Alaska Cruise: Petersburg to Ketchikan

This voyage explores Misty Fjords National Monument which covers 2,294,343 acres of Tongass National Forest in the panhandle of southeast Alaska. This unique fjord land is accessed only by water and air and crisscrossed with hundreds of swift-running streams, rivers and waterfalls, where five species of salmon follow unseen trails to the unspoiled waters of their birth. The walls of its valleys are near vertical and often rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level and drop 1,000 feet below it. Brown and black bears roam, mountain goats and deer graze, and whales and salmon navigate the waterways.

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart Ketchikan

Depart Ketchikan by 1:15 p.m. and head south down Tongass Narrows. You will travel only a couple of hours so that you have time to make the first kayak paddle before dinner.

Day 2: Misty Fjords / Revillagigedo Island / Behm Canal

You will continue south around Revillagigedo Island, and turn east at its southwestern point. Traveling up the narrowing Behm Canal you will anchor in the most dramatic anchorage in Misty Fiords. Here take an easy two-mile hike up to a lake before moving the boat on to your overnight anchorage in an estuary. This is an area known for high concentrations of Brown Bears. You will explore the estuary, and look for bears from the safety of your kayaks.

Day 3: Misty Fjords / Revillagigedo Island

Today you continue to keep Revillagigedo on the port side as you explore the amazing wilderness that comprises Misty Fjords. Towering cliffs, waterfalls so high that they are reduced to a mist before they reach the sea, and an arm of the ocean that is hundreds of feet deep all create vistas that are often far beyond description. Your evening anchorage offers an opportunity to paddle along a rocky shore and explore a scattering of small islets.

Day 4: Clarence Strait

Today you complete the circumnavigation of Revillagigedo Island, and enter the open waters of Clarence Strait. This strait is open to the SW, and wind and currents can create rough seas which deserve respect. Fortunately you only have a few miles to go before you reach a quintessential Alaskan village, where a handful of hand-built cabins and lodges surround a deep and well protected cove. You will explore the connected coves by kayak, and take a short stroll along the paths and boardwalks that makeup the settlements “road system."

Day 5: Ernest Sound / Anan Creek

An early start will take you back into Clarence Strait for only about a mile before you turn east and enter Ernest Sound. After crossing the Sound you will head south toward Anan Creek, home of a beautiful bear observatory operated by the US Forest Service. Anan Creek is a gathering place for Black Bears during the fall salmon returns, but you will stop long enough to take a walk along the boardwalk to experience a classic black bear habitat. From Anan you will travel a few miles and anchor in the snug cove at the southern entrance to Zimovia Strait. This entire area was home to a large number of Indigenous Peoples, and ancient village sites are located throughout. A kayak paddle will conclude the day’s activities.

Day 6: Zimovia Strait

You leave the snug cove and enter the narrow channel of Zimovia Strait. This winding waterway is well off the usual routes for most vessels transiting the Inside Passage, and you will see why as you wind through reefs and islands. Bright white sand beaches and alder groves hint at old village sites as you travel north. Entering more open waters upon exiting Zimovia you zig-zag through larger islands, sites of mines and logging operations, until you anchor for the evening in a quiet cove at the the southern terminus of Wrangell Narrows, one of the most famous passages in Southeast Alaska. Catching the correct current to go through the Narrows is critical, so you may travel past the cove in order to catch the tides. No matter what, there will be a kayak paddle at the end of the days run, and a wonderful evening to share your experiences over dinner and wine.

Day 7: Wrangell Narrows / Petersburg

This morning the voyage concludes in Petersburg, Alaska’s Little Norway. Wrangell Narrows is a navigator’s puzzle set, and watching the navigation markers resolve themselves into a safe passage from the pilothouse is an interesting way to pass the morning. You will moor in Petersburg by 10 a.m., enabling those who need to fly today to catch the morning flight.

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