Alaska's Inside Passage

  • Trip Type: Expedition Cruise
  • 8 Days | Juneau to Sitka
  • Group Size: Max 100

Expedition Details


Experience the remarkable beauty of southeastern Alaska on a voyage aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird/Sea Lion or the new National Geographic Quest 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.

Trip Highlights

    • On the new sister ships National Geographic Quest and 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 Lion or National Geographic Quest (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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Related Trips

Special Offer

Book by March 31, 2018 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Seattle and Alaska on the May 20 and 27, 2018 departures.
Offer is for new bookings only and is subject to availability. Please call for details.

Expedition Team

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.

Flip Nicklin

Flip NicklinNational 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.

Flip will join the following departures:

Jun 03 - 10, 2018
Jun 10 - 17, 2018


Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • May 13 - 20, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • May 20 - 27, 2018 [QUE]
  • May 20 - 27, 2018 [SL] REV
  • May 27 - Jun 03, 2018 [SL]
  • May 27 - Jun 03, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Jun 03 - 10, 2018 [QUE]
  • Jun 03 - 10, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Jun 10 - 17, 2018 [SL]
  • Jun 10 - 17, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Jun 17 - 24, 2018 [QUE]
  • Jun 17 - 24, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Jun 24 - Jul 01, 2018 [SL]
  • Jun 24 - Jul 01, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Jul 01 - 08, 2018 [QUE]
  • Jul 01 - 08, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Jul 08 - 15, 2018 [SL]
  • Jul 08 - 15, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Jul 15 - 22, 2018 [QUE]
  • Jul 15 - 22, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Jul 22 - 29, 2018 [SL]
  • Jul 22 - 29, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Jul 29 - Aug 05, 2018 [QUE]
  • Jul 29 - Aug 05, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Aug 05 - 12, 2018 [SL]
  • Aug 05 - 12, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Aug 12 - 19, 2018 [QUE]
  • Aug 12 - 19, 2018 [SL] REV
  • Aug 19 - 26, 2018 [SL]
  • Aug 19 - 26, 2018 [QUE] REV
  • Aug 26 - Sep 02, 2018 [QUE]

[SL] National Geographic Sea Lion
[QUE] National Geographic Quest
REV Indicates trip operates in reverse.

Add one of two six-day extensions to Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve. Please call for details.

Expedition Cost

Quest Sea Lion
Category 1 $6,590 $5,990
Category 2 $7,290 $6,890
Category 3 $7,790 $7,990
Category 4 $8,690 N/A
Category 5 $9,590 N/A

Prices are per person, double occupancy.

For a single cabin on the Quest in 2017, add $3,400 in Category 1 and $3,310 in Category 2. For a single cabin on the Sea Bird/Sea Lion in 2017, add $2,950 in Category 1 and $3,375 in Category 2.

For a single cabin on the Quest in 2018, add $3,400 in Category 1 and $3,310 in Category 2. For a single cabin on the Sea Lion in 2018, add $3,000 in Category 1 and $3,450 in Category 2.

Airfare to/from Seattle and airfare between Seattle and Alaska are not included in the expedition cost. The group flights from Seattle to Juneau and return from Sitka, or vice verse, are $410.

View Ship/Deck Plan

Featured Traveler Photo

Activity Level

Light or Moderate

Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they 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 on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.

For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.