Experience the full length of the West Coast of North America's Inside Passage without the open ocean, but with shores ever-so-tight to the sides of your yacht for most of the 900 nautical miles between Seattle and Juneau. Embrace exhilarating closeness to snow-capped mountains, wildlife and birds far too numerous to keep count, waterfalls, tree-lined narrow passageways and surprises at just about every "gunkholing" turn. Choose April or September Âó either is an excellent time for cruising along British Columbia's coast and Alaska's Inside Passage. At these times of the year the foliage is vivid, there are fewer boats and people, and bears and other animals are likely foraging along the shoreline.
Day 1: Sail from Juneau, Alaska
You'll be met at the airport and transferred to the Safari Explorer where your crew greets you with champagne and hors d'oeuvres. You'll cruise north toward the serene anchorage this evening.
Days 2-3: Glacier Bay National Park
One of America's crown-jewel national parks will be yours to explore and marvel at for the next two days. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay. If conditions permit, your guide will lower the inflatable and weave you among the icebergs that have fallen from the face of the glaciers. You'll enjoy evenings at anchor in hidden coves, and mornings paddling kayaks in the quiet of this majestic wilderness. And what will you find? Quite possibly you'll see puffins, sea lions, mountain goats, bears, moose, eagles, and scenery more spectacular than any place on earth.
Days 4-5: Fjords and Hot Springs
You'll spend these two days in the wildest, most pristine corners of Alaska. Paddle kayaks in remote fjords, hike to natural hotsprings, wander through the temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska, and explore some of the most scenic, hidden gems one can find in the inside passage.
Day 6: Petersburg, Alaska
Today you'll make a port stop to the quaint Norwegian-style fishing village of Petersburg. Once back onboard, your journey leads you through the ever-so-narrow Wrangell Narrows, a passage that's been dubbed "Christmas Tree Lane" for the red and green navigational markers that mark the route. Home to rich salmon runs, it will take you into some of the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Watch for the familiar blows of humpback whales all day!
Days 7-8: Alaskan Waterways
Remote waterways, hidden villages, and wilderness cruising will be your focus today. You'll tour Chief Shakes Island's Tlingit tribal house as you call at the true Alaskan town of Wrangell. Continuing on your cruise, keep an eye out for seals and porpoise on your way to a silent, hidden cut between two islands called Canoe Pass. Your guides will drop the kayaks for those wanting to use their own power to take advantage of the extremely close-in shores. Later, you'll poke into Meyer's Chuck. Tucked behind a fortress of broken islands, Meyer's Chuck lies undetected by most that pass this way. You will pull in for a look at this surprising community made up of a handful of fishermen, artists and bush pilots. Saunter up the cedar-planked boardwalks that are the "streets" of the village, and meet the locals. You will spend the night at anchor in a remote cove. There, you will have time for investigating your surroundings by kayak or inflatable with your Expedition Leaders/Naturalists.
Day 9: Ketchikan, Alaska
Discover the rich, cultural heritage of Alaska's Tlingit Indians on a guided tour or Saxman Totem Village with local village resident Joe Williams. Before you depart, take time to browse shops or stroll along Creek Street where there's often a good dose of local color to be found.
Day 10: Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Prince Rupert is British ColumbiaÂís northernmost port along your route. Here, a historic sightseeing and museum tour introduces you to this scenic community. After your visit youÂíll begin your exploration of the fjords along the northern B.C. coast, anchoring in a quiet cove this evening.
Days 11-13: Exploring the Canadian Inside Passage
Search for orca whales, seals, sea lions and bears. Your Expedition Leader will lead nature hikes and kayaking excursions, and youÂíll enjoy a First Nations dance performance in a cedar-planked big house. YouÂíll also step ashore with Naturalists from Raincoast Conservation Society who will tell you about local wildlife and fisheries studies, including little known details on rainforest wolves and the mysterious Spirit bear.
Day 14: The San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor
You'll arrive in US waters today; all eyes open for orca whales! The misty San Juan Islands greet you this morning. Beautiful forested islands dot the seascape where you wind through the untouched islands in the San Juan's. Today you'll visit the port of Friday Harbor. Here you'll enjoy time at leisure to stroll through the town's many intriguing boutiques and shops, or perhaps the Whale Museum. To top off your trip, you'll celebrate and reminisce together during your festive Farewell dinner.
Day 15: Disembark in Seattle, Washington
During breakfast you'll pass through the Hiram-Chittenden Locks and dock at Seattle's Historic Fishermen's Terminal for a 9:00 am disembarkation. A transfer to the Seattle airport or local hotel is included. Safe travels to all!