The waters here are icy cold and the air is crisp and clear. Glacier Bay is a National Park and affords all the protections that come with such status. Wildlife abounds within the bay, which makes this gem an exceptional place to explore via kayak from the ‘mothership’ without the disturbance of motorized vessels.
Since Glacier Bay has just recently emerged from the ice, it is considered a geologically young area. A trip up Glacier Bay is like a trip back in time. Old growth forests give way to bare rock as we make our way back into the upper reaches of the bay. Here, the tidewater glaciers still rumble and roar as they make their slow retreat back, dropping huge icebergs into the sea. Magnificent granite cliffs tower above our small ship as we wind our way up the fjord through the ice floes towards the faces of these massive glaciers. Along the way, our expert naturalist and guide will point out the finer points of plant succession, glaciations, local geology, and the interconnectedness of the animals that call this area home. The biodiversity of this place is simply amazing.
Passengers will board the Snow Goose at the Park Service Dock in Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay – a short taxicab ride from the town of Gustavus. Following lunch and a brief safety and crew orientation we will set sail into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. For the next 6 days we will cruise, kayak, and hike this magnificent gem of our National Park System.
Leaving Glacier Bay, we have two options for our remaining days toward to town of Sitka. Weather permitting, we will head west around the outer coast of Chichagof Island and make our way through the tiny islets and passages of the wind and wave swept outer coast. If the weather looks like it's going to be challenging, we will transit south through the protected inside waterways of Chatham and Peril Straits. Either route offers excellent sights and spectacular humpback whale viewing; there is even the possibility of a stop at hot springs along the way.
Our trip will come to an end in Sitka, Alaska – a small fishing town situated on Sitka Sound, which is on the western edge of Baranof Island. We plan on arriving in port at 11 AM, guests can either fly out that afternoon, or opt to stay in Sitka for an additional day or two to explore the many sights the town and surrounding areas have to offer.