Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Navigate spectacular icebergs—and watch for new ones calving—as we explore the face of LeConte Glacier by Zodiac.
  • Discover little known coves and inlets of the Inside Passage by kayak and encounter a host of wildlife, from brown bears and moose to several species of whale.
  • Delve into First Nations culture in the coastal village of Sitka, and go ashore at uninhabited Kayak Island where Vitus Bering’s expedition of 1741 first landed.
  • Get immersed in the splendor of the Prince William Sound, following nature’s cues during a full day of exploration.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Enter a world of fjords and snowcaps, temperate rainforests and massive glaciers, taking two unforgettable weeks to discover the lesser known corners of Alaska’s Inside Passage. From Vancouver, trace the rugged coast of British Columbia, exploring wildlife-rich waters on the way to Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument. Spot seabirds and whales while kayaking or paddleboarding among the intricate channels and islands of the Alexander Archipelago. Then sail across Yakutat Bay to the face of the six-mile-wide Hubbard Glacier. Encounter spectacular mountains and massive tidewater glaciers on Prince William Sound, and cap off the voyage amid the majesty of Kenai Fjords.

This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.

Day 1: Vancouver, Canada
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Arrive in Vancouver this afternoon and settle into your cabin aboard the National Geographic Orion.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:

National Geographic Orion for the duration of the trip.

Days 2-3: British Columbia’s Inside Passage
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Trace the wild coastline of British Columbia, taking in the islands and inlets as we pass and watching for whales, dolphins, bears, deer, and other wildlife.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Misty Fjords, Alaska
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Rise early to watch the sunrise over magnificent Misty Fiords National Monument, where sheer cliffs, pine-covered slopes, and snowcapped peaks tower more than 2,000 feet above a sparkling blue fjord. Set out by Zodiac and kayak to explore the thick forests along the shoreline and discover hidden waterfalls cascading from the mountaintops high above.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Totem Bay / At Sea
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Enter the placid waters of Totem Bay and take kayaks or Zodiacs along the coastline to see the unusual rock formations that gave the bay its name. Go beachcombing with naturalists, learning about the creatures of the intertidal zone. Continue along Sumner Strait, on the lookout for humpbacks and killer whales. As we pass Kuiu Island, watch for wildlife on the shores, including Sitka black-tailed deer, moose, black bears, wolves, and bald eagles.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: LeConte Glacier/Petersburg
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Today we explore the LeConte Glacier, one of the most active glaciers in Southeast Alaska and the southernmost tidewater glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Icebergs regularly break off from the glacier face, getting caught in this shallow moraine and along the shoreline. Take advantage of spectacular photographic opportunities, practicing tips from our certified photo instructor. Our experienced captain will read the ice and bring us as close as possible to the glacier, where we’ll set out by Zodiac to navigate among these surreal floating sculptures. Search for humpback whales on the way to the fishing town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, founded more than a hundred years ago by Norwegian fishermen. Get to know this authentic Alaskan town on a bike ride or enjoy time to explore on your own.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
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Cross the Frederick Sound to the Chatham Strait, prime waters for observing killer whales and humpbacks. With luck, we’ll be able to watch some of their behavior from on deck, hearing insights on feeding, breaching, and more from the onboard naturalists. Look for Steller sea lions stretched out on the rocky islands that dot the channels. Meet members of the Alaska Whale Foundation (their schedule permitting)—whose work is supported by a grant from the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund—and discuss their recent studies on the region's marine mammals.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Peril Strait/Sitka
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Spend the morning on the Peril Strait, which cuts between Chichagof and Baranof Islands, branching into still channels and salmon streams that are ideal for kayaking. Arrive in Sitka, Alaska’s oldest city and once an important Russian fur-trading port. Here, visit the Raptor Rehabilitation Center to see rescued birds of prey, and the stroll the coastal trails of Sitka National Historical Park, where some 20 Haida and Tlingit totems stand among the lush spruce and hemlock forests.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness
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Covering the western portions of Chichagof and Yakobi Islands, this protected stretch of the Tongass National Forest is pounded by the Pacific waves, carved with serene bays and inlets, and blanketed with pine forests and muskeg. Get a close-up look at these unique ecosystems on outings by Zodiac or kayak, watching for migratory waterfowl, brown bears, and otters.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Icy Strait and the Inian Islands
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Spend today exploring the nutrient-rich waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Inside Passage. Cruise in a Zodiac among the Inian Islands, where an upwelling of undersea organisms attracts Steller sea lions and other marine life. Paddle a kayak in the calm outer waters of Glacier Bay. Or hike into the lush temperate rainforest, watching for bald eagles and unique flora and fauna.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: At Sea/Hubbard Glacier
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Enjoy a relaxing morning on the Gulf of Alaska, follow the rugged coast north to Yakutat Bay. Keep an eye out for a glimpse of Mt. Fairweather, which scrapes the sky at over 15,000 feet. Late this afternoon, we’ll enter the bay and head toward the face of Hubbard Glacier, a six-mile-wide sheet of ice within the boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Depending on ice and conditions, we may deploy our Zodiacs to explore.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Kayak Island
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This long and jagged isle was the first place that members of the Bering Expedition first set foot in Alaska on his Great Northern Expedition of 1741. If conditions allow, we’ll land here to hike amid tooth-like peaks and unusual plant species, and ride Zodiacs near Cape St. Elias to see the island’s lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark in operation since 1916.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: Exploring Prince William Sound
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Sail into Prince William Sound and spend the day immersed in this majestic wilderness, taking advantage of exploration opportunities that arise. Kayak past waterfalls that tumble down from the surrounding Chugach Mountains, get up close to glaciers, and watch for the humpbacks and killer whales that spend their summers in the sound.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14: Kenai Fjords National Park
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Awaken in Kenai Fjords National Park, one of America’s newest and most dramatic national parks. Trace the shores of Resurrection Bay and venture into the fjords by Zodiac, taking in the incredible scenery. Keep an eye out for horned and tufted puffins, marbled murrelets, black oyster catchers, Steller sea lions, sea otters, and at least three whale species.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15: Seward/Anchorage
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Arrive in Seward, a charming former fur-trading port set at the end of the Resurrection Bay. Disembark and transfer by motorcoach to Anchorage for your return flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast