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Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

At a glance

Duration: 8 days/7 nights

Coverage: Juneau to Sitka

From: $3,595

Season: April - September

Activities: Kayaking, Hiking, Wildlife viewing, Glacier Exploration, Photography

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Un-Cruise Adventures - formerly InnerSea Discoveries + American Safari Cruises
Request InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Brochure

A park ranger joins you on board in Glacier Bay National Park, as you gaze at the majesty of Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.

Watch whales in Icy Strait and Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait. Search for wildlife; bears, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, Dall’s porpoises. Bird and wildlife watch at South Marble Island, a birding and sea lion haulout.

Beachcomb intertidal zones, hike, and bushwhack in the Tongass National Forest. Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in glacial fjords.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 — Juneau - Embark

There’s nothing like a hearty greeting from your crew and some bon voyage bubbly. With all souls settled in on board, you’re underway. From the bow, Southeast Alaska welcomes you with Coast Mountain views.

Day 2 — Captain’s Choice

Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, your captain makes the call. Either choice, go with the flow. The water is fine. The guides help you gear up, and lead your adventure along the rocky outcroppings. By kayak or paddle board, take in the size of this wilderness. Bald eagles dot the tree tops. Harbor seals bob up and under. Pods of orcas—the largest in the dolphin family—skim along the water’s surface.

Day 3 — Glacier Bay National Park

What a privilege. At 3.3 million acres—this UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is massive. At Bartlett Cove, a park ranger joins in on your day’s exploration and shares the park’s history. Orange-beaked puffins, guillemots, marbled murrelets are just a few possible sightings. Keep a tally—the list will grow. Arriving at South Marble Island, you can hear and smell ‘em before you see ‘em—it’s a haulout for sea lions. Perched above around the bend, watch for mountain goats, and lower along shore, foraging bears. Up bay, glacial silt turns the water a milky white. Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers—one holding steady, the other retreating. Lounging harbor seals laze on bits of bergs. And if time allows, tuck up in Tidal Inlet. End this very full day with your feet up for the sail into Icy Strait.

Day 4 — Icy Strait

Nearly to the Pacific Ocean, Icy Strait is remote and wild. The plan? Whales and marine mammals. Spouts and fin slaps are certain giveaways. More rollicking sea lions and birds. But don’t forget to look straight down. Porpoises and dolphins may hitch a ride on the bow wave. And don’t worry about missing any wildlife; it’s a favorite mission of the crew to point out any creatures they spot. Make a break for it and head for a quiet pocket along the rugged coastline. A different sort of wild than the open strait, muskeg leads to forest bushwhacks. Skiff the shore and down along kelp-threaded channels.

Day 5 — Chichagof Island / Peril Strait

Kick off the morn with on-deck yoga stretches (your guides love it when you join them). Meander through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. Then stop. It’s a prime time to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Camera in hand, set off on land and sea explorations. Closer inspection by skiff, moss-dripping trees run right down to the water. Any bears in there? With one of the world’s largest populations of bears, it’s possible. Go searching for giant trees and tidal pools. Hiking in the Tongass, it won’t take long to find them. Your eagle-eyed guides lead the pack—and pull up the rear. Later, wend along a twisting channel known for dramatic currents. Peril Strait runs 50 miles to Salisbury Sound.

Days 6 — Sergius Narrows / Neva Strait

There’s an eerie, enigmatic feeling in these woods. Morning fog catches like cotton balls on trees. The aptly named narrows squeezes to only 300 feet wide in one spot and a shallow 24 feet deep. The shorelines are close and it’s good territory for play. Skiff ashore and hike into the backcountry. Otters back float working to crack snacks resting on their bellies. Opening at Hoonah Sound, the squeeze is back on. Wind into Neva Strait. Watch the scenery change in the late fading light—from the hot tub of course.

Day 7 — Krestof & Nakwasina Sounds

There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is spattered with remote, uninhabited islands. These features mean endless opportunities for adventure. Secluded coves. Tree-covered islets. Drop anchor, pick your modus operandi, and get going. Kayak, paddle board, or skiff—you’re on the level with curious sea lions and possibly whales. Rocky intertidal zones make good beach combing. Turn a stone or two to see what’s underneath. There are no groomed trails here—get out on a guided hike John Muir would approve of. Toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of your trip. A gift to you, from your expedition team.

Day 8 — Sitka - Disembark

Cruise into Sitka this morning over breakfast. Farewell new friends! Disembark and transfer to the airport or your UnCruise hotel stay or land tour.

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Dates & Rates

Dates Ship Navigator Trailblazer Pathfinder Explorer Single Ship Charter
Apr 21, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
Apr 28, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
May 19, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
May 26, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
Jun 9, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Jun 16, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Jun 16, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Jun 23, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Jul 7, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Jul 14, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Jul 14, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Jul 21, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Aug 4, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Aug 11, 2018 Wilderness Discoverer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $7,245 $6,220 $390,495
Aug 11, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Aug 18, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $4,145 $4,945 $5,395 $6,595 $6,845 $386,095
Sep 8, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
Sep 15, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $3,545 $4,345 $4,745 $5,995 $5,845 $340,395
Sep 22, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $2,945 $3,745 $4,145 $5,395 $4,895 $295,995
Sep 29, 2018 Wilderness Explorer $2,945 $3,745 $4,145 $5,395 $4,895 $295,995

All rates are in US$, per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees. Triple accommodations are available in Navigator and Trailblazer categories (Pullman berth) and Explorer cabins on the Wilderness Discoverer (sofa bed.) There is a 25% savings for the one person occupying the Pullman berth or sofa bed when cabins equipped as triples are sold as triples. Children 12 years of age or younger also receive a 25% savings on all departures, all categories. However, on select “Family Discoveries” departure dates, children 12 years or younger travel at a 30% savings. Private charter rates are for up to 49 guests.

FARES INCLUDE: Onboard meals; spirits, wine, beer; non-alcoholic beverages; transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all from-the-vessel activities and equipment.

Map

Northern Passages & Glacier Bay Itinerary Map

Ships

Wilderness Discoverer

Wilderness Discoverer

The Wilderness Discoverer is an expedition ship capable of nimble exploration through nature’s most dramatic hideaways. The shallow draft and hull design allow easy access to Southeast Alaska’s wildlife-rich shores and glacially-fed inlets and serve as ideal "launching pads" for an exciting array of daily adventure excursions. A fully-equipped fishing boat also travels with each small ship. The interior spaces offer contemporary colors and brushed metals that complement the wilderness outside and both the public and private spaces are loaded with special amenities.

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Wilderness Explorer

Wilderness Explorer

Wilderness Explorer is an expedition ship capable of nimble exploration through nature’s most dramatic hideaways. The shallow draft and hull design allow easy access to Southeast Alaska’s wildlife-rich shores and glacially-fed inlets and serve as ideal "launching pads" for an exciting array of daily adventure excursions. A fully-equipped fishing boat also travels with each small ship. The interior spaces offer contemporary colors and brushed metals that complement the wilderness outside and both the public and private spaces are loaded with special amenities.

View ship details...

Cruise Reviews

Wilderness Explorer - May 2015

Wilderness ExplorerThe cruise exceeded all of our expectations. It was one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences we've had in all our travels. The crew was exceptional--smart, enthusiastic, gregarious and a delight to be around. Our fellow passengers were also a remarkable group--well-traveled, friendly, and great conversationalists. Good food, well prepared and a good selection. Ship was immaculate, in very pristine shape. We enjoyed our cabinm one of the largest on the ship but still rather small.

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Wilderness Explorer - June 2012

Wilderness ExplorerWe had Cabin 303, Trailblazer with twin beds. I can't say enough about this week! It was the best adventure we have had in years. Luckily, there were only 33 passengers so our group was small enough to get to know everyone. We kayaked, hiked, and explored on the skiff 2-3 times a day, even snorkeled. We saw SO MANY whales that even the crew was mesmerized. The very first night we saw a pod of orca. Another evening, it was as if the humpbacks put on a 2 hour show for us - cooperative feeding (eschelon and bubble net) and broaching 4-5 times in a row. All passengers and crew were on the deck watching and applauding! the sea otters were there too, taking advantage of the fish left over from the humpbacks and laying on their backs eating with their front paws. At the same time there was a group of 10-12 puffins feeding.

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Cruise/Land Extensions

Pre-/Post-Cruise Hotel Stays

Juneau – Goldbelt Hotel
Centrally located and overlooking the waterfront, this newly renovated and upgraded hotel features spacious water view rooms and is within walking distance to Juneau’s shop, restaurants, and the Mt. Robert’s tram.
Westmark Sitka Hotel
Defined to reflect local culture, this hotel has a large welcoming fireplace, fine restaurant and lounge, and comfortable accommodations. Near the heart of town, many of Sitka’s top attractions are a short walk away.
Winterlake Lodge
North of Anchorage and nestled along mile 198 of the historic Iditarod Trail, experience Alaska’s interior on a 4-night land extension that features the remote, fly-in wilderness Winterlake Lodge.

Pre-/Post-Cruise Land Tours

Denali National Park & Knik River Adventure
Our 6-night, pre-cruise ESCORTED land tour features wilderness lodge stays in Denali National Park and Knik River Valley, and hotel overnights in Fairbanks and Anchorage.
Alaska Railroad & Denali National Park Adventure
Enhance your cruise with a 5-night pre- or post-cruise land package featuring Denali National Park and Preserve and hotel overnights in Anchorage.

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