Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and remote wilderness exploration highlight this 8-day Northern Passages and Glacier Bay small ship cruise. The 76-guest Wilderness Explorer sails between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska, with three days spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park - more time in Glacier Bay than any other small ship in Alaska! A National Park Ranger stays aboard the ship for the full three days to provide interpretation on the area’s history, culture, geography, flora and fauna. The park ranger, along with shipboard expedition guides, leads guests on hiking and kayaking expeditions within Glacier Bay. Other areas explored include Icy Strait, Chichagof Island and Peril Strait.
Hikes and kayaking excursions are available for all levels. Other adventure activities include stand-up paddleboarding, skiff explorations and whale watching. Snorkeling is available for a fee. Flexible itineraries allow the Wilderness Explorer to seek out wildlife and maximize viewing time for guests.
Outside of Glacier Bay the Wilderness Explorer cruises through the largest national forest in the United States - home to grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and wolves. View Alaska's massive glaciers, and enter some of the world's deepest fjords to hike and kayak where other ships cannot reach.
The Northern Passages and Glacier Bay itinerary can be combined with the Eastern Coves or Western Coves itinerary for a two or three week adventure with no repeated landing sites.
Day 1 - Embark Juneau, Alaska
Upon boarding, the Captain and crew of the Wilderness Explorer welcome you aboard with smiles and champagne. Embark to cruise the scenic channels of the Inside Passage.Accommodations: Wilderness ExplorerIncluded Meals:
Days 2-4 - Glacier Bay National Park
One of America’s crown jewel national parks is yours to explore and marvel at for the next three days. At Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, you’ll pick up the National Park Ranger who will be with you to explore coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. In the bay there are sea lions, mountain goats, sea otters, bears, moose, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops. The park itself is 3.2 million acres (a little larger than the state of Connecticut), so there is plenty to see.
Paddle a kayak and be awed at the face of a massive glacier. Go on a boot-sucking trek through sandbars and rainforest. And ride a skiff along shore for an up-close exploration of Glacier Bay. Linger near South Marble Island to spot the many species of rare seabirds that call this area home. Keep your eyes on the water and the island for brightly-colored puffins and black oystercatchers. Stop in Bartlett Cove for a visit to the Park Service's headquarters.Accommodations: Wilderness ExplorerIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - Icy Strait Whale Watching
Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Join the Captain on the bridge or the Expedition Leader out on deck in search of marine mammals, primarily in the Icy Strait/Pt. Adolphus area. Then, set off for a more intimate land and sea exploration via skiffs for a closer inspection of the remote coastline, with eyes set on the shoreline for possible bear sightings.Accommodations: Wilderness ExplorerIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - Chichagof Island & Baranof Island
Today meander along the “waterfall coast” of Chichagof Island. With no binding agenda, marvel at the grand scenery of Alaska as our crew expertly guides you through those “not in the guide book” areas and fjords. This evening might conclude at anchor in a remote shelter, possibly Red Bluff Bay, providing another grand opportunity to lower the kayaks and skiffs, keeping your eyes open for sea otters and bears nearby. Explore the forest and shoreline on an intertidal walk. Enjoy another delectable dinner onboard and relax in the hot tub before calling it a day.Accommodations: Wilderness ExplorerIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - Peril Strait & Sergius Narrows
Peril Strait runs a total of 50 miles from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound. This haven for small ships is scenically highlighted by a very narrow connecting passageway called Sergius Narrows and an opening at Hoonah Sound as it reaches north and then west toward Sitka. Spend the bulk of the day exploring the shoreline for bear and the waters for otters, whales and more. This wildlife-rich waterway separating Chichagof and Baranof Islands is a great place to watch for eagles perched on trees along the shore. The passage narrows to only 300 feet in one spot (24 feet deep). After an adventurous, but “un-perilous” day, toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and “photo journal” of your trip presented by your Expedition Leaders.Accommodations: Wilderness ExplorerIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8 - Disembark Sitka
Gather for breakfast this morning as you cruise the final leg of your journey to Russian-influenced Sitka, Alaska, for disembarkation. A transfer will be provided to your hotel or to the Sitka airport for your flight home.Accommodations:
This trip also travels in reverse, from Sitka to Juneau.
Day 1 - Sitka, Embark
Day 2 - Peril Strait
Day 3 - Chichagof Island
Day 4 - Icy Strait
Days 5-7 - Glacier Bay National Park
Day 8 - Juneau, disembark
Extend Your Trip:
The Northern Passages and Glacier Bay itinerary can be combined with the Eastern Coves
or Western Coves
itinerary for a two or three week adventure with no repeated landing sites.
You may also wish to consider adding on one of our more affordable, independent tours Denali Backcountry Explorer
or Brown Bears of Katmai
. These extensions can be arranged for either pre- or post-cruise. Our Alaska experts will help you customize your Alaska adventure; call today.
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 cruising unique.
All onboard meals; roundtrip transfers and baggage handling between airport/boat; entry fees to national parks/preserves; most from-the-boat adventure activities and equipment; hot tub, sauna, yoga, and a complimentary massage.
Airfare to and from your home city; discretionary gratuities to vessel’s crew, typically 5-10% of fare; travel insurance and insurance of any kind; optional excursions and land tours; wine, beer and liquor; massage; port fees and taxes; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature.
Single traveler rooms are available in designated cabins at 150% of the per person double rate: Trailblazer #103, #104, #105, #106 (price listed in sidebar at left). All other cabins are available as a single at 175% of the double rate. Triple rates are available in designated cabins (refer to deck plans), with a third person savings of 25% off the double rate.
Families & Children:
Children are welcome on all departures, but parents need to maintain guidance of children at all times.
Arrival & Departure:
This cruise begins and ends in Juneau or Sitka, Alaska depending on departure date. Plan to arrive at the airport by 2:30pm on Day 1. On Day 8, the final day of the cruise, please do not schedule return flights until after 11:30am.
Payment & Cancellation:
A deposit of $600 per person ($750 for 2014 bookings) is required to secure a reservation. 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. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more - 50% of initial deposit
90 to 61 days - Forfeiture of full deposit
60 to 46 days - 50% of gross fare
45 to 31 days - 75% of gross fare
30 to 0 days - 100% of gross fare
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, 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.
Onboard amenities include two hot tubs (one on the bow and one on the aft sun deck), sauna, and exercise equipment. To ensure ample space for included adventure activities, there is a swim step on the ship’s main deck aft. The space serves as a launch pad for excursions and hosts a state-of-the-art kayak launch platform able to quickly and safely launch five kayaks at a time.
Northern Passages & Glacier Bay will be enjoyed by anyone with a love for nature and the outdoors.
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