Ultimate Adventure

Wilderness, wildlife, native culture, and calving glaciers on this 14-night adventure cruise

From $6,095

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
800x428-Alaska-Ultimate-Adventure-2017-hero.jpg

17UltimateAdventure-thumb.jpg

Itinerary

The ultimate combination of “wild and woolly” forests, native culture, and glacial landscapes; 14 nights of adventure, exploration, and tranquility combine our Inner Reaches Eastern Coves and Western Coves itineraries.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore “wild and woolly” wilderness
  • Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm and twin Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm
  • Kayak and paddle board in Stephens Passage, Thomas Bay, and Chatham Strait
  • Whales and wildlife in Frederick Sound and Behm Canal
  • Learn about Tlingit culture on a private Kake village visit and at Wrangell's Kiksetti Totem Park and Chief Shakes Tribal House
  • Observe a Steller sea lion haulout at The Brothers Islands
  • Navigate winding Wrangell Narrows and Behm Canal
  • Explore El Capitan cave on Prince of Wales Island and hike the Tongass National Forest
  • Discover Misty Fjords National Monument

Departure Dates & Rates

Select year and month

2017
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017

Your day-by-day details

Roundtrip Juneau

400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-1-Embarkation.png

DAY 1

Juneau, Alaska – Embarkation
Welcome aboard! Meet your crew and get acquainted as we set sail for the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the US.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-2-Endicott-Arm.png

DAY 2

Endicott Arm / Fords Terror
Snow covered mountains, glowing blues, and the white thunder of calving ice take your breath away at the face of Dawes Glacier. As you glide through Endicott Arm, you’ll likely spy harbor seals and their pups lounging on “bergy bits” in the water. Tides permitting, explore the narrow passageway of Fords Terror, marvel at its towering walls, the many waterfalls that spill down them, and the high Coastal Mountains that frame the skyline.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-3-Stephens-Passage.png

DAY 3

Stephens Passage
Make the most of today! As your captain navigates through Southeast’s remote fjords, watch for whales—humpback and orca are frequent residents of these waters. Perhaps you’ll hike through an other-worldly, landscape of hanging waterfalls and every shade of green, or kayak and paddle board into the wild inner reaches of a salt chuck—a tidal salt-water lake—keeping a lookout for bears, heron, moose, mink, and harbor seals.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-4-Thomas-Bay.png

DAY 4

Thomas Bay / Wrangell Narrows
Step into the back country of Alaska's wilderness, in an area known for glaciers and rich in gold and quartz. Explore glacial landscapes marked by moraines, muskegs, and mud. Adventure and natural beauty are sure to please whether you choose kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff riding, or hiking today. An abundance of bright red and green navigation lights guide you along “Christmas Tree Lane” as you cruise the winding Wrangell Narrows this evening.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-5-Wrangell.png

DAY 5

Wrangell
Home to native culture, wildlife, and wonder—Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska and the only one ever governed by four nations. Before venturing into town, local islanders join you on board for an in-depth presentation on Tlingit and Haida cultures. View recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park and step inside the famed and historically significant Chief Shakes Tribal House.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-6-Behm-Canal1.png

DAY 6

Behm Canal
Wildlife abounds in Behm Canal and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters. Paddle along the canal or venture out on an intertidal shore walk or low-elevation trek on the Cleveland Peninsula.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-7-Misty-Fjords.png

DAY 7

Misty Fjords National Monument
Affectionately called “The Yosemite of the North,” Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska. Glacial valleys filled with sea water, and sheer 3,000 foot cliffs are a haven for sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, moose, river otters, and other wildlife. Glide through Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay by kayak or explore by skiff soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-8-ketchikan.png

DAY 8

Ketchikan, Alaska
Alaska’s southernmost city and “salmon capital of the world” also claims fame to having the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. While others end their adventure and new guests join later in the day, you will spend the day off the boat. Enjoy lunch in town on us and explore the notorious Creek Street, once a red-light district. A complimentary laundry service is provided today. Later this afternoon keep watch for eagles as we embark and cruise through the Tongass Narrows out of Ketchikan.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-9-Tongass-National-Forest.png

DAY 9

Tongass National Forest
Wake in a remote cove surrounded by breathtaking Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the US. Joined by your expedition team, it’s a water ops morning. Spend it paddling a kayak, paddle boarding, or exploring by skiff. Then settle in as you cruise the northern tip of Prince of Wales Island, nestled right in the heart of the Tongass. It’s a grand day of exploration!
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-10-El-Capitan.png

DAY 10

El Capitan Cave / Prince of Wales Island
Take a walk on the wild side winding through high forest on an old logging trail, and find your way to El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in Alaska and one of the largest mapped caves in the Americas. Learn from Forest Service Rangers about karst and the geologic forces that created this intricate cave system. Locals—bears, harbor seals and humpbacks, deer, eagles, humans too—enjoy the calm and serenity of the island. Take it all in, and chances are, you will too.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-11-Chatham-Strait.png

DAY 11

Chatham Strait
It's Captain's Choice today as you explore the intricate passages and shores along Chatham Strait's Kuiu or Baranof Islands. Join your expedition team on (or in!) the water. Conditions permitting, take to the water by kayak, skiff, or snorkel. Snorkeling is optional, but hidden beneath the surface lies a magical array of sea life only seen from below. Take a deep breath and go for it! Today's discoveries will be within some of the most untouched wilderness of the Tongass National Forest.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-12-Frederick-Sound.png

DAY 12

Frederick Sound / Kake
Lush forest, spectacular views, play time, and wildlife—they are all in abundance in Frederick Sound. Keep watch along the coastline for birds, wolves, and black bears. With many secluded coves to choose from, you may discover the intertidal zones of Saginaw Bay or the Keku Islands, or perhaps another hidden gem to explore by skiff or kayak. On the northern tip of Kupreanof Island, learn about rich heritage of Tlingit culture on a private tour of Kake village. Uncover the legends in their totems and get a front seat view of carving and dance demonstrations. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a cold microbrew or cocktail.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-13-Brothers-Islands.png

DAY 13

The Brothers Islands / Stephens Passage
There’ll be plenty of wildlife viewing today. The Brothers, a pair of tiny, rocky islands at the confluence of Stephens Passage and Frederick Sound, are home to some of Alaska’s most abundant wildlife, including a haulout for Steller sea lions. The area is also the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the northern hemisphere. Keep watch for orca, humpbacks, and porpoise.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-14-Tracy-Arm-Wilderness.png

DAY 14

Tracy Arm Wilderness
At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls, hundreds of cascading waterfalls, and some of the largest icebergs in all of Alaska, sits the twin Sawyer Glaciers—Sawyer and South Sawyer. The fjord is home to brown and black bears, deer, mountain goats, harbor seals, and birds such as arctic terns and pigeon guillemots. Join the Captain for a farewell toast during dinner.
400x300_AK_Ultimate_Day-15-Disembarkation.png

DAY 15

Juneau, Alaska – Disembarkation
Bid adieu to new-found friends over breakfast before disembarking. Transfer directly to the Juneau airport or begin your add-on overnight stay or extended land tour.

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Single fares are "from prices" reflecting the lowest fare available in select cabins. Triple rates are available in designated cabins (refer to deck plan); inquire for pricing details. Fares on 2-week Alaska adventures reflect a 5% SAVINGS!

View fare details

Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2017
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017

Download ALL 2017 Alaska Rates & Dates (.pdf)

May 06

2017

Juneau to Juneau
240x180_Wilderness-Explorer.png
Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

Specs:

  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Trailblazer
$7,595
Trailblazer Twin
$7,595
Explorer
$10,645
Pathfinder
$8,345
Single
$11,395
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jun 03

2017

Juneau to Juneau
240x180_Wilderness-Explorer.png
Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

Specs:

  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Trailblazer
$8,345
Trailblazer Twin
$8,345
Explorer
$11,395
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$12,520
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jun 10

2017

Juneau to Juneau
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Built in 1992 by Blount Boats; renovated in 2011
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$6,845
Trailblazer
$8,345
Explorer
$12,545
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$10,270
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 01

2017

Juneau to Juneau
240x180_Wilderness-Explorer.png
Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

Specs:

  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Trailblazer
$8,345
Trailblazer Twin
$8,345
Explorer
$11,395
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$12,520
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 08

2017

Juneau to Juneau
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Built in 1992 by Blount Boats; renovated in 2011
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$6,845
Trailblazer
$8,345
Explorer
$12,545
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$10,270
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 29

2017

Juneau to Juneau
240x180_Wilderness-Explorer.png
Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

Specs:

  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Trailblazer
$8,345
Trailblazer Twin
$8,345
Explorer
$11,395
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$12,520
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Aug 05

2017

Juneau to Juneau
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Built in 1992 by Blount Boats; renovated in 2011
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$6,845
Trailblazer
$8,345
Explorer
$12,545
Pathfinder
$9,095
Single
$10,270
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Aug 26

2017

Juneau to Juneau
240x180_Wilderness-Explorer.png
Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

Specs:

  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Trailblazer
$7,595
Trailblazer Twin
$7,595
Explorer
$10,645
Pathfinder
$8,345
Single
$11,395
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Ports & Places

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Departure Dates

Select Year and Month to View Rates

2017
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017
400x300-alaska-experience-life-on-outside.jpg

Kake

Pronounced like the dessert “cake,” Kake has been inhabited by Tlingit people for thousands of years, and today is home to about 550 residents. While small in size, Kake celebrates a wealth of Tlingit heritage and tradition including the revered craft of totem carving. The town boasts a 132-foot totem pole that was carved in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ purchase of Alaska.

Overlooking Frederick Sound and Baranof Island, this Kupreonof Island town is accessed only by water or air. Due to the Kake’s remote location, encountering town “neighbors” like humpback whales that frequent waters off shore, bear, moose, Sitka black-tailed deer, bald eagles, otters, and seals is a frequent happening.

400x300_Ports_AK-Behm-Canal-2.png

Behm Canal

Behm Canal is located in the Alexander Archipelago. Separating Revillagigedo Island from mainland Alaska, this 108 mile long natural channel is actively used as a United States Navy Submarine sound testing range and home to New Eddystone Rock. It is also home to New Eddystone Rock, a pillar of basalt jetting from the sea.

400x300_AK_Chatham-Strait-GuyWithStarfish.png

Chatham Strait

Located in the Alexander Archipelago, Chatham Strait is a narrow passage that sits between Chichagof Island and Baranof Island to the west and Admiralty Island and Kuiu Island to the east. This 150-mile long strait connects the open sea with the Lynn Canal and the Icy Strait.

400x300_AK_Endicott-Arm-DeckPeopleSmallGlacier.png

Endicott Arm

Endicott Arm is one of two narrow fjords that make up the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area. Over 30 miles long, it ends at the stunning and breathtaking Dawes Glacier. With calm waters and only the sound of glacial caving, harbor seals, bears, deer, wolves and a wide variety of birds call this area home.

Halfway up Endicott Arm sits Fords Terror, a narrow passage that is accessible by small boat. As the tides change, water is pulled or pushed through this shallow and narrow opening, making it almost impossible for boats to pass through. Time it right—and you will be able to see some of the best waterfalls in Southeast Alaska.

ak-port-400x300-FordsTerror.JPG

Fords Terror Wilderness

Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness was designated in 1980 by the United States Congress. Today, it has over 653,000 acres of breathtaking scenery.

Bounded by Canada on the east and bordered by the Chuck River Wilderness to the south, the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness is highlighted by two sheer-walled fjords, Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm, both narrow and deep and over 30 miles long. At the head of both fjords, tidewater glaciers calve regularly into the sea. Permanent ice covers about one-fifth of the Wilderness.

400x300_AK_Frederick-sound-PeopleWhales.png

Frederick Sound

Frederick Sound is a body of water approximately 45 miles wide in the central part of Southeast Alaska, at the confluence of Portage Bay (West), lower Stephens Passage (North), and Chatham Strait between the communities of Juneau (North) and Petersburg (South). Frederick Sound is only accessible by boat or air.

Abundant krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans), zooplankton and herring thrive in the glacially fed waters of Frederick Sound, making it one of the premier places in Alaska to observe feeding humpback whales. It is estimated that over 500 of the 1,000 humpbacks that migrate annually to Alaska from Hawaiian breeding grounds head particularly to Frederick Sound to feed in its super nutrient-rich waters.

Marine mammals in the sound also include orcas (killer whales), Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, and harbor seals. A variety of seabirds thrive in this region as well and can be observed flying overhead or flocking after the whale’s watery leftovers, creating a great clue to where the humpbacks might be. Surrounding the sound are the majestic craggy snow-covered mountains of the Coast Range rising from the sea to grand heights of 10,000 feet.

400x300_embarkation-Juneau.png

Juneau, Alaska

Surrounded by the rich, green Tongass National Forest, and located on beautiful Gastineau Channel, Juneau is an important port and a popular tourist destination. Unique because it is the only state capital in the United States that is inaccessible by road, Juneau sits at sea level below the steep mountains that are home to the Juneau Icefield and the Mendenhall Glacier. Its temperate climate produces remarkable scenery with miles of hiking trails through woods and alpine meadows providing a glimpse of just how rugged the rainforest of Southeast Alaska is.

The Auke tribe of Tlingit Indians were the first settlers in the Juneau area. They lived there peacefully enjoying the abundance of food and natural resources until the gold rush began. First named Rockwell and then Harrisburg, Juneau was finally named after gold prospector Joseph Juneau. In 1880, he and his partner, Richard Harris, discovered gold nearby, and the city quickly developed into a gold rush town.

During the lucrative 60 years of gold mining in the area Juneau was home to three of the world's largest gold mines: The Alaska Juneau mine, the Alaska Gastineau mine, and the Treadwell mine. These three mines produced $158 million worth of gold making Juneau one of the world's major gold mining areas until the 1940s when costs outstripped the value of the gold. However, since 2005 the gold mining industry has been experiencing a resurgence.

Officially designated the capital of the Territory of Alaska in 1900, it did not function as the capital until the government offices were moved there from Sitka in 1906. In 1959 Juneau became the official state capital when Alaska was admitted to the United States. Today, its approximately 31,000 citizens live within a 3,255 square mile boundary, an amount of land that makes Juneau's city limits the largest state capital in the United States (and the only state capital that borders a foreign city.)

Along with its delightful small town ambiance, Juneau has a number of art galleries, boutiques, historical sites, and museums. In town you can visit the Alaska State Museum, the House of Wickersham, the Patsy Ann Statue, the 5-stories-tall totem pole outside the Capital Building, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, the Alaska-Juneau gold mine or the salmon hatchery.

One of the most popular attractions in the area is Mendenhall Glacier, located only 13 miles outside the city. Although it’s receding, it is an amazing work of nature. Other attractions include the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge (providing a look at Alaska’s salt marshes and the migratory waterfowl protected there); the Juneau Icefield; the Mt. Roberts Tram (rises 1,800 feet and presents sweeping views of downtown Juneau and Gastineau Channel.) There are more than 205 trails within and surrounding Juneau. They range from fairly flat hikes accessible to wheelchairs and stroller to medium hikes up and down forest trails to strenuous uphill paths for serious hikers.

400x300_AK_ketchikan1-RedCloverBlueBldg.png

Ketchikan, Alaska

Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World”, Ketchikan has a rich and diverse history—all of which you can see elements of today. In the late 1800s it built a fish saltery, which was soon followed by a salmon cannery and general store—salmon still spawn in the Ketchikan Creek that runs through the middle of town.

In the surrounding hills, gold, copper, and molybdenum were mined. As an important trading community with miners and fishermen frequenting the town, Creek Street became the red-light district of Ketchikan. Over 30 bordellos lined the street at one point. Mining never really took off, but the fishing industry and new timber operations began to grow with the establishment of the Ketchikan Spruce Mills early in the century. Ketchikan was crucial for supplying lightweight cedar for the construction of airplanes during WW II, and for the next half century, it was synonymous with the timber industry. In 1954, Ketchikan Pulp Mill was completed but today, the logging industry has nearly disappeared, replaced by tourism.

Wildlife sightings are also an every day encounter in this fascinating port. Over 100 species of migrating birds including bald eagles, black bears, Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats, marten, mink, sea otters, seals, orca, humpback whales, and an abundance of salmon can be found in the Ketchikan area.

Hanging above the salmon stream are the pilings supporting the historic structures that once housed the red light district and helped bootleggers move their whisky unseen at high tide. Today, the historic district along Ketchikan’s famed Creek Street hold souvenir shops, bookstores, and restaurants. There are a number of museums in town that tell its history from a pioneer, native, and modern perspective and the Tlingit village of Saxman, a historical town site, displays totem poles and a proud sense of its cultural past. Another unique point of interest is the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, a first-class education center with true-to-life displays of temperate rainforest, salmon streams, and native structures.

Learn about Ketchikan’s local Native cultures, and the history and importance of fishing and the arts through the Ketchikan Story project. www.ketchikanstories.com

ak-port-400x300-MistyFjords.JPG

Misty Fjords National Monument

Misty Fjords is south of Ketchikan on the border with Canada. As you journey into Behm Canal, the seemingly quiet entrance becomes more and more narrow as you pass New Eddie Stone Rock. This geologic oddity is the remnant of a “volcanic plug” rising out of the middle of this passage, and named for resembling a lighthouse back in England by Captain George Vancouver. It is just the first glimpse at many of the geological features seen while in the Misty Fjords National Monument.

This national monument was created in 1980 and consists of over two million acres. Misty Fiords was carved out by the last great North American glaciation, leaving narrow winding granite walls to guide our ship deep into the wilderness. Many of these winding passageways open to large granite amphitheaters of rock rising some 3,000 feet out of the water. This protected wilderness area is a place where we may spot brown bear and mountain goats.

As if by magic, the forest holds onto these steep walls and flourishes on incredibly abrupt slopes coming down to the waters edge. It is common to see bald eagles here swooping down from these trees to take salmon out of the water. Often the mist and clouds will hover throughout the fiord, shrouding your whole experience in what seems like a dream. Cruising through Misty Fiords is like traveling through a mystical storybook, with epic walls of rock and deep, dark forests winding through small canyons and passages. You will never know or guess what lies around the next corner.

ak-port-400x300-AK-Prince-of-Wales-Island.jpg

Prince of Wales Island

The fourth largest island in the United States, Prince of Wales Island is 135 miles long and boasts 990 miles of coastline. There are several designated wilderness areas on the island and nearly all of it is part of the Tongass National Forest. Steep mountains, tall peaks that reach beyond 3,000 feet high, fjords, dense forest, and striking limestone including the El Captain Cave are the features of the island.

Historically inhabited by the Tlingit, Haida people moved to the island in the 1700s and Europeans first set foot on the island around 1740. A number of small communities are found the island today, though all are quite small—the largest, Craig, has just over 1,000 residents.

400x300_AK_Stephens-Passage_4OrcasinRow.png

Stephens Passage

Running between Admiralty Island to the West and Douglas Island to the east, Stevens Passage is a 170km long channel in the Alexander Archipelago.

Stephens Passage was named in 1794 by George Vancouver, probably for Sir Philip Stephens. It was first charted the same year by Joseph Whidbey, master of the HMS Discovery during Vancouver's 1791-95 expedition.

400x300_AK_Brothers-Islands-SeaLionColony.png

The Brothers Islands

The Brothers, a pair of tiny, rocky islands at the confluence of Stephen’s Passage and Frederick Sound, are home to some of Alaska’s most abundant wildlife, including a haulout for Stellar sea lions. The area is also the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the northern hemisphere.

ak-port-400x300-Thomas_Bay.jpg

Thomas Bay, Alaska

Northeast of Petersburg, Thomas bay is known for glaciers and its abundance of wildlife. Moose, bears, and wolves are just a few of the animals you may see while traveling through this bay. Rich with gold, quartz and lore, Baird Glacier drains into the bay.

It is also known as “The Bay of Death,” due to a massive landslide that claimed over 500 lives in 1750. It also has gained the name of "Devil's Country" when in 1900 several people claimed to have seen devil creatures in the area.

400x300_AK_Tongass-National-Forest-YellowKayak.png

Tongass National Forest

The Tongass National Forest is located in southeast Alaska and at 17 million acres and encompassing 19 different designated wilderness area, it is the largest national forest in the United States.

With its temperate climate and remote location, the Tongass National Forest is home to a large variety of endangered species and rare flora and fauna.

400x300_AK_Tracy-Arm-Wilderness-IceFlowonRock.png

Tracy Arm

Tracy Arm quickly becomes a favorite place for those who visit. It is perhaps one of the most dramatic locations in all of North America. This fantastic fjord rivals if not surpasses the fjords of Norway and New Zealand. Completely protected within the Tongass National Forest, this fjord stretches some 25 miles up into the Coastal Range Mountains. These snow- and glacier-filled mountains over 7,000 feet tall drop immediately to sea level. We will be surrounded by sheer 1,500-to 2,000-foot walls of granite falling into the extremely narrow passage, creating countless waterfalls and strange rock formations covered in forest, and trees hanging onto precipices at impossible angles. Bears, mountain goats, and other fur-bearing animals live here, on a terrain you would think has to be devoid of such large animals. You might spot a bear in a spot that does not look possible.

Twisting and turning, not being able to see what is around the next corner, you will be presented with a continual flow of scenery that could only be compared to Yosemite National Park but filled with over 1,000 feet of water! Here killer whales come to prey upon harbor seals who think they have safely hauled out on the ice to give birth or molt their fur. Each turn will present a new view of waterfalls and “u”-shaped valleys, carved out by ice in the not-so-distant past.

At the head of the arm is our true destination, the two Sawyer glaciers that carved out the fjord. As we make our way to the head of the fjord, we will pass through a field of icebergs that will bump into the ship as we push them out of the way. We will be entering a surreal world you could not imagine, with ice more blue than the sky itself. When we arrive at the face of the glaciers, we will no doubt see hundreds of harbor seals laying on the ice. If we are fortunate, a building-size piece of ice will break off the glacier's face only to crash and thunder into the water below, creating massive waves that will rock our ship as our guests cheer.

400x300_AK_Day-10-Wrangell-Narrows.jpg

Wrangell Narrows, Alaska

Wrangell Narrows is one of the two narrowest waterways in Southeast Alaska, with Peril Straits near Sitka being the other. It is approximately 21 miles long, and is a very narrow and shallow waterway separating Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island. Depending on tide activity, Wrangell Narrows is one-half mile to 100 yards wide, with its snake-like path winding around 46 total course changes.

More than 70 navigational aids mark this course, giving Wrangell Narrows its nickname of “Christmas Tree Lane,” reminding folks of the red and green holiday lights when all the buoys are lit at night. This waterway averages just 19 to 22 feet deep, depending on the tide. Large boats require more than two feet of water above average low tide in order to navigate this challenging waterway safely. The southern point of Wrangell Narrows is the confluence of Sumner Strait, and its northern point is the small, quaint fishing village of Petersburg and the confluence of Frederick Sound, with the tides entering and exiting from both ends.

ak-port-400x300-Wrangell_JOC9754.jpg

Wrangell, Alaska

Located on the northern corner of Wrangell Island—part of the Alexander Archipelago—the city of Wrangell is seven miles from the mouth and delta of the Stikine River, a very important freshwater contribution to the Inside Passage. The powerful Stikine Tlingit tribes inhabited the region for thousands of years, developing a very important trade center at the mouth of this river with the interior Athapaskan tribes. Along the beach north of town remains a very extensive collection of petroglyphs. It is thought that these rock carvings may have been primitive boundary markers for the First Peoples that lived in this area, establishing its importance.

Wrangell is one of the oldest non-native settlements in Alaska. The first to document this region were the Russians, who arrived in 1811 and began trading with the native Tlingits for beaver and sea otter furs from the Stikine River. In 1834 the Russians built a stockade, which in 1839 was leased by the British Hudson Bay Trading Company causing controversy over the use of Tlingit trade routes. The fort was abandoned in 1849 after depleting the sea otter and beaver stock in the area, but remained under British rule until Alaska was purchased by the U.S. in 1869.

Its colorful pioneer history grew with gambling, bars and Gold Rushers, and even tout Wyatt Earp in their guest book of famous visitors when he stopped in Wrangell en route to the northern gold fields. John Muir also has his place in the Wrangell history books, staying here in his early days of Alaska exploration. A disastrous fire in the early 1950s destroyed most of the downtown area including the Bear Totem Store, a curio shop built in 1920 which housed a collection of Tlingit arts, crafts, and irreplaceable totem poles. For many years, this rough and rugged Wild West town was supported primarily by the logging and fishing industries.

Today, Wrangell continues to redefine itself. The lumber mills have been upgraded and refashioned into a sustainable forest products industry, and the town has become a unique outpost for tourism. Visit Chief Shakes Island and Tribal House Monument, Totem Park, the Wrangell Museum, or walk among the petroglyphs at Petroglyph Beach State Park for a glimpse into its history.

Extend Your Experience

400x300_AK_LandPackages_Hotels_goldbelt-hotel.png

Hotel Stay

JUNEAU – FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON
2017 RATES: From $190

Centrally located and overlooking the waterfront, this newly renovated and upgraded hotel features spacious water view rooms and is within walking distance to Juneau’s shop, restaurants, and the Mt. Robert’s tram.

Summary

Stopover Package at the Four Points by Sheraton Juneau (formerly the Goldbelt Hotel) includes meet and greet service at the airport, transfer from the airport to hotel, water or mountain-view room, tax, and baggage handling.

400x300_AK_LandPackages_Hotels_ketchikan-cap-fox-lodge.png

HOTEL STAY

KETCHIKAN – CAPE FOX LODGE
2017 RATES: From $205

Accessed by tram, the hotel offers panoramic views of Tongass Narrows and the city, with Ketchikan’s hot spots within walking distance. Onsite, spacious and bright rooms, restaurant, and lounge offer casual comfort.

Summary

Stopover Package at the Cape Fox Lodge includes meet and greet service at the airport, water-view or mountain-view room, tax, and baggage handling.

400x300_AKLand_Denali-Kni-hero.png

LAND PACKAGE

Alaska Rail, Denali & Knik River Wilderness
2017 RATES: From $3,495

Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Discoverer, Wilderness Explorer

Our 6-night, pre-cruise ESCORTED land tour features wilderness lodge stays in Denali National Park and Knik River Valley, and hotel overnights in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

6 Nights

Summary

ITINERARY INCLUDES:

  • Meet & greet
  • Airport/hotel/vessel transfers
  • Baggage handling
  • Listed hotel accommodations and meals
  • Rail transportation as noted in itinerary
  • Hotel taxes/fees

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights to/from Juneau/Ketchikan/Sitka and Fairbanks/Anchorage
  • Flights to/from home city
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Vessels for this Itinerary

270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
270_180_wilderness_explorer.jpg

Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

The Wilderness Discoverer comes equipped for adventure with kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, hiking poles, wet suits and snorkel equipment, and yoga mats. The EZ Dock launch platform makes getting into the water a cinch. A hydrophone transmits below-surface sounds and a bow-mounted underwater camera shows the action. For wellness and relaxation, the vessel offers two hot tubs and fitness equipment.

There are four cabin categories aboard the Wilderness Discoverer: Navigator; Trailblazer; Pathfinder; and Explorer. Depending on the cabin, singles, doubles or triples can be accommodated.

Common to all cabins are: Air conditioning; flat-screen TV/DVD; iPod docking station, private bath with shower; a view window (no portholes).

Destinations: Alaska; Pacific Northwest

770x1010-wilderness-discoverer-deckplan.jpg
  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Built in 1992 by Blount Boats; renovated in 2011
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
170x128-wilderness-discoverer-navigator.jpg

201, 203-208, 210
Queen or twin beds; view window, private bath with shower

170x128-wilderness-discoverer-trailblazer.jpg

310-325
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath and shower

170x128-wilderness-discoverer-explorer.jpg

400-403
Sitting area; queen or twin beds; large picture window; private bath with shower

170x128-wilderness-discoverer-pathfinder.jpg

300-309
Outside entry; queen, double bed or double bed with bench seat; view window; private bath with shower

Wilderness Explorer

To complement the wild, natural surroundings, the interior of the 74-guest Wilderness Explorer has intentionally been designed with a Pacific Northwest feel including the nautical-themed main lounge. The open-seating format of the dining room and ample space on deck encourage guest-to-guest interaction on this small ship. This expedition vessel has three accessible decks; enjoy over-the-top views from the bow, watch sparkling stars from the upper deck hot tub, and relax in the sun lounge.

The Wilderness Explorer is equipped for active adventure and is outfitted with kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, and yoga mats, a hydrophone for listening below the water, and a bow-mounted underwater camera for viewing in-water action. An EZ Dock launch platform allows for easy access into the water. Onboard wellness amenities include fitness equipment and hot tub.

There are three cabin categories aboard the Wilderness Explorer: Trailblazer; Pathfinder; and Explorer. Explorer accommodates single and double accommodations.

Common to all cabins are: Flat-screen TV/DVD; iPod docking station; air conditioning; private bath with shower; view windows.

Destination: Alaska

770x800-wilderness-explorer-deckplan-rev.jpg
  • 74 guests
  • 37 cabins
  • 26 crew members
  • 186 feet in length
  • 38 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Built in 1976; renovated in 2012
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
170x128-wilderness-explorer-trailblazer.jpg

207-215, 302-303, 305-306, 309-312
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

170x128-wilderness-explorer-trailblazer-twins.jpg

104-106
Twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

170x128-wilderness-explorer-explorer.jpg

301, 304, 313-314
Sitting area; refrigerator; fixed queen bed; large picture window; private bath with shower

170x128-wilderness-explorer-pathfinder.jpg

107-114, 202-206
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower