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Alaska, Inside Passage & San Juans

This 15 day Inside Passage and San Juan cruise takes you on one incredible voyage through the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Learn the history of the Gold Rush, watch whales and wildlife, and discover the remote wilderness of one of the last frontiers. The small ship is outfitted with kayaks, paddle boards and skiffs for your use. On land, we offer hiking and biking excursions. At the end of each day relax your muscles in the hot tub, share a drink with your fellow travellers and marvel at the blanket of stars above you. This cruise is perfect for anyone looking for the ultimate blend of adventure and relaxation.

North America
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: IAJ/208635
  • Starts: Seattle, United States
  • Finishes: Juneau, United States
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Seattle
  • Olympic National Park
  • San Juan Islands
  • Salish Sea
  • Inside Passage
  • Ketchikan
  • Behm Canal
  • Ernest Sound
  • Petersburg
  • Frederick Sound
  • Chatham Strait
  • Chichagof Island
  • Icy Strait
  • Haines
  • Juneau

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Seattle

Welcome to the Emerald City! Check-in at the hospitality centre and later, board your ship and settle in. Depending on your vessel, you’ll depart from either downtown Seattle, cruising along the along the city’s picturesque waterfront; or from Fisherman’s Terminal, where you’ll transit historic Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where it’s a 20 foot drop into the Salish Sea. Adieu, Seattle.

Meals Included: Dinner included

02

Day 2: Olympic National Park

Wake up in Hood Canal, one of the quietest reaches of Puget Sound. About 65 miles long, this fjord separates the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas. Your expedition team has big plans for the day. With daypacks on your back and boots on your feet, hit the trail for a hike into the Olympic Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Giant old-growth trees, ferns, wild rhododendron—the flora is dense and diverse. Tonight holds a special treat of a local oyster and clam dinner, paired with locally-brewed beer - delicious!

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

03

Day 3: San Juan Islands

Each island in the San Juan archipelago has a unique character. Orcas and Harbor Seals haven’t picked favourites though, and if you’re lucky there’s a chance of spotting those in any of the passages. Get out onto the water with a spot of kayaking or paddle boarding along a tucked away cove as curious Harbour Seals look on. For a closer look, take a skiff ride to further inlets, then spend some time hiking for views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Look low, keeping a close watch around the pools for creatures left behind by the receding tide.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

04

Day 4: Salish Sea - Inside Passage

Mountains rise higher and fjords get deeper – today’s a day of intricate waterways and cruising for critters. Civilization slips away as you enter Johnstone Strait, where you may spot a pod of orcas, surf-happy dolphins or porpoise that like to catch a ride on the bow wave. Cruising past islands of green, small communities dot the beaches and fjords. Aiming to entertain and educate over the next days, your expedition team is at the ready, with their knowledge of natural history, native influences - and their favourite trivia games, too.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

05

Day 5: Inside Passage

Take your cup of joe to the bow you watch the world go by, waking up as you do. Bald Eagles watch the ship along its course from tree tops and you’ll see islands to the west, inlet-etched mainland etched to the east. Your captain and mates navigate the twisting passage of Fitz Hugh Sound, with Harbor Seals lazing on rocky islets. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the views while in the lounge, your bartender mixes up the daily special.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

06

Day 6: Inside Passage

The red roofs of Boat Bluff Lighthouse greet you as you pass into Tolmie Channel and the Great Bear Rainforest, known for the white ‘spirit’ bear, stretches all around you. Princess Royal Island marks the southern border of the bear's territory, where spunky otters hover around the boat. The waterfall and old abandoned cannery of Butedale come into view – a former fishing hub, now a ghost town. Pass Dixon Entrance and picture-perfect Dundas Island Lighthouse as you leave behind British Columbia waters and continue to Alaska.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

07

Day 7: Ketchikan

Today is a town day in Alaska’s southernmost city, the ‘salmon capital of the world.’ Ketchikan's other claim to fame? The world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. Connect with the Tlingit Culture as tribal leader and local legend Joe Williams, known as Ka Xesh X’e in his native language, guides you on a walking tour. With rich tradition, the Tlingit passed stories from generation to generation- and Joe’s storytelling is just captivating!

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

08

Day 8: Misty Fjords National Monument - Behm Canal

Misty Fjords is the largest Wilderness Area in the Tongass National Forest, where you’ll find wetlands, estuaries, dense forests and sweeping granite cliffs. Behm Canal separates the western edge of the monument from the mainland and is a haven for wildlife - Grizzly and Black Bears, salmon, whales, Mountain Goats and deer. Paddle through a bay, silty from the outwash of a mountain river. On shore, your guide points out intertidal curios along the beach under the gaze of watchful eagles.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

09

Day 9: Ernest Sound

Between Cleveland Peninsula and Etolin Island sits Ernest Sound—first charted in 1793. You’ll drop anchor in an area of its least-explored reaches, where your expedition team has an exciting day of activities planned. Hike into deep forests and paddle around tiny islets that dot the edges of Deer Island, or scoot further away with the speed of a skiff to serene pockets carved into the rugged coastline. This evening, relax on deck to the call of the wild.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

10

Day 10: Petersburg - Frederick Sound

Sailing into Petersburg, the views of snow-topped peaks and Devil’s Thumb are motivation enough to put one foot in front of the other. Make your way up Petersburg Mountain or choose a mellower hike along Petersburg Creek. Stroll around town or visit the museum for a dose of Tlingit and Norwegian history, before lunch back on board. Take it slow through Frederick Sound, a favoured summer home for humpback whales – get out onto the water on a kayak or paddleboard, before calling it a day for happy hour in the evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

11

Day 11: Chatham Strait - Chichagof Island

Head north into glacially-carved Chatham Strait and to Chichagof Island, which has one of the world’s highest Brown Bear populations. Back on the water, indulge in some paddling, skiffing or beachcombing with your expedition team.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

12

Day 12: Glacier Bay National Park

There’s a cool factor in Glacier Bay National Park, and it’s not just coming off the face of the glaciers! This 3.3 million acre park was once covered by ice as recently as 1795, and since, the receding glacier activity has made the inner reaches more accessible. Pick up a park ranger at Bartlett Cove early on to learn about glacial history, retreats, advances and moraines. Glacier Bay is a bird lover’s paradise, so come equipped to take photos of the Pigeon Guillemots, puffins, and cormorant colonies that nest at South Marble Island. It’s a full day in the bay exploring Muir’s legacy, all the way to Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. Celebrate with a toast to Mother Nature’s handiwork.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

13

Day 13: Icy Strait

With the orange and purple starfish and jellyfish, you might find it hard to believe you’re not in a tropic jungle mangrove. Follow the currents out where the sea lions flock to remote rock formations – all while staying alert for the tell-tale blow of humpbacks. Dall’s Porpoise feast in the rich water, and bears lumber about for an afternoon feed. Try getting a little closer to the shoreline by skiff, kayak, or on foot. Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest wonders. Take in the evening solitude from the bow, or the hot tub – or both!

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

14

Day 14: Haines

Haines is adventure-central - hiking, biking, and rafting are just some of the adrenaline activities on offer today. The trails are the cream of the crop, but all options lead to views of rivers, inlets, and snow- capped mountains. Haines has been occupied for thousands of years - the Chilkat Tlingit lived and traded here before European explorers arrived in the late 1880s. Of course, there’s also the Gold Rush history, and free time to explore on your own. Tonight, join your captain for the Farewell Dinner. As a special treat, your expedition team shares a slideshow of your journey.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

15

Day 15: Juneau

Disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the Juneau airport or continue on with your own independent travels.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

Inclusions:
  • Services of qualified expedition guides/naturalists
  • All transportation by small discovery cruise ship
  • Accommodation: Unique, Budget Lodging: 14
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Tour Highlights:
  • Kayak, paddleboard, skiff and hike in glacial landscapes, hidden coves and islets
  • Discover Alaska and Canada’s impressive Inside Passage
  • Plentiful wildlife spotting opportunities to see Harbour Seals, orcas, dolphins, porpoise, Bald Eagles, sea otters, Grizzly and Black Bears, Mountain Goats, deer, puffins, cormorants and brightly coloured starfish and jellyfish
  • Adventure activities in Tongass National Forest and Misty Fjords National Monument
  • Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Glacier Bay National Park and Olympic National Park, with local oyster and clam tastings
  • Discover San Juan archipelago and stretch your legs with views of the Cascade Mountains
  • Learn about local and native cultures, including the history or the Gold Rush and Tlingit traditions in Ketchikan and Haines