Day 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
The atmosphere is one of excited anticipation as you become familiar with life onboard the classic yacht. Discovery's open bow is usually the place of choice to relax and linger until dinner is served in the mahogany dining salon where guests join the Captain each evening for a delicious 3 course meal and lively conversation.
We'll cruise south down Gastineau Channel into Stephens Passage, past the silty confluence of the Taku River watershed who's distant peaks rise above the massive Juneau icefield. Our destination for the evening is a pretty little cove at the edge of the Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness area.
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.