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Wilderness Passages of Discovery

Rates & Dates:

Trip Length: 15 Days/ 14 Nights

Prices from: $8,295 pp/do*

Single Price: $9,195 pp

Ships: Safari Explorer

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Or call us: 1-800-578-1479

There are 900-nautical miles between Seattle, WA and Juneau, AK, and you will cruise all of them while simultaneously being exhilarated by birds and wildlife, waterfalls, tree-lined narrow passageways, snow-capped mountains, and many more surprises around every corner. 

No matter whether  you travel in May or September, it will be an optimal time for gliding amongst vivid foliage, active bears and animals rummaging along the shoreline, fewer boats on the water and fewer people.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Cruising the Inside Passage of Alaska and British Columbia
  • Provocative Naturalist Led Presentations and Discussions
  • Guided Kayaking and Wilderness Hiking at Various Lengths and Activity Levels
  • Visit and rummage through the remnant buildings of an abandoned cannery town in Little Part Walter
  • Exploring Ford’s Terror Wilderness
  • Whale Watching in Frederick Sound
  • Beachcombing
  • Explore El Capitan Cave
  • Bottom Fishing from the Ship, Kayak or Skiff
  • Kayaks are available during each day for unguided touring at your leisure. Inflatable boat tours around anchorages are available each day.
  • Additional activities include snorkeling and “polar bear” club swims


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Day 1 – Sail from Seattle, Washington

After transfer from the airport, we will cruise northward from Seattle’s historic Fishermen’s Terminal passing through the Hiram-Chittenden Locks and into Puget Sound. We will continue on through Deception Pass, a dramatic and narrow cut between two islands, before dropping anchor in a quiet cove for the night.

Day 2 – Washington’s Coast, The San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor

The misty, deeply forested San Juan Islands dot the pristine seascape as we head for Friday Harbor, an intriguing town complete with unique boutiques and shops and the fascinating Whale Museum.

Day 3 – Exploring the San Juan Islands

The Pacific Northwest is where the term “gunkholing” originated. Today we’ll “gunkhole” close to shore, spending hours getting even closer by skiff, kayak and by foot on islands such as tree-lined Sucia. As we depart for Canadian waters in the afternoon, all eyes are needed on deck to keep lookout for orca whales!

Day 4-7 – Canada’s Inside Passage

As we head northward, fishing communities give way to forested mountains and intricate waterways. We’ll search for orca whales, seals and sea lions, dolphins and porpoise and we’ll be able to observe migratory birds. Learn about native influences which shaped the history of these remote and sparsely-populated islands such as Cormorant Island, home to the tiny community of Alert Bay and the world’s largest totem pole. Pause for an up-close view of the dilapidated buildings of the former cannery town of Butedale as they silently and slowly edge toward the icy waters of Princess Louisa Channel. A short distance beyond Prince Rupert, B.C. lies the U.S./Canadian border. The first night in the United State’s continuation of the Inside Passage will be spent anchored near Misty Fjords National Monument.

Day 8 – Ketchikan, Alaska

Whether it is the Saxman Totem Village or the shops along Creek Street, the rich, cultural heritage of Alaska’s Tlingit Indians provide insightful experiences and a good dose of local color.

Day 9 – El Capitan Passage and Devilfish Bay

The El Capitan Passage, dividing Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Islands, offers many ways to get closer to nature. Drop crab pots en route to prime fishing waters. Wind through the high forests of on an old logging trail and paddle around Devilfish Cove. Later, we visit Marble Island, named for the famous Tokeen Marble Quarry, to pick up freshly harvested oysters and fish from a local family. During cocktail hour, family members join us to share their Alaska experience.

Day 10 – Klawock

As the sun rises over the Tlingit village of Klawock, the living history of native Alaska lies in wait.  Spend the morning gaining a better understanding about the importance of carving in Alaskan culture, mixing with the locals and gazing up at the twenty-one restored totem poles that color the town.  Before lunch, we will make our way to beautiful Klawock.  Explore the Klawock area on foot or by kayak,  keeping an eye out for bears, eagles, sea birds and whales.

Day 11 – Little Port Walter and Mist Cove

Anchored in Little Port Walter, the day offers many options. This morning, choose between a half-day fishing excursion, fly fishing, a hike on Sashin Lake Trail, or take it easy with a shorter hike to the site of an ancient native fish weir to explore an abandoned cannery. Later, visit a NOAA field fisheries site and hike in Mist Cove for seemingly never-ending views, until you come face-to-face with an enormous waterfall. Back onboard, meet a fisheries expert from Deer Lake aquaculture who joins us for dinner and a presentation.

Day 12 – Patterson Bay & Deep Cove

While you sleep soundly, we will slip through the waters between Little Port Walter for Patterson Bay. Leisurely explore the bay by skiff or kayak while watching the coastline for wildlife and enjoy a guided hike in the Tongass National Forest.

Day 13 – The Brothers Island, Frederick Sound and Whale Watching

Enjoy a guided kayak trip or skiff tour to the southern end of the island where the sea lions bark commands and pal around. Later, we sail into Frederick Sound – the summer feeding ground for humpback whales.

Day 14 – Endicott Arm and Ford’s Terror Wilderness

On the last full day of your journey, prepare to have your breath taken away by sculptural glacial views and snow-covered mountains. Endicott Arm frequently offers respite to seals on the smaller ‘bergy bits’ and sometimes, it gets a little crowded.  Kayak toward the glowing blue of Dawes Glacier’s face or see it all from the ease of a skiff. Tides permitting, the ship will move up to Ford’s Terror, a narrow passage named after a naval crewmember who was stranded in the turbulent tidal water for six hours. Armed with tide tables, we can safely skiff through Ford’s Terror and admire the magnificent domes, hanging valleys and pristine wilderness that surround it.  Back aboard, you will be greeted with cocktails and a cheery camaraderie as you join the Captain in a farewell toast.  Anchored at Woods Spit, enjoy a wonderful dinner and even better conversations with all the new friends you’ve made on your journey

Day 15 – Arrive in Juneau — Disembark

A Bon Voyage breakfast ends our ship journey; however, there are many enticing ways to extend your journey.  Transfer directly to the Juneau airport or arrange for an add-on overnight stay or an extended land tour.

Photo Credit: Un-Cruise Adventures