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Travel the Inside Passage and spend two days in Glacier Bay National Park on this 15-day small ship expedition cruise in Alaska with UnCruise Adventures. Enjoy whale watching, discover the native culture of this part of the world and so much more. You'll enjoy an in-depth exploration of Glacier Bay National Park, taking zodiacs up close to massive glaciers. Hikes in the Tongass National Forest and witness the incredible wildlife that call this region home. This is the ultimate Alaskan adventure.
Day 1: Juneau
Arrive in Juneau, the capital of Alaska, where you will be transferred from the airport to the UnCruise hospitality area. Upon boarding, your crew greets you with champagne and smiles. Set sail for two weeks of scenic channels and secluded wilderness.
Take an early peek outside of your cabin today for views of fjord cliffs that reach skyward. Floating ice. And deep u-shaped valleys. Mother Nature’s magic is real in this part of the world. Your ship will cruise past harbor seals and their pups lounging on chunks of ice. Tracy Arm delivers with the cotton-candy blue twin Sawyer Glaciers. Tides permitting, your skiff driver knows the ropes and guides you along. It’s a mashup of towering walls, temperamental currents, and the Coastal Mountains. So many waterfalls. Keep a lookout for mountain goats showing off their fancy footwork on the cliffs.
Humpbacks beeline to Frederick Sound each season to feed on krill, zooplankton, and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Your ship will cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station, and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Tonight, toast to a perfect day in Alaska.
Before you do anything, look out of the window. From kelp-lined channels to hemlock and spruce forests, every inch of this far northwest corner is worth exploring. And today’s adventures promise to be as big as the water is deep. Seals and sea lions haul out on rocky outcroppings, resting before they disappear in the water to search for food. If the tides are right, you'll head out in the skiff with one of the guides for a closer exploration of the rugged shore, or perhaps, make it all the way to George Island. Whatever you do—wilderness trekking, skiffing, or paddling—your expedition team guides the way.
This crown jewel of America’s national parks covers 3.3 million acres! Most visitors see the same sliver of the park as everyone else. But today, you’re going the furthest and exploring parts that 99% of visitors never go to. Taylor Bay sea stacks and rocky shores make for good adventure. Or hike the outwash field of glaciers winding down the Fairweather Mountain Range. The cool breeze off the nearby snow and icefields is energising. If you motor over to Dundas Bay, keep your eye out for bears, humpbacks, and if you’re lucky, a wolf sighting. Kayak the bay. Bushwhack into the forest. Discover Glacier Bay outback.
Find a perch on the bridge with your captain, or with your guides on the bow, and watch for whales and other creatures before tucking into Port Frederick or another inlet in the Tongass National Forest. Any spot’s a good one to pull over and stretch your legs. Hike, paddle, or skiff your way through this remote corner with bears on the shoreline, seals bobbing on the surface, and welcoming boughs of moss in the trees. It’s all yours to explore.
Enjoy a day off your ship today to explore Alaska's intriguing capital, Juneau. Accompanied by a local expert (and plenty of snacks), the West Glacier Trail excursion takes you through dense temperate rainforest with massive views overlooking Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding coastal mountain range. Or, opt for a more relaxed pace visiting Juneau highlights on your own. An included tramway ticket provides a ride up the Mt. Roberts Tram, where views unfold as you ascend 1,800 feet through the forest. At the top, explore the trails and Nature Center; back at the bottom, explore Alaska’s heritage at the Alaska State Museum. Both options also include a lunch voucher for a local restaurant. Complimentary laundry service is provided today.
Jutting off Stephens Passage with two deep, glacially carved fjords, this designated wilderness area contains over 600,000 acres. Cruise past chunks and chunks of floating ice (there’s far more beneath the surface than the eye can see). It’s a harbour seal’s delight lazing away the day atop a floating bergie. In classic fjord form, the end of the arm doesn’t disappoint with the blue face of a stories high glacier. If conditions are right, skiffs are a great way to get up close.
Morning stretches on-deck jump-start the day. Humpback whales are frequent visitors of this Southeast passage. A misty spout is a sure sign they’re in the neighbourhood. Your captain navigates Stephens Passage to Port Houghton. And you’re in for a great day of adventure with your guide team. Slip off the kayak launch and take it slow, spotting sea stars and shorebirds. Or take a long wild paddle to the salt chuck at the back of the inlet. Maybe instead you'll chose hike into the Tongass. It’s a beautiful landscape of hanging waterfalls and shades of green.
Today you are well and truly in the backcountry of Alaska's wilderness. Glacial landscapes marked by moraines, muskegs, and mud. In this playground, it’s all an option today. Kayak and skiff in water almost clear as glass. The mirror image of fjord walls plays on the surface. Hike through the outwash of Baird Glacier, or keep it green on an interpretive walk through a grassy meadow into the forest. Later, the ship winds into the Wrangell Narrows. Abundant bright red and green navigation lights guide the way. It’s “Christmas Tree Lane,” of course.
Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska. It’s also the only one ever governed by four nations. The Tlingit culture has deep roots here. Local islanders come aboard this morning with a presentation that brings their stories and legends to life. Venture into town for a view of recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park. See how many totems you can pick out on each pole. Step inside famed Chief Shakes Tribal House and feel the history of this fascinating community.
Wildlife abounds here. Keep an eye out for black bears, mink and eagles. In Behm Canal, it’s all remote waterways and isolated Tongass National Forest coves, streams, and bays. On Cleveland Peninsula, your expedition team leads a low-elevation hike near clear, rushing streams. In the water orca, porpoises, seals, and otters go about their business. Go about yours on a guided paddle in tiny deserted waterways that feed into Behm Canal.
Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska, and that alone is a lot to consider. Glacial valleys filled with seawater. Sheer 3,000-foot cliffs. Seabirds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, all find safe haven here. Kayak in Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay and you find it’s just as easy to paddle and go, as it is to sit and float and take it all in. Or skiff to the base of a waterfall for a fjord-released shower. The affectionate nickname “The Yosemite of the North” is deserved. There are places on the planet that completely overcome you. This is one of them. And it’s an amazing end to your journey. Your captain joins you tonight for a Farewell Dinner. Celebrate and reminisce about your Alaskan journey with a “photo journal” by your crew.
After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to your new friends before you disembark and transfer to the Ketchikan airport
Exploration, access and comfort all share equal importance on the Wilderness Explorer. Adventure ready with casual ambience, the onboard amenities and equipment on this 74-guest expedition vessel put the focus on action, adventure and relaxation - the perfect combination.
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