Alaska: Exploring Glacier Bay

Sea Kayaking, Hiking, and Wildlife Viewing in Southeast Alaska


This perfectly timed adventure brings you to renowned Glacier Bay, where you'll explore remote coves and inlets, and be on the lookout for the first returning humpback whales, and the thousands of migrating shore and seabirds bound for Arctic nesting sites. Grizzlies and black bears, recently emerged from their hibernation dens, can be seen bending the branches of black cottonwoods down to feed on the sweetly-resinous leaf buds, grazing on swards of lush sedges, and scraping succulent barnacles and mussels from rocks along the water’s edge. This is one of the most extraordinary times to witness wildlife in Alaska. On board the ship, savor delicious food and share the day’s discoveries over a glass of wine. This is one of the best ways to experience all that southeast Alaska has to offer! While we have a planned itinerary, each trip differs slightly depending upon the time of the tidal currents, the weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities, and the wishes of our clients.

Itinerary at a Glance

Juneau to Juneau (8-Day Itinerary)

This itinerary is dependent on the weather and the tides and may change at the captain’s discretion.

Day 1
Juneau / Glacier Bay National Park

Depart from Juneau’s Auke Bay Marina at 1:15 pm. As you head south down Gastineau Channel, watch as the symptoms of civilization slip into our wake. Soon high rises, power lines and cruise ships are far behind you and orcas, humpbacks and rafts of seabirds are in front of you. Your first night’s anchorage is in a quiet harbor outside the borders of Glacier Bay National Park. Here you can launch kayaks and take your first paddle in the wilderness.

Days 2-7
Exploring Glacier Bay National Park

We will travel through the bays and inlets of Glacier Bay National Park, stopping at beautiful anchorages for the night after observing wild life and possibly a calving glacier or two. Hiking or kayaking, accompanied by the on-board naturalist, we will learn about the fauna and flora of the area. Each trip varies depending on the weather and duration; some highlights include:

Bartlett Cove/Fingers Bay: We stop near the Park entrance to hike the Bartlett Cove nature trail. After returning to the boat, we cast off and head further into the bay. At Fingers Bay, we may see bears rooting for fresh food upon the beach and a myriad of sea birds that have flocked to the rich waterways of the park.

Reid Glacier: This glacier has recently grounded out and provides an opportunity to walk right up to its face. The discovery of the day might be that ice worms are real! We will also walk at the entrance of the inlet and look for remnants of a small mining claim, worked by the Ibach family, during the early 1900s.

Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers: For some, the highlight may be the visit to Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers, or it could be the otters that we may see as we explore John Hopkins Inlet; or, it may just be the particular shade of blue that the sky takes on after the sun sets late in the evening. In any case, it promises to be a day of superlatives. Kittiwakes nest along the side of the glaciers, while eagles come to rest upon the icebergs. Listen to the glacier cracking and watch it calving into the sea with an enormous splash.

Wildlife: Watch for mountain goats feeding and sunning themselves on rocky ledges as we sail by, looking for Steller sea lions who haul out on small islands. These islands also host a gathering of puffins. Glacier Bay boasts a large array of quiet coves and bays, each of which plays host to a stunning variety of plants and animals. Humpback whales will come into view in some of the richest fishing grounds in SE Alaska.

Day 8
Juneau / Depart

We are up early to make sure we get everyone to Juneau in time to make their connections to the outside.



Explore Glacier Bay aboard a historic small vessel that brings you into incredible coves where the big ships can’t go
Hike on glacial moraine and in old-growth cedar, hemlock, and spruce forests
Watch calving glaciers, bald eagles, and breaching whales
Sea kayak amid icebergs and into remote inlets


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $7500  
Arrive: Juneau, Alaska
Depart: Juneau, Alaska
Lodging: 9 nights aboard a private expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Wildlife and Natural History, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising, Small Boat and Yacht Cruising, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level:

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