Whales and Sea Kayaking in a Glacier-Carved World

Overview

Glaciers crackle, bald eagles soar, and the sea is filled with whales, orcas, and porpoises. Explore this northern wonderland the perfect way, on a historic 12-guest wooden vessel that can maneuver around icebergs, follow whales, get close to glaciers, and tuck into tiny coves that bigger vessels wouldn’t even dream of approaching. On this active adventure, your days are filled with sea kayaking, hiking on glacial moraines, tracking wildlife, and exploring fjords, islands, and tidepools, all in the company of an on-board naturalist who shares insights into the local botany, natural history, and native culture. Back on board, you’ll be welcomed “home” for a delightful sea-to-table meal by the talented on-board chef. This is the way to experience the Inside Passage!

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Juneau / Ford’s Terror (Juneau to Petersburg itinerary)

From Juneau, head into Stephens Passage, watching for bald eagles and orcas. You’re likely to spot the first icebergs as the ship enters fjord-like Endicott Arm for a sail to the face of Dawes Glacier, where you can linger to witness the calving and booming of the bergs and view harbor seals and their pups. A skiff ride upriver often reveals jumping salmon and nesting waterfowl. In Ford’s Terror, known as “a flooded Yosemite Valley,” the ship navigates between 5,000-foot granite faces. You’ll have the chance to explore on foot and kayak through the tidal rapids (at slack water) in this spectacular and little-visited realm. 

Days 3-5
Seymour Canal / Pack Creek Zoological Reserve

Head out to Endicott Arm, watching for bear, moose, wolves, and whales. Tides permitting, you may stop to hike in meadow and woods along the way. Enter Seymour Canal, a 25-mile-long inlet that is home to the highest concentration of bald eagles in southeast Alaska. At the Pack Creek Zoological Area, enjoy the best brown bear viewing opportunity in southeast Alaska. Head to Admiralty Island for an estuary paddle, and at The Brothers Islands, hike and watch for humpbacks and orcas in this prime summer feeding ground. From the ship’s 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 whales are around, the ship will shadow the pod (and drop the hydrophone to listen to them), then head to Thomas Bay, watching for black bears on the beaches. Anchoring at Scenery Cove, ride upriver by skiff for a hike on the ice of the Baird Glacier. Depart on Day 7 from charming Petersburg, or extend to Denali National Park to look for moose and caribou.

Highlights

Highlights

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

Details

Length: 7 days
Cost From: $4600  
Arrive: Juneau, Alaska (or reverse)
Depart: Petersburg, Alaska (or reverse)
Lodging: 6 nights aboard a 75-foot historic boat with 6 cabins, some with private bath
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising, Walking
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate hiking and sea kayaking (no previous kayaking experience necessary)
Cruise collection 2020 brochure

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