Ultimate Bays & Fjords

14-night expedition cruise exploring glacial landscapes, old growth, and rainforests

From $6,445

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
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Itinerary

Expand your exploration of Alaskan coastline—from the southernmost end of Alaska’s Inside Passage to the more northerly Glacier Bay; 14 nights combining our Northern Passages and Western Coves itineraries.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Park Ranger joins you for your day in Glacier Bay National Park
  • View glaciers: Glacier Bay National Park and Dawes
  • South Marble Island sea lion haulout and bird colonies
  • Explore the mainland—glacial landscapes, old growth and rainforest
  • Whales in Icy Strait and Frederick Sound
  • Wildlife-rich Stephens Passage, Peril Strait, and Behm Canal
  • Discover Kuiu Island and Misty Fjords National Monument by kayak, paddle board and skiff
  • Hikes along Chichagof Island’s waterfall coast
  • Wrangell's Kiksetti Totem Park and Chief Shakes Tribal House
  • Transit winding Wrangell Narrows

Departure Dates & Rates

Select year and month

2016
2017
Aug
2016
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017
Sep
2017

Your day-by-day details

Sitka to Ketchikan

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DAY 1

Sitka – Embarkation
Welcome aboard! Meet the crew, settle in, and relax with your shipmates. Within minutes you’ll be cruising the scenic channels of the Inside Passage.
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DAY 2

Peril Strait / Sergius Narrows
Peril Strait runs 50 miles from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound. This haven for small boats is scenically highlighted by a very narrow connecting passageway called Sergius Narrows and an opening at Hoonah Sound. This historic and wildlife-rich waterway is a great place to watch the shoreline for bears, the waters for otters and whales, and to look skyward for eagles. The passage narrows to only 300 feet in one spot (24 feet deep).
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DAY 3

Kuiu Island
There aren’t many straight lines along the shores of Kuiu Island and with many secluded coves to choose from, you’ll discover the region’s intertidal zones, or from your skiff or kayak, watch for whales and sea lions. Gear up for a guided hike with your expedition team for a new perspective of the vast, stunning Tongass National Forest. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a frosty microbrew or hot toddy.
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DAY 4

Chichagof Island
Meander along the spectacular waterfall coast of Chichagof Island. In the UnCruise expedition spirit, marvel at the grand scenery as our crew expertly guides you through unsung, glacier-carved fjords. Anchor in remote waters for an opportunity to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Explore the shoreline on an intertidal walk or forest exploration with your guides.
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DAY 5

Glacier Bay National Park
One of America’s crown jewel national parks is yours to explore—Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. A National Park Ranger joins you to uncover coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. Linger near South Marble Island to spot the many species of rare sea birds that call this area home. Keep your eyes on the water and the island for brightly-colored puffins and Black Oystercatchers. With much to see all around you, you'll find sea lions, mountain goats, bears, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before you in the waters of Glacier Bay. Your day is complete with a stop in Bartlett Cove for a visit to the Park Service's Headquarters.
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DAY 6

Icy Strait
Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Join the captain on the bridge or the expedition team out on deck in search of marine mammals. Camera in hand, begin your land and sea exploration of these remote reaches. Ride the skiffs for a closer inspection of the rugged and wild coastline with eyes set on the shore for possible bear sightings.
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DAY 7

Captain’s Choice
Plying the remote waterways of Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, your captain sets the course for adventure today! Wake up at anchor and kick off your morn with on-deck morning yoga stretches, then slip into a kayak or try out your skills paddle boarding and gliding along rocky outcroppings with your guides. While you keep watch for harbor seals who frequently play in these protected waters, bald eagles will likely keep an eye on your improving paddling skills from the treetops.
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DAY 8

Juneau
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 all the many things historic Juneau has to offer. A complimentary laundry service is provided today. Embark this afternoon and keep watch for eagles as you set sail for the Tracy Arm Wilderness.
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DAY 9

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.
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DAY 10

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.
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DAY 11

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.
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DAY 12

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.
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DAY 13

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.
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DAY 14

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. This evening, join the Captain in a farewell toast and reminisce about your Alaskan journey over a sumptuous dinner.
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DAY 15

Ketchikan, Alaska – Disembarkation
Enjoy a farewell breakfast before disembarking the ship this morning. Transfer directly to the Ketchikan airport or begin your extended UnCruise hotel stay or land tour.

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

Theme Departures Available for this Itinerary

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National Park Centennial Celebration

Joined by a Park Ranger, commemorate the 100th anniversary of our National Parks on select Alaska departures that sail in Glacier Bay during the week of August 25—the date in 1916 when the act was signed.

2016: August 20

Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Any cabin (except Single) may be sold as a single at 175% of double occupancy rate. 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

2016
2017
Aug
2016
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017
Sep
2017

Download ALL 2016 Alaska Rates & Dates (.pdf)
Download ALL 2017 Alaska Rates & Dates (.pdf)

Aug 27

2016

Sitka to Ketchikan
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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
$6,445
Trailblazer
$7,995
Explorer
$12,145
Pathfinder
$8,745
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

May 27

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$8,745
Explorer
$11,795
Trailblazer Twin
$8,745
Pathfinder
$9,495
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jun 03

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jun 24

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$8,745
Explorer
$11,795
Trailblazer Twin
$8,745
Pathfinder
$9,495
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 01

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$7,195
Trailblazer
$8,745
Explorer
$12,895
Pathfinder
$9,495
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 22

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$8,745
Explorer
$11,795
Trailblazer Twin
$8,745
Pathfinder
$9,495
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Jul 29

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$7,195
Trailblazer
$8,745
Explorer
$12,895
Pathfinder
$9,495
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Aug 19

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
Explorer
$11,395
Trailblazer Twin
$8,345
Pathfinder
$9,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Aug 26

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$6,445
Trailblazer
$7,995
Explorer
$12,145
Pathfinder
$8,745
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$500

Sep 16

2017

Sitka to Ketchikan
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
$6,145
Explorer
$9,095
Trailblazer Twin
$6,145
Pathfinder
$6,845
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

2016
2017
Aug
2016
May
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Aug
2017
Sep
2017
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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.

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Chichagof Island

Chichagof Island is the 5th largest island in the United States and one of the ABC islands of Alaska. It sits at the northern end of the Alexander Archipelago.

Separated from Baranof Island by the Peril Strait to the north, Chichagof Island has the largest population of bears per square mile of any place on earth and is protected by the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness area.

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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

Glacier Bay Park and Preserve is reportedly the most sought after park to visit in the United States and it is no wonder. Where else will you find a 25 mile-long river of ice still carving the land just as it has for the past several thousand years? When Captain Cook and George Vancouver sailed by in 1879, they saw a 20-mile wide glacier where today the entrance of the park lies, as well the wilderness lodge and park headquarters.

Over the past 200 years, this wall of ice has retreated an astonishing 65 miles north, splintering into a vast number of tributaries spaced throughout the entire park. Each glacier has its own name and character; our captain will decide which to visit for the day depending on ice conditions and wildlife sightings.

Visiting Glacier Bay Park is also like visiting a wildlife park. Here bears, goats, moose, whales, sea otters, and all the creatures of the water and forest flourish, completely protected from man. A National Park Ranger joins us for our entire journey to explain the park's geology, glaciology, wildlife, and its deep roots in Tlingit culture.

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Icy Strait

Icy Strait is a body of water in Southeast Alaska that is located between Chichagof Island and the mainland, and extends 40 miles northwest from Chatham Strait to Glacier Bay and Cross Sound. Icy Strait’s nutrient-rich waters are abundant with marine mammals, sea birds and the scenery is spectacular.

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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.

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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

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Kuiu Island

Stretching 65 miles long, the width of Kuiu Island ranges from 25 miles to just 6 miles wide. At Affleck Canal, discovered and named by Joseph Whidbey and George Vancouver in the 1790s, the island is nearly split in two. Part of the Tongass National Forest, jagged arms and fingers of land jut out into the waters of Chatham Strait and other narrower passages, creating many coves and inlets. Over 60,000 acres of land on Kuiu Island is a designated wilderness area including old growth temperate forest.

In the early 2000s, the census reported 10 residents living on the island. More abundant residents include black bears, deer, wolves, sea lions, salmon, seabirds, and birds of prey.

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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.

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Peril Strait

Peril Strait is located in the Alexander Archipelago between Chichagof Island to the north and Baranof Island and Catherine Island to the south. Surrounded by mountains, glaciers, fjords, and narrow inlets and coves, Peril Strait is full of wildlife and beautiful scenery.

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Sergius Narrows

This narrow waterway is the southern portion of Peril Straits. It provides an approximately 30-mile-long waterway shortcut to Sitka, Alaska, between Baranof and Chichagof islands. Sergius Narrows is a very narrow, zigzag course approximately 300 feet wide, with the tide rushing through at up to 9 to 10 miles per hour. Ships must pass through during “slack tide,” meaning that time when the water is most still between high and/or low tides. Sergius Narrows leads to Kakul Narrows, Salisbury Sound, and the Pacific, narrowing again to lead through Neva and Olga Straits to Sitka Sound and again to the outer west coast of the Pacific and the community of Sitka, Alaska. The exciting passage through Sergius Narrows offers a stunning view of remote, serene forested islands, great opportunity to view many bald eagles and Sitka black-tailed deer along its shores, and sometimes sea otter floating in and around the shallow kelp beds and rocky shorelines.

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Sitka, Alaska

The city and borough of Sitka are situated on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago and was originally settled by the native Tlingit people. Old Sitka was founded in 1799 by Alexandr Baranov, then governor of Russian America, when he arrived and set up a colonial trading company chartered by Tsar Paul I.

Tlingit warriors however, opposed the settlement and conflict resulted in the deaths of four hundred Russian inhabitants and the enslavement of the rest. Only a few managed to escape. Baranof returned in 1804 for the Battle of Sitka, the last armed conflict between Europeans and Alaska Natives. Following their victory, the Russians established a permanent settlement.

Sitka was the site of the ceremony in which the Russian flag was lowered and the U.S. flag was raised after Alaska was purchased by the U.S. in 1867, an event re-enacted every October 18 (Alaska Day).

There are 24 building and sites in Sitka that appear on the National Register of Historic Places, many reflecting their deep Russian and Tlingit heritage. Gold mining and fish canning paved the way for the town's initial growth, but it wasn't until WW II when the Navy constructed an air base in the area that Sitka came into its own. Today, Sitka is the 4th largest city in Alaska.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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HOTEL STAY

SITKA – WESTMARK SITKA HOTEL
2016 RATES: From $190

Defined to reflect local culture, this hotel has a large welcoming fireplace, fine restaurant and lounge, and comfortable accommodations. Near the heart of town, many of Sitka’s top attractions are a short walk away.

Summary

The Westmark Sitka stopover package includes meet and greet service at the airport, transfer from the airport to hotel, view room, tax, and baggage handling.

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HOTEL STAY

KETCHIKAN – CAPE FOX LODGE
2016 RATES: From $190

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.

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LAND PACKAGE

Alaska Rail, Denali & Knik River Wilderness
2016, 2017 RATES: From $3,395

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
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HOTEL STAY

Winterlake Lodge
2016 RATES: From $4,945

North of Anchorage and nestled along mile 198 of the historic Iditarod Trail, experience Alaska’s interior on a 4-night land extension that features the remote, fly-in wilderness Winterlake Lodge.

4 Nights

Summary

ITINERARY INCLUDES:

  • Private transfer from the Anchorage Airport to hotel
  • 2 nights deluxe accommodations at the Hotel Captain Cook (or similar)
  • Round trip floatplane passage from Anchorage to Winterlake Lodge
  • 2 day / 2 night inclusive package at Winterlake Lodge
  • All activities at the lodge as outlined in itinerary
  • All gourmet meals, and wine service at Winterlake Lodge as outlined in itinerary
  • All private and shared ground transportation
  • All applicable taxes
  • Customer service support and/or Emergency Contact Information while traveling


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LAND PACKAGE

Alaska Railroad & Denali National Park Adventure
2016 RATES: From $3,795

Enhance your cruise with a 5-night pre- or post-cruise land package featuring Denali National Park and Preserve and hotel overnights in Anchorage.

5 Nights

Summary

ITINERARY INCLUDES:

  • Private transfer from the Anchorage Airport to hotel
  • 2 nights deluxe accommodations at the Hotel Captain Cook (or similar)
  • Alaska Railroad GoldStar dome train from Anchorage to Denali National Park
  • Overnight accommodations at the Grand Denali Lodge
  • 90 mile wildlife bus through Denali National Park
  • 2 nights accommodations at Kantishna Roadhouse
  • Activities at Kantishna Roadhouse as outlined in itinerary
  • Charter flight from Kantishna to Anchorage
  • All meals as outlined in itinerary
  • All applicable taxes.
  • Customer service support and/or Emergency Contact Information while guests are traveling.

Vessels for this Itinerary

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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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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