Day 1: Juneau, Alaska—Embark Ship
Your small-ship Alaska adventure begins in Juneau. Before embarking ship, a visit is included to the Alaska State Museum for an introduction to the 49th state, whose name in the Aleut language means "The Great Land." The museum's permanent collection focuses on Alaska’s Native peoples and natural history. Transfer to the pier this afternoon to board the ship, with time to settle
Day 2: Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness
Early this morning the ship enters Tracy Arm, a narrow fjord with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls that rise 3,000 feet into low-hanging clouds. Step out on deck to survey the magnificent scenery as you scout for harbor seals, porpoises, Arctic terns and Bonaparte gulls. At the head of the
Day 3: Petersburg
Cruising toward Le Conte Bay, look for humpback whales, which frequently entertain us by breaching and spy-hopping. Weather permitting, kayak among icebergs and shards that have calved off the LeConte Glacier. Or, choose an optional flightseeing trip over the glacier via floatplane or helicopter for a thrilling aerial perspective, with views into the deep crevasses. There's also a chance to hike on forest trails, accompanied by the ship's naturalist guides. Later, visit Petersburg on Mitkof Island, a town of 3,500 founded over a century ago by Norwegian fishermen. The waters here are rich in crab,
Day 4: Frederick Sound / Chatham Strait
These waters are prime habitat for both orcas and humpback whales, and it's not uncommon to see groups of up to 30 at a time. There's plenty of time to observe fascinating behavior—breaching, tail-slapping and feeding modes—as the captain keeps the ship positioned for the best views. Guests congregate on
Day 5: Icy Strait and the
Icy Strait separates Chichagof Island from the Alaskan mainland. The
Day 6: Glacier Bay National Park
Spend a full day cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, surveying the mosaic of inlets, coves, glaciers and ice-capped peaks that comprise this renowned wilderness. In one of Alaska's most iconic landscapes, cruise to the face of tidewater glaciers that end abruptly at water’s edge, and wait patiently to observe “calving,” when a giant slab of ice falls from the face and crashes into the sea with a thunderous boom. Wildlife abounds in Glacier Bay, and we may see harbor seals, Steller sea lions and mountain goats scaling the rock walls. There's also a good chance to spot both horned and tufted puffins. A visit to Tidal Inlet may reveal a glimpse of brown bears on the hillside or on the shoreline. Southeast Alaska is also the homeland of the Tlingit people, and a Native interpreter joins us onboard to share some local legends and insight into
Please Note: National Geographic Sea Bird departures will have a modified itinerary and will not be calling on Glacier Bay National Park. Guests will instead explore the rarely visited outer bays—either Dundas Bay or Fern Harbor—with opportunities for naturalist-led coastal hikes looking for evidence of moose or wolves, kayaking into secluded coves, or cruising around sea stacks via expedition landing craft.
Day 7: Southeast Alaska's Islands,
Nature is the ship's guide today as we sail with no specific itinerary, the captain choosing the best course as conditions dictate. We may stop at an isolated beach to look into tide pools, do some beachcombing and wander forest trails. At high summer, the forest floor is often carpeted with wildflowers. Later, walking ashore on one of
Day 8: Sitka—Disembark / Transfer to Airport
After breakfast, disembark in Sitka, Southeast Alaska’s only town that sits directly on the ocean, among a scenic scattering of small islands. In the local Tlingit language, Sitka means "the village behind the island." It has been home to indigenous cultures for thousands of years, but its Russian heritage endures, a legacy from the fur trading enterprise that dominated the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. Russian influence is on apparent in St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, with its distinctive onion domes, in the center of town. Sitka's Native heritage is equally vivid in the grand totem poles that line the wooded trails through Sitka National Historic Park. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, get close-up views of species normally seen at a distance in the wild—bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. After lunch, your Southeast Alaska cruise concludes as you disembark in Sitka’s harbor, backdropped by the volcanic peak of Mount Edgecumbe. A transfer to the airport is included to meet departing flights.
Please Note: This itinerary should serve as a guideline only; actual stops are determined by weather, wildlife activity, and a host of other factors in order to provide the safest and best possible experience. This flexibility is what makes traveling on Lindblad's small expedition ships so much more rewarding than a large vessel with a locked-in voyage plan. Some itineraries travel in reverse.
Physical Rating: Easy to Moderate
Denali National Park Extension
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari
Photo departures available
Wild Alaska Grizzly Encounter
Photo departures available