Antarctica & Arctic
From the Inside Passage to the Arctic Circle, via Denali National Park, this unique itinerary showcases Alaska’s many highlights from bottom to top. A combination of small ship cruising and independent rail travel ensures you don’t miss a thing.
Destinations > Alaska > Alaska’s Glaciers & Peaks
Seven nights cruise and eight nights hotel accommodation, meals as indicated and sightseeing, activities and transportation as specified.
Fridays, 24 May - 30 Aug '19
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Cross the Arctic Circle
Kayak amongst icebergs
Spot Denali's 'Big 5'
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First settled in the gold rush days, Juneau is now Alaska’s capital. Toast to the riches of Alaska as you sail into the wilderness. (D)
Kick start the morning with on-deck yoga stretches and a strong cup of coffee. Energized and snug in your kayak, glide around in remote bays off of Icy Strait through giant bullwhip kelp that can grow to over 100 feet long. Join the gang in a skiff to a rocky outcropping to watch sea lions play. Or, step into mud boots for a forest hike with your top-notch, naturalist guides who have plenty to share about everything Alaska—marine biology, plants, and even geology. On board, soak it all in as you soak in the hot tub.
A National Park ranger comes aboard to share expert insight. Have your binoculars handy—South Marble Island is a birder’s slice of heaven. Puffins scoot through the water. Guillemots and gulls chatter up the airwaves. The snoozing sea lions don’t seem to mind. More thrills and chills await as you cruise to the far end of John Hopkins Inlet or Tarr Inlet where glaciers calve into the water. Backed by knife-edged peaks, bears forage along the shoreline of Tidal Inlet. Mountain goats too. Back at Bartlett Cove, if time and daylight allow, take a forest hike around the park’s HQ, and say farewell to your ranger.
Stretching into the Tongass National Forest, Chatham Strait offers adventure aplenty. Rest assured your captain navigates to the best. Anchor in a remote Chichagof Island inlet. Backpacks loaded and adventure toys lowered (skiffs, paddle boards, kayaks), it’s time to go play. Energy flows as you hike up through moss-covered trees and rain-fed waterfalls. Stick to the water in a kayak excursion, and don’t forget to look above and below the surface. A nosy seal could be watching your every stroke. Beachcomb rocky shores. Tiny creatures cling to rocks. Tonight, take a nightcap to the sun deck and watch the sky.
The jagged arms and fingers of Kuiu Island stretch from 25 to just six miles wide. Salmon streams dot the coastline—and where there’s salmon, there are bears. Despite its slim size, Kuiu Island is home to many black bears, who, like you, love the solitude and open skies in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. From kayak or skiff, scope the intertidal zones of Saginaw Bay for these guys. Eagles fish here too, their white noggins give away their perches. Kayak along the Keku Islands or take the pace down a notch with an easy stroll amidst the tide pools. It’s remote, and remarkable.
Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feed on krill, zooplankton, and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Based on wind and weather, your expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Paddle into the deeps of Port Houghton or Windham Bay or head ashore for a hike. Somewhere nearby, carrot-billed black oystercatchers are saying hello. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska.
Skiffing up Endicott Arm, harbor seals laze around on icebergs. If the tides are right, slip into Fords Terror, the steep walls of this narrow opening streaked with waterfalls. Back in the Arm, gasp at the deep glacier-carved valleys. It’s at the end where you meet the piece de resistance: Dawes Glacier. Blue ice marches down from the Coast Mountains. With a sharp crack, the white thunder of a calving slice makes a mega-splash. Tonight, celebrate with a festive Farewell Dinner and “photo journal” from your expedition team.
One last breakfast before disembarkation. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Anchorage. (B)
A day at leisure to explore Alaska’s largest city. If the timing is right, we suggest adding a day trip to the iconic Brooks Falls where grizzly bears congregate to feast on salmon.
Board the Alaska Railroad this morning, bound for the quaint town of Talkeetna, a popular base for climbers attempting to conquer Denali. Take a spectacular flightseeing trip in a small bush plane, for some of the best views of North America’s highest peak.
Rejoin the train as it continues north to the entrance of Denali National Park. Spend the afternoon exploring, perhaps visiting the Park Kennels for a dogsledding demonstration and to play with the puppies.
Travelling deep into the heart of the park, spend 2 nights at a wilderness lodge, where there are endless adventures to uncover. (D)
See Day 12. (B, L, D)
After a scenic bus ride back through the park, watching for Denali’s ‘Big 5’ along the way, jump back onboard the Alaska Railroad for the journey north to Fairbanks. (B)
As the gateway to the Arctic, Fairbanks is a great jumping off point for visiting the wilderness of Alaska’s remote north. An Arctic Circle Air Adventure is included, but if time permits, extend your trip to visit the northernmost point of the United States, Point Barrow and the traditional Inupiat Eskimo village of Utqiagvik.
See Day 15. Finish your journey in Fairbanks.
View the Terms & Conditions
15 Days / 14 Nights
Explore Alaska's glaciers, experience incredible whale watching and discover native culture on this ultimate expedition.
8 Days / 7 Nights
Experience this ultimate glaciers and whale watching adventure while onboard a small ship cruise.
Cruise Alaska and Canada's Inside Passages onboard this small ship adventure cruise.
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