Expedition Cruise aboard the Wilderness Explorer
with renowned nature writers Richard Nelson and Kim Heacox

Overview

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 renowned authors Richard Nelson and Kim Heacox 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 22, 2021
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 23, 2021
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 3, Aug 24, 2021
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 4, Aug 25, 2021
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 26, 2021
Chichagof Island / Baranof Island

Meandering along the spectacular coasts of Chichagof Island and Baranof Island, we marvel at the grand scenery as our crew expertly guides us through unnamed glacier-carved fjords. We anchor in a remote cove such as Pavlov Harbor 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.

Day 6, Aug 27, 2021
Kuiu Island / Frederick Sound

From a skiff or kayak, we discover fascinating intertidal zones and watch for bears and eagles in the secluded coves of the deeply indented coastline of Kuiu Island, part of Tongass National Forest. Based on wind and weather, our expedition team will guide us on explorations of the Brothers Islands, the deeps of Port Houghton, or to the shores of Windham Bay to gain great perspectives of this stunning realm, the largest national forest in the U.S.

Day 7, Aug 28, 2021
Endicott Arm / Dawes Glacier

As we skiff up Endicott 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, we slip into Fords Terror where the steep walls are streaked with waterfalls.  At the end of the arm we meet Dawes Glacier. Standing over 600 feet tall and half a mile wide, this active icecap is known for its spectacular calving displays that produce huge, floating icebergs. After an adventurous day, we cap our voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner.

Day 8, Aug 29, 2021
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.

Highlights

Highlights

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 Richard Nelson and Kim Heacox, 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

Details

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 (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking, Whale Watching
Trip Level:

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