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Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness

Rates & Dates:

Trip Length: 8 Days/ 7 Nights

Prices from: $6,290 pp/do*

Single Price: $9,440 pp

2016 Dates:

May 16*, 17*, 23, 24, 30*, 31*, Jun 6, 7, 13*, 14*, 20, 21, 27*, 28*, July 4, 5, 11*, 12*, 18, 19, 25*, 26*, Aug 1, 2, 8*, 9*, 15, 16, 22*, 23*, 29, 30.

Ships: National Geographic Quest
MV Sea Bird & Sea Lion

Notes: *Denotes reverse direction Sitka to Juneau.
*Per Person/Double Occupancy. Special Single Rates apply where listed.

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Where can you wake to the cry of a soaring eagle, watch tons of ice thunder from the face of a glacier, walk in a spruce forest, and observe lunge-feeding whales, while cruising in complete comfort aboard a nimble expedition ship? In Southeast Alaska — a land of fjords and islands teeming with wildlife.

Since 1982, our Alaska expedition has explored the magnificent Inside Passage of Alaska with an intimate number of guests in the company of Naturalists aboard our small ship voyages. Walk forest trails to cascading waterfalls, bird-watching and identifying wildflowers as you go. Enjoy Zodiac and kayaking forays, whale watching, and learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage. A full day is spent in Glacier Bay National Park. You may also join our optional land extension to Denali National Park.

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

  

 

  

DAY 1 — Juneau, Alaska/Embark Ship

Note: Certain departures operate in reverse, making all the same stops.

Take an early afternoon flight from Seattle to Juneau. Before embarking the ship, we stop by the Alaska State Museum for an artful introduction to this unique state. We also visit Mendenhall Glacier, set in the dramatic Mendenhall Valley, located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Embark the ship and take the time to settle into your cabin before dinner. After dinner onboard, take a few hours to yourself and explore the port of Juneau. (D)  

  

DAY 2 — Tracy Arm

This morning, we enter Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm, a spectacular fjord, with waterfalls cascading from its glacially carved walls. We’ll also pass the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, we’ll use our Zodiacs to provide unparralelled up close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals and porpoises, Arctic terns and Bonaparte gulls.(B,L,D)

 

  

DAY 3 — Petersburg

Search for humpback whales as we head toward LeConte Bay, a virtual sculpture garden of grounded and floating icebergs. Weather permitting, you’ll have the opportunity to join our naturalists in Zodiacs amid the ice. Later we head to the small town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, where there is an opportunity for optional flightseeing. Bicycles are available for rides through town or join naturalists for a walk in the nearby bog. The ship remains at the dock until we’re called to dinner for a dungeness crab feast. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 — Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait

These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It’s not uncommon to observe their fascinating behavior — breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding — as we fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from our expert naturalists. We may also see sea lions hauled out and the majestic bald eagle. Once ashore, we’ll have the opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up close exploration. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 — Glacier Bay National Park

We spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. You’ll see glaciers that end abruptly at the water’s edge and observe them “calving” — tons of ice crashing into the sea — accompanied by an exhilaratingly thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks as well as harbor seals, Steller’s sea lions and puffins are some of the creatures we may observe in these icy waters. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. (B,L,D)

Glacier Bay National ParkFrederick Sound and Chatham StraitPetersburgTracy Arm 

 

 

DAY 6 — Point Adolphus and Inian Pass

Hike, kayak and search for whales in the waters off Point Adolphus, a favored feeding area for humpback whales. Keep watch on deck with our marine mammal experts. Under the right conditions, we’ll lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the whale’s communication. After some thrilling whale watching, we’ll cruise Inian Pass in search of playful sea otters. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 — Southeast Alaska’s Islands, Bays and Fjords

Today, nature is our guide as we set forth with the flexibility to take advantage of wildlife and weather conditions. We may stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beachcomb, and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. This area is home to the highest density of nesting bald eagles in the world, so sightings are very common. If conditions permit, we’ll do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 8 — Sitka/Disembark Ship/Seattle

After breakfast we disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which is readily apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. Gaze up at the grand totem poles that line the wooded trails through Sitka National Historic Park. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, we have close views of species normally seen at a distance in the wild — bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. After our visit, we’ll drive to the airport for our afternoon flight to Seattle. (B)

Note: Certain departures operate in reverse, making all the same stops.

Denali National Park Extension

Denali National Park is one of North America’s natural treasures, crowned by Mt. McKinley, the highest peak on the continent at 20,320 feet. By staying at North Face Lodge, the most exclusive property inside Denali National Park, we are able to travel deep within the park, settle at a charming north-country inn and remain immersed in the wonders of Denali for several days. And with space for only eighteen guests on this extension, you know you’ll always be part of a very intimate experience.

Winding through the remote Alaska Range, deep into the heart of the park, the “Park Road” offers opportunities to see Denali’s famed wildlife: grizzlies, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves, eagles, and weather permitting, views of magnificent Mt. McKinley. Once at North Face Lodge, situated just 2 miles from the famed Wonder Lake, soak in the unparalleled mountain views and enjoy an array of guided or independent activities. Other highlights include a visit to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum and a scenic ride on the historic Alaska Railroad.

DAY 1 — Fairbanks, Alaska

Arrive in Fairbanks and transfer to your hotel. This evening meet your leader and traveling companions at a welcome dinner. (D)

DAY 2 — Fairbanks / Denali National Pk / North Face Lodge

In the morning visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum featuring collections that represent over 11,000 years of cultural traditions in the north. In the late morning we depart for Denali National Park and North Face Lodge. There we are met by the Naturalist guides of the North Face Lodge, who lead us on a seven-hour, 89-mile journey into the heart of the park on the restricted access Denali Park Road, offering excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way. (B,L,D)

DAY 3-5 — Denali National Park / North Face Lodge

North Face Lodge lies in the heart of the Park, beneath the shadow of Mt. McKinley. It provides accommodations in well-appointed rooms with private bath. Delicious meals and fresh baked goods are featured in the dining room. Daily activities have a strong natural history focus including wildlife observation and hikes led by staff naturalists. Canoeing, fishing and biking are also available. Nightly programs focus on various aspects of Denali’s natural and cultural history, including birds, mammals, wildflowers, tundra ecology, geology, mountaineering, land use and natural resource issues. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 — Denali National Park / Anchorage

This morning we enjoy a wildlife drive back out the park entrance, where we board the first-class Alaska Railroad Goldstar cars for the trip to Anchorage, with dinner en route in the Dining Car. Overnight at the Hilton Anchorage Hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 — Anchorage / Sitka or Juneau / Home

This morning fly to either Sitka or Juneau to begin your Alaska voyage. Or if your extension is taken after your voyage, transfer to the airport for connecting flights home. (B)
 Cost Per Person (Denali Extension):
2011 Departures
Double Occupancy – $4,980
Single Occupancy – $7,390
Photo Credit: Lindblad Expeditions