This truly is the Ultimate Alaska Adventure cruise and will reveal all the best of what AlaskaÂ’s Inside Passage has to offer. Over the course of 15 days youÂ’ll experience the wealth of Alaska wilderness and wildlife traveling deep into the heart of the Inside Passage, the way only a small ship can. Adventure and discovery is around every corner and the pristine, unspoiled beauty will leave you with lasting memories.
Day 1: Embark on your adventure in Juneau
Welcome aboard! After meeting your crew and getting acquainted with your shipÂ’s features, finish the evening with a delicious meal as you anchor in Windham Bay.
Day 2: Windham Bay, Chuck River Wilderness and Frederick Sound
Wake up to the glory of Windham Bay. Push your senses and your muscles with the exhilarating combination of sea kayaking and trekking. Or ride a skiff to the same shore and take a relaxing walk on a trail that boasts a 350-foot elevation gain. Back onboard, move into the waters of Frederick Sound Â– the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the Northern Hemisphere. Scan the water for movement and thrill as humpbacks, orca and Stellar sea lions feed, swirl, jump and splash back down to the surface. Later tonight, you'll be anchored inside the appropriately named Scenery Cove.
Day 3: Thomas Bay, Baird Glacier and Cascade Creek
Thomas Bay is known for glaciers, gold and quartz deposits, and an array of wildlife. Take on the exposed terminal moraine of the Baird Glacier Trail, until you reach the top of the glacier itself. Enjoy a long guided kayak excursion from Scenery Cove to Cascade Creek and then treat yourself to a short trek on one of the several scenic Cascade Creek trails. Or take a quiet day spent onboard, putting your feet up, getting a massage and staring at the gorgeous scenery. Dinner includes a reading from Â“The Strangest Story Ever Told,Â” a story about Thomas Bay and native bigfoot-like creatures call Kushtaka.
Day 4: LeConte Bay, Stikine River and Ideal Cove
Wake to the sounds of Â“bergy bitsÂ” and brash ice as they gently roll past the hull of the ship as you ease through the ice-rich waters of LeConte Bay, home to the Northern hemisphereÂ’s most southerly tidewater glacier. Soar above the stunning mile-wide LeConte Glacier in an optional floatplane excursion. Shake off sleep with a yoga class. Then rove through the ice-encrusted waters by kayak or skiff. A treasure trove of adventure and natural beauty is sure to please - whether you choose a kayak, a skiff excursion, hiking at Ideal Cove, or an optional guided overnight trip via kayaking, hiking and camping ashore. After dinner, donÂ’t miss the sights as the ship turns toward Wrangell via the Wrangell Narrows, and are guided by over 30 bright red and green navigation lights, locally known as Christmas Tree Lane.
Day 5: Wrangell, Chief Shakes Tribal House
Today, it is all about native culture, wildlife and wonder. Rise early to go after abundant King Salmon just waiting to be hooked. Brush up on your Tlingit culture at Chief Shakes Tribal House for native storytelling and visit Kiksetti Totem Park on Front Street to view recently carved totem poles and hear their unique story. Bear lovers may choose to travel by river boat to view the brown and black bears fishing for salmon at Anan Creek (optional). End the day with a soak in the hot tub or maybe a DVD as the vessel cruises toward Yes Bay on the northern end of Behm Canal.
Day 6: Yes Bay
It is tough to say Â“noÂ” in Yes Bay. Maybe that is why wildlife abounds in Yes Bay and the surrounding Tongass National Forest Â– humpback whales, orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown bears, black bears, mink, marten, eagles and otters. Say yes to a kayak tour up the bay and choose your wildlife-seeking hike: Wolverine Creek Trail and the scenic hike following the river to Lake McDonald Â– also a perfect spot to cast a fly for trout. After lunch, wile away the hours over a good book, take out a kayak for a leisurely paddle, enjoy a snorkeling excursion or indulge in the good fun of platform diving contests and swim races around the ship.
Day 7: Misty Fjords National Monument
Watch the sun rise over the steep and sometimes sheer walls of the Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness Area, a haven for ducks, brown and black bear, mountain goats, Sitka deer, mink, moose, river otters and other marine wildlife who ply the waters of Behm Canal and the inlets. Glide through Walker Cove by kayak (close-in or long distance) and stop at shoreline beaches to stretch your legs. Or explore it all by skiff, soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world. Man the rope swing, race around the ship and show off with a platform dive, if you dare. This evening, you will be greeted with cocktails as you join the Captain in a farewell toast and reminisce about your Alaskan journey over a sumptuous Alaskan seafood and prime beef dinner. After dinner, share in conversation with all the new friends youÂ’ve made on your journey and show your video footage on the lounge's flat screen TV's.
Day 8: Ketchikan
Experence the native culture of Totem Bight or Saxman totem parks, Totem Heritage Center (optional tour arrangements), stroll around piling-supported Creek Street - home to Dolly's House Museum, shop or maybe take a zip line ride before transferring back to your ship for a second week of Southeast Alaska exploration.
Day 9: El Capitan Passage and Devilfish Bay
Wake to breathtaking views of the expansive Tongass Forest, the nationÂ’s largest national forest, rising on either side of Devilfish Bay. The El Capitan Passage, a 27-mile long waterway dividing Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Islands, offers many ways to get closer to nature. Drop crab pots en route to prime fishing waters. Wind through the high forests on an old logging trail. Paddle the scenic, 4-mile roundtrip around Devilfish Cove. And donÂ’t miss El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in North America. This afternoon, visit Marble Island, named for the famous Tokeen Marble Quarry, to pick up freshly harvested oysters and fish from a local family. During cocktail hour, family members come aboard to share their unique perspective of life in the Alaskan outback. Tonight some may choose to kayak and then camp ashore.
Day 10: Klawock
As the sun rises over the Tlingit village of Klawock, the living history of native Alaska lies in wait. Spend the morning gaining a better understanding about the importance of carving in Alaskan culture, mixing with the locals and gazing up at the twenty-one restored totem poles that color the town. Hear the stories of the totems at the park and at the carvers' shed where the art of carving and restoring totems is passed on to the local youth. In the afternoon, you may choose to kayak close-in or for distance. Explore the Klawock area on foot or by kayak, keeping an eye out for bears, eagles, sea birds and whales.
Day 11: Little Port Walter and Mist Cove
Anchored in Little Port Walter, the day offers many options. This morning, choose between a half-day fishing excursion, fly fishing, a hike on Sashin Lake Trail, or take it easy with a shorter hike to the site of an ancient native fish weir to explore an abandoned cannery. Later, visit a NOAA field fisheries site and hike in Mist Cove for seemingly never-ending views, until you come face-to-face with an enormous waterfall. Back onboard, meet a fisheries expert from Deer Lake aquaculture who will join you for dinner and a presentation.
Day 12: Patterson Bay & Deep Cove
While you sleep soundly, the ship will slip through the waters between Little Port Walter for Patterson Bay. Leisurely explore the bay by skiff, kayak (long or short trips), guided hikes and even gear up for snorkeling. Share your video footage on the lounge's flat screen TV's throughout the evening. Toast another day's amazing adventures with a cold microbrew or cocktail. Be sure to watch the sun slowly disappear over the horizon. Kayaks are available all day for unguided touring at your leisure.
Day 13: The Brothers, Frederick Sound and Whale Watching
The Brothers, a pair of islands in Frederick Sound, are home to some of AlaskaÂ’s most abundant wildlife. And no one will be immune to the wonderful pomp and pageantry of the Stellar sea lions that rest here. Choose between a 5-10 mile guided kayak trip or skiff tour to the southern end of The Brothers where the sea lions bark commands and pal around. After lunch, move into the waters of Frederick Sound Â– the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the Northern Hemisphere. Scan the water for movement and thrill as humpbacks, orca and Stellar sea lions feed, swirl, jump and crash back down to the surface. Learn fascinating facts and behavioral theories about the whales from onboard naturalists as you watch the action. Later tonight, you will be anchored inside the glacial Endicott Arm, listening to whales and dreaming of more to come tomorrow.
Day 14: Endicott Arm and FordÂ’s Terror Wilderness
On the last full day of your journey, prepare to have your breath taken away by sculptural glacial views and snow-covered mountains. Endicott Arm frequently offers respite to seals on the smaller "bergy bits" and sometimes, it gets a little crowded. Kayak toward the glowing blue of Dawes Glacier's face or see it all from the ease of a skiff. Tides permitting, the ship will move up to FordÂ’s Terror, a narrow passage named after a naval crewmember who was stranded in the turbulent tidal water for six hours. Armed with tide tables, you can safely skiff through FordÂ’s Terror and admire the magnificent domes, hanging valleys and pristine wilderness that surround it. Back aboard, you will be greeted with cocktails and a cheery camaraderie as you join the Captain in a farewell toast. Anchored at Woods Spit, enjoy a wonderful dinner and even better conversations with all the new friends youÂ’ve made on your journey.
Day 15: Arrive in Juneau / Disembark
A Bon Voyage breakfast ends the 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.