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.
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 similarIncluded Meals:
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 YachtIncluded 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 YachtIncluded 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 YachtIncluded 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 YachtIncluded 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 YachtIncluded 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 similarIncluded 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:
In addition to the 8-day Classic Discovery itinerary listed above, there are multiple variations of this adventure differing in length and activity choices. Find the what itinerary runs on each date below; please call for a more detailed information about each voyage.
May 24 - May 30, 2013 - 7-day Hike and Kayak
May 29 - Jun 02, 2013 - 5-day Discovery Voyage
Jun 01 - Jun 08, 2013 - 8-day Springtime Classic
Jun 07 - Jun 11, 2013 - 5-day Discovery Voyage
Jun 10 - Jun 16, 2013 - 5-day Hike and Kayak
Jun 22 - Jun 28, 2013 - 7-day Classic with Hugh Rose
Jul 02 - Jul 06, 2013 - 5-day Discovery Voyage
Jul 05 - Jul 11, 2013 - 7-day Classic Discovery
Jul 10 - Jul 16, 2013 - 7-day Hike and Kayak
Jul 15 - Jul 19, 2013 - 5-day Discovery Voyage
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2013 - 8-day Adventurer! Voyage
Jul 27 - Aug 03, 2013 - 8-day Photo Voyage
Aug 02 - Aug 06, 2013 - 5-day Discovery Voyage
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2013 - 8-day Classic Discovery
Aug 20 - Aug 26, 2013 - 7-day Grand Classic
Aug 25 - Sep 01, 2013 - 8-day Hike and Kayak
Aug 31 - Sep 07, 2013 - 8-day Autumn Classic
Extend Your Trip:
Call AdventureSmith Explorations about the possibilities of combining trips to Denali National Park and more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
The Active Prince William Sound Discovery Alaska yacht cruise will be enjoyed by anyone with a love for nature and the outdoors.
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