This itinerary has a special focus on bear viewing and photography. However, hallmarks of every Alaskan Dream Cruises experience, including glacier viewing, kayaking, hiking, and other wildlife viewing will also be enjoyed.
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Explore beautiful Sitka—the only community in Southeast Alaska that faces the open ocean waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Visit sites that highlight the community’s rich culture, history, and biodiversity. Embark for the winding narrows north of town while searching for bald eagles, sea otters, bears, whales, and other wildlife.
Enjoy a morning hike to Lake Eva on northern Baranof Island. This trail immerses guests in a beautiful rainforest setting of lush undergrowth and towering spruce and hemlock. During late summer and early fall, salmon run in the lake’s outlet stream. After, sail south along eastern Baranof Island—the “Waterfall Coast”. In the evening, walk a path to the natural hot spring pools of Baranof Warm Springs; relax in a steaming pool while enjoying your favorite beverage and savoring the stunning wilderness.
Thus far on the itinerary, your vessel will have been among the Inside Passage’s “ABC” islands (Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof). These islands are home to a high density of brown bears. Brown bears exist in various color phases, from dark brown to blonde, and can grow to 1,500 pounds. Alaska has over 98 percent of the United States’ population of brown bears. As your journey continues southward, beginning at Kuiu Island, you will be in black bear territory. Enjoy kayak and skiff exploration in a western Kuiu Island bay. Beachcomb and/or hike along the beautiful, secluded coastline of the area. Options include Rowan Bay, Bay of Pillars, or Tebenkof Bay.
Sail between the beautiful Cape Decision lighthouse, perched atop wave-beaten rocks on southern Kuiu Island, and the Spanish Islands. Explore Sumner Strait, a body of water nestled between the islands of Kuiu and Kupreanof Island to the north and Zarembo and Prince of Wales to the south. This strait offers countless possibilities for in-depth exploration, and the Kruzof Explorer, with her expedition Zodiac, aluminum skiff, paddleboards, and kayaks is the perfect vessel for adventure. The islands of this area play host to black bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, wolves, and countless bald eagles. Destination options for small boat excursions include Keku Strait, Red Bay, Totem Bay, and more. We may even call on the small community of Port Protection—a place that gained national notoriety due to a popular television show, which chronicles the challenges and beauties of life in the remote town.
Today’s excursion will take you to the remote Anan Wildlife Observatory, which is renowned for offering some of the best brown and black bear viewing in the world. After docking in the picturesque town of Wrangell, you’ll board a high-speed jetboat for transport to the trailhead that leads to the observatory. Once ashore, a U.S. Forest Service representative will provide an introduction and safety orientation, then you’ll begin a 20-minute guided hike (rated moderately difficult) to the observatory. Guests are given several hours at the observatory deck, which overlooks a creek that hosts a large run of pink salmon. Bears and eagles, all in pursuit of the wild salmon, are often viewed and photographed mere meters away. This is an exclusive, small group experience with the necessary permitting handled by Alaskan Dream Cruises prior to the voyage.
In a wilderness bay, such as Windham Bay or Port Houghton, participate in a tidal trek, kayaking, paddleboarding, or skiff excursion. There may also be an opportunity to sip your favorite beverage and enjoy Alaskan snacks near a campfire on shore. A variety of marine life and birds frequent these areas, as well as black bears and other terrestrial animals.
Journey through Tracy or Endicott Arm in the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, a place the famous naturalist, John Muir, referred to as, “A wild, unfinished Yosemite.” Renowned for its pristine waterfalls, towering icebergs, abundant harbor seals, and granite cliffs that rise form sea level to 4,000 feet, this wilderness is often referred to by locals as one of the most scenic areas in the state. Both of these dramatic glacial fjords offer stunning views of tidewater glaciers. Traveling aboard the Kruzof Explorer provides the unique opportunity to kayak in this beautiful Alaska wilderness area.
Disembark in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Transfer to the airport or your hotel is complimentary.
The Kruzof Explorer, a Bering Sea crab fishing boat turned premier expedition vessel, was constructed to be among the toughest hulls on the planet, capable of exploring remote areas and bodies of water where few venture. The unparalleled seaworthiness and performance, coupled with modern renovations and elegant furnishings results in a craft that stands alone in its expedition capabilities. The vessel carries an aluminum tender vessel, high-speed Zodiac, kayaks, and paddleboards. The vessel’s five-ton crane, which once hauled king crab pots, easily handles loading and unloading of these expedition craft.
Alcohol is included with all stateroom bookings
*All cabins are approx. 121 sq. ft.