Experience the remarkable beauty of southeastern Alaska on a voyage into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife with some of our finest photographers. Sailing aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird or the National Geographic Sea Lion, 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 photographers who have an intimate knowledge of the region. Our small ship has the flexibility to take you ashore to places that few others see. This specially crafted expedition will put you in position to take photos with some of the world's premier photographers as your guides.
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 Sea Bird.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A diverse team of expert photographers and naturalists will accompany this expedition. They will share their knowledge and insights on the photographic techniques required to capture the wildlife, landscapes, and cultural elements of this voyage. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
National Geographic photographer Michael Melford has produced more than a dozen features for National Geographic magazine and more than 30 for National Geographic Traveler, including eight cover stories. Some of Michael's recent assignments have focused on America's national parks and the need to preserve them. Michael has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three on Alaska. While photographing Treasures of Alaska, he spent four months traveling every corner of the state. When not shooting for National Geographic, Michael enjoys giving seminars and workshops on photography, sharing both his love of nature and his extensive knowledge of his craft.
Michael will join the following departures:
Jun 12 - 19, 2016
Jun 19 - 26, 2016
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
National Geographic Sea Bird
National Geographic Sea Lion
Please note that the June 13, 2015 and June 12, 2016 departures follow the same itinerary but in the reverse order from Sitka to Juneau.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in Category 1, add $3,150 in 2015 and $3,250 in 2016. For a single cabin in Category 2, add $3,670 in 2015 and $3,750 in 2016.
Airfare to Juneau and return from Sitka is not included in the expedition cost.