Wilderness Explorer, Alaska Fjords & Glacier Bay Ultimate Expedition ex Ketchikan to Juneau

Alaska & Canada West

Details

14 Night Cruise sailing from Ketchikan to Juneau aboard Wilderness Explorer.

14 Night Cruise sailing from Ketchikan to Juneau aboard Wilderness Explorer.

Note: Cruise operates in approximate reverse order to the itinerary outlined below.

DAY 1 Juneau Embarkation
Arriving in Juneau, you will be transferred from the airport to our hospitality area. Upon boarding, your crew greets you with champagne and smiles. Set sail for a week of scenic channels and secluded wilderness. (D)

DAY 2 Lynn Canal & Saint James Bay
Just what you need, morning stretches on deck with your guide. Warm those hard-at-play muscles. You know firsthand conditions in Southeast change one inlet to the next. Your captain is at the helm and picks just the right spot. Lynn Canal or Saint James Bay? Whichever, the adventures are as big as the water is deep! So many hidden pockets in the Tongass National Forest. Give your paddle board skills a glide. Watch for big-eyed harbor seals from a kayak. Bushwhack into the forest of giants. Your guides know the area’s history and keep it lively. (BLD)

DAY 3 Haines, Alaska
The center of adventure. Tucked beneath snowcapped peaks, Haines has it all. Hiking, biking, rafting, and history. One thing’s for sure—the trails are irresistible. Go easy, or feel the burn—whatever your speed, the views reward in spades. Your expedition team shares the city’s captivating history. A trading outlet for Chilkat Tlingit, they called it “Dtehshuh”—the end of the trail. European explorers, the Klondike gold rush, a U.S. Army outpost—influences still apparent today. What holds your interest? Follow your curiosity on a self-led tour. (BLD)

DAY 4 Chichagof Island
Known for an abundance of brown bears, this area offers the opportunity for hikes, kayaking, skiffing and a special treat of meeting up with a local select cut logger and learning the trade of a backwoods Alaskan making an ecologically safe living off the land. Keep your eyes out for those bears - they frequent the stream bed. (BLD)

DAY 5 Icy Strait / Point Adolphus
Before you do anything, look out the window. From kelp-lined channels to hemlock and spruce forests, every inch of this far northwest corner is worth exploring. And if the tides are right, head out in the skiff with one of the guides for a closer exploration of the rugged shore. Seals and sea lions haul out on rocky outcroppings, resting before they disappear in the water to search for food. Whatever you do—wilderness trekking, skiffing, or paddling—your expedition team guides the way. Point Adolphus is known for Humpback whales…keep a sharp eye out! (BLD)

DAY 6 Glacier Bay National Park Outback (or George Island)
Your Captain will make this decision based on weather. If possible, we will visit either the far outback areas of Glacier Bay or the famed “George Island” with a close-up opportunity for sea otters and a World War II cannon that sits in the wilderness today. However this day turns out, it is going to be very special as we visit the outer section of the Inside Passage. (BLD)

DAY 7 Glacier Bay National Park
Your camera’s memory card needs plenty of room. South Marble Island is abuzz with activity. Rare sea birds, black oystercatchers, and orange-beaked tufted puffins can’t be missed. A colony of raucous sea lions adds to the hubbub. They add a distinct aroma to the air, too. Tucking into silent Tidal Inlet—the stomping grounds for bears, wolves, mountain goats, eagles—the backdrop is spectacular. At the end of the western-most arm of the bay sits Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers. And possible views of glacial calving. Tonight, it’s a festive Farewell Dinner. A “photo journal” of your trip by your expedition team is the cherry on top. (BLD)

DAY 8 Juneau
An included tramway ticket provides a ride up the Mt. Roberts Tram, where views unfold as you ascend 1,800 feet through the forest. At the top, explore the trails and Nature Center; back at the bottom, explore Alaska’s heritage at the Alaska State Museum. Both options also include a lunch voucher for a local restaurant. Complimentary laundry service is provided today. (BLD)

DAY 9 Tracy Arm / Fords Terror Wilderness
Jutting off Stephens Passage with two deep, glacially carved fjords, this designated wilderness area contains over 600,000 acres. Cruise past chunks and chunks of floating ice. It’s a harbor seal’s delight lazing away the day atop a floating bergie. If conditions are right, skiffs are the ticket to getting in close. (BLD)

DAY 10 Stephens Passage
Humpback whales are frequent visitors of this Southeast passage. A misty spout is a sure sign they’re in the neighborhood. Your captain navigates Stephens Passage to Port Houghton. And you’re in for a boot-sucking, paddle-smacking day of adventure with your guide team. The routes are all picked out. Make your choice and make your move. Slip off the kayak launch and take it slow spotting sea stars and shore birds. Hard chargers take a long wild paddle to the salt chuck at the back of the inlet. Or, hike into the Tongass. (BLD)

DAY 11 Thomas Bay / Wrangell Narrows
When you come this far, you might as well go all in. This is way back backcountry of Alaska’s wilderness. Glacial landscapes marked by moraines, muskegs, and mud. In this playground, it’s all an option today. Kayak and skiff in water almost clear as glass. The mirror image of fjord walls plays on the surface. Hike through the outwash of Baird Glacier. Or keep it green on an interpretive walk through a grassy meadow into the forest. Later, wind into the Wrangell Narrows. Abundant bright red and green navigation lights guide the way. It’s nicknamed “Christmas Tree Lane,” of course. (BLD)

DAY 12 Wrangell
Native culture and wildlife have gotten along just fine for centuries. Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska. It’s also the only one ever governed by four nations. The Tlingit cultures have deep roots here. And local islanders come aboard this morning with a presentation that brings their stories and legends to life. Venture into town for a view of recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park. See how many totems you can pick out on each pole. Step inside famed Chief Shakes Tribal House. Can you feel the history in this historic community house? (BLD)

DAY 13 Behm Canal
Wildlife abounds. Black bears, mink, eagles. In Behm Canal, it’s all remote waterways and the isolated Tongass National Forest coves, streams, and bays. On Cleveland Peninsula, your expedition team leads a low-elevation hike near clear, rushing streams. Good opportunities for enticing forested shots of Southeast. In the water orca, porpoises, seals, and otters go about their business. Go about yours on a guided paddle in tiny, deserted waterways that feed into Behm Canal. (BLD)

DAY 14 Misty Fjords
There are places on the planet that completely overcome you. This is one of them. The beauty. The peace. The sense of place you feel. Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska. And that alone is a lot to consider. Glacial valleys filled with sea water. Sheer 3,000-foot cliffs. Sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, all find safe haven here. Kayak in Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay and you find it’s just as easy to paddle and go, as it is to sit and float and take it all in. Or skiff to the base of a waterfall for fjord-released shower. Its affectionate nickname, “The Yosemite of the North,” is deserved. And it’s an amazing wrap to your week. Your captain joins you tonight for a Farewell Dinner. Celebrate and reminisce about your Alaskan journey with a “photo journal” by your crew. (BLD)

DAY 15 Ketchikan, Alaska - Disembarkation
After breakfast this morning, bid adieu to your new pals before you disembark. (B)

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