Alaska - Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

Discover Alaska, one of America’s greatest treasures and its last frontier, with spectacular and massive landscapes of glaciers, icebergs, rivers, waterfalls, secluded bays and mountains which provide habitats to a myriad of wildlife: Bald Eagles, curious black and wary brown bears, noisy harbor seals, playful sea otters and the giants of the ocean, the humpback whales. Board the Safari Endeavour for a seven-night cruise to discover Alaska’s Inside Passage, renowned for its amazing glaciers and majestic fjords and abundance of humpback whales, sea lions, black and brown bears and Bald Eagles. Your voyage is specifically designed to blend adventure activities with visits to exceptional spots, not usually found on conventional cruises.

Degree of Difficulty - Four Paws

Very Active. May involve strenuous hikes, severe stair climbing, arduous activities, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.

Weather Reports - When To Go

Being our northern-most state, Alaska has tough winters and short summers. Alaska is ideally visited between May and September. Our Iditarod program is offered only during the race time, which is generally at the end of February or early March.

Day 1 ARRIVE JUNEAU

Your adventure begins as you board your flight to Juneau, Alaska, the Land of the Midnight Sun! Upon arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. WESTMARK BARANOF HOTEL. (No meals are included)

Day 2 MENDENHALL GLACIER/MOUNT ROBERTS TRAMWAY/EMBARKATION

Your day begins with a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. Take in the magnificent views of the glacier, icebergs and lake from the visitor center. Continue to the Mount Roberts Tramway offering breathtaking views of the Chilkat Mountains, Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island and Silver Bow Basin. At the Chilkat Theater learn about Native Tlingit culture, and enjoy lunch at the Timberline Bar & Grill before transferring to the pier to embark on the M/Y SAFARI ENDEAVOUR, your home for the next seven nights. Your 86-passenger ship will take you to remote and seldomseen areas not visited by larger ships, such as narrow waterways and isolated coves and offers three decks with ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces. Onboard adventure equipment includes kayaks and stand-up paddle boards; inflatable skiffs; hiking poles; yoga mats; and hydrophones for listening to below surface sounds. (B,L,D)

Days 3/4 GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK

Explore Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Your exploration will reveal coves and corners of the bay that most visitors miss. The 3.3-million acre park is comprised of truly wild frontier land, a place where only the surrounding mountains, towering glaciers and abundant wildlife call home. The nutrient rich waters play host to humpback and gray whales, harbor and Dall’s porpoises, sea otters and the endangered Kittlitz’s morrelet. On land look for black bear, moose, coyote, snowshoe hare, beaver, marmot, short-tailed weasel, mink, marten, red fox and black-tailed Sitka deer. A National Park Interpreter will join you to explain the park’s geology, glaciology, wildlife, and its deep roots in Tlingit culture. (B,L,D)

Day 5 ICY STRAIT

Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Ride the skiffs to explore the backcountry of Icy Strait, a series of sheltered and connected waterways where you may spot endangered humpback whales feasting on plankton, joined by sea lions and seals. Look for a wide variety of vegetation on the shore, such as beach meadows and old-growth forests of Sitka spruce and western hemlocks that support brown bear, Sitka blacktailed deer and the Alexander Archipelago wolf. (B,L,D)

Day 6 CHICHAGOF ISLAND/BARANOF ISLAND

Explore scenic and mountainous Baranof Island which is laced with many bays and fjords and bordered on the west by the Gulf of Alaska and on the east by the Chatham Straits. Part of the historic Inland Passage, endless opportunities for exploration exist among a maze of waterways and secluded inlets. Discover the area by kayak, shore walk or small craft excursion. Next, visit Chichagof Island, northernmost and second largest of Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. Once a busy gold mining region, only small pockets of activity continue and among the abandoned mine shafts and tunnels grow wildflowers, alder, and seedling spruce. People are few but the wildlife is rich with residents like river otter, deer, brown bear, sea lion, gray whale, harbor seal, sea otter, and Bald Eagle. (B,L,D)

Day 7 FREDERICK SOUND/STEPHEN’S PASSAGE

Cruise spectacular Frederick Sound where abundant krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans), zooplankton, and herring thrive in the glacially fed waters of Frederick Sound, making it one of the premier places in Alaska to observe feeding humpback whales who migrate here in the hundreds. Dall’s porpoise are common bow riders, and orcas can be seen anywhere along the journey. Surrounding the sound are the majestic craggy snow-covered mountains of the Coast Range rising from the sea to grand heights of 10,000 feet. (B,L,D)

Day 8 FORD’S TERROR/ENDICOTT ARM

Explore Endicott Arm and Ford’s Terror, a pristine tidal inlet and fjord with ribbon waterfalls cascading two thousand feet over vertical granite walls into emerald green waters. Tracy Arm is a dynamic area of plant succession and animal adaptation. The terminal Moraine was left at the mouth of this fjord, when the last glacier receded. Today, it is a spruce and hemlock forest in the final phase of development. After exploring, join your ship mates and the crew in a farewell toast and a festive dinner. At the end of the evening your Expedition Leaders will present you with a “photo journal” that was compiled during your voyage. (B,L,D)

Day 9 DEPART JUNEAU

Arrive in Juneau. Your wilderness adventure now comes to an end as you disembark and bid farewell to your ship and crew. You will be transferred to the airport where you board your flight back home. (B)

OPTIONAL POST EXTENSION TO DENALI NATIONAL PARK

Fly to Anchorage then take a scenic train ride to Denali National Park, a wild and unspoiled frontier with crystal clear rivers, mountain lakes, expansive tundra, copious wildlife, and the 20,320-foot Mt. McKinley. Visit the sled dog kennels for a presentation on mushing, the state sport of Alaska, where dogs are trained to pull sleds in endurance races like the Iditarod. Meet with an Athabascan cultural interpreter who will introduce you to the Dena’ina subsistence way of life which allows the Athabascan to survive in an unforgiving environment. Discover the historic town of Talkeetna, a National Historic Site, where you may go flightseeing, take a float trip, or embark on a dog sled tour.

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • Flight between Anchorage and Juneau on the pre extension.
  • Superior accommodations at hotels and lodges as indicated in the itinerary (or similar).
  • American breakfast throughout. All other meals as specified in the itinerary.
  • Special services of a Trip Leader/guide available on land, and different guide on cruise.
  • 8-Days/7-Nights Cruise along Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Inside Passage aboard the M/Y Safari Endeavour with all meals included. Professional Naturalist provided on board. Accommodations are in double cabins with private facilities on Category Master. Upgrades are available at additional cost. Single cabins are limited.
  • Guiding and equipment use for kayak, paddle board, hiking, human-powered watercraft, and skiff exploration (Subject to availability.
  • Included bar stocked with premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews.
  • All National Park and Reserves entry fees.
  • All transfers.
  • Gratuities for baggage handling, hotel tips and taxes.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
Prices vary by season and package. Please inquire by phone at (800) 627-1244 or email info@classicescapes.com for more information and a pricing estimate.