Day 1 – Into the Wild
A world of natural beauty unfolds as we leave civilization behind and cruise south in Stephens Passage. The atmosphere onboard is one of excitement and anticipation. Our destination for the evening is a small cove nestled beneath a hanging glacier at the edge of the Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness. Icebergs often float into this bay and there is time to kayak or beachcomb before guests join the Captain in Discovery’s dining salon for a delicious 3 course evening meal.
Day 2 – Tracy Arm Wilderness (Fjords, Glaciers & Icebergs)
Wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and take a stroll on deck before breakfast. Today we will cruise the length of spectacular Tracy Arm Fjord. Nature is still raw here and you will be awed by the scale and grandeur of Alaska’s rugged beauty as we cruise beneath sheer granite walls with cascading waterfalls. We’ll navigate our way between glittering blue icebergs in the hope of reaching South Sawyer Glacier, a massive tidewater glacier that calves regularly into the sea.
Watch for Bear, Mountain Goats, Bald Eagle, Harbor Seals with pups on icebergs and their nemesis the Orca (Killer) whale.
Day 3 – Admiralty Island (Fortress of the Bears) and Frederick Sound (**)
The journey continues south towards Admiralty Island. A National Monument and pristine wilderness area this island has the densest population of Brown Bear in the world and is a popular nesting site for Bald Eagle. We’ll visit a Sea Lion haulout along the way and fish for Halibut ……….. unless we are distracted by Humpback Whales enroute.
Admiralty Island has a number of beautiful inlets and secluded bays from which your Captain will select an anchorage for the evening. There is time to kayak (watch for Brown Bear foraging on shore), drop a fishing line over the side, help the crew set Crab pots or just relax and soak in the scenery.
Day 4 – Frederick Sound to Baranof Island (Brown Bears & Humpback Whales)
After breakfast this morning we’ll don rubber boots and skiff to shore. This particular bay has a pretty hike through temperate rainforest to a salmon stream where we often see Brown Bear. The surrounding mountains provide a spectacular backdrop and you will not run out of photo opportunities as the trail winds through a grassy meadow and tidal flats on the way back to our skiff.
We’ll pull our crab pots, hopefully providing enough Dungeness Crab for a feast tonight, then cruise into Frederick Sound to search for Humpback Whales, Orca and other marine life.
The snow-capped mountains of distant Baranof Island draw ever closer as we cruise toward Point Gardener on Admiralty’s southern tip. If time permits we’ll fish for Salmon before crossing Chatham Strait to one of the Captains favorite bays. This inlet is serene and beautiful with many turns and guests usually gather on the bow to fully absorb the mystical waterfalls and tall mountains reflected in the calm waters below.
Day 5 – Chatham Strait and Warm Springs Bay
Keen kayakers have time for a paddle before breakfast then we’ll pull anchor and pick up the shrimp pot we set last night. Look out for whales and watch the scenery glide by as we cruise 2 hours north to the natural hot springs at Warm Springs Bay. After lunch guests can opt to soak in a private tub or follow a short trail through lush rainforest to a natural hot spring beside a roaring waterfall. For the energetic the trail continues on to a clear mountain lake and/or a small bluff overlooking the bay. In mid-summer you can collect wild blueberries and salmon berries as you make your way back to the boat.
We can stay here overnight, build a campfire and cook out or continue on for an hour to another pretty inlet tucked beneath towering mountains.
Day 6 – Chichagof Island and the frontier town of Tenekee Springs
We need to make tracks today and will spend most of the day cruising north in Chatham Strait with the possibility of fishing and an optional stop at a salmon hatchery. We plan to overnight at Tenekee Springs, one of Alaska’s true frontier towns where you’ll have the chance to explore the local community and beachcomb or hike the trail to Russian River to look for Brown Bear.
Day 7 – Icy Strait & Point Retreat lighthouse
We have a scenic days cruise today around the northern tip of Admiralty Island watching out for whales as usual and fishing if time allows, to our final anchorage and one last dinner to celebrate adventures shared and new friends made.
Day 8 – Return to Juneau and disembark
Its the final morning and a short 2 hour cruise into Juneau where we aim to be docked (after breakfast) by approximately 10am.