The Active Inside Passage cruise offers a diverse experience of Southeast Alaska aboard an intimate 12-guest yacht. See everything from fishing towns to wilderness solitude to bear viewing at the infamous Pack Creek Zoological Reserve, from islands to glacial fjords. This small ship's goal is to provide the most remote wilderness experience possible, with up-close wildlife encounters while you enjoy the amenities of your wandering home.
May 16, 10-day
1 & 6
2, 3, 4 & 5
Prices are per person based on double occupancy
Taxes not included: $34.62
May 26 - Jun 01, 2013
Jun 02 - Jun 08, 2013 *
Jun 09 - Jun 15, 2013
Jun 16 - Jun 22, 2013 *
Jun 23 - Jun 29, 2013
Jun 30 - Jul 06, 2013 *
Jul 07 - Jul 13, 2013
Jul 14 - Jul 20, 2013 *
Aug 04 - Aug 10, 2013
Aug 11 - Aug 17, 2013 *
Aug 18 - Aug 24, 2013
Aug 25 - Aug 31, 2013 * †
Sep 01 - Sep 10, 2013 †* †
While there is a general planned itinerary detailed below, each trip differs depending upon the time of the tidal currents, the weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities and the wishes of the guest on board. Alaska's glacial wilderness supports a diversity of wildlife as varied as the landscape. On water there is the probability of sighting humpback whales, Orca, porpoise, and Stellar sea lion as well as numerous sea birds. On terra firma, look for black bear, brown bear and mountain goats. The Pacific Catalyst II averages three to four hours of running per day, allowing plenty of opportunity for exploring by foot and by kayak. The routes and anchorages are chosen to provide the best available opportunities to experience the rich and diverse environment of this temperate rain forest.
This trip was featured in National Geographic Magazine's Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime. If you want to experience remote Alaska with an intimate crew, the Active Inside Passage is your small ship cruise!
Read a Staff Trip Report
Day 1 - Embark Juneau, Alaska
Passengers are welcome to come on board at 12:30 pm, stow your gear and get familiar with the vessel. The ship will be underway by 1:15 pm, headed south down Gastineau Channel and out into Stephens Passage. Enjoy a buffet lunch and have an orientation and safety meeting. Spend the first night anchored at Limestone Inlet. This evening or the next day will be spent introducing everyone to kayaking. Pacific Catalyst carries six doubles and three single kayaks. Don’t worry if you have never been in a kayak before, the guide is a trained instructor. The doubles are very stable for the beginner and the singles allow the expert to exercise his or her skills. We may also take a skiff ride up the river to look for bears, jumping salmon and nesting water fowl.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - Ford's Terror
The Pacific Catalyst gets underway in the early morning hours to make the slack tide across Wood Spit and into Endicott Arm. Passengers awake to the heart beat rhythm of the Washington Diesel as the ship dodges icebergs and winds its way into the fjord. It is 27 miles up the arm to the face of Dawes Glacier. Linger here awhile to witness the calving and booming of the burgs and view harbor seals and their pups. Then cruise to a seldom visited anchorage called Ford's Terror, comparable to a flooded Yosemite Valley. Become intrepid adventurers, exploring by foot and by kayak. Surrounded by 5,000 foot granite faces, the mist hanging to the precipices, the vessel suspended in crystal clear water, suspended in time... Kayak through the tidal rapids (at slack water of course) and paddle into the majestic inner fjord.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - Endicott Arm & Pack Creek Reserve
Waking in the morning hike the highlands of Ford’s Terror unique glacial caused ecosystem of alpine, bog and forest and view the raging tidal rapids from above. Head out of Endicott Arm watching for bear, moose, wolves and whales. Tides permitting, stop to hike a meadow and the woods along the way. Crossing Stephen’s Passage and rounding Point Hugh, enter Seymour Canal. This 23-mile-long inlet is home to the highest concentration of bald eagles in Southeast Alaska, and its rich waters support a large population of energetic Dall’s porpoise. Conditions permitting, head to Pack Creek Zoological Reserve. Pack Creek has been a place where for over 60 years brown bears and humans have lived in close proximity, and the bears have had generations to become accustomed to the presence of people. This is by far the best brown bear viewing opportunity in Southeast Alaska. Arriving in the afternoon, go ashore until the rangers go off duty in the early evening. If the salmon are not running at Pack Creek, the Pacific Catalyst will venture into other locales where bear viewing should be prime.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Frederick Sound
Head back to Stephens Passage and into Frederick Sound. Cruise toward Admiralty Island, keeping a sharp lookout for whales along the route. This is prime salmon spawning habitat, along with the brown bears that come down to the rivers this time of year to feed on them. Take an estuary paddle, allowing the tide to take you into bear territory. At low tide walk into their home, and learn about their amazing contribution to the forests of Southeast Alaska.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - The Brothers Islands
In the morning, the Pacific Catalyst is bound for The Brothers, a group of small islands positioned in the middle of Frederick Sound. Along the way be alert for humpback or orca whale sightings. This is one of the prime summer feeding grounds for the migratory humpback and it is a rare transit if you do not encounter a few. The captain may shut down the engine and just drift, watching them feeding or breaching and listening to their songs with the hydrophone. Drop the hook in an idyllic anchorage where the sounds of breathing whales, Stellar sea lions hauled out close by or the screech of an eagle comes drifting across the evening calm. Kayak around the islands and explore the open understory of the rainforest, or fish for halibut for an evening meal.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - Thomas Bay
Tides being right, explore the tidepools and then head out to view the Stellar sea lion haul-out close by where hundreds of the vocal fellows and felines spend their days. If the humpbacks are out your front door, the Catalyst will spend some time shadowing their movements. In the afternoon head south down the sound for Thomas Bay and watch for black bear on the beaches, anchoring at Scenery Cove. Then skiff across the glacial river to the spit of glacial flour and hike on the extensive glacial moraine that lies at the foot of Baird Glacier to stand on its ice. Tonight is your last evening together as a group, the night of the Captains' Ball.Accommodations: Pacific CatalystIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - Disembark Petersburg
A relaxing morning underway eating a late breakfast, sitting on the deck, enjoying the heartbeat of the Catalyst’s engine, as you head toward Petersburg. Tie up at the dock about 10 a.m., time enough to catch the morning flight to Juneau and on to Seattle or to get settled into your room in town so that you can explore this fishing village.Accommodations:
In addition to the classic 7-day Active Inside Passage cruise detailed above, the following special departures are offered in 2013. Contact AdventureSmith for more details on these departures.
May 16-25 - 10-day Glacier Bay cruise, Juneau to Juneau
July 7-13 - Photo workshop with Bob Rozini & Wendy Shattil
Aug 25-31 - 7-day Petersburg to Ketchikan via Wrangell Narrows/Misty Fjords
Sept 1-10 - 10-day Ketchikan to Friday Harbor, WA, from Great Bear Rainforest
Extend Your Trip:
Call AdventureSmith Explorations about the possibilities of combining trips to Denali National Park.
We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife, and unplanned discoveries. The ability to be spontaneous makes our style of cruising unique. In addition to the standard and reverse itineraries listed above, we are also offering the following special departures.
The following costs include accommodations, excursions, entrance fees, leadership, crew, all meals, local guides, and permits, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary. We reserve the right to make any changes in the itinerary or to substitute modes of transport or guides, from those mentioned in the literature.
The cost of air flights, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary, airport taxes, passports, visas, immunizations, insurance of any kind, laundry, excess baggage, items of a personal nature, medical costs, costs of hospitalization, additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our control.
Single cabin available. There is a 50% single supplement for single travelers in a double cabin.
Families & Children:
Call for details about charter savings for families and large groups. You can save off the standard cruise rate by traveling with just a group of 10. Cabin 5 is a great family option, fitting four.
Arrival & Departure:
Depending on the dates of travel, the Active Inside Passage cruise begins in Petersburg (PSG) or Juneau (JNU), Alaska and ends in Juneau or Petersburg, Alaska. Airport transfers are by your own arrangement. Welcome aboard starts at 12:30pm and the vessel embarks at 1:15pm. On Day 7, the cruise finishes and disembarks at about 10:00am. Please do not schedule your return flights until after 11:00am.
Payment & Cancellation:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 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. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
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 Inside Passage small ship cruise will be enjoyed by anyone with a love for nature and the outdoors.