Kayak among glaciers and whales with the experts on this one-of-a-kind adventure through pristine Glacier Bay
Few places are as hauntingly beautiful as Southeast Alaska. One of the world’s last wilderness frontiers is home to Glacier Bay National Park, the densest convergence of tidewater glaciers in the world. Hearing the thunderous sound of calving glaciers from your kayak and the cavernous breathing of humpback whales, you can’t help but marvel at the symphony before you. We have pioneered kayaking expeditions here since 1972. Not only are one of only two companies to be issued rare permits to paddle the bay, but our seasoned, professional guides are true “salty dogs”—the best of the best!
Your adventure centers around the rustic bush town of Gustavus, home to writers, artists, and conservationists. Venture out for two three-day kayak excursions and camp along isolated, pristine beaches. Kayak around Point Adolphus, the world renowned feeding ground of the humpback whales and see porpoises, sea lions, and bald eagles. Paddle in the remote upper west arm of Glacier Bay at a leisurely pace, taking in massive glaciers, majestic peaks, and icebergs, and stop along the shores to see wildflowers and waterfalls. See nature in its rawest form on this MTS-exclusive.
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Note: This trip is run with use under permit by the US Forest Service and the Tongass National Forest. Mountain Travel Sobek, including its subsidiary Alaska Discovery, is an equal opportunity employer.
8 days easy to moderate sea kayaking and hiking
- Explore Southeast Alaska with the original kayaking pioneers on this one-of-a-kind adventure through Glacier Bay National Park—only with MTS!
- Paddle among icebergs and marvel at the size of whales and glaciers from up close—a rarity given that MTS is one of only two companies to have permits to kayak Glacier Bay
- Visit Point Adolphus, a world-renown humpback whale feeding ground, where you’ll also see sea lions, porpoises, and bald eagles
- Camp for four nights on isolated, pristine beaches and enjoy delicious meals prepared by your local, expert guides
- Live it up like a local in the tiny bush town of Gustavus
Duration: 8 days Start Location: Juneau End Location: JuneauDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Fly from Juneau to the bush town of Gustavus, Alaska
RENDEZVOUS: This trip begins in Juneau, Alaska. You will need to arrive in Juneau no later than 4:00 p.m on Day 1 of the trip.
On Day 1 we meet In the Juneau Airport and fly to Gustavus. You will check into your lodge at the edge of Glacier Bay National Park and have a pre-trip meeting with your guide. We share a welcome dinner and then you will have plenty of time to explore the nearby sandy beach and beach fringe meadows.
Day 2 : Point Adolphus, Chichagof Island
After an early breakfast, a charter boat in Gustavus will be waiting to carry us across Icy Strait to the whale-feeding grounds of Point Adolphus. Situated on the northern shore of Chichagof Island, the largest island in Alaska's Inside Passage, Point Adolphus also lies within the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. Here we’ll set up camp for 2 nights and then begin our leisurely paddling exploration along the shore, taking time to watch for humpback whales and other marine mammals. We can enjoy the spectacular scenery as we prepare and eat our evening meal at the water’s edge, and are lulled to sleep by the gentle sounds of whales breathing as they pass by.
Day 3 : Kayaking Point Adolphus & the shores of Chichagof Island
Kayaking the productive waters along Chichagof Island is one of the best ways to see and experience Alaska’s Inside Passage. We paddle along the scenic shores, watching for wildlife and exploring the area, including beachcombing along the shore or hiking in the island’s rich forests. The area is noted for its humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, and seals, and we may also see bald eagles, loons, marbled murrelets, and other birds that are rare in many parts of the world. We’ll travel four to five miles a day in the
kayaks. The pace will be leisurely, but there may be more challenging times when we will encounter winds or ocean currents.
Day 4 : Point Adolphus & return to Gustavus
After breakfast and breaking camp, we’ll kayak along the shore to meet our charter boat for our trip back to Gustavus. In the late afternoon we can explore this rustic bush town (population 429), and then dine at one of our favorite local restaurants before settling in for a great night’s sleep.
Days 5 - 6 : Glacier Bay kayaking expedition
We meet for breakfast and then board our charter boat for a spectacular scenic cruise into Glacier Bay, a journey through geologic time. Then, switching to sea kayaks, we set off on our two-day paddling expedition. Our pace is leisurely as we paddle and hike along the scenic shores of the bay, with ample time to appreciate and photograph the fantastic surroundings, which include tremendous glaciers, fascinating land forms, icebergs, flowers, seals, birds, and (if the skies are clear) the magnificent mountains that rise above us. We camp both nights.
Day 7 : Gustavus
We return to Gustavus by boat and head back to the B&B. We’ll have a final farewell dinner together, then, after dinner, you can go for a stroll or bike ride, play golf, or just relax.
Day 8 : Depart
After breakfast, we will go for a hike in Gustavus. At noon, we board an air taxi to Juneau. The flight from Gustavus to Juneau is about a half hour, and lands at Juneau’s main airport where you can connect with your homeward-bound flight. (You can schedule your flight out of Juneau for anytime after 3:00 p.m.) We can drop you at your lodging if you are spending the night in Juneau before flying home.
DATES: Best time to go: June - August Departures: Jul 20 - 27, 2015 Aug 1 - 8, 2015 Aug 14 - 21, 2015
Annie Mae LodgeGustavus
The Annie Mae Lodge rests on the banks of the Good River, surrounded by lush rain forest and overlooking the Icy Straits of Alaska's Inside Passage. Started by Annie Mae's 3 granddaughters and now run by her great-granddaughter, the aim of this family lodge has always been to provide traditional country hospitality in a place of exceptional beauty.
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.
Shelli Ogilvy, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Shelli was born and raised in Alaska. She grew up in Gustavus with Glacier Bay as her backyard. She has been guiding for Alaska Discovery as a wilderness leader since 1997. She has a deep love for this place and ecosystem, finding peace and joy through sharing the experience of the wilderness. When not guiding, Shelli tries to find time to paint and work on her cabin. She currently spends her winters in New Mexico skiing and eating green chilies.
Tom Schwartz started guiding canoe, skiing and sea kayak trips in Southeast Alaska in 1997 with a non-profit organization for youth in Juneau. He joined the Alaska Discovery team in 2003 guiding trips to Berner's Bay, Pack Creek and Glacier Bay. His experience as a fine dining chef has inspired him to create excellent food in amazing places. Keep an eye out for a wilderness cookbook!
Keith Thompson, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Originally from Pennsylvania, Keith left a job in medical research to pursue his love for travel and the outdoors. He's been involved in a rock and ice climbing business, worked as a bike guide, and traveled extensively throughout North and Central America, and Southeast Asia. In 1999, his travels led him to Alaska where he fell in love with his surroundings. Keith writes, "I found the pristine Alaskan wilderness an inspiration and guiding a way of sharing and learning about this special place." (Bonus: Keith is also a massage therapist.)