Explore the best of Southeast Alaska from a floating basecamp with the Alaskan adventure pioneers since 1972!
Ever since John Muir paddled a 50-foot dugout canoe into Glacier Bay in 1879, visitors have steadily come to witness the grandeur of the Southeast Alaskan coastline. Some of the world’s most exciting wildlife viewing can be enjoyed in this remote wilderness, where the high mountains meet the ocean, and where multiple ice ages have left steep, chiseled shorelines and fjords scoured by advancing and retreating glaciers. Naturalists, photographers, researchers, kayakers, and hikers have all gravitated to Glacier Bay National Park to see nature in some of its rawest and most awe-inspiring incarnations. Experiencing it aboard a historic ship makes this adventure feel like your own expedition!
We’ve pioneered kayaking in these waters since 1972 and have cultivated long-standing relationships that give our guests the best experience on the bay possible. This historic, refurbished, and entirely renovated former World War II mine-sweeper knows a thing or two about finding the hot spots, and we are the only travel company to offer this distinctive viewpoint of Glacier Bay! Led by a captain who has more than 20 years’ experience navigating these waters and interacting with its wildlife, you will find this adventure to be unlike any other. Adorned with beautiful wood trim and brass fixtures among only six, spacious staterooms, this small ship also offers an unforgettable, intimate, and totally personalized experience. At night, you’ll dine on deck and anchor off uninhabited coves to experience the quiet of different areas around Glacier Bay and Icy Strait. During the day, you’ll venture out to explore by sea kayak or to hike on shore. With plenty of easy to moderate activities and calm waters to explore, you may even be tempted to bring along the whole family or charter the entire ship!
We’ll paddle in Geike Inlet, a beautiful waterfall-laden fjord that may offer a glimpse of black bears, wolverines, mountain goats and a large variety of seabirds and ducks. We’ll hike up Reid Glacier in search of ice worms, collect silt for facials (!), and walk its intertidal zones in search of brown bears, wolverine, small mammals, and harbor seals. We’ll visit a nesting ground and learn to identify Arctic terns, Kittlitz’s murrelets, ptarmigan, grouse, plovers and a variety of other shore and sea birds. We’ll watch for humpback whales breaching. We’ll paddle along a kittiwake and puffin rookery, watch Marjorie Glacier while it is calving, hike Gloomy Knob, and then venture to Muir Inlet, the East Arm of Glacier Bay. We’ll explore the spectacular intertidal zone of North Sandy Bay and witness the hundreds of colorful and unusual sponges, periwinkles, whelks, sea stars, sea cucumbers and urchins who literally hang out awaiting the return of the high tide. We’ll cruise Dundas Bay to pick wild strawberries, taste native plants, revel in the glorious flower-strewn meadows, identify the tracks left on the beach by otters, bears, wolves, and moose, and learn native Tlingit lore. Bog plants abound on a hike through Sitka Spruce, and the humpback whales usher us back to Gustavus on a final pass through Icy Strait.
The more time one spends in Glacier Bay, the more wonderful and mysterious the world seems. This special itinerary and our ship’s captain make it all come alive—all you need to bring is your curiosity and a camera!
6 days easy to moderate sea kayaking and hiking
- Explore the expanse of Glacier Bay National Park from the comfort and intimacy of a small ship—a rare experience from the Alaskan adventure travel pioneers
- Hike and kayak amid calving glaciers, flower-strewn meadows, and rocky beaches to see a superb array of wildlife from its colorful intertidal creatures, sea birds, and marine mammals to bear, moose, and enormous humpback whales
- Wake up to new surroundings everyday without having to pack your bags!
- Learn the in-depth natural history of one of America's premier marine wilderness areas from a captain and naturalist with 20+ years of experience on these waters
Duration: 6 days Start Location: Gustavus, Alaska End Location: Gustavus, AlaskaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Embark and enter Glacier Bay National Park
Today we board the ship and head northward into Glacier Bay. After an introduction to sea kayaking we take to the sea to paddle and explore the beaches. A few hours farther north brings us to our anchorage for the evening, within site a glacier that touches the ocean.
Day 2 : Upper Glacier Bay
Today we hike alongside the Reid Glacier and can see what the world might have looked like just as the ice age was ending. We then kayak near one of Glacier Bay's most impressive 'tidewater' glaciers and see huge chunks of ice fall off of it into the sea. Strange ecologies of animals choose to call this their home and we learn about their special place in nature.
Day 3 : Central Glacier Bay
Explore central Glacier Bay, a wildlife paradise. Hike up Gloomy Knob in the morning and paddle in Sebree Cove in the afternoon taking every opportunity to observe the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Day 4 : Muir Inlet—the East Arm
Few visitors get to explore the Muir Inlet and the East Arm of Glacier Bay. It is a kayaker's paradise with long beaches and plenty of wildlife. We will paddle near the glaciers in the upper Muir Inlet. John Muir explored this inlet in 1890 an fell into the glacier that bears his name. He had a profound experience of wildness here that inspired him in his efforts to preserve the National Parks.
Day 5 : Lower Glacier Bay and Dundas Bay
Lower Glacier Bay, the mouth of Glacier Bay, and adjacent Dundas Bay are hot spots for wildlife. The abundant animal life here is due to plentiful small schooling fish that feed the birds and marine mammals that will feed here all summer. This area is also a favorite of the sea otter, whose numbers have been growing steadily.
Day 6 : Whales of Icy Strait
Icy Strait is world renown for whale watching. There is a sizeable population of Humpback whales that come here from Hawaii every year to feed. We spend the morning focused on marine mammals and learn why this area hosts so many of them.
DATES: Best time to go: June - August Departures: May 31, 2015 - Jun 5, 2015 Jun 21 - 26, 2015 Jun 28, 2015 - Jul 3, 2015 Jul 5 - 10, 2015 Jul 12 - 17, 2015 Jul 19 - 24, 2015 Jul 26 - 31, 2015 Aug 2 - 7, 2015 Aug 16 - 21, 2015
M/V Sea WolfGlacier Bay National Park
The M/V Sea Wolf is an 97' ocean-going ship that carries 12 passengers plus 5-6 crew in great comfort. She is an amazing expedition platform for cruising, wildlife spotting, whale watching and as a kayaking mothership.
The Sea Wolf has many guest areas including a main viewing salon, covered aft viewing/dining deck and a wonderful wide bow. The aft deck is heated and enclosed in Eisenglass. There is a large outdoor viewing deck behind the wheelhouse. The side decks are also covered for sightseeing comfort. We carry an extensive naturalist library for guests to enjoy. The crew are all fun, knowledgeable, and eager to share their naturalist lore and stories.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Kimber has a variety of life experiences with people, horses and wildlife. She grew up in a hotel restaurant family learning fine restaurant skills from being a cook to handling marketing. Before moving to Alaska she owned/operated an equine facility and worked with individuals with disabilities in therapeutic riding. She has participated in many equine and wildlife studies nurturing her love for nature and the conservation of wildlife habitat. Alaska has always been in her heart. A romantic historical ship plying the coasts of Alaska & British Columbia - showing people the wonders of nature - what better life could there be!