Cruise aboard Safari Quest on this 13-day exploration of Alaska and Canada's Inside Passages and Glacier Bay. Experience wilderness kayaking, paddle boarding, skiffing, and hiking. Learn the native culture and Pacific Northwest natural history, and participate in adventure activities at Hurricane Ridge, Tongass National Forest, and Misty Fjords National Monument
Visit Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Experience wilderness kayaking, paddle boarding, skiffing, and hiking
Watch for whales and wildlife in Icy Strait
Tour Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers and LeConte Bay iceberg gardens
Ah, the Emerald City! Upon checking in at the hospitality center, guests can later board their ship and settle in. Depending on the vessel, departure is from Downtown Seattle, cruising along the city’s picturesque waterfront, or from Fishermen’s Terminal with transit through historic Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where there is a 20-foot drop into the Salish Sea. Farewell, Seattle.
Hike in Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by rainforest, old-growth forest, and top of the world 360-degree views. Following this, trekking can be done at Hurricane Ridge or exploring Lake Crescent. During clear days, Canada can be seen across the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
Mountains rise higher. Fjords get deeper. A day of intricate waterways and cruising for critters unfolds, keeping watch for black bears on shore, including the elusive spirit bear. Civilization slips away as the journey enters remote waters leading north through British Columbia. Surf-happy dolphins and porpoise often catch a ride on the bow wave. The captain and crew are on the lookout and provide the call of a sighting. A waterfall and an old abandoned cannery come into view - that’s Butedale. Take a moment to slow down and absorb everything as forested fjords roll by. The expedition team aims to entertain and educate over the next days, being ready with natural history, Native influences, and their favorite trivia games as well.
Take a cup of joe to the bow. The world wakes up with the scenery. Bald eagles watch the ship along its course from tree tops. Islands lie to the west, inlet-etched mainland to the east. The captain and mates navigate twisting passages. Harbor seals spend their days on rocky islets. Breathe in the fresh air and absorb miles of forested wilderness. In the lounge, the bartender mixes up the daily special. Take the challenge and play a few friendly hands of cards with a shipmate.
Today, sailing takes you through the northern-most portion of Canada's wild Inside Passage and into Alaska's. The bridge is an ideal spot to look for whales and other wildlife. Discover what the crew has planned for the day. Perhaps there's a cooking or cocktail demonstration or a galley tour. Alternatively, you might have the opportunity to learn more about navigation from the crew and practice tying knots. Anticipation builds as the Alaska portion of the adventure begins tomorrow.
Certain places on the planet have an overwhelming effect. This is one of those locations. The beauty, peace, and strong sense of place envelop you. Misty Fjords National Monument encompasses nearly every ecosystem present in Southeast Alaska, and that alone presents a lot to contemplate. Glacial valleys filled with sea water and sheer 3,000-foot cliffs define the landscape. Various sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, and Sitka black-tailed deer all find a secure haven here. Kayaking in Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay reveals that paddling and moving are just as effortless as sitting, floating, and absorbing everything. Alternatively, skiffing to the base of a waterfall allows for a refreshing fjord-released shower. The area's affectionate nickname, "The Yosemite of the North," is certainly well-deserved.
In Ketchikan, connecting with the Tlingit Culture is a must. Guiding you on a walking tour is tribal leader and local legend Joe Williams, known as Ka Xesh X’e in his native language. The Tlingit possess a rich oral tradition, passing stories from one generation to the next—and Joe's storytelling proves to be captivating! Exploring the surrounding forest is possible through a moderate to easy trail, or if you're up for a challenge, opt for a hard-charger hike along trails and boardwalks, passing cedar, spruce, streams, and waterfalls. Later in the day, Traitor's Cove comes into view as you sail. Will you choose kayaking, skiff tours, or hiking? The decision is yours.
In the morning, the ship winds into the Wrangell Narrows, with abundant bright red and green navigation lights guiding the way—affectionately dubbed “Christmas Tree Lane,” of course. In the afternoon, venture into Thomas Bay. When reaching this point, embracing the full experience seems only fitting. This area represents the remote backcountry of Alaska's wilderness, characterized by glacial landscapes adorned with moraines, muskegs, and mud. Within this playground, every option is available today. Kayaking and skiffing on water almost as clear as glass offer an exquisite experience. The mirror image of fjord walls reflects on the surface. Alternatively, hike through the outwash of Baird Glacier, or opt for a more nature-focused walk through a grassy meadow into the forest.
Spend some time on the bow while gliding through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. Then anchor for more activities. It's time to lower the kayaks and skiffs, allowing for up-close interactions with sea otters or wildlife watching from the kayak. With camera in hand, embark on explorations on both land and sea. Upon closer inspection by skiff, moss-dripping trees extend right down to the water. Are there any bears in the vicinity? Given that it's home to one of the world's largest populations of bears, it's entirely possible. Engage in a search for giant trees and tidal pools. While hiking in the Tongass, it won't take long to discover them. Your eagle-eyed guides lead the way and also bring up the rear.
Bull whip kelp threads through nearby channels like deep, twisted mangroves. The presence of orange and purple starfish and jellyfish might make it hard to believe that the tropics aren't your location. Follow the currents out to where the sea lions flock to remote rock formations. The captain remains on the bridge, while the expedition team is on deck, with all eyes focused on the water and the shore. Vigilance is maintained for the telltale blow of humpbacks. Approach the shoreline by skiff, kayak, or on foot. Sometimes, the smallest things become the biggest wonders. Absorb the evening solitude from the bow or the hot tub. Or enjoy both—why limit yourself to just one choice?
A cool factor exists beyond just the glaciers' appearance. Encompassing 3.3 million acres, this park was under ice until 1795. Since then, glacier recession has opened access to inner areas. Onboard naturalists provide insights into glacial history and wildlife, while South Marble Island hosts nesting spots for various birds and Steller's sea lions. Explore Muir's legacy, from Taylor Bay to Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. Keep an eye out for wildlife in Dundas Bay. Kayak, hike, or join the Farewell Dinner tonight, followed by an expedition team slideshow.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!