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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.
Sail aboard the comfortable 62-passenger expedition ships National Geographic Sea Bird or National Geographic Sea Lion equipped with motorized landing crafts and sea kayaks.
The expedition will feature sessions for both photographers and videographers.
Hike through lush forest trails to cascading waterfalls, and take a motorized landing craft into sheltered coves where brown bears feed.
Watch for calving ice in the iceberg-laden waters of Glacier Bay National Park.
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 Sea Bird. (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, Washington
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)
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.
Rich has specialized in travel, environmental, and adventure photography for the past 20 years. His frequent contributions to National Geographic Adventure magazine included an assignment biking Alaska's Inside Passage. As a previous Alaska travel business owner, he has guided a variety of groups throughout the state. Much of his current work is with non-profit organizations preserving lands and cultural sites with his photography. He also works in film, and recently produced and directed an award-winning documentary on watersheds. As a former instructor at Brooks Institute, Rich traveled with his students to document California's natural history.