Alaska Awakening – Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

Your Escape Details

Experience Alaska Awakening, the serenity, budding forests, Sitka deer, bears, moose, seals and sea otter pups as Alaska awakens from winter and begins to celebrate the coming warm weather. You will be part of this awakening, experiencing snow melting into rushing waterfalls, animals coming out of hibernation, VERY few tourists, just you, nature, and possibly even a sighting of the Northern Lights.

7 nights marine adventure

Our small group tours are specifically curated to bring you deeply into the destination. Food, drink, people, customs and soft adventure activities to get you close to the natural surroundings. specifically on this trip you can expect local experts and insiders, glaciologists, bear experts, authors hosting us during our experience.

Our service is second to none, from your decision to join our tour, throughout the trip and when you get home, we will be there for you.

Each escape brings you experiences you wouldn’t find on your own.

We depart on April 20, 2019

Our wonderful host on Uncruise Adventures bring you a unique small ship experience exploring the Northern Passages and Glacier Bay. Spring has two great benefits for you, one wildlife is awakening and adventuring into the forests, water, streams, seeking food and enjoying the warming weather. Two, wildlife, our tour experts, experts brought onboard to teach us about Alaska and the experiences we are having, and one another, will be about the only thing we will see! Our adventure will keep us out of the heavily touristed seasons where the wildlife hide away from all the people, it can get hot and buggy.

Crisp temperatures, budding forests, snow or rainbows, waterfalls rush, meltaways flow and calving glaciers send bergy bits on their merry way. There is a good balance of light and dark hours making Aurora Borealis sightings possible. Early trips like ours into Glacier Bay give us extended time for exploring. For the locals, this is their favorite time of the year!

View Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.

Park rangers join us on board in Glacier Bay National Park.

Whale watching in Icy Strait and Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait.

Wildlife searches – bears, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and Dall’s porpoises.

Birds and wildlife at South Marble Island – birding and sea lion haulout.

Beachcomb intertidal zones, hike and bushwhack in the Tongass National Forest.

Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in the glacial fjords.

Escape With Us

Our escapes are unique in offering you an adventure filled itinerary with a local flavor. We work with local guides, planners and connections to make sure you do, see and even eat and drink things you may not have even thought of on your own.

Small Groups

We keep our groups small so we get to know each other and travel together, unified by the destination and our experiences.  Often lifelong friendships are forged. If anything, our growing group of like minded travelers start traveling together on future trips. “Where should we go next?” is often the last question asked as we depart for home. On this trip you will be traveling on a small ship, the Wilderness Adventurer, the ship holds 60 passengers and 25 crew.

Are you traveling solo? It is our pleasure to welcome you to our small group. We will match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If you wish, you may choose to pay a solo supplement to have your own room. Please check for availability.

For each trip, you will be invited to our Facebook group so you can chat with fellow travelers, dream about the upcoming trip together, maybe prepare together, hiking, practice a useful skill, etc. Usually, we also organize a get together about a month before the trip to share information, pass out travel documents, and ‘break the ice’ so when we embark on our trip we already know each other a bit. If you don’t live in the area, no worries, we will Skype you into the party and mail you your travel documents.

Why negotiate and plan yourself. Even the best guidebook can’t give you the freedom to embrace and immerse yourself in the destination. Enjoy the pleasure of travel without having to think about the details, leave the planning to us, your job is to fully embrace the journey without the hassles! We are so happy you are considering being our guest and can’t wait to deliver your fantastic experience!

Our Itinerary

DAY 1

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Sitka, Alaska – Embarkation

There’s nothing like a hearty greeting from your crew and some bonvoyage bubbly. With all souls settled in on board, you’re underway. From the bow, Southeast Alaska welcomes you with Coast Mountain views.

DAY 2

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 Krestof & Nakwasina Sounds

There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island. Its western side is spattered with remote, uninhabited islands. These features mean endless opportunities for adventure. Secluded coves. Tree-covered islets. Drop anchor, pick your modus operandi, and get going. Kayak, paddle board, or skiff—you’re on the level with curious sea lions and possibly whales. Rocky intertidal zones make good beach combing. Turn a stone or two to see what’s

DAY 3

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 Sergius Narrows / Neva Strait

There’s an eerie, enigmatic feeling in these woods. Morning fog catches like cotton balls on trees. The aptly named narrows squeezes to only 300 feet wide in one spot and a shallow 24 feet deep. The shorelines are close and it’s good territory for play. Skiff ashore and hike into the backcountry. Otters back float working to crack snacks resting on their bellies. Opening at Hoonah Sound, the squeeze is back on. Wind into Neva Strait. Watch the scenery change in the late fading light—from the hot tub of course.

DAY 4

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 Chichagof Island / Peril Strait

Kick off the morn with on-deck yoga stretches (your guides love it when you join them). Meander through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. Then stop. It’s a prime time to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Camera in hand, set off on land and sea explorations. Closer inspection by skiff, moss-dripping trees run right down to the water. Any bears in there? With one of the world’s largest populations of bears, it’s possible. Go searching for giant trees and tidal pools. Hiking in the Tongass, it won’t take long to find them. Your eagle-eyed guides lead the pack—and pull up the rear. Later, wend along a twisting channel known for dramatic currents. Peril Strait runs 50 miles to Salisbury Sound.

DAY 5

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 Icy Strait

Nearly to the Pacific Ocean, Icy Strait is remote and wild. The plan? Whales and marine mammals. Spouts and fin slaps are certain giveaways. More rollicking sea lions and birds. But don’t forget to look straight down. Porpoises and dolphins may hitch a ride on the bow wave. And don’t worry about missing any wildlife; it’s a favorite mission of the crew to point out any creatures they spot. Make a break for it and head for a quiet pocket along the rugged coastline. A different sort of wild than the open strait, muskeg leads to forest bushwhacks. Skiff the shore and down along kelp-threaded channels.

DAY 6

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 Glacier Bay National Park

What a privilege. At 3.3 million acres—this UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is massive. At Bartlett Cove, a park ranger joins in on your day’s exploration and shares the park’s history. Orange-beaked puffins, guillemots, marbled murrelets are just a few possible sightings. Keep a tally—the list will grow. Arriving at South Marble Island, you can hear and smell ‘em before you see ‘em—it’s a haulout for sea lions. Perched above around the bend, watch for mountain goats, and lower along shore, foraging bears. Up bay, glacial silt turns the water a milky white. Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers—one holding steady, the other retreating. Lounging harbor seals laze on bits of bergs. And if time allows, tuck up in Tidal Inlet. End this very full day with your feet up for the sail into Icy Strait.

DAY 7

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 Captain’s Choice

Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, your captain makes the call. Either choice, go with the flow. The water is fine. The guides help you gear up, and lead your adventure along the rocky outcroppings. By kayak or paddle board, take in the size of this wilderness. Bald eagles dot the tree tops. Harbor seals bob up and under. Pods of orcas—the largest in the dolphin family—skim along the water’s surface. Toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of your trip. A gift to you, from your expedition team.

DAY 8

Cruise into Juneau this morning over breakfast. Farewell new friends! Disembark and transfer to the airport or your UnCruise hotel stay or land tour.

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Your Investment

Your Investment starts at $3370 for a Navigator Cabin or $4270 for a Trailblazer Cabin, per person based on double occupancy.

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200-208, 210
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

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301-302, 307-320
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

The deposit to hold your space is $750 per person.  Final Payment is on February 19, 2019.

If you prefer to make payments, please contact us and we will arrange a plan that works.

Your Trip Includes

  • Accommodations and 3 meals a day, snacks, etc.
  • All beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Underwater Bow Camera
  • Hydrophone
  • Inflatable skiffs
  • Kayaks
  • Paddle boards
  • Hot tub
  • Yoga mats
  • Airport transfers for port day embarkation and disembarkation
  • Entry fees to national parks/preserves
  • All tours and excursions from the boat including necessary equipment

Your Trip Does Not Include

  • Airfare to and from Alaska
  • Gratuities for crew members

How We Make Your Escape Awesome!

We are ready to answer your questions throughout the process via phone or email.

Once you sign up and pay your deposit:

  • We will send you a link to your My Trips account. You can view your trip details any time from your PC or Mobile Phone.
  • We will send you arrival and departure details so you can make your flight arrangements.
  • We will email you your final payment reminder about 1 week before it is due.
  • About two-three months before the trip we will send significant details like packing lists, further itinerary details, etc.
  • One month before the trip we will mail you your travel documents (or pass them out at a gathering for those local).
  • Hassle free arrivals, once you have collected your luggage and entered the airport arrivals hall, simply look for the PlanUrEscape sign. We will get you to your boat and started on the journey.

Facebook Group

You will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can meet, virtually, your fellow travelers, discuss the trip, make any preparation plans together, and share your excitement.

Our groups are typically 10-15 travelers. We aren’t a ‘big bus’ tour and don’t want to be. We don’t just look out the window and drive by the sights. Typically, our tours are custom and private. The advantage is, we can say, ‘stop here, we want to see this’ and we can stop and explore, even if it isn’t in the plan. Yes, we have an itinerary, but we also feel it’s important to take advantage of unexpected moments that arise. We attract travelers who are flexible and adventurous. A bit of spontaneity is a good thing!

(Please note, some tours lend themselves to a bit larger group so at times, we may expand the group to a maximum size of 25. We make group size decisions with the commitment that none of the spontaneity or sense of adventure will be impacted by the group size.)

You should know, our travelers are like you, they don’t want a canned tour, they like a sense of freedom on their trip, they understand the value of flexibility in travel, and they love the idea of working with a planning team that understands and respects their travel values.

So, Is this Trip for You?

  • You love traveling with like minded people and a tour company that is focused on traveling deeply into a destination, knowing how to read the group and make the best decisions for a perfect trip.
  • You find joy in trying new things, food, activities, etc.
  • Plans are good, and important to a great trip, however, flexibility sometimes brings a deeper experience and it’s OK with you.
  • You enjoy meeting and traveling with new people.
  • Some moderate physical activity will bring you the memories that make your trip special.

This Trip is Not for You If…

  • Travel is stressful and sometimes you find yourself anxious and frustrated when things don’t go perfectly as planned.
  • New things, new situations, aren’t really your thing.
  • You don’t like trying unusual local foods.
  • You feel uncomfortable and unsafe in places that are ‘foreign’ to Western culture.
  • Too much walking for long distances is tough.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will I change accommodations during the trip?

This is a marine adventure and your accommodations will be onboard the boat during the duration of the trip.

Can I extend my stay?

Absolutely, adding a pre or post stay always enhances a trip. You spent the money to get there, why not stay a while? We will be happy to help you make plans.

What airport do I fly into and out of?

You will embark in Sitka Alaska and disembark in Juneau Alaska.

Who do I contact for other questions and travel advice?

Call us at 860-779-6531 or send an email to lwhittemore@cruiseplanners.com

What is the age group of my potential fellow travelers?

Our guests typically range in age from 45-75. They tend to be of an age where they are either already retired and traveling is an objective for them, or are getting close. There are some tours that attract a younger group, sometimes adult children of a traveler in the group will join the tour.

Groups tend to be predominantly female, although we are wanting a good mix of men and woman, solo and couples traveling.

In any case, our travelers are in good health, active and adventurous.

I’m not a tour person, will this be too much of a standard tour for me?

No worries here, your fellow travelers feel exactly the same way and so do we, your tour curators. Of course there are some parts of our tours that are standard, we travel often by a van or motor coach, we eat together and do activities together. What makes us different, are two critical things, we don’t like traditional touring either, we work hard to be different. And two, you will always have the opportunity to choose. If you want to do something on your own or different than the group plan, you are welcome to do that.

We would love to have you join us! We will do our best to provide the opportunities and activities that allow you to make amazing memories and lasting friendships. We are looking forward to traveling with you.

 

 

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