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Set sail aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird or National Geographic Sea Lion on a remarkable journey to Alaska’s Inside Passage and British Columbia, and experience the extraordinary biodiversity and cultural riches of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Encounter ancient totem poles, and kayak or cruise in motorized landing crafts along wild shores shrouded with old-growth forest. Continue to the dramatic fjords and inland waterways of southeastern Alaska, on the lookout for orcas, humpback whales, and Steller sea lions. Then listen for the thunder of calving glaciers while exploring the stunning wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park.
Explore the Haida Gwaii islands, known as the Canadian Galápagos, for endemic plants, land mammals, and birds.
Peer up at the ancient totem poles of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls.
Spot incredible marine life, including orcas and humpback whales, from the prow of the National Geographic Sea Lion or Sea Bird
Learn from National Geographic photographers aboard a photo expedition on all departures.
Itinerary - 15 Days
Days 1 & 2 — Seattle, Washington and Gulf Islands, British Columbia
Arrive in Seattle in the afternoon and embark our ship. The next day, search for orcas and cruise around forested islands. (B,L,D)
Days 3, 4, & 5 — Alert Bay and Johnstone Strait, Canada/British Columbia’s Inside Passage
In the village of Alert Bay, visit the U’Mista Cultural Centre to watch a traditional performance by the Kwakwaka’wakw people and learn about their culture. Then head north along the unspoiled coastline, looking for whales, dolphins, bears, and other wildlife. We’ll stop to explore the many bays and inlets by kayak and on foot. (B,L,D)
Days 6, 7, & 8 — Haida Gwaii
Discover the wildlife and cultural sites of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, including the magnificent Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Join a traditional dance performance and feast, gaze up at the totem poles of SGang Gwaay, and experience the islands’ rich biodiversity while exploring by kayak and motorized landing craft. (B,L,D)
Days 9, 10, & 11 — Alaska’s Inside Passage
Spend three days encountering spectacular scenery and wildlife along Alaska’s coast. Visit the charming fishing village of Petersburg; cruise and kayak past the glacially carved cliffs of Tracy or Endicott Arm spotting orca, humpback whales, and Steller sea lions; and go ashore for walks through the forest. (B,L,D)
Days 12, 13, & 14 — Glacier Bay National Park/Inian Islands/Chichagof Island
By special park permit, spend the day among the enormous glaciers and expansive wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park. A native Tlingit interpreter joins us to share the lore and legend of the area. Then spend two days kayaking and hiking among incredible wildlife around the Inian Islands and Chichagof Island. Enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 15 — Sitka/Seattle, Washington
In Sitka, visit Saint Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and see rehabilitated eagles up close at the Alaska Raptor Center. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Seattle. (B,L,D)
Book by June 1, 2017 and receive free one-way
airfare between Sitka and Seattle on the April and May 2017 departures. Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. Please call for details.
During the past 25 years, Phil Schermeister completed more than 40 major assignments for the National Geographic Book Division, National Geographic magazine and other National Geographic publications. He has photographed on assignment in more than 40 National Parks around the United States and has published six single-photographer books with National Geographic, including Range of Light, Our National Parks and America's Western Edge. Some of his other assignments have included coverage of Quechua Indians in the Andes of Peru, Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Native Americans across the Western United States.
Phil is drawn to high-latitudes, and has photographed all types of natural landscapes from National Parks, Seashores, and Recreation Areas to Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Wildlife Refuges. In his search for “decisive moments” in nature, Schermeister seeks to find drama in the changing light and seasons as the forces of nature continue to sculpt an unfinished natural landscape.