Explore the best of Southeast Alaska from a floating basecamp with the Alaskan adventure pioneers since 1972!
The more time one spends in Glacier Bay, the more wonderful and mysterious the world seems; exploring it by boat is a wildlife extravaganza unlike any other. These calm waters serve as home to an unbelievable array of wildlife, from the colorful and unusual creatures of its intertidal zones and its diverse sea birds to its mammals, including sea lions, wolves, bears, moose, and gargantuan humpback whales—and that’s just to name a few! Since 1972, we’ve been pioneering adventure travel in these waters, and we’re the only company to offer the whole expanse of the bay by small ship—a historic, refurbished, World War II mine-sweeper that knows a thing or two about finding the hot spots! At night, dine on deck and anchor off of uninhabited coves to experience the quiet of different areas around Glacier Bay and Icy Strait. During the day, venture out to explore by sea kayak or to hike on shore. With plenty of calm waters, impressive landscapes and wildlife to explore, the intimacy and comfort of this ship makes this itinerary the perfect family trip!
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
Meet at 8:00 AM at Bartlett Cove. Board the ship. We will assemble in the main salon for introductions, an orientation discussing safety, boat layout, amenities and your Alaskan adventure.
We will cruise up bay to Geike Inlet for our first paddle. Along the way we will have an introduction to kayaking and lunch. After lunch we are paddling and beach exploring. Geike is a beautiful waterfall laden fjord that may offer a glimpse of black bears, wolverines, mountain goats and a large variety of seabirds and ducks. Then onward to our evening anchorage at Reid Glacier, about a 4-hour journey filled with incredible vistas, wildlife on the beaches and possibly acrobatic whales in the waters. Along the way we will learn about the natural history of Glacier Bay, some of the research projects that the park is conducting and of course about the plentiful sea and wildlife. This is our evening anchorage watching the sunset over Glacier Bay.
Day 2 : Upper Glacier Bay
Breakfast at 8:00 AM and we are off for a hike up the mountain, down the beach and fording a few glacial streams that will bring us to the face of Reid Glacier. Here we will learn about glaciers, geology, plant and animal succession, and explore among the grounded icebergs. We hunt for ice worms and for those so inclined we scoop up glacial silt for wonderful glacial facials. On our intertidal walk back, we look under rocks to discover what the bears feast on during low tide, brown bears, wolverine, small mammals and harbor seals all live in this area. Another beach offers bird lovers a binocular paradise, as it is a nesting ground for arctic terns, Kittlitz's murrelets, ptarmigan, grouse, plovers and a variety of other shore and sea birds. During lunch we will head to Tarr Inlet where the Grand Pacific and Marjorie Glaciers cascade into the water. Once here we will have a wonderful paddle along a sheer cliff, which is a Kittiwake and Puffin rookery and then out in front of Marjorie Glacier for a breathtaking experience as we watch an active calving glacier from a safe distance. Once aboard we will pull the anchor and cruise to our evening anchorage.
Day 3 : Central Glacier BayBreakfast at 8:00 am and then it is off wildlife watching along Composite Island and Gloomy Knob shores and cliffs. Once at Gloomy Knob, we will set off for a great hike up the hillside for an amazing vista of the west arm of Glacier Bay, maybe even look down at a mountain goat or two. Lunch on board as we cruise to Sebree Cove for a beautiful paddle around a birding island and to a beach with a salmon stream that bears have been known to frequent. This is our evening anchorage.
Day 4 : Muir Inlet—the East ArmBreakfast at 8:00 am as the engines are started and we will make our way up Muir Inlet, the primitive and spectacular East Arm of Glacier Bay. We will go on an amazing hike by McBride Glacier with a paddle either up to Riggs Glacier or from Muir Glacier to Riggs. The shorelines have a great variety of shore birds, vistas, and the possibilities of seeing bears, wolves, or moose. Once back on the boat, we set off to our evening anchorage.
Day 5 : Lower Glacier Bay and Dundas BayBreakfast at 8:00 am. We will have a morning paddle at N. Sandy Cove if the tides are right; if not, we head down bay to another pristine paddle area. N. Sandy Cove is a very rich ecosystem that supports black bears, moose, coyotes, and a plentiful marine environment. We kayak around the shores scanning for black bears and moose then paddle to Puffin Island for a truly wondrous look at a low tide vertical intertidal zone. This zone is home to hundreds of sponges, periwinkles, whelks, sea stars, sea cucumbers and urchins to just name a few species who literally hang here awaiting the return of the high tide. Back on board the Sea Wolf we will head to S. Marble Island to view a large Stellar sea lion haul out and a seabird nesting rookery.In the afternoon, we cruise onward to Dundas Bay. On the beach in Dundas Bay, we can pick strawberries, learn about and taste native plants, and revel in the glorious flower strewn meadows. Cow parsley, chocolate lily’s yarrow, lupine, wild iris, lily of the valley, and indian paintbrush are among the few plants that brighten the splendid landscape here. We also stroll the beach following the tracks of otters, bear, moose, and wolves. Then back to the boat for a brief journey up Dundas Bay learning about the Native history and lore of this area. This is our evening anchorage.
Day 6 : Whales of Icy Strait
Breakfast at 8:00 AM then we set off into Icy Strait to look for more spectacular humpback whales. Our day is spent whale watching around the Point Adolphus area. Around 12:30 we will head back to Gustavus for a 2:00 PM docking at Bartlett Cove. A taxi service will then transport you to the airport for your flight to Juneau. If you are on the jet later in the day, we can schedule a later taxi pick up and you can visit the lodge museum and bookstore.
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!