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Active Prince William Sound Discovery

From: $1950
5 days • Level 1 (Details)Active Prince William Sound Discovery
The vast marine wilderness of Prince William Sound offers an abundance of tidewater glaciers, wildlife and solitude - ideal for our style of up close exploration aboard a small ship. This pristine environment is equally as impressive as the famed Inside Passage but much less traveled. View wildlife undisturbed from our small yacht. You will be thrilled by abundant opportunities to view h umpback and orca whales, sea otters, sea lions, bear and bald eagles! Each day offers new opportunities for up close nature exploration by small ship, foot and kayak while each night features fine dining, interpretive lectures and comfortable accommodations.

Join us aboard the 12-passenger yacht, M/V Discovery, to experience the enchanted inlets, fjords, glaciers and wildlife of Prince William Sound. Cruise Alaska and Prince William Sound aboard the small ship discovery. We can also arrange charters for your family or special group.

Save $100 per person when you combine this Prince William Sound cruise with our Denali Backcouontry Explorer.
read more The vast marine wilderness of Prince William Sound offers an abundance of tidewater glaciers, wildlife and solitude - ideal for our style of up close exploration aboard a small ship. This pristine environment is equally as impressive as the famed Inside Passage but much less traveled. View wildlife undisturbed from our small yacht. You will be thrilled by abundant opportunities to view humpback and orca whales, sea otters, sea lions, bear and bald eagles! Each day offers new opportunities for up close nature exploration by small ship, foot and kayak while each night features fine dining, interpretive lectures and comfortable accommodations.

Join us aboard the 12-passenger yacht, M/V Discovery, to experience the enchanted inlets, fjords, glaciers and wildlife of Prince William Sound. Cruise Alaska and Prince William Sound aboard the small ship discovery. We can also arrange charters for your family or special group.

Save $100 per person when you combine this Prince William Sound cruise with our Denali Backcouontry Explorer.
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From the Blog

Expert Review: Active Prince William Sound Discovery

Expert Review: Active Prince William Sound Discovery

Adventure coordinator Andrew Browning reviews his Alaska small ship cruise aboard the 12-guest Discovery.
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Day 1 - Arrive Anchorage

Day 2 - Anchorage to Whittier, embark Discovery

Day 3 - Chenega Glacier

Day 4 - Prince William Sound Exploration

Day 5 - Cascade, Barry and Coxe Glaciers

Day 6 - Harriman Fjord and Surprise Glacier

Day 7 - Blackstone Bay, Whittier, Anchorage

Day 8 - Depart Anchorage


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Day 1 - Arrive Anchorage

Arrive Anchorage and take a taxi to your downtown inn. The remainder of the day is yours to explore. Your accommodations offer convenient access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a network of developed hiking and bicycling trails throughout the Anchorage area. If time allows, take a walk or bike ride. The views of the Alaska Range are spectacular! Dinner on your own this evening; a great selection of restaurants are within easy walking distance of your B&B.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Copper Whale Inn or similar
MEALS:
n/a

Day 2 - Anchorage to Whittier, embark Discovery

At 10:00 a.m. enjoy a private van transfer for a comfortable scenic ride along the Turnagain Arm, known for its tremendous tidal flats and frequent sightings of Beluga whales. Continue south through the Chugach mountains to rendezvous with the captain and crew in Whittier for a warm welcome aboard the Discovery. While the crew prepares for departure, relax in the Discovery's cozy salon and enjoy specially prepared appetizers of smoked salmon or halibut spread with crackers, fresh-baked breads, fruits and a plentiful selection of fine beverages.

Leave Whittier in the early afternoon, enjoying lunch while traveling east and south to a hiking destination. Upon arrival, we head out on inflatable zodiacs to the shore for a short hike through lush rainforest vegetation and countless rivers and waterfalls. Return to the Discovery for an exquisite dinner waiting of local Copper River Red salmon, breads, roasted rosemary potatoes, vegetables, desserts, dinner wine selections and many other beverages are available. Meanwhile, the Discovery travels to an evening anchorage in one of the Sound's many intimate and secluded coves.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Discovery Yacht
MEALS:
lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Chenega Glacier

Mornings aboard the Discovery are usually relaxed and casual. An open breakfast served from 7:00 a.m. till 10:00 a.m. works well with guests from various time zones and individual morning routines. Enjoy warm fresh breads, muffins, rolls, fruits, cereals, omelets cooked to your liking, juices and other beverages. Underway in the morning, the Discovery cruises through Knight Island Passage and Dangerous Passage towards Icy Bay. Some of the Sound's most frequent Orca and Humpback whale sightings are found along this route, keep your eyes peeled for dorsal fins and blow spouts.

At midday the Discovery navigates her way through Icy Bay's Nassau Fjord. Several miles of icebergs and brash ice (smaller pieces of glacial ice) lay between the fjord entrance and the massive, calving face of Chenega Glacier, named after the local native community of Chenega. The massive 200 square mile Sergeant ice field funnels ice down a wide mountain valley, forming a one-mile-long, 200-foot-high wall that topples giant blue chunks into the sea. This active tidewater glacier, with its daunting size and mammoth sounds, offer a remarkable opportunity to experience firsthand the tremendous natural forces that move these spectacles of nature. Hundreds of harbor seals make Icy Bay their summer home, using the floating ice as resting platforms and safe places for birthing. The rocky mountainsides around Chenega Glacier support a healthy, frequently visible population of mountain goats, binoculars serve as helpful aids in sighting these skillful mountain climbers.

After lunch, the Discovery exits this ice-laden fjord for Bainbridge Passage, where you can try your luck fishing for Pacific halibut and rockfish. (Historically this has been a productive fishing area.) Late afternoon and early evening provide opportunities for more Orca and Humpback whale watching. If successful, your crew will pass this helpful information on to the local whale researchers of the North Gulf Oceanic Society. Enjoy a relaxing dinner while the Discovery travels south along Knight Island, into the uncharted narrows of Long Channel for the evening's anchorage.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Discovery Yacht
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Prince William Sound Exploration

Underway at 7:00 a.m., the unhurried morning theme of a relaxed and casual breakfast awaits your flexible wake-up time. Cruising northwest through more "sea pastures" fertile with whale watching opportunities the Discovery courses toward a noisy and raucous Steller sea lion haulout. These entertaining creatures put on quite a display, some show off their graceful water acrobatics while others roar and bellow, or recline lazily upon the large rocky shore. After a short visit with the sea lions, travel turns west toward the impressive Cascade Waterfall, with lunch served along the way. Those wanting to stretch their legs can take the short zodiac ride ashore for a guided hike to the top of this 300-foot-high thundering waterfall. Walk through the world's northern-most temperate rain forest, rich with ferns, mosses, and towering spruce, hemlock and cedar trees.

Later in the day travel the remote shores of Eaglek Bay to visit the oyster farm of David Sczawinski. Oyster lovers will enjoy one of the Sound's most delicious sea products. Upon leaving Eaglek Bay the Discovery makes a brief stop near one of the many small islands, home to a colony of tufted puffins, thought by many visitors to be Alaska's most adorable seabird. Continuing westward through Wells Passage enjoy appetizers of expertly prepared fresh oysters and a dinner of macadamia nut halibut complemented by vegetables, fresh baked focaccia, dessert, dinner wines and other beverages. Set course northward to the fringes of College Fjord for the evening's anchorage and midnight sunset views.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Discovery Yacht
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Cascade, Barry and Coxe Glaciers

Awake to a casual breakfast and an exciting day of some of the world's most spectacular scenery: corridors of breathtaking beauty, sprawling glaciers and a panoramic skyline of mountain grandeur. Harbor seals hauled out on the flotillas of icebergs watch closely as the Discovery navigates the icy, blue waters of Barry Arm. The enveloping mountains of this inlet stretch skyward to nearly 10,000 feet, with glacier after glacier descending the terraced mountain valleys. Alaska's lush rainforest vegetation drapes the hillsides in green as streaming waterfalls fall from the rocky cliffs. Listen to the cracks, pops and thunderous roars of the Cascade, Barry and Coxe glaciers while the Discovery, dwarfed by blue and white walls, drifts silently by these actively calving rivers of ice.

For guests seeking a different perspective, the Discovery crew will launch the inflatable zodiacs for a guided exploration of this magnificent area. Touch the impressive face of Coxe Glacier, watch the showy black oystercatchers strut across the rocky shorelines, sense the presence of the curious hoary marmots and drink in the bright pinks of fireweed and the intense blues of the alpine lupine. Anchor in the area for the evening.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Discovery Yacht
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 - Harriman Fjord and Surprise Glacier

Spend the morning exploring the wonders of Harriman Fjord and Surprise Glacier. Hike along the shore among beached icebergs stranded by the ebbing tide. Or enjoy a upland hike at Point Doran, offering broad views of the Chugach mountain range and glacier-valleys.

Enjoy lunch while the Discovery goes deeper into the ice-filled fjord for a chance to kayak up to the face of Harriman Glacier. On this journey, you’re entertained by families of playful sea otters foraging the shellfish-rich shallow waters of their favorite feeding ground. As a protected species, these otters exhibit little concern for human presence, instead offering great opportunities for photos and up-close observations. Nature offers few chances to see animals in the wild as ‘cute’ and adorable and these mothers with young pups. Enjoy a memorable final dinner on the Discovery while continuing toward the evening’s anchorage.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Discovery Yacht
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 - Blackstone Bay, Whittier, Anchorage

Awake today immersed in a wilderness sanctuary of unparalleled natural beauty. Take in the morning light on the deck of the Discovery while enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea. These spellbinding sights and dramatic sounds leave you humbled and feeling insignificant amidst this powerful living landscape. Relax in the salty ocean breeze and splendor of this special place as we travel south. Appetizers will be served while taking in the final sights of Passage Canal prior to docking in the Whittier Harbor and taking your van transfer to Anchorage. Arrive at your downtown Anchorage inn this evening.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Copper Whale Inn or similar
MEALS:
breakfast and lunch

Day 8 - Depart Anchorage

Enjoy breakfast this morning at your bed & breakfast. Transfer on your own to the airport for departures home, or you may choose to extend your stay in Alaska.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast

Alternative Itinerary

In addition to the 8-day Classic Discovery itinerary listed above, there are multiple variations of this adventure differing in length and activity choices. See the Dates & Rates tab for detailed departure information, and contact AdventureSmith for more details.

Itinerary Notes

We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife and unplanned discoveries. Our ability to be spontaneous makes our style of small ship cruising unique.

Arrival & Departure

Your Prince William Sound Discovery cruise begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska. Plan to arrive at the Anchorage airport (ANC) at any time on Day 1 and take a taxi on your own to your downtown Anchorage B&B. You will return to Anchorage on the evening of Day 7 for a final overnight. Plan your return flights home at any time the following day, Day 8.
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Start/End DateShipPrice per Person

Included

Two nights Anchorage accommodation, round-trip transfers between Anchorage and Whittier, shipboard accommodations, entrance fees, leadership, crew, all meals, local guides and permits. Rubber boots for exploration will be provided aboard the Discovery as well as high-quality rain gear. If you are traveling in Alaska before or after your cruise you will want to bring some rain gear for your additional travels.

Exclusions

Airfare to Alaska; airport taxes, excess baggage charges; any additional hotel nights in Anchorage; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages; and insurance of any kind.

Room Configuration

There is a 60% single supplement for single travelers wanting a dedicated single cabin. For those single travelers willing to share with a same sex traveler no supplement is applied even if no room mate is found.

Families & Children

You can charter the Discovery for your special family or group, up to 12 passengers. Call for details.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Cancellations received 90 days prior to departure are refunded less an administrative fee of $500 per person. Please note that within the 90-day limit all deposits are forfeited.

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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Trip Reviews

OVERALL: 5 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 5 stars MEALS: 5 stars

Overall Trip Review

Captain Dean,Heather, Hannah, and cook Matt were all friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and enthusiastic. Weather was perfect for three straight days. Cabin and restrooms are clean. Food was fabulous and endless!!
We loved kayaking among the icebergs and our hiking trips. We enjoyed every single thing from start to finish. We wish we had had a longer trip -- of course, perfect weather made everything even more wonderful.

Accommodations Review

The Discovery was neat, clean and organized. The Copper Whale Inn was clean and fresh. However, the traffic noise is very bad.

Meals Review

The meals and snacks were delicious and never-ending!! Lots of fresh salads and vegetables with every meal. Delicious -- Matt was a great cook and very friendly too.

Crew & Guides Review

Captain Dean was so great about telling us about the area. He handled the boat perfectly and was good at pointing out wildlife.

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

Itinerary was clear and easy to understand.

Traveler Advice

Take just a few clothes -- layers.

M. & D. Dent - Portland, OR