Cruise Highlights for our Alaska Inside Passage Cruises
All our Alaska Small Ship Cruises are highly opportunistic. Rather than a set schedule we’ve always tried to allow for Nature to take it’s course. We try whenever possible to implement our passengers desires and wishes. We endeavor to provide a vacation experience that will last a lifetime.
Alaska Inside Passage Cruises from Seattle to Ketchikan
Orca whales are always an unexpected encounter on our Alaska Small Ship Cruises having not set schedule they become our schedule.
On our beautiful Inside Passage Cruises from Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska we’ll follow the Route of the early explorers- As we cruise from Seattle to Alaska via the British Columbia Inside Passage on a journey into the last frontier.
We’ll cruise through the San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and the Great Bear Rain Forest one of the most magnificent wilderness areas on earth. The northern inside passage through Graham and Fraser Reach and Grenville channel are some of the most beautiful uninhabited places on earth with fjords and inlets leading to beautiful well protected anchorages almost everywhere we look.
We’ll cruise through Northern Johnstone Strait infamous for Orca whales. As a passenger on one of these cruises you’ll find yourself surrounded by majestic mountains, glistening waterfalls and beautiful fjords.
You’ll see an abundance of marine mammals and other wildlife in their natural habitats, including Orcas, Seals, Dall’s Porpoise, white sided dolphins, Bears, Humpback whales, Eagles and more.
Along the way we can visit some picturesque British Columbia towns such as Nanaimo, Campbell River, Alert Bay and Prince Rupert. If you like we can even stop at a remote hot springs for a luxurious soak. Or have a barbeque on a remote Ocean Beach.
On the Seattle to Alaska cruises we’ll cruise approximately 8 hours per day, during daylight hours only, and we’ll anchor each evening in a peaceful and picturesque harbor. You’ll find with the more than the 18 hours of daylight gives us ample time for kayaking, fishing, crabbing and exploring the remote beaches and shoreline. We’ll even try to find the elusive Kermode Bear (Spirit Bear).
Alaska Cruises from Ketchikan to Juneau
Unlike many of the other vessels in Alaska our itinerary is kept purposely flexible in order to allow for the unexpected events that are often the highlights of traveling. Our days are spent watching whales, hiking, bear viewing, fishing, kayaking, cruising and sightseeing. As a passenger on one of these Alaska Cruises through the Inside Passage we'll cruise from Ketchikan to Juneau via Eastern Passage, Wrangell Narrows and Stephens Passage ( on the east side of Admiralty Island ). Along the way will visit Anan Creek Bear Observatory to see and photograph bears. Because of it's mainland location it's common to see both Black Bears and Brown Bears feeding and foraging for salmon. We'll visit Petersburg and Wrangell ( if desired ) both genuine Alaska Frontier Towns. Petersburg settled by Scandinavian Fisherman, and Wrangell with a prominent native influence. We'll also cruise the summer feeding grounds of the Humpback Whale where we sometimes encounter as many as 300 of these gentle giants. We'll Explore Tracy Arm with it's two tidewater glaciers, considered one of the most phenomenal fjords on the planet, rivaling any found in Norway. And we'll pay a visit to a Stellar Sea Lion colony to watch these giants frolic and play. Each evening we'll anchor in a secluded harbor or town. The long Northern evenings always allow ample time for kayaking, fishing and exploring. Trip HighlightsDay 1 - Into the Wild A world of natural beauty unfolds as we leave civilization behind and cruise south in Stephens Passage to our first anchorage in a secluded bay in the Alaskan wilderness. Once anchored there is time for guests to kayak or explore by skiff and keen fishermen can drop in a line for Halibut or help the crew set crab pots.
Day 2 – Fjords, Glaciers & Icebergs
Then its time to get your boots on and we’ll take the skiff to shore for a hike in the rainforest and to search for brown bear.
A couple of hours in the crisp, fresh air is invigorating and guests can now relax as we cruise to the majestic fjords of the Tracy Arm Fords Terror wilderness area.
The day begins with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a stroll on deck before breakfast. Today we will cruise the length of one of the most spectacular fjords on the planet. The water is an iridescent shade of green, contrasting with sparkling blue icebergs set against a backdrop of imposing granite walls and cascading waterfalls. At the head of the fjord a tidewater glacier stretches across the bay and we’ll sit quietly and listen to the crackle of moving ice and rumble as as the glacier calves.
Watch for Bear, Mountain Goats, Bald Eagle, Harbor Seals with pups on icebergs and their nemesis the Orca (Killer) whale.
Day 3 & 4 – Admiralty Island, Frederick Sound – Brown Bears & Humpback Whales
Our journey now takes us towards Admiralty Island. A National Monument and one of the worlds most pristine wilderness areas this island has the densest population of Brown Bear in the world and is a popular nesting site for Bald Eagle. The lush temperate rainforest forest has an allure all its own and we will spend time hiking along salmon streams to view and photograph brown bear in their natural habitat.
The surrounding inside passage waterways of Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait are the Alaskan feeding grounds of Humpback Whales and their calves. We will observe these gentle giants on an almost daily basis and take the time to visit a Stellar Sea Lion rookery and search for Orca (Killer) Whales, Dalls Porpoise and Sea Otter that also inhabit the region.
We will stop now and then to fish for wild Alaska Salmon and Halibut drop the shrimp and crab pots in our secret places and enjoy fresh seafood prepared by Discovery’s creative Chef.
There are numerous beautiful inlets and secluded bays from which your Captain will select an anchorage each evening and guests can kayak (look out for curious Harbor Seals), fish, beachcomb or just relax on board. From the boat we often spot brown bear foraging along the shoreline and can mobilise quickly into skiffs and/or kayaks for a closer look.
Day 5 – The Wrangell Narrows (Petersburg to Wrangell)
The bench seat in front of the wheelhouse is a popular vantage point as we cruise through the Wrangell Narrows. A winding, 22 mile long channel between Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island. The passage has 65 navigational markers and is in places barely wide enough to accommodate the Alaska State Ferry.
The Alaskan fishing community of Petersburg is situated at the northern entrance of the infamous Wrangell Narrows. With a proud Scandinavian heritage, canneries and a commercial fishing fleet it is an interesting and convenient overnight destination. Alternatively, further south lies Wrangell another genuine Alaskan frontier town with a prominent native influence where you can see petroglyphs on the beach at low tide and visit Chief Shakes house and totem park.
Day 6 – Anan Creek Bear Observatory
Today we will visit the limited entry Anan Creek Bear Observatory www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPKzFfuRLLE one of the real gems in Alaska. A short hike through the rainforest along Anan Lagoon leads to the viewing platform by the falls where predominately Black Bear congregate to feast on spawning salmon. Resident Brown bears, bald eagles, several species of gulls, and harbor seals are also attracted to this seasonal abundance.
The evenings anchorage is not far away. Its a good Halibut spot so fishermen can drop in a line. Kayaks are available or guests can take some quiet time to download photos, read or relax before dinner.
Day 7 – Clarence Strait to Behm Canal
some good fishing spots along the way. Good opportunity for both Humpback and Orca Whale sightings. Our last anchorage is also a fabulous kayaking opportunity.
Day 8 – Arrival in Ketchikan, Alaska
Alaska Cruises from Juneau to Juneau
Unlike many of the other vessels in Alaska our itinerary is kept purposely flexible in order to allow for the unexpected events that are often the highlights of traveling. Our days are spent watching whales, hiking, bear viewing, fishing, kayaking, cruising and sighseeing.
As a passenger on this Alaska Cruise we’ll circumnavigate the hundred mile long Admiralty National Monument. One of the worlds most pristine and beautiful wilderness areas, this island is the summer nesting grounds for the American Bald Eagle and has the densest population of Brown Bears in the world. The waters surrounding the island are the summer feeding grounds of the Humpback Whales and their calves, and home to nesting colonies of Stellar Sea Lions.
We’ll Cruise Tracy Arm to the base of North and South Sawyer Glaciers, where we’ll be enveloped by majestic fjords. Then, a journey across Chatham Strait to the west will take us to Warm Springs Bay on Baranof Island, with it’s cascading waterfall, where we can stop and soak in a secluded hot springs. On Chichagof Island to the north we’ll stop at one of Alaska’s true frontier towns Tenekee Springs.
On our Alaska Cruises we’ll see and photograph Humpback Whales, Brown Bears, Dall’s Porpoise, Stellar Sea Lions, Seals and Eagles and more up close and personal.
The long summer days allow ample time for kayaking, fishing and guided shore excursions in the evenings.
Day 1 – Into the Wild
A world of natural beauty unfolds as we leave civilization behind and cruise south in Stephens Passage. The atmosphere onboard is one of excitement and anticipation. Our destination for the evening is a small cove
nestled beneath a hanging glacier at the edge of the Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness. Icebergs often float into this bay and there is time to kayak or beach comb before guests join the Captain in Discovery’s dining salon for a delicious 3 course evening meal.
Day 2 – Tracy Arm Wilderness (Fjords, Glaciers & Icebergs)
Wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and take a stroll on deck before breakfast. Today we will cruise the length of spectacular Tracy Arm Fjord. Nature is still raw here and you will be awed by the scale and grandeur of Alaska’s rugged beauty as we cruise beneath sheer granite walls with cascading waterfalls. We’ll navigate our way between glittering blue icebergs in the hope of reaching South Sawyer Glacier, a massive tidewater glacier that calves regularly into the sea.
Day 3 – Admiralty Island (Fortress of the Bears) and Frederick Sound
The journey continues south towards Admiralty Island. A National Monument and pristine wilderness area this island has the densest population of Brown Bear in the world and is a popular nesting site for Bald Eagle. We’ll visit a Sea Lion haulout along the way and fish for Halibut ……….. unless we are distracted by Humpback Whales enroute.
Admiralty Island has a number of beautiful inlets and secluded bays from which your Captain will select an anchorage for the evening. There is time to kayak (watch for Brown Bear foraging on shore), drop a fishing line over the side, help the crew set Crab pots or just relax and soak in the scenery.
Watch for marine life!
“Discovery’s cruises are highly opportunistic and can be interrupted at any moment by Humpback Whales, Orca (Killers Whales), Dalls Porpoise and other marine wildlife. Depending on the encounter and the desires of the group we may stop for twenty minutes, an hour or the whole afternoon!”
Day 4 – Frederick Sound to Baranof Island (Brown Bears & Humpback Whales)
After breakfast this morning we’ll don rubber boots and skiff to shore. This particular bay has a pretty hike through temperate rainforest to a salmon stream where we often see Brown Bear. The surrounding mountains provide a spectacular backdrop and you will not run out of photo opportunities as the trail winds through a grassy meadow and tidal flats on the way back to our skiff.
We’ll pull our crab pots, hopefully providing enough Dungeness Crab for a feast tonight, then cruise into Frederick Sound to search for Humpback Whales, Orca and other marine life.
Cruising onwards the snow-capped mountains of distant Baranof Island draw ever closer as we near Point Gardener on Admiralty’s southern tip. If time permits we’ll fish for Salmon before crossing Chatham Strait to one of the Captains favorite bays. This inlet is serene and beautiful with many turns and guests usually gather on the bow to fully absorb the mystical waterfalls and tall mountains reflected in the calm waters below.
Day 5 – Chatham Strait and Warm Springs Bay
Keen kayakers have time for a paddle before breakfast then we’ll pull anchor and pick up the shrimp pot we set last night. Watch the scenery glide by as we cruise two hours north to Warm Springs Bay. Guests can opt to soak in a private tub or follow the short trail through lush rainforest to a natural hot spring beside a roaring waterfall. For the energetic the trail continues on to a clear mountain lake and/or a small bluff overlooking the bay. In mid-summer you can collect wild blueberries and salmon berries as you make your way back to the boat. We can stay here overnight, build a campfire and cook out or continue on for an hour to another pretty inlet tucked beneath towering mountains.
Day 6 – Chichagof Island and the frontier town of Tenekee Springs
We need to make tracks today and will spend most of the day cruising north in Chatham Strait with the possibility of fishing and an optional stop at a salmon hatchery. We plan to overnight at Tenekee Springs, one of Alaska’s true frontier towns where you’ll have the chance to explore the local community, beachcomb or hike the trail to Russian River to look for Brown Bear.
Day 7 – Icy Strait & Point Retreat lighthouse
We have a scenic days cruise today watching out for whales, as usual, leads to our final destination and one last dinner to celebrate shared memories and new friends made to anchor out for one last night. Throughout the cruise guests enjoy good food and lively conversation and linger at the dinner table with the Captain and tonight especially adventures of the past 7 days are relived.
Day 8 – Return to Juneau and disembark
Its the final morning and a short 2 hour cruise into Juneau where we aim to be docked by approximately 10am.
Alaska Cruises from Sitka to Juneau
Alaska’s outer coast to the Capital
With a colorful past that blends native Tlingit culture with Russian history beautiful Sitka is well worth exploring before you join us aboard Discovery. Once onboard we’ll explore Alaska’s coastal islands and inner channels and navigate the infamous Sergius Narrows to Frederick Sound where Humpback Whales congregate each summer. We’ll explore inlets on Baranof and Admiralty Island, search for Brown Bear and visit the fjords and glaciers of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area.
Day 1 – Into the Wild
Picturesque Sitka is the heart of Russian influence in Southeast Alaska and lies nestled beneath the sharp granite peaks on Baranof Island’s western shore. With Mt Edgcombe, an extinct volcano, to the west the journey begins as we cruise into Salisbury Sound.
Sea Otter are commonly seen floating around the kelp beds and rocky shoreline and watch for Brown Bear, Bald Eagles and Sitka Black-tailed deer on shore. We’ll wind our way through a myriad of islands into Olga and Neva Straits and anchor this evening in a protected cove on the northern shore of Kruzof Island.
Day 2 – Sergius Narrows to Hoonah Sound
This morning we have the option of hiking Sea Lion Cove Trail (or part thereof). Moderately difficult this trail traverses a variety of Alaska’s diverse ecosystems (grassy meadow, beautiful old growth forest, lake and muskeg) before emerging onto a two-mile long sandy beach at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Alternately, the foreshore and meadow attract Brown Bear and Bald Eagle and is a great place to spend time beach combing and taking photos.
Outside of the inlet is a good fishing spot and time/weather permitting we may try to hook a Salmon before cruising on through Sergius Narrows. This exciting 30-mile long passage between Baranof and Chichagof islands is only 300 feet wide at its narrowest point with whirlpools and a rushing tide.
Todays destination is a bay in Hoonah Sound. Once anchored guests can help the crew drop crab pots, go kayaking, drop in a line for Halibut or just relax on board.
Day 3 – Peril Strait to Chatham Strait – Watch for Whales!
Enjoy a cup of coffee and a leisurely stroll on deck. You can help the crew pull up Dungeness Crab pots or watch the skiff return with the days catch. Sit down for breakfast as the crew pull anchor and we get underway.
Watch for whale spouts as we cruise down Peril Strait. The protected waters of Chatham Strait to Frederick Sound comprise the summer feeding grounds of more than 300 Humpback Whales and also support Orca (Killer) Whales, Dalls Porpoise, Stellar sea lion and a variety of sea birds.
Chances of encountering Humpback and Orca Whales are high in this area and whale watching is likely to take up part of our day.
We may fish for Salmon or Halibut at one of our secret spots, watch as commercial fishing boats haul in their nets or tour a Salmon Hatchery. Our anchorage tonight lies tucked beneath towering snow-capped mountains.
Day 4 – Baranof Island – Natural hot springs, hiking and the Captains favorite bay
We’ll make the short hop south today to the Baranof Hot Springs. Guests can opt to soak in a private tub or follow the short trail through lush rainforest to a natural hot spring beside a roaring waterfall. For the energetic the trail continues on to a clear mountain lake and/or a small bluff overlooking the bay. In mid-summer you can collect wild blueberries and salmon berries as you make your way back to the boat.
Discovery’s creative Chef will have a delicious lunch prepared as we cruise south to one of the Captain’s favorite bays. This inlet is serene and beautiful with many twists and turns and guests usually gather on the bow to fully absorb the mystical waterfalls and tall mountains reflected in the calm waters below.
Watch for Bald Eagle, curious Harbor Seals and Brown Bear foraging along the waters edge as we enter the bay. With 2 rivers at its head this bay it a great place to explore by skiff or kayak.
Day 5 – Frederick Sound – Summer feeding grounds of the Humpback Whale
Keen kayakers have time for a paddle before breakfast then we’ll pull anchor and pick up the shrimp pot that was set last night. With no binding agenda today we will cruise around the southern tip of Admiralty Island into Frederick Sound. The scale of Alaska’s inside passage is evident as we cross this expansive body of water. Watch for the tell tale spouts of Humpback and Orca whales and Sea Otter bobbing in the swell.
We may have time to fish for Halibut before dropping anchor in a pretty cove on Admiralty Island. With the densest population of Brown Bear in the world this island (& bay) is another good place to search for Brown Bear and depending on guests desires we can explore the creek and foreshore by skiff or go for a short hike.
Day 6 – Admiralty Island (Fortress of the Bears) to Endicott Arm / Fords Terror
Crossing Frederick Sound to the east we’ll pass the Brothers Islands. A narrow spit of land is exposed at low tide and we may spend a couple of hours clamming and exploring tide pools before cruising towards Five Finger light house.
We’ll pass a Sea Lion haul out this afternoon and watch their raucous interactions. Then there is time to relax as we follow the mainland north to the majestic twin fjords of the Tracy Arm / Fords Terror glacial region.
Late afternoon we will cross the bar into Endicott Arm and catch the 20 minute tidal window into Fords Terror. Once we slip into this narrow fjord the rest of the world is forgotten as you stand in awe of the incredible forces of mother nature. MV Discovery is one of the few small cruise ships to navigate the swirling, shallow entrance of Fords Terror and spend then night in this dramatic wilderness.
Day 7 – Fjords, Glaciers & Icebergs
Today we will cruise the length of Endicott Arm beneath sheer granite walls with cascading waterfalls. We’ll navigate our way between glittering blue icebergs in the hope of reaching the massive face of Dawes Glacier, a tidewater glacier that calves regularly into the sea. Keep a look out for Bear, Mountain Goats, Bald Eagle, Harbor Seals with pups on icebergs and their nemesis the Orca (Killer) whale.
This afternoon its a scenic cruise to Taku Harbor where guests have one last opportunity to kayak and/or explore an abandoned fox farm, dock pilings and rope swing before a celebratory dinner to cap off an amazing week.
Day 8 – Return to Juneau and disembark
Its the final morning and a short 2 hour cruise into Juneau where we aim to be docked (after breakfast) by approximately 10am.
About The Tongass National Forest where are Alaska Trips take place
The Tongass National Forest, surrounding Alaska’s Inside Passage, is our national treasure: one of the last forests of its kind in the world where old growth forests, brown bears, eagles, and wild salmon still thrive. Covering 17 million acres, over 1,000 islands, and stretching an area the length of Florida, the Tongass is America’s largest National Forest.
This temperate rainforest provides a healthy, vital habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as world famous opportunities to fish, hunt, view wildlife, and enjoy the quiet of nature. This symbol of Alaska, the Tongass National Forest, is home to healthy and abundant wildlife, vital spawning habitat for Wild Alaskan salmon, and world-renowned opportunities for recreation. With careful management, it will remain this way for generations to come. Conserving the Tongass National Forest will preserve this one-of-a-kind rainforest and Alaska’s outdoor heritage and way of life.
If we can provide additional information about our Alaska Cruises please don’t hesitate to call.
If you would like more information on Alaska’s whales: http://alaskacharters.com/whale-watching
If you would like more information on Alaska’s bears: http://alaskacharters.com/bear-viewing
If you would like more information on Fishing in Alaska: http://www.alaskacharters.com/fishing-trips
All Aboard Yacht Charters; P.O. Box 436 Union, WA 98592 Phone 1-800-767-1024 Phone: 360-898-7300