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. There is plenty of time for walking, wildlife watching, or sea kayaking in the company of our on-board naturalists and Guest Speakers, who share 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. The wilderness areas we explore on foot can get quite muddy, and we have a fair number of wet landings by skiff where there's no dock at all. So having proper footwear with good ankle support is absolutely essential. We recommend high rubber boots rather than hiking boots for most activities. Many participants hike all week in their rubber "mud" boots.

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.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

May 16-23, 2015

Program Cost

2015 Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

Categories Cruise Price
Navigator Cabin $3,795
Trailblazer Cabin $4,395
Pathfinder Cabin $4,595

Port taxes: $175

more on pricing

Terms & Conditions

Reservation and Cancellation Policy

To reserve your place, please complete and mail a Wilderness Travel trip application along with a deposit of $1000 per person. For immediate confirmation, call us at 1-800-368-2794 and charge the deposit to your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card.

Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $1000
Due 9 months prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
Due 4 months prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation Policy

Minimum cancellation fee: $500 per person
From 12 months prior to departure: $1000 per person
From 9 months prior to departure: All deposits to date non-refundable
From 4 months prior to departure: 100% of cruise cost non-refundable

If we are able to resell your cancelled cabin by four months prior to departure, your deposits will be refunded less the minimum cancellation fee of $500 per person. Cancellations must be in writing by email, fax, or mail. We reserve the right to treat the reservation as cancelled if payments are not received when due.

Note: Payment Schedule, Cancellation Policy, and Single Supplement Policy for this program differs from the policy for regular trips stated in our annual catalog and on this web site.

Notes on Pricing

Singles: A very limited number of guaranteed single cabins are available in Navigator and Trailblazer Cabins at 150% of the double occupancy rate. Any additional singles are charged at 200% of the double occupancy rate.

Shared Cabins: Given the very limited number of cabins on this small ship, we can only accept reservations for two people traveling together and sharing a cabin.

Special Notes

The guest speakers named are confirmed at the time of publication. If any speaker must cancel, Wilderness Travel will attempt to provide, but cannot guarantee, a suitable replacement.

In the uncertain, often volatile oil market of late, it is difficult to predict fuel costs over the long term, and more specifically, at the time of the voyage. Our prices are based upon the prevailing fuel rates at the time of the brochure printing, which is well in advance of departure. While we will do everything possible to maintain our prices, if fuel prices increase significantly prior to the time of the voyage, it may be necessary to institute a fuel surcharge.

Deck Plan


Trip Cost Includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations aboard the Wilderness Adventurer
  • All meals included on board
  • Enrichment program of lectures by our Guest Speakers and on-board naturalists
  • Shore excursions
  • National Park entry fees
  • Use of kayaks and stand-up paddle boards

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare to/from points of embarkation and debarkation of the boat, accommodations in Juneau or Ketchikan, port fees and taxes ($175), travel insurance, gratuities to the boat crew (tipping is customary but entirely at your discretion), alcoholic beverages,  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.

Wilderness Adventurer

Refurbished in early 2011, the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer is the ultimate way to experience the Inland Passage, both on board and in the water. The main lounge evokes the cozy style of a classic national park lodge or neighborhood pub and is a great place for socializing or keeping watch for wildlife. Three accessible decks are fully equipped for comfort and action. The Sun Deck has an on-deck hot tub as well as sauna and fitness equipment while the Observation Deck allows for over-the-top viewing from the bow. The EZ Dock launch platform on the Main Deck makes getting in the water a cinch. On board are a fleet of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, yoga mats, a hydrophone for listening to below-surface sounds, and a bow-mounted underwater camera that pipes the action to the lounge and to your cabin TV. All cabins have memory foam mattresses, flat-screen TV/DVD, and an iPod docking station, and all have a view window (no portholes).

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

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Barry Lopez

Departure Dates: May 16-23, 2015

One of the premier nature writers of our time, Barry Lopez explores the complex relationship between physical landscapes and human culture. His best-selling book, Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desires in a Northern Landscape, received the National Book Award for nonfiction, and Of Wolves and Men ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Richard Nelson

Departure Dates: May 16-23, 2015

Richard Nelson is a cultural anthropologist and award-winning writer whose work focuses on the indigenous cultures of Alaska and the relationships between people and nature. He spent many years among Inupiaq Eskimos and Athabaskan Indians in northern Alaska. Based on these experiences, he wrote ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Ray Rodney

Departure Dates: May 16-23, 2015

As Wilderness Travel’s Special Projects Manager, Ray plans and manages our educational Special Events, which have taken him from the Mayan countries to the Andes, Greece, and Egypt for archaeology programs; from Kenya, the Serengeti, and Botswana to the Bering Sea and Sea of Cortez, and to ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips