You don’t always have to leave the USA for an unbelievable adventure. This exclusive Alaska trip had it all!
We first set out with a small group for an expedition into the Denali National Forest, Glacier Bay National Park, the Icy Straight, Peril Straight, South Marble Island, Juneau and Sitka where we saw wildlife galore, glaciers whales and so much more. We enjoyed a few days on land in the spectacular Denali National Park to explore with 2 nights INSIDE the park. Then 7 days on a small, intimate ship to continue our adventure. The ship only holds 74 people with naturalists on board.
Kayak, paddleboard, and snorkeling were right off the ship or you could take a skiff for a closer look at the glaciers. See a pod of whales? The small ship can follow them!
Denali National Park lies in the heart of a curved mountain chain about 600 miles long, the Alaska Range. The highest part of the range has many peaks over 10,000 feet high. The centerpiece of these high mountains is Denali, the highest peak in North America, at 20,310 feet.
Once we arrived in the Denali Park Entrance, we had a short break before we met the lodge shuttle for our scenic transfer (shared, not private) deep inside Denali National Park to the remote Kantishna region. Along the way, we kept an eye out for bears, caribou, Dall sheep, and moose.
All meals were included during our stay at Kantishna Roadhouse. We had the opportunity to join an experienced naturalist guide on a two-six hour hike, pedal to Wonder Lake on one of the lodge’s mountain bikes, and try our hand at gold panning.
After we left Denali park, our drive back to Anchorage paralleled the train tracks so we could see gorgeous mountains and scenery along with wildlife.
We had the morning at leisure to explore Juneau on our own, while some chose to participate in an optional helicopter dog sledding tour before departure. The helicopter flight-seeing with dog sledding was on the Mendenhall Glacier. Once on the glacier, Alaska Huskies are selected to pull you around in a sled while you take in the awe-inspiring scenery. You have the option of helping the professional mushers drive the team or simply relax in the sled and witness the power of the dogs and the beauty of the surroundings.
- Glacier Bay National Park—UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Whale watching in Icy Strait
- Explorations along Peril Strait and Sergius Narrows
- Park ranger joins you on board in Glacier Bay National Park
- Observe a bird colony and sea lion haulout at South Marble Island
- Hike the forested shores of Chichagof and Baranof Islands
- Discover the intertidal zones of Krestof and Nakwasina Sounds
- Kayak, paddleboard, and skiff in glacial fjords
- Captain’s Choice exploration of “not in the guidebook” places
Plying the remote waterways of Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, our captain sets the course for adventure! We wake up at anchor and kick off our morn with on-deck yoga stretches. Then slip into a kayak or step onto a paddleboard and glide along rocky outcroppings with our guides. While we keep watch for playful harbor seals in these protected waters, bald eagles monitor our improving paddling skills from the treetops.
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 us to uncover coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. Lingering near South Marble Island to spot the many species of rare sea birds that call this area home. Keeping our eyes on the water and the island for brightly-colored puffins and Black Oystercatchers. With much to see all around us, we hope to find sea lions, mountain goats, bears, eagles, and spectacular scenic backdrops. Tidewater glaciers sweep like rivers of ice down massive mountain valleys, terminating before us in the waters of Glacier Bay.
Next, we set our course for some of the most remote waters in Southeast Alaska. Joining the expedition team out on deck in search of whales and marine mammals. Camera in hand, our land and sea exploration of this wilderness is incredible. Riding the skiffs for a closer inspection of the wild coastline with eyes set on the shore for possible bear sightings.
Meandering along the coast of Chichagof Island. In the UnCruise expedition spirit, marveling at the unbelievable scenery as our crew expertly guides us through glacier-carved fjords. Anchoring in remote coves for an opportunity to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Exploring the shoreline on an intertidal walk or forest hike with the guides. And, wend along Peril Strait—a twisting channel known for dramatic currents, Peril Strait runs 50 miles from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound.
Opening at Hoonah Sound, the aptly named Sergius Narrows—squeezing to only 300 feet wide in one spot and a shallow 24 feet deep—is a great place to watch the shoreline for bears, the waters for otters and whales, and skyward for eagles. The rugged rock fingers of the narrows winds into scenic Neva Strait. This evening, toasting another day of amazing adventure with a frosty microbrew or hot toddy.
There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island, but along its western side lay hundreds of remote, uninhabited islands, and endless opportunities for dropping anchor and adventure. With many secluded coves and islands to choose from, discover the region’s intertidal zones, or from your skiff or kayak, watch for whales and sea lions. After an active day, toast your voyage of the vast Tongass National Forest with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of your trip presented by your expedition team.