Alaska's Glacier Bay: Wilderness and Wildlife of the Inside Passage

Expedition Cruise aboard the Wilderness Explorer
with award-winning nature writers Kim Heacox and Debbie Miller


Glacier Bay’s magnificent blue-white glaciers, stunning fjords, and the temperate rainforests that flank the wildlife-rich waterways of the Inside Passage are the extraordinary settings for our Special Event. We'll journey with award-winning authors Kim Heacox and Debbie Miller aboard the comfortable 74-guest Wilderness Explorer, with hiking, whale watching, sea kayaking, and exploring by skiff all along the way. Our adventures are enriched by unforgettable presentations and daily informal interactions with our Guest Speakers. Their insights into the human relationship with the natural world bring an even greater depth to our experience as we explore one of the most staggeringly beautiful landscapes in North America.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1, Aug 21, 2022
Juneau, Alaska / Embark

Welcome to Alaska! The town of Juneau, set beneath forested mountainsides and snow-capped peaks, is our picturesque launching point. We board our ship here and sail west through the scenic channels of the Inside Passage.

Day 2, Aug 22, 2022
Tracy Arm

As we cruise up Tracy Arm past snow-covered mountains and glacier-carved valleys, we keep watch for harbor seals who frequently play in these waters. If the tides are right, a skiff excursion will bring you along the steep walls that are streaked with waterfalls to meet the twin Sawyer Glaciers. These active icecaps are known for their spectacular calving displays that produce huge, floating icebergs.

Day 3, Aug 23, 2022
Frederick Sound

As we head into Frederick Sound, keep an eye out for bears and eagles in the secluded coves of the deeply indented coastline. This is one of the best places to see humpback whales as they feed on abundant krill, zooplankton, and herring in the glacial waters, and we spend much of our day seeking out and observing them. Based on wind and weather, we’ll cruise past the Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station, and watch for napping sea lions on the Brothers Islands.

Day 4, Aug 24, 2022
Icy Strait

Icy Strait has arguably the richest concentration of whales in Southeast Alaska, and we join the expedition team out on deck in search of humpbacks, orcas, and Steller sea lions. Boarding skiffs, we can get a closer inspection of the rugged and wild coastline, perhaps spotting brown bears on the shores, or exploring the marshy muskeg and deep forest on foot.

Day 5, Aug 25, 2022
Glacier Bay National Park

Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, tumbling into the sparkling waters of Glacier Bay. This national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, is one of America’s wilderness crown jewels. We head towards the southernmost reaches of the park where it’s less windswept but no less wild. In Taylor Bay, we beachcomb, kayak around sea stacks and otters, and watch for sharp-eyed eagles. A skiff takes us deep into Dundas Bay for a heart-pumping walk through the dense forest filled with indigenous wildlife.

Day 6, Aug 26, 2022
Glacier Bay National Park

In the company of a national park ranger, we uncover coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. At the far end of Tarr Inlet, we witness the magnificent Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers calving into the bay. Near South Marble Island, we linger to spot the many species of rare seabirds that call this area home, and keep an eye out for brightly colored puffins and black oystercatchers, along with sea lions, mountain goats, bears, and eagles. Our day is complete with a stop in Bartlett Cove to visit the park headquarters.

Day 7, Aug 27, 2022
Chatham Strait

Meander along the spectacular coasts of Chatham Strait and marvel at the grand scenery of Tongass National Park as our crew expertly guides us through unnamed glacier-carved fjords. We anchor in a remote cove of Port Frederick or another secluded inlet for an opportunity to board our kayaks for a paddle, or explore the shorelines on an intertidal walk or hike through moss-covered forest with our guides. We cap our voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner.

Day 8, Aug 28, 2022
Juneau / Disembark

We cruise into Juneau and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the Juneau airport, or begin your add-on overnight stay or extended land tour.

Note: This is an expedition cruise, and the daily itinerary and specific activities above are an approximate indication of the actual program, which is entirely flexible in order to provide you with the best possible experience. A journey to Alaska’s northern passages 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.



Spend two full days in Glacier Bay National Park, a World Heritage Site renowned for its wildlife and natural beauty
Enjoy active days kayaking, hiking, whale watching, paddleboarding, and exploring by skiff
Enrich the journey with informal interactions and evening presentations by Special Guest speakers Kim Heacox and Debbie Miller, premier authors and distinguished experts
Witness bears, humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, eagles, and other incredible wildlife
Savor the comfort of a fully equipped small expedtion ship with a 3:1 guest-to-crew ratio


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $6695  
Arrive: Juneau, Alaska
Depart: Juneau, Alaska
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a 74-guest expedition vessel
Meals: All group meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Boat and Yacht Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Wildlife and Natural History, Hiking / Trekking, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

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