After transfer from the airport, you will cruise northward from Seattle's historic Fishermen's Terminal passing through the Hiram-Chittenden Locks and into Puget Sound. You will continue on through Deception Pass, a dramatic and narrow cut between two islands, before dropping anchor in a quiet cove for the night.
The misty, deeply forested San Juan Islands dot the pristine seascape as we head for Friday Harbor, an intriguing town complete with unique boutiques and shops and the fascinating Whale Museum.
The Pacific Northwest is where the term "gunkholing" originated. Today you'll "gunkhole" close to shore, spending hours getting even closer by skiff, kayak and by foot on islands such as tree-lined Sucia. As you depart for Canadian waters in the afternoon, all eyes are needed on deck to keep lookout for orca whales!
As you head northward, fishing communities give way to forested mountains and intricate waterways. Search for orca whales, seals and sea lions, dolphins and porpoise and you'll be able to observe migratory birds. Learn about native influences which shaped the history of these remote and sparsely-populated islands such as Cormorant Island, home to the tiny community of Alert Bay and the world's largest totem pole. Pause for an up-close view of the dilapidated buildings of the former cannery town of Butedale as they silently and slowly edge toward the icy waters of Princess Louisa Channel. A short distance beyond Prince Rupert, B.C. lies the U.S./Canadian border.
Whether it is the Saxman Totem Village or the shops along Creek Street, the rich, cultural heritage of Alaska's Tlingit Indians provide insightful experiences and a good dose of local color.
Representing nearly every ecosystem in Southeast Alaska—its steep walls and glacial valleys filled with sea water are a haven for wildlife. By kayak or skiff, glide through Walker Cove soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world.
Wildlife abounds in Yes Bay and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—humpback whales, orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters. Say yes to a kayak paddle up the bay or a wildlife-seeking hike along a scenic trail.
Home to native culture, wildlife, and wonder—Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska and the only one ever governed by four nations. Brush up on your Tlingit culture and view recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park.
Hike atop the otherworldly Baird Glacier. Natural beauty is today’s setting for kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff riding, or hiking. Bright red and green navigation lights guide you along “Christmas Tree Lane” as you cruise the winding Wrangell Narrows this evening.
Choose kayaking and a forest trek on a Cascade Creek trail or hike five miles to the rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking. Hear legends about the area’s mythical shape-shifting creatures called Kushtaka.
On the last full day of your journey, prepare to have your breath taken away by sculptural glacial views and snow-covered mountains. At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls and large floating icebergs, sits the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Explore Frederick Sound—summer feeding ground for humpback whales. Keep watch for humpbacks, orca, and Steller sea lions.
A Bon Voyage breakfast ends your ship journey; however, there are many enticing ways to extend your journey. Transfer directly to the Juneau airport or arrange for an add-on overnight stay or an extended land tour.