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Explore wild Alaska on an exciting, active expedition aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird. This compact itinerary will introduce you to the stunning coastal landscapes, iconic wildlife, and culture of southeastern Alaska. Kayak deep into glacially-carved fjords, hike beneath towering spruce and hemlock trees in old-growth rain forests, and raft to an ancient Tlingit village—all with our nimble expedition ship as your moving basecamp.
Aboard the agile National Geographic Sea Lion, venture deep into Lynn Canal, the longest fjord on the continent, and enter narrow channels that are inaccessible to larger ships.
Go rafting in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, and go on hikes, bike rides, and kayak excursions in the Alaska wilderness.
Peer into the hidden world beneath the ship through underwater footage interpreted by our undersea specialist.
Look for grizzlies on Chichagof Island, and watch for calving glaciers from your expedition landing craft in Tracy or Endicott Arm.
Itinerary - 6 Days
Day 1 — Sitka, Alaska
This afternoon, arrive in Sitka, Alaska, situated
on the western coast of Baranof Island,
fronting the Pacific Ocean. Take a walk in Sitka
National Historical Park, where Tlingit and Haida
totem poles tower over coastal trails. Visit the
Alaska Raptor Center for an up-close look at
Alaska’s birds of prey. Later, embark the National Geographic Sea Bird. (L,D)
Day 2 — Exploring Baranof and Chichagof Island
Explore the breathtaking bays of Baranof and
Chichagof Islands, which are part of the ancient
Tongass National Forest. Chichagof Island harbors
one of the highest concentrations of brown bears
in the world, and both islands are home to diverse
wildlife. Kayak along the rugged coastlines and in
the afternoon, go hiking through the temperate
rain forest, listening for the call of bald eagles
from the tops of lofty spruce and hemlock trees. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Lynn Canal/Haines
Venture to the northern limit of Alaska’s Inside
Passage, the Lynn Canal—North America’s longest
and deepest fjord. Spend the day hiking and kayaking
in the shadows of snowcapped peaks. This
evening, step ashore at the quaint town of Haines
and experience local Alaskan life. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Haines
Known as the “adventure capital of Alaska,”
Haines is situated on a scenic peninsula between
the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers. Hike one of the
many world-class trails in the area, or cycle along
the edge of a glacial lake. Or set off on a rafting
excursion, keeping an eye out for bald eagles,
bears, and moose as we float through the spectacular
Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Later, visit
the ancient Tlingit village of Klukwan and enjoy a
traditional dance and cultural performance. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Tracy Arm - Fords Terror Wilderness
Wake up in Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, part of
the Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness. Cruise
through this glacially carved wilderness, then set
out to explore by expedition landing craft. View
the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up
close—and possibly witness the dramatic sight
of huge slabs of ice breaking off and crashing
into the water below. If conditions permit,
paddle a kayak below the steep walls of the fjord.
Celebrate your voyage with a farewell dinner on
Day 6 — Juneau
Disembark in Juneau and transfer to the airport for
your flight home. (B)
During his eight years on the National Geographic staff, photographer Jonathan Irish launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program. He specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. Jonathan has photographed on all seven continents, and has shot a variety of assignments in Antarctica, Patagonia, and beyond. His photography has appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, on BBC, CNN, and elsewhere. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Jonathan took a year-long road trip with an Airstream visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks.