Whales and Sea Kayaking in a Glacier-Carved World

Trip Level

This trip is Level 1+, easy to moderate, according to our trip grading system. The expedition vessel serves as a mobile base camp. You'll 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. 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 you 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 the intention to kayak on stormy days or when sea conditions are truly "rough" with high winds and waves (such occasions are infrequent in these waters during the summer). Nevertheless, unpredictability is the rule for the weather in Alaska, and good kayaking weather throughout cannot be guaranteed. And with such a comfortable “mother ship,” you can always opt out of any kayaking or hiking to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and the great views from on board. Please note: Climbing a ship’s ladder to access skiff and kayaks during excursions is required.

Complimentary beer and wine is offered on board. You are welcome to bring any special wines, liquors, and mixers you enjoy. Soft drinks, coffee, and tea are always available.

Weather

Be prepared for temperatures ranging from the low 30sF to a high of 70F. Southern Alaska has a marine climate, which means rain is to be expected at some point on every trip. The rain itself is often a gentle mist, casting an aura of magic and mystery over the land.  We hope for sunshine but recommend that you plan for wet, cool weather. You will be comfortable as long as your rain gear is adequate! Calf-high rubber boots are a necessity.

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.