Set sail 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 the September 6 and 7, 2014 and September 5 and 6, 2015 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 — Juneau/Glacier Bay National Park/Chichagof Island
Visit the impressive Mendenhall Glacier. By special park permit, spend the next 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. Kayak, hike, and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. (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)
Rich has specialized in travel, environmental, and adventure photography for the past 20 years. His frequent contributions to National Geographic Adventure magazine included an assignment biking Alaska's Inside Passage. As a previous Alaska travel business owner, he has guided a variety of groups throughout the state. Much of his current work is with non-profit organizations preserving lands and cultural sites with his photography. He also works in film, and recently produced and directed an award-winning documentary on watersheds. As a former instructor at Brooks Institute, Rich traveled with his students to document California's natural history.