By Peter Frost
November 19, 2010
The clichéd Alaskan cruise is a gentle sail out of Seattle, bound for the Inside Passage and Juneau, Alaska’s capital, to buy an Inuit carving, see a whale (maybe), and glance at the far-off Haines Glacier.
A much better bet is AdventureSmith Explorations’ trip into Glacier Bay National Park aboard the 12-passenger Sea Wolf, a small ship that can negotiate the tiny inlets and bays of this extraordinary wilderness. The six-day trip begins at Icy Strait, a primordial rainforest, and heads down the east and then west arms of Glacier Bay. Because the ship is crewed by local sailors, the itinerary is entirely malleable. Depending on the weather, a typical day will involve sailing into a bay such as Muir Inlet or North Sandy Cove, taking to the kayaks and paddling beyond, where even the Sea Wolf can’t reach, then hitting land and hiking to any one of a number of glaciers, forests or wildlife zones (such as the puffin rookery at the Tarr Inlet). As this is a national park, visitor numbers are strictly monitored. The chances of seeing Coastal brown bears, black bears and even the rare glacier bear are excellent!
BOOK- The Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise, from $3500/R24300
HIGHLIGHT - A hike onto the rarely visited McBride Glacier.
MORE – info at adventuresmithexplorations.com