Day 1 Depart Sitka Explore beautiful Sitka, the only community in Southeast Alaska that faces the open ocean waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Visit fascinating historical sites that highlight the community’s rich Alaska Native and Russian history, including the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Russian Bishop’s House, and St. Michael’s Cathedral. Embark for the winding narrows north of town while searching for bald eagles, sea otters, bears, whales, and other wildlife.
Day 2 True Alaska Exploration Savor the serenity of raw wilderness on an unscripted day of Southeast Alaska discovery. The options are countless, dictated by the day’s unique circumstances. Opportunities may include a coastline kayak paddle, up-close whale encounters, or a hike through an alluring old-growth forest. We may do a beach landing on an unspoiled shoreline to explore a tidal flat or track along with a foraging bear from the safety of our DIB (shallow water expedition craft). Regardless of the activity, you’ll experience the magic of the archipelago’s many remote coves, bays, and inlets.
Day 3 Glacier Bay National Park This remarkable national park fjord extends 65-miles, contains eight tidewater glaciers, and provides pristine habitat for a wide-array of wildlife, including both brown and black bears, wolves, mountain goats, Steller sea lions, and humpback whales. The highlight for many is the Margerie Glacier, known for its dramatic calving displays. A Glacier Bay National Park Service Ranger narrates the day’s program and a Native Huna Tlingit interpretive naturalist joins us to reveal traditional cultural ties to this ancient treasure.
Day 4 Skagway & Haines Stroll the boardwalks of the rollicking Klondike gold rush town of Skagway, then board the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad for a journey retracing the steps of gold-seekers into Canada. Built in 1898, the railroad climbs nearly 3,000 feet in 20 miles and offers stunning wilderness views. This excursion crosses the border into Canada, so passports are required. A guided walking tour through scenic Haines features a visit to pre-WWI Fort Seward National Historic Site, with parade grounds overlooking Lynn Canal.
Day 5 Juneau / Orca Point Lodge Spend the day visiting highlights of the scenic capital city of Juneau, including the world famous Mendenhall Glacier. In downtown Juneau, visit the recently-renovated Alaska State Museum. There will also be time to explore on your own. You may choose to visit the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Alaska State Capitol, or take in the spectacular panoramic views of the Mount Roberts Tram. You can also delve deeper into local Native culture and history by exploring fascinating exhibits, art displays, and a clan house at the Walter Soboleff Center. End the day’s adventure with a relaxing evening at Orca Point Lodge, our own exclusive day-lodge on Colt Island. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, beach, and marine life touch-tank. Dine on Alaskan salmon, Alaskan king crab, or prime rib from the warmth of the lodge, or nestled next to a beachside bonfire.
Day 6 Tracy Arm / Frederick Sound Journey through Tracy Arm Fjord, an area the famous naturalist John Muir referred to as, “A wild, unfinished Yosemite.” This glacial fjord is renowned for its pristine waterfalls, towering icebergs, abundant harbor seals, and granite cliffs that rise from sea level to 4,000 feet. At 32-miles long and averaging just a mile wide, the unique features of Tracy Arm are contained in a relatively small geographical space, adding to the dramatic beauty of the area. As ice conditions permit, we’ll navigate the entire length of the fjord, stopping in view of both the Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. Experience the inspiring feeling of kayaking amongst towering icebergs in the fjord.
Day 7 Petersburg Discover the charming Mitkof Island fishing town of Petersburg. Founded by Norwegian fishermen in the late 1800s, Petersburg is nicknamed Alaska’s “Little Norway.” Experience this Scandinavian culture with a folk dance show by local youth at the iconic Sons of Norway Hall. Later, enjoy a narrated bus tour and take time to explore the vibrant community at your own leisure.
Day 8 Wrangell Home to a little over 2,000 permanent residents, Wrangell is the only town in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three flags, and ruled by four nations- the Tlingit, Russia, England, and the United States. Enjoy several options to explore this colorful history, including a guided walking tour and a trip to the Wrangell Museum. Visit the intriguing State Historic Park, Petroglyph Beach, which contains the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska.
Day 9 Thorne Bay / Kasaan Experience the frontier spirit of Alaska’s timber years on a tour of Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world. This tight-knit community is located on the eastern side of Prince of Wales, an island renowned for its high concentration of black bears. Here, you’ll meet resident artisans and enjoy a walking tour of the town while keeping an eye out for the island’s fauna. In Kasaan, walk an enchanted forest path laden with intricately carved totem poles to the Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House, the only remaining traditional Haida longhouse in the United States. Inside stand four original house posts, or “Gáats,” that were most likely carved at Old Kasaan in about 1880 and then installed at Naay I’waans Whale House. The tallest interior post, the “Head House Totem,’ dates to an even earlier time and was brought here from its original location in Old Kasaan, about 7 miles away.
Day 10 Metlakatla / Misty Fjords Immerse yourself in the extraordinary history, art, and cultural traditions of the Metlakatla Indian Community on Annette Island. Visit a traditional Tsmishian longhouse, enjoy a ceremonial dance performance, and meet Native artists. Later, your ship will glide beneath the 3,000-foot glacier-sculpted cliffs of Misty Fjords. Discover the fjord’s natural history, listen to the calls of a myriad of seabirds, feel the mist from glistening waterfalls, and see famous New Eddystone Rock, a stunning volcanic core.
Day 11 Ketchikan Disembark in Ketchikan, otherwise known as Alaska’s “First City” and “Salmon Capital of the World.” Transfer to the airport or your hotel is complimentary.
Due to the nature of our explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur