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Set sail aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird on an in-depth and wide-ranging photo expedition through Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. Photograph the glacially carved cliffs of Misty Fiords; the icescapes of Glacier Bay; and the wildlife-rich waters of Icy Strait, home to whales, puffins, and Steller sea lions. Explore spectacular fjords by expedition landing craft and kayak, and go on photo hikes through old-growth forests. Capture it all with the help of our National Geographic photo expedition team.
By special permit, spend a day sailing the coastal waters of Tongass
National Forest aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird, and go on
hikes amid its towering ancient trees.
Hone your photography skills alongside a National Geographic
photographer while exploring wild fjords and isles.
Spend a full day capturing the glaciers and dramatic mountain ranges
of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
Raft through the remote Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve—home
to one of the largest convocations of bald eagles in the world.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Day 1 — Ketchikan, Alaska
Arrive in the coastal city of Ketchikan this
afternoon. Delve into Alaska’s Native American
heritage at Saxman Totem Park before embarking
the National Geographic Sea Bird. (D)
Day 2 — Misty Fiords National Monument
Awaken amid the glacially carved cliffs of Misty
Fiords National Monument Wilderness. Set out by
expedition landing craft or kayak to photograph
and explore this spectacular wilderness of jewel-like
lakes, waterfalls, and snowcapped peaks. (B,L,D)
Days 3 & 4 — Behm Canal/Clarence Strait/Petersburg
Hike beneath towering trees in the Tongass
National Forest. Then cruise through scenic
channels in search of humpback whales. Visit the
quaint harbor of Petersburg on Mitkof Island.
Discover the island’s unique muskeg ecosystem,
and explore by bicycle or take an optional flightseeing
tour (weather permitting). (B,L,D Daily)
Day 5 — Tracy Arm - Fords Terror Wilderness
Navigate the iceberg-strewn waters of Tracy Arm
or Endicott Arm, where waterfalls cascade down
granite cliffs. Capture images of the majestic South
Sawyer or Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, venture
closer in expedition landing crafts. (B,L,D)
Days 6 & 7 — Haines/Lynn Canal
Explore Haines, the so-called “adventure capital”
of Alaska, on a hike or a bike ride along a glacial
lake. Or set off on a rafting excursion, keeping
an eye out for wildlife as we float down through
the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Visit the
ancient Tlingit village of Klukwan, where we’ll
enjoy a traditional dance performance. Spend the
following day hiking and kayaking at the northern
limit of Alaska’s Inside Passage. (B,L,D Daily)
Day 8 — Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Spanning more than three million acres of fjords,
tidewater glaciers, mountains, and forests, Glacier
Bay National Park and Preserve offers a stunning
array of photographic opportunities. Search for
mountain goats, harbor seals, and puffins along
the coast, and learn about local lore from a native
Tlingit interpreter. (B,L,D)
Days 9 & 10 — Icy Strait/ Inian Islands/Baranof or Chichagof Island
Cruise amid the Inian islands, home to Steller sea
lions and a variety of sea birds, and search for
whales off Icy Strait. Then venture to the rugged
shores of Baranof or Chichagof Island. Go hiking
and kayaking in areas where wildlife is most active. (B,L,D Daily)
Day 11 — Sitka/Seattle, Washington
Disembark in Sitka. Visit St. Michael’s Russian
Orthodox Cathedral and the Alaska Raptor
Center. Transfer to the airport for your flight
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts--from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on the dates noted.
Ralph Lee Hopkins
Ralph Lee Hopkins is a popular photo instructor and geologist who also serves as an expedition leader aboard the National Geographic fleet. He served as a photographer on the historic Arctic Expedition for Climate Action in July 2008 and has traveled beyond both the Arctic and the Antarctic Circles many times during the past two decades. His wildlife images have appeared in National Geographic's books, magazines, and online galleries, and are represented in the National Geographic Image Collection.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.