Alaska: 12-Day Alaska Bear Odyssey
Day 1: Arrival, Prince Rupert, BC Canada
Local Bed and Breakfast
Arrive into Prince Rupert one day prior to your departure and overnight at a local bed and breakfast. Take advantage of the extra time to tour the local museum or visit several petroglyph sites nearby.
Day 2: Board
MV Island Odyssey
Meet the boat crew at the dock on the east side of the Atlin Terminal Building, which is a 5-minute taxi ride from downtown. After a safety orientation and cabin assignments, depart Prince Rupert Harbor for the beauty of Chatham Sound and its myriad of islands. The entrance to Portland Canal marks the border between Alaska and British Columbia. Sailing past Misty Fjords National Monument, you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains rising majestically from the ocean. Each night will be spent on anchor in a new scenic bay.
Day 3 – 11: Various stops
MV Island Odyssey
Guided by an experienced naturalist, you will spend the week watching fascinating wildlife, exploring shorelines for intertidal animals, and learning and recording information about various birds, plants, and marine mammals.
Cruise up Revillagigedo Channel past the historic Native American settlement of Saxman, and stop at Ketchikan. In the late 1800s, the then lucrative cannery industry earned Ketchikan the title of the “Salmon Capital of the World.” Take some time to walk along the old boardwalks, or visit the Totem Heritage Center to see original totem poles collected from uninhabited Tlingit and Haida villages.
Continue north through the narrow passages of Etolin and Wrangell Islands to Anan Bay – a bear watching hotspot! Your onboard naturalist will help spot and identify fascinating wildlife, explore the shoreline for intertidal creatures, and assist you in keeping records of all the animals you see along the way. Anan Creek has the largest run of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska, and this accumulation of food attracts numerous bears, eagles, and seals. Weather permitting, you’ll visit the bear-viewing observatory, built by the US Forest Service.
You’ll have the opportunity to disembark for an afternoon and walk to the Le Conte Glacier – the southernmost tidewater glacier. In the last 15 years, it has receded by over 1.5 miles with enormous slabs of ice “calving” into the ocean. The glacier is located in the Stikine River Estuary – an important stop for millions of migratory birds.
Travel on to Frederick Sound – a core feeding area for humpback whales. Journeying through this area, you will see humpback whales on a daily basis! Your onboard naturalist will identify and explain the fascinating feeding techniques of these giant whales and will assist you in spotting and identifying other wildlife in the area.
Eventually, you will arrive at the Admiralty Island National Monument, which boasts one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears and eagles in North America! While enjoying beautiful evening anchorages, keep an eye out for bears on the shoreline. Visit the grizzly viewing area in Pack Creek and Windfall Harbor, important tidewater estuaries that are teeming with wildlife.
Day 12: End of Journey
Conclude your epic wildlife journey upon your arrival in Petersburg, AK. Petersburg, known as “little Norway,” is a delightful town to explore. You will disembark in time to catch an afternoon flight. Bon Voyage!