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Skiff, kayak, and paddleboard through fjords and inlets as wildlife greets you from land and sea on this 8-day small ship exploration of Alaska's northern passages and Glacier Bay with UnCruise Adventures. Visit Chichagof Island, the fifth-largest island in the United States. Sail the Icy Strait which is abundant with marine mammals and sea birds. See the Tongass and Glacier Bay National Park as Alaskans do, by hike and bushwhack. Marvel at Juneau's spectacular scenery and discover the fascinating history of Sitka.
Day 1: Juneau
Arrivee in Juneau and be met with a warm welcome. After boarding, settle in and as your ship set sails, from the bow, Southeast Alaska welcomes you with Coast Mountain views.
Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, your captain makes the call today, weather and condition dependent. Your guides will help you gear up, and lead your adventure along the rocky outcroppings. By kayak or paddleboard, take in the size of this wilderness. Bald eagles dot the treetops. Harbour seals bob up and under. Pods of orcas—the largest in the dolphin family—skim along the water’s surface.
At 3.3 million acres—Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve- and quite frankly, huge. At Bartlett Cove, a park ranger joins in on your day’s exploration and shares the park’s history. Orange-beaked puffins, guillemots, marbled murrelets are just a few possible sightings. Arriving at South Marble Island, you'll notice the abundance of sea lions. Perched above around the bend, watch for mountain goats, and lower along shore, foraging bears. Up bay, glacial silt turns the water a milky white here. Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers—one holding steady, the other retreating. Lounging harbour seals laze on ice-floes. And if time allows, tuck up in Tidal Inlet. End this very full day with your feet up for the sail into Icy Strait.
Almost at the Pacific Ocean, Icy Strait is remote and wild. Here you'll spot, whales breaching the surface of the water and marine mammals. Spouts and fin slaps are certain giveaways. More rollicking sea lions and birds are abundant here. But don’t forget to look straight down. Porpoises and dolphins may hitch a ride on the bow wave. And don’t worry about missing any wildlife; it’s a favourite mission of the crew to point out any creatures they spot. Make a break for it and head for a quiet pocket along the rugged coastline. A different sort of wild than the open strait, muskeg leads to forest bushwhacks. Skiff the shore and down along kelp-threaded channels.
Start your morning the right way with on-deck yoga stretches as your ship meanders through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. It’s a prime time to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Camera in handset off on land and sea explorations. Closer inspection by skiff, moss-dripping trees run right down to the water. Keep an eye out for bears here, as it as one of the world’s largest populations. Go searching for giant trees and tidal pools. Hiking in the Tongass, it won’t take long to find them. Your eagle-eyed guides lead the pack—and pull up the rear. Later, wind along a twisting channel known for dramatic currents. Peril Strait runs 50 miles to Salisbury Sound.
There’s an eerie, enigmatic feeling in these woods. Morning fog catches like cotton balls on trees. The aptly named narrows squeezes to only 300 feet wide in one spot and a shallow 24 feet deep. The shorelines are close and it’s a great area for going ashore and exploring. Skiff and hike into the backcountry. Keep an eye out for otters as they float on their backs. Your ship will then wind into Neva Strait. Watch the scenery change in the late fading light as you relax on deck or in your stateroom.
There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is spattered with remote, uninhabited islands. These features mean endless opportunities for onshore adventures. Explore secluded coves. Tree-covered islets. Your ship will drop anchor, so you can enjoy some kayaking or paddleboarding—along with curious sea lions and possibly whales. Rocky intertidal zones make good beachcombing here. Turn a stone or two to see what’s underneath. Enjoy a guided tour off the beaten track. Back on board, toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of your trip. A gift to you, from your expedition team.
Cruise into Sitka this morning over breakfast and bid farewell to new friends. Disembark and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
The Safari Endeavour is a ship to be remembered. She covers more territory than any other ship from UnCruise Adventures’ fleet, and both the ship and the crew are known to be true explorers. But not only that, she looks good too – wood fixtures and accents shine, and the artwork throughout the interior highlights the warm and cool waters of the regions in which she sails.
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