Whales & Ice

Open trip
Trip Profile
*Remember: wildlife is wild life, so when it comes to stuff like whales and bears, these ratings show the likelihood of seeing those things as opposed to a guarantee. But that’s nature for ya – and who would want it any other way?
Lynn Canal, Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park, Bartlett Cove
This trip begins north of the bustling Alaskan Capital of Juneau in Auk Bay. Following a safety briefing, the Snow Goose will debark and begin her journey through southern Lynn Canal. As we head southbound we will search for Orca and Humpback whales while getting acquainted with ship life. The first evening will afford us with a quite anchorage, fine meal, and time to get to know one another.

Leaving Lynn Canal, the ship will head West through the confluence waters of Icy Strait, Chattam Sound, and Lynn Canal toward the Gulf of Alaska. Rich whale grounds full of food will give us the best opportunity to whiteness the feeding behaviors of Humpback Whales. As we continue our journey westward in Icy Strait we get prepared for the narrow passages leading to the Pacific Ocean. Protected by small groups of islands we visit the small town of Elfin Cove where fishermen & artists carved out a small community. With Mt. Fairweather in the background we begin our journey toward Glacier Bay National Park where you can look to the possibility of intimate contact with humpback whales, bears, moose, wolves, sea otters, seals, sea lions, goats and eagles to name a few.

Since Glacier Bay has just recently emerged from the ice, it is considered a geologically young area. A trip up Glacier Bay is like a trip back in time. Old growth forests give way to bare rock as we make our way back into the upper reaches of the bay. Here, the tidewater glaciers still rumble and roar as they make their slow retreat back, dropping huge icebergs into the sea. Magnificent granite cliffs tower above our small ship as we wind our way up the fjord through the ice floes towards the faces of these massive glaciers. Along the way, our expert naturalist and guide will point out the finer points of plant succession, glaciations’, local geology, and the interconnectedness of the animals that call this area home. The biodiversity of this place is simply amazing.

Evenings will bring secluded anchorages with time to reflect and share a delicious meal prepared by our Chef in the galley. Many evenings will offer time to quietly explore the shores by kayak or slowly motoring along in the skiff. It's amazing how much can be seen and heard along the shores in the quiet evening time. Before bed, the Captain will bring out the charts to review the happenings of the day, and to make a plan for the following day. We keep the schedule incredibly flexible to allow for adaptation to the multitude of variables that can be encountered along the way.

With a newfound appreciation of the world in which we live, and memories to last a lifetime, guests will disembark around 11 am in Bartlett Cove. Many will opt to catch the afternoon flight back to Juneau to continue on with their Alaska adventures or head home. Others may want to stay in one of the hotels or bed and breakfasts in Gustavus to further experience a small, coastal Alaska town.
There are 10 spots left.
All routes are subject to adjustment and change at the captain's discretion and the ability to obtain the proper access permits. This includes US Forest Service and Glacier Bay National Park permits. Passports are required for entry into Canada, and previous DUI convictions may prevent entry.
We are an equal opportunity provider and employer, operating on the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service.