This sample itinerary is only a guideline; variations may occur to maximize your experience.
Welcome to Alaska’s capital, where your home on the water awaits. Come aboard, meet your crew, and unpack your adventurous spirit. Your course is set for glaciers, and the Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the U.S.
Wake in a fjord flanked by sheer granite walls. Grab a hot cup of coffee and take it all in from the bow. Cascading waterfalls. Drifting icebergs. A lazy harbor seal or two. Layer up with gloves and a warm hat, and hop in a skiff for a better look at the glacier—the temps drop the closer you get. Your expedition guide clues you in to signs of the ice ages that carved this landscape. The geology is fascinating and so is the wildlife. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, bears, and eagles. Make waves for Stephens Passage. It’s all hands on deck watching for signs of humpbacks. It’s a big first day!
Have your rubber boots handy. You’re in for muskeg and mud in Alaska’s backcountry. Hiking along Baird’s moraine, look for shimmers of gold and quartz—this area is known for it. The glacial runoff plains look almost lunar, but you’re not alone in this moonscape. The glacial valley is a nesting hot-spot for arctic terns. Splash away the mud before a paddle along the bay’s mossy cliff walls. Back on board, it’s time for a cocktail and a soak in the hot tub.
LeConte is the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America. If tides are low, take a boot-sucking walk to check out icebergs resting on the mudflats. If it’s high tide, a skiff ride brings you up-close to its iceberg gardens. Surrounded by national forest, Ideal Cove’s boardwalk trails wind through meadows of ferns and grasses. Or test your balance paddle boarding in this quiet cove. It’s just you and the vast wilderness.
“Kake” comes from a Tlingit word meaning “opening of daylight.” Apropos, start your day in this native village with traditional storytelling and dancing. Count the many totems on their 132-foot pole. Drop the kayaks in Saginaw Bay or some other hidden cove along the Keku Islands. Black bears are common sights along shore. But so are eagles in the treetops and orange-billed surf scoters paddling nearby. For hikers, your guides have a route in mind. Make for the forest, far off the map. Cruising Frederick Sound, chances are high you’ll see humpbacks. The up-welling of nutrients in the water make it an irresistible feeding ground.
Leave it to the captain to steer you through Chatham and Peril Straits. At Baranof Island, your top-notch expedition team has the game plan dialed. Tap some of the most untouched wilderness in the Tongass. Head to the woods for an adventuresome bushwhack. Or slide into a kayak for an easygoing shoreline paddle. Find a perch on deck in Peril Strait—it’s a twisting drama of currents and history.
There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is dotted with hundreds of coves and uninhabited islands. This is a prime area for spotting sea otters. It’s no surprise to round a corner in your kayak and find one looking at you and you looking at him. The protected beaches are made for exploring the intertidal zones, and spotting bears. So, boot up for a guided hike. End your day with celebration and a toast at a heartfelt Farewell Dinner. Your expedition team treats you to a photo recap of the week’s adventures.
Bid adieu to new-found friends over breakfast before disembarking. Transfer directly to the Sitka airport for your trip home.
*For trips departing from Sitka, Alaska, the itinerary will be in reverse.
Travel in Alaska is often characterized by its cool, humid climate. We recommend investing in good rain gear, quick drying base layers, warm socks, and a solid pair of calf height rain boots with a good rubber sole. Every adventure is better with the right gear!
Your days will be filled from the moment you wake until you retire to your cabin with opportunities for group meals, off-ship outings, and presentations in the evening. You can choose to participate in the activities and presentations each day or sit them out, but one thing is for sure, this cruise will keep you moving!
We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.
Your adventure begins in Juneau, Alaska where you will travel south through the Tongass Narrows and on to Tongass National Forest.
The last night on the ship, you will have a special farewell dinner, and the next morning after breakfast, you will disembark in Sitka, Alaska, where you will be transferred directly to the Sitka Airport for your flight home.
All on-board meals; premium spirits, wine, and microbrews; non-alcoholic beverages; exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all adventure activities and equipment from the boat. Your vessel also has wellness offerings such as hot tubs, sauna, fitness equipment, yoga mats, and a massage room.
You will find Alaska’s summer temperatures surprisingly pleasant. Daytime highs for June – August range from 60°F – 80°F. Nighttime lows are refreshingly cool, dipping into the 40’s – 50’s. May and September are usually 5°F – 10°F cooler. During this time of year, expect a few days of cloudy weather and rain, but also some clear days. Look forward to long daylight hours and enjoy the beautiful light change on the landscape.
This is a small-scale cruise and depending on the dates you select, your vessel will have a maximum number of 84-88 guests and a generous guest to guide ratio of 2.5 guests for each crew member. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about the landscape, ecology, and culture of the area, as well as have expert instruction for all of your adventure activities.
Your vessel will depend on which launch date you choose. All ships offer ample vantage points for taking in the sights. Ships carry all the adventure equipment for guests including kayaks, paddleboards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, and more. All cabins are equipped with a view window, TV and DVD, iPod docking station, private bath with shower, and generous closet space. Your vessel will also include a comfortable lounge and library, and comes equipped with a hot tub, sauna, fitness area, and massage suite to enjoy.
You can look forward to a delicious daily menu filled with meals that include locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh Dungeness crab or Alaskan prawns. For breakfast – you can choose from an early riser breakfast with fresh baked pastries and fruit or a full breakfast with hot, cold, and specialty dishes. For lunch – you will find a range of salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups. For happy hour – enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in the lounge. For dinner -choose from several entrées including fresh, local seafood and meat or a vegetarian dish with a chef-selected wine pairing. Be sure to leave room for an indulgent dessert, such as tiramisu.
I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the Rivers & Oceans’ staff, their organizational skills, knowledge and simply being just nice people. Once I decided to go with them every detail of the adventure was planned, organized and implemented without a hitch.
Absolutely wonderful. Rivers and Oceans is operated by people who truly care about your trip and have the personal experience to help you make the best choice. Now go see for yourself and let Rivers and Oceans lead you towards the adventure of a lifetime.
The folks at Rivers and Oceans are great. Helped us find and book a trip and patiently answered many questions over the weeks preceding the trip. Thank you.
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