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, 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 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. Then explore Sitka National Historical Park, where totem poles line serene wooded trails. Embark the ship in the late afternoon.
National Geographic Sea Bird
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.
Look for humpback whales at Point Adolphus, a favored feeding area. Then cruise to Inian Pass and find playful sea otters. Keep an eye out for eagles, which are commonplace in the surrounding Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States.
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. Walk ashore among towering spruce trees and meadows of wildflowers.
These waters often make for great whale watching. Look for Steller sea lions hauled 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 Fred Sharpe to learn about his work with the Alaska Whale Foundation—supported by a grant from the Lindblad/National Geographic Fund—which has recently made some fascinating discoveries about the region's marine mammal population.
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. There is an opportunity for optional flight-seeing via floatplane or helicopter over nearby LeConte Glacier (weather permitting) and for hikes on forest trails.
Wake in 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.
Visit the imposing Mendenhall Glacier and the Alaska State Museum, an excellent recap of Alaska's natural history and cultures. There is time to explore Juneau on your own before you head to Seattle to catch your flight home.
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 01 - 08, 2013
Jun 08 - 15, 2013
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
National Geographic Sea Bird
National Geographic Sea Lion
Please note that the June 8, August 30, and August 31, 2014 departures follow the same itinerary but in reverse order; Juneau to Sitka.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2013, add $3,000. in Category 1 and $3,500. in Category 2. For a single cabin in 2014, add $3,150 in Category 1 and $3,670 in Category 2. Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Round-trip economy airfare from Seattle to Juneau, and return from Sitka, is $600 (subject to change).