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Experience the remarkable beauty of southeastern Alaska on a voyage aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird/Sea Lion or the new National Geographic Quest/Venture into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife. Search for orcas and humpback whales, kayak around dramatic icebergs, spend a full day in Glacier
Bay National Park, and learn about Alaska’s
rich Native American heritage.
Our approach during this voyage is one of discovery. We take time to stop and explore this beautiful and intriguing land up close, in the company of expert naturalists who have an intimate knowledge of the region. Our small ship has the flexibility to take you ashore to places that few others see. The long days of summer allow for wildlife viewing well into the evening hours.
On the new sister ships National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture, as well as the National Geographic Sea Lion, get up close to icebergs, calving glaciers, and wildlife exploring with the ships’ kayaks and expedition landing craft.
Glimpse Alaska’s seldom-seen marine life alongside our undersea specialist, and listen to communication among whales with the ship’s hydrophone.
Hear a Tlingit cultural interpreter share the oral lore of Alaska’s indigenous populations.
Meet members of the Alaska Whale Foundation to learn about the behaviors of the area whale population.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — Seattle/Juneau, Alaska
Fly from Seattle to Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Visit the imposing Mendenhall Glacier. There is time to explore Juneau on your own before we embark the ship in the late afternoon. National Geographic Sea Bird/Sea Lion or National Geographic Quest/Venture (D)
Day 2 — Tracy Arm Fjord—Fords Terror Wilderness
Enter Tracy Arm, a spectacular 22-mile-long fjord where waterfalls cascade from towering, glacially carved walls. We maneuver among large icebergs, keeping an eye out for feeding bears on the shoreline and mountain goats on the cliffs above. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Petersburg
Discover the small town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, founded more than 100 years ago by rugged Norwegian fishermen. A visit to Petersburg provides a glimpse of a true Alaskan town and an opportunity for hiking along forest trails. Explore Southeast Alaska’s muskeg, an area
with stunted trees and carnivorous plants.
There is also an opportunity for optional flightseeing (weather permitting) or bike riding. Enjoy a crab feast for dinner this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Exploring Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
These waters often make for great whale watching. Look for Steller sea lions stretched out on the rocky islands that dot the channels. Take a walk with naturalists along a quiet forest trail or kayak in the tiny coves in this area. Meet members of the Alaska Whale Foundation—whose work is supported by a grant from the National Geographic/Lindblad Fund—and discuss some of their recent discoveries about the region's marine mammal population. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Icy Straits and Inian Pass
Hike and kayak among the Inian Islands, where
an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea
otters reside. We’ll search for whales in the rich
waters of Icy Straits and, conditions permitting,
lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the
whales’ communication. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Spend the day exploring magnificent Glacier Bay, where enormous glaciers flow from the ice fields far above. Watch and hear glaciers calving as tons of ice crash into the sea. Venture near islets that are home to seabirds such as puffins and guillemots, and look for humpback whales and orcas. Get a firsthand perspective on Alaska’s
indigenous people from a Tlingit cultural interpreter,
who will be on board with us today to
share stories passed down through oral tradition
and art. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Exploring Alaska's Islands, Bays, and Fjords
Beachcomb, hike forest trails, explore by kayak, or cruise along Admiralty Island, where the massive brown bear is found, along with perhaps the world's highest density of nesting bald eagles. If conditions permit, explore the coastlines of some remote islands by kayak. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Sitka/Seattle
After breakfast, disembark in Sitka, a unique town with a strong Russian heritage. Visit St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a striking testament to Alaska's roots prior to the U.S. purchase of the territory from Russia. In the early afternoon, transfer to the airport for the flight to Seattle. (B)
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. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
National Geographic photographer and marine biologist Flip Nicklin is one of the world's leading photographers of whales. His majestic photos and amazing audio tracks of humpbacks and killer whales have appeared in numerous National Geographic publications and television specials. The North American Nature Photography Association has named him Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year. Flip migrates with the humpbacks, spending summers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and winters off Maui, Hawai'i.
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.