Whale tail coming out of the ocean with a mountain range in the background on a hazy day in Alaska.
Calm water with iceberg bits in front of Dawes Glacier being framed by mountains on a sunny day in Alaska.
Historic motor vessel Catalyst tucked into an inlet beside lush green forest in Alaska.
Brown bear walking over rock in Alaska with verdant green forest behind.
Large white-amd-black glacier with snow and silt and snowcapped mountains in the background on a sunny day in Alaska.
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North America Alaska Cruise

Discover Glacier Bay

Explore Glacier Bay National Park for a full 8 days on this 10-day Alaska small ship cruise, and enjoy all the beauty this National Park offers. Observe sea otters, mountain goats, humpback whales, sea lions, puffins and grey wolves. Visit several tidewater glaciers and kayak up streams and along meadows on the lookout for foraging bears. Your small ship tucks into secluded inlets and remote bays of this marine-and-land park to expose its natural wonders as a living laboratory, designated wilderness, biosphere reserve and world heritage site. Find solitude in snow-capped mountains, spectacular glaciers and emerald-green forests, and get off the ship daily to hike and kayak with a seasoned naturalist guide. Each night, the ship tucks into beautiful anchorages where peaceful soundscapes, possibly punctuated by a calving glacier, cap off a day of adventure. Time in Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight for visitors of all ages and thus why this trip sits on our list of Alaska family cruises.

Discover Glacier Bay aboard the 12-guest Catalyst or the 8-guest Westward, both AdventureSmith favorites for private Alaska yacht charters due to their intimate size and cozy feel. In addition, Westward makes our curated list of luxury Alaska cruises due to her comfy, at-home-in-someone’s-living-room feel. Both vessels offer historic charm and hearty, experienced crew members who offer as much character as the ships they maintain. The Catalyst and Westward feature peaceful nights without a motor or generator running, plus windows and portholes that open to welcome in the sounds of Glacier Bay. Meals are prepared from fresh, natural, local ingredients, and determined to delight.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Alaska tripsAlaska small ship cruises and Glacier Bay cruises.



Itinerary

Glacier Bay Itinerary

Catalyst and Westward operate the same 10-day Glacier Bay cruise itinerary, round-trip from Juneau. Spend 8 days in the park, kayaking, viewing glaciers, spotting wildlife and relaxing in remote coves.

Route map of Discover Glacier Bay Alaska Inside Passage small ship cruise, operating round-trip from Juneau.
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Day 1
Embark Juneau, Alaska

Board the ship and depart from Juneau’s Auke Bay Marina at 12:30pm. As the boat rounds Point Retreat, it begins to leave the signs of civilization behind. Soon high rises, power lines and cruise ships are far behind and glaciers, orcas, humpbacks and rafts of seabirds are in view. The first night’s anchorage is in a quiet harbor outside the borders of Glacier Bay National Park. Here there is time to launch kayaks and take the first paddle in the wilderness.

Accommodations

Catalyst, Westward

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Days 2 - 9
Exploring Glacier Bay

Travel through the bays and inlets of Glacier Bay National park, stopping at beautiful anchorages for the night after observing wildlife and possibly a calving glacier or two. Watch for mountain goats feeding and sunning themselves on rocky ledges and Steller sea lions who haul out on small islands. These islands also host a gathering of puffins. Glacier Bay boasts a large array of quiet coves and bays, each of which plays host to a stunning variety of plants and animals. Humpback whales will come into view in some of the richest fishing grounds in SE Alaska. Hike or kayak accompanied by the on-board naturalist to learn about the fauna and flora of the area. Each trip varies depending on the weather and duration; some highlights include:

Bartlett Cove/Fingers Bay
Stop near the Park entrance to hike the Bartlett Cove nature trail. After returning to the boat, cast off and head farther into the bay. At Fingers Bay, watch for bears rooting for fresh food upon the beach and a myriad of sea birds that have flocked to the rich waterways of the park.

Reid Glacier
This glacier has recently grounded out and provides an opportunity to walk right up to its face. The discovery of the day might be that ice worms are real! Also walk at the entrance of the inlet and look for remnants of a small mining claim, worked by the Ibach family during the early 1900s.

Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers
For some, the highlight may be the visit to Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers, or it could be the otters that may be seen while exploring John Hopkins Inlet; or, it may just be the particular shade of blue that the sky takes on after the sun sets late in the evening. In any case, it promises to be a day of superlatives. Kittiwakes nest along the side of the glaciers, while eagles come to rest upon the icebergs. Listen to the glacier cracking and watch it calving into the sea with an enormous splash.

Accommodations

Catalyst, Westward

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Juneau

Rise early to get to Juneau in time to disembark by 12:00pm and make connections onward, or to take advantage of the many attractions in the Juneau area.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; excursions; entrance fees; leadership; crew; all meals indicated in itinerary; local guides and permits, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary.

Exclusions

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 force majeure: including, without limitation, pandemic, act of God, governmental regulation or order, weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our control.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at the time of booking. 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. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 151 days – 50% of deposit
150 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
90 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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Discover Glacier Bay Cruise begins and ends in Juneau, Alaska (JNU). Plan flights to arrive to Juneau by 10:30am on day 1 of the itinerary, for the 12:00pm boarding and 12:30pm casting off. Plan flights to depart Juneau no earlier than 2:00pm on day 10, following the 12:00pm disembarkation. By prearrangement with the captain, luggage can be left on the boat for the afternoon. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, kayaking, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography, glacier viewing, whale watching and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

Catalyst: A single cabin (Cabin 4) is available. There is a 50% single supplement for single travelers in a double cabin. Cabin 5 sleeps up to 4 guests and is ideal for families with children. Please inquire with an AdventureSmith Specialist for discount pricing for the third and fourth person booked into Cabin 5.

Westward: Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Triple accommodation may be available, but cabin sizing is ideal for two travelers or the third traveler being a child. Please inquire with an AdventureSmith Specialist for discount pricing for the third person traveling. Choice of cabins is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Families & Children

Children should be at least 12 years old to enjoy this cruise. Travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Whole-boat charters can accommodate younger guests.

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. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

These ships are AdventureSmith favorites for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

May 12 - May 21, 2022
Westward • 10 days
From $6550USD
Per Person
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May 23 - Jun 01, 2022
Westward • 10 days
From $6550USD
Per Person
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Jun 12 - Jun 21, 2022
Catalyst • 10 days
From $5750USD
Per Person
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Jun 23 - Jul 02, 2022
Catalyst • 10 days
From $5750USD
Per Person
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Jul 09 - Jul 18, 2022
Westward • 10 days
From $6550USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Yacht
Catalyst

Catalyst is a historic 12-passenger yacht with a warm wood interior that takes guests back to a time when crafstmanship was the rule, not the exception. Her original 1932 Washington Diesel engine is the only one like it in the world.

Yacht
Westward

Westward is a historic 8-guest yacht and remains dependably powered by her original Atlas Imperial Diesel Engine. Westward's adventurous spirit enriches the voyages of those who are lucky enough to cruise the waters with her.

Expert Reviews

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Todd Smith • December 31st, 2020
Expert Review: Slow Travel in Alaska

Alaska is the perfect destination for slow travel. Learn about AdventureSmith Founder and President Todd Smith's slow cruising experience in this detailed review and get inspired to enjoy authentic Alaska aboard historic small ships Catalyst and Westward.

Todd Smith • December 17th, 2020
Expert Aboard: Catalyst Ship Review

Read firsthand insights about this historic wooden vessel cruising Alaska and the Pacific Northwest from our experts who have been aboard. Learn all there is to know about the top notch crew, creative cuisine and more.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"There are No Words to Describe the Incredible Trip We Had"

The major reason we were interested in this particular trip was the boat, the Westward. My husband saw the picture of the 1924 wooden boat and fell in love. We want to emphasize how comfortable and at home we felt with Bill, Tracie and Caroline (Captain, Chef extraordinaire, Naturalist and Guide).

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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Discover Glacier Bay

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