Alaska Adventure Cruise
Alaska’s Glacier Country
Only 60 Passengers
Glacier Bay National Park
Glaciers, Whales, Eagles
Hiking, Kayaking, SUP
Comforts & Culinary delights
What is small ship adventure cruising?
- Only 60 guests;
- 4 – 8 hours each day off vessel, exploring forests, islands, and glaciers;
- Up close views of Alaska’s wildlife and marine life: whales, eagles, bears, sea lions, seabirds;
- Go where large ships simply can not go;
- Hiking, kayaking, SUP, skiff activities; Morning yoga, evening hot tub.
- Early Booking Savings and Kids Savings;
- Attentive staff; Mouth-watering meals; Crafted cocktails and more!
This UnCruise features Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait, glaciers galore, hiking old-growth forests, whale-watching in Frederick Sound, kayaking & SUP in remote bays.
Cruise: Alaska’s Glacier Country
Vessel: Wilderness Adventurer
Date: May to Sept 2021
Cruise Cost: from $3,895 (airfare extra)
Ship Size: only 60 passengers
Minimum Age: 8 (Kids save $500)
Level: (Easy-Moderate) Hiking, kayaking, SUP, skiff rides. As active or inactive as you wish.
Day 1: Juneau, embark
Day 2: Icy Straight
Day 3: Glacier Bay National Park
Day 4: Chatham Straight
Day 5: Kuiu Island
Day 6: Frederick Sound
Day 7: Endicott Arm
Day 8: Juneau, disembark
DAY 1 - Juneau, Alaska – Embarkation
Hello, Juneau! First settled in the gold rush days, Juneau welcomes with both small town charm and towering glaciers. Toast to the riches of Alaska as you sail west toward Icy Strait.
Day 2 - Icy Straight
Kick start the morning with on-deck stretches and a strong cup of coffee. Energized and snug in your kayak, glide around in remote bays off of Icy Strait through giant bullwhip kelp that can grow to over 100 feet long. Join the gang in a skiff to a rocky outcropping to watch sea lions play. Or, step into mud boots for a forest hike with your top-notch, naturalist guides who have plenty to share about everything Alaska—marine biology, plants, and even geology. On board, soak it all in as you soak in the hot tub.
DAY 3 - Glacier Bay National Park
You’re in for a real treat. A National Park ranger comes aboard to share expert insight. Have your binoculars handy—South Marble Island is a birder’s slice of heaven. Puffins scoot through the water. Guillemots and gulls chatter up the airwaves. The snoozing sea lions don’t seem to mind. More thrills and chills await as you cruise to the far end of John Hopkins Inlet or Tarr Inlet where glaciers calve into the water. Backed by knife-edged peaks, bears forage along the shoreline of Tidal Inlet. Mountain goats too. Back at Bartlett Cove, if time and daylight allow, take a forest hike around the park’s HQ, and say farewell to your ranger.
DAY 4 - Chatham Strait
Stretching 150 miles into the Tongass National Forest, Chatham Strait offers adventure aplenty. Rest assured your captain navigates to the best. Anchor in a remote Chichagof Island inlet. Backpacks loaded and adventure toys lowered (skiffs, paddle boards, kayaks), it’s time to go play. Energy flows as you hike up through moss-covered trees and rain-fed waterfalls. Stick to the water in a kayak excursion, and don’t forget to look above and below the surface. A nosy seal could be watching your every stroke. Beachcomb rocky shores. Tiny creatures cling to rocks. Tonight, take a nightcap to the sun deck and watch the sky.
DAY 5 - Kuiu Island
The jagged arms and fingers of Kuiu Island stretch from 25 to just six miles wide. Salmon streams dot the coastline—and where there’s salmon, there are bears. Despite its slim size, Kuiu Island is home to many black bears, who, like you, love the solitude and open skies in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. From kayak or skiff, scope the intertidal zones of Skanax Bay for these guys. Eagles fish here too, their white noggins give away their perches. Kayak along the Keku Islands or take the pace down a notch with an easy stroll amidst the tide pools. It’s remote, and remarkable.
DAY 6 - Frederick Sound
Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feed on krill, zooplankton, and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Based on wind and weather, your expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Paddle into the deeps of Port Houghton or Windham Bay or head ashore for a hike. Somewhere nearby, carrot-billed black oystercatchers are saying hello. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska.
DAY 7 - Endicott Arm / Dawes Glacier
Skiffing up Endicott Arm, harbor seals laze around on icebergs. If the tides are right, slip into Fords Terror, the steep walls of this narrow opening streaked with waterfalls. Back in the Arm, gasp at the deep glacier-carved valleys. It’s at the end where you meet the piece de resistance: Dawes Glacier. Blue ice marches down from the Coast Mountains. With a sharp crack, the white thunder of a calving slice makes a mega-splash. Tonight, celebrate with a festive Farewell Dinner and “photo journal” from your expedition team.
DAY 8 - Juneau – Disembarkation
Mmmm, fresh baked pastries over one last breakfast. Your crew and new friends wish heartfelt goodbyes. This morning, transfer to the Juneau airport or begin your UnCruise hotel stay or land tour.
Note on Itinerary:
Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
Please be sure to scroll through website tabs for information on:
- What’s Included
- General Information
- How to Reserve
Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.
Early Booking Savings Save $800
Book between Sept and Dec 15, 2020 and save $800 per couple
(not valid on Navigator cabins)
Kids Save $500
The ultimate in family travel, kids age 8 – 13 save $500 each.
Payment Schedule and Cancellation Policy:
Deposit of $750 due at time of reservation.
Final balance due 90 days prior to trip departure.
Deposits made for 2021 tours can be cancelled any time, up until Feb 28, 2021, for any reason and given a full refund. After Mar 01, 2021, if you cancel prior to departure (with written notice), cancellation fees are:
120 days or more… 50% of Deposit
119 – 91 days…..…. Forfeiture of full deposit
90 – 46 days………… 50% of gross fare
45 to 0 days………… 100% of Trip Cost
Alaska’s Glacier Country
Juneau to Juneau
Aboard: Wilderness Adventurer
ALASKA’s GLACIER COUNTRY
Juneau to Juneau, aboard the Wilderness Adventurer 2021
|8-Days||Cabin Categories. Price Per Person. Port Tax/Fee|
- 8 day cruise
- Expedition Leaders
- Glacier Bay National Park
- Kayak, SUP, hiking
- All meals
- $500 ‘Kids Savings’
- Travel Insurance
- Guide and staff gratuity
- 60 guests
- 30 cabins
- 25 crew members
- 160 feet in length
- 39 feet wide
- Cruising speed of 9.5 knots
- Registered in United States
- 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Style: Casual and Active Adventure.
Onboard Features: EZ Dock kayak launch platform; bow-mounted underwater camera; kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles; on-deck hot tub; fitness equipment and yoga mats; DVD and book library
Cabin Features: TV/DVD player; hair dryer, conditioning shampoo, body wash; binoculars; reusable water bottles
Deckplan and Cabins: (click to enlarge)
The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.
Endicott Arm is one of two narrow fjords that make up the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area. Over 30 miles long, it ends at the stunning and breathtaking Dawes Glacier. With calm waters and only the sound of glacial caving, harbor seals, bears, deer, wolves and a wide variety of birds call this area home.
Halfway up Endicott Arm sits Fords Terror, a narrow passage that is accessible by small boat. As the tides change, water is pulled or pushed through this shallow and narrow opening, making it almost impossible for boats to pass through. Time it right—and you will be able to see some of the best waterfalls in Southeast Alaska.
Frederick Sound is a body of water approximately 45 miles wide in the central part of Southeast Alaska, at the confluence of Portage Bay (West), lower Stephens Passage (North), and Chatham Strait between the communities of Juneau (North) and Petersburg (South). Frederick Sound is only accessible by boat or air.
Abundant krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans), zooplankton and herring thrive in the glacially fed waters of Frederick Sound. These super nutrient-rich waters are a magnet for migrating humpback whales, making it one of the premier places in Alaska to observe feeding humpbacks.
Marine mammals in the sound also include orcas (killer whales), Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, and harbor seals. A variety of seabirds thrive in this region as well and can be observed flying overhead or flocking after the whale’s watery leftovers, creating a great clue to where the humpbacks might be. Surrounding the sound are the majestic craggy snow-covered mountains of the Coast Range rising from the sea to grand heights of 10,000 feet.
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Glacier Bay Park and Preserve is reportedly the most sought after park to visit in the United States and it is no wonder. Where else will you find a 25 mile-long river of ice still carving the land just as it has for the past several thousand years? When Captain Cook and George Vancouver sailed by in 1879, they saw a 20-mile wide glacier where today the entrance of the park lies, as well the wilderness lodge and park headquarters.
Over the past 200 years, this wall of ice has retreated an astonishing 65 miles north, splintering into a vast number of tributaries spaced throughout the entire park. Each glacier has its own name and character; our captain will decide which to visit for the day depending on ice conditions and wildlife sightings.
Visiting Glacier Bay Park is also like visiting a wildlife park. Here bears, goats, moose, whales, sea otters, and all the creatures of the water and forest flourish, completely protected from man. A National Park Ranger joins us for our entire journey to explain the park’s geology, glaciology, wildlife, and its deep roots in Tlingit culture.
Icy Strait is a body of water in Southeast Alaska that is located between Chichagof Island and the mainland, and extends 40 miles northwest from Chatham Strait to Glacier Bay and Cross Sound. Icy Strait’s nutrient-rich waters are abundant with marine mammals, sea birds and the scenery is spectacular.
Surrounded by the rich, green Tongass National Forest, and located on beautiful Gastineau Channel, Juneau is an important port and a popular tourist destination. Unique because it is the only state capital in the United States that is inaccessible by road, Juneau sits at sea level below the steep mountains that are home to the Juneau Icefield and the Mendenhall Glacier. Its temperate climate produces remarkable scenery with miles of hiking trails through woods and alpine meadows providing a glimpse of just how rugged the rainforest of Southeast Alaska is. The Auke tribe of Tlingit Indians were the first settlers in the Juneau area. They lived there peacefully enjoying the abundance of food and natural resources until the gold rush began.
In 1959 Juneau became the official state capital when Alaska was admitted to the United States. Along with its delightful small town ambiance, Juneau has a number of art galleries, boutiques, historical sites, and museums. One of the most popular attractions in the area is Mendenhall Glacier, located only 13 miles outside the city. Although it’s receding, it is an amazing work of nature. Another attraction is the Mt. Roberts Tram which rises 1,800 feet and presents sweeping views of downtown Juneau and Gastineau Channel.
Stretching 65 miles long, the width of Kuiu Island ranges from 25 miles to just 6 miles wide. At Affleck Canal, discovered and named by Joseph Whidbey and George Vancouver in the 1790s, the island is nearly split in two. Part of the Tongass National Forest, jagged arms and fingers of land jut out into the waters of Chatham Strait and other narrower passages, creating many coves and inlets. Over 60,000 acres of land on Kuiu Island is a designated wilderness area including old growth temperate forest. In the early 2000s, the census reported 10 residents living on the island. More abundant residents include black bears, deer, wolves, sea lions, salmon, seabirds, and birds of prey.
Meaningful Trips highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation. See our Link for Travel Insurance
Travel within the United States, with an American company, on an American-flagged vessel, with American crew. Your health and safety are our number one priority. (see FAQ’s)
Visa and passport
By 2021, US TSA may be requiring either Passport or ‘Enhanced ID’ for domestic travel. Your US Passport must still be valid for 6 months from the tour end date.
Starting and ending airport is Juneau, Alaska. Transfers are arranged on embarkation day.
The ideal time for summer exploration in Alaska Inside Passage is May to September. May temps reach 55 degrees. Bears awaken, baby animals, migrating grey whales and birds, budding forests, snow-covered peaks, gushing waterfalls, and no crowds.
Long days of Alaska June, July, August summers mean extra playtime. June offers over 18 hours of daylight. Temps are warmer, 60-65 degrees. There’s better access to higher elevation hikes. Humpback whales are back en masse. September leads into fall with temps around 55 degrees. Wildlife are mating, migrating, and feeding up for winter.
Small Ship Lodging
This trip includes 7 nights in comfortable cabins with amenities. (refer to chart).
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate
On this unforgettable journey, you choose how active or inactive you wish to be. For the adventurous, there will be an activity each day of kayaking, or forest hiking, or exploring by small motorized skiff. Adventurous folks can also try Standup Paddleboarding or SUP. Activities last from 3 – 4 hours. Kayaking and SUP are suitable for active novices. Participants share stable double kayaks.
Additional Trip Information
Prior to reserving your tour, please carefully review our ‘Pricing’, ‘How to Reserve’ and ‘FAQ’ sections for helpful information on topics such as cancellation penalties, inclusions, food, water, and more.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully. Additional pre-departure information including a Packing List, Medical Form and Liability Release Form is emailed upon sign-up.
Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.
Some answers to common questions. Upon Sign-up, travelers receive a Packing List, Pre-Departure Info and Important Forms
Do I Need a Passport for Alaska?
Beginning 2021, a passport or enhanced drivers license is needed to fly within the US.
Are any vaccinations required for Alaska?
We highly recommend that all persons who travel regularly should be current on these three routine immunizations: Annual Influenza (flu) shot; Tetanus Booster (Tdap) (good for 10 years); and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Additionally, Hepatitis A is highly recommended for all international travelers. Meaningful Trips are not medical experts. Always consult your own doctor and always refer to the CDC website for updated vaccination and country-specific information.
What is a small ship adventure cruise?
Our vessels hold only 60 – 85 guests with a crew of 25. The atmosphere is casual, with an emphasis on nature, activity, and relaxation.
Are children allowed?
Yes! Minimum age is 8. Children between 8 – 13 get special ‘Kids Rate’ and save $500.
How active is my adventure cruise?
Typically there are active adventure options most mornings and afternoons. On kayaking excursions, open paddles are at your own pace and guided paddles can last one to four hours. Hikes range from ambling shore walks to rigorous treks over rugged terrain. Among the activities available, you can also paddle board, explore the shore by inflatable skiff, and still find time for morning yoga stretches and relaxing in the lounge or hot tub.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Meaningful Trips always highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation.
When is the best time to go to Alaska?
Alaska is great anytime of the season. April temps are 48 degrees and good time for Aurora Borealis, gray whales and birds. May temps are 53 and good time for sunny, dry days, gray and humpback whales, bears, birds. June/July/Aug temps are 64 degrees, long days, humpback whales, gray whales, bears, birds, spawning salmon. September temps are 57, shorter days, Northern Lights, gray whales, birds, salmon. Some rain should be expected in the Inside Passage from May to September.
Will the seas be rough?
One of the nice things about our Alaska adventures is that we operate primarily within the relatively calm waters of the Inside Passage and the boats are rarely exposed to the wild open ocean.
Will there be many mosquitos?
Good news! There aren’t mosquitoes in most of the areas we cruise in Southeast Alaska. Mosquitoes are present in the Interior of Alaska.
What is the food like?
Pretty incredible! Expect handcrafted meals made from fresh ingredients showcasing the flavors of the region. And we’re able to accommodate most dietary needs.
What else is there to do on the boat?
Whatever suits your fancy. Relax, rejuvenate, and visit with your fellow adventurers. Each day offers a cocktail hour followed by a tasty handcrafted meal, plus an entertaining or educational presentation from your expedition team or other special host. And if you’re feeling like some quiet time, find a comfy spot to read a book or choose a DVD from our library to watch in your cabin.
Is there Email or Wifi, or cell coverage?
No. The ship has full communications to be used only in cases of emergency.
*Special Reservation Process for Small Ship Cruises*
STEP 1 – Contact Meaningful Trips to Check Availability
STEP 2 – Click ‘Book Now’ and Complete Reservation Form to Hold Your Space(s)
STEP 3 – Mail $750 Deposit via Check.
Reservation is guaranteed upon receipt of a $750 deposit per person. Deposits are held in Trust Account. Deposits are fully refundable for any reason if you cancel before Dec 15, 2020. After Dec 15, 2020, regular cancellation policy applies. Final Payment is due 90-days prior to departure and payable by Check, Zelle, Stripe, ApplePay, Visa, Mastercard.
Mail Check Deposit to:
1416 NW 46th St
Seattle, WA 98107
Upon reserving a trip and submitting a deposit, each traveler will receive:
- A Confirmation email
- Pre-departure Information
- Trip Application with Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
- Travel Insurance Information
- Packing List
- Medical Form
Terms & Conditions and Liability Release
At the time of Deposit, participants must read and agree to Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions and Liability Release Form. Please read this information carefully.
Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.