Take an early afternoon flight from Seattle to Juneau. Before embarking the ship, stop by the Alaska State Museum for an artful introduction to this unique state. Also visit Mendenhall Glacier, set in the dramatic Mendenhall Valley, located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Embark the ship and take the time to settle into your cabin before dinner. After dinner onboard, take a few hours to yourself and explore the port of Juneau.
This morning, enter Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially-carved fjords. Your ship also passes the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, use your Zodiacs to provide unparalleled up close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals and porpoises, Arctic terns and Bonaparte gulls.
Search for humpback whales as you head toward LeConte Bay, a virtual sculpture garden of grounded and floating icebergs. Weather permitting, have the opportunity to join naturalists in Zodiacs amid the ice. Later head to the small town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, where there is an opportunity for optional flightseeing. Bicycles are available for rides through town or join naturalists for a walk in the nearby bog. The ship remains at the dock until you’re called to dinner for a Dungeness crab feast.
These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It's not uncommon to observe their fascinating behavior — breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding — as you fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from our expert naturalists. You may also see sea lions hauled out and the majestic bald eagle. Once ashore, you have the opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up close exploration.
Hike and kayak among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea otters reside. Search for whales in the rich waters of Icy Strait and, conditions permitting, lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the whales’ communication.
Spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers, and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. Expect to see glaciers that end abruptly at the water’s edge and observe them “calving” — tons of ice crashing into the sea — accompanied by an exhilaratingly thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks as well as harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and puffins are some of the creatures we may observe. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. A native Tlingit interpreter joins us onboard to share the legend of the area.
Today, nature is your guide as you set forth with the flexibility to take advantage of wildlife and weather conditions. Stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beachcomb, and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. This area is home to the highest density of nesting bald eagles in the world, so sightings are very common. If conditions permit, do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.
After breakfast disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which is readily apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. Gaze up at the grand totem poles that line the wooded trails through Sitka National Historic Park. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, have close views of species normally seen at a distance in the wild — bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. After your visit, drive to the airport for your afternoon flight to Seattle.
|Cat 1||Cat 1 Single||Cat 2||Cat 2 Single||Cat 3|
|* Itinerary operates in reverse.|