Wilderness Travel - vacations and travel

Hidden Glacier Bay

Alaska, United States

from $3,895* per person 7 Days June-August
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Wilderness Travel 6 people max
  • Gustavus, alaska
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
Experience the wonders of Glacier Bay the best way possible—by comfortable expedition vessel with kayaks aboard! This awesome landscape of fjords, glaciers, and towering mountains is simply glorious, and we’ll feel as if we have it all to ourselves as we anchor in hidden coves, walk on massive tidewater glaciers, and kayak through pristine waters. The wildlife is as spectacular as the scenery, with Steller sea lions congregating on rocky islands, harbor porpoises feeding along the shores, and bald eagles peering down at us from giant spruce trees at water’s edge. After each day’s adventures, we return to the cozy warmth of our 6-passenger ship, watching for wildlife from the deck during the long Alaskan twilight.

Locations visited/nearby

Alaska, United States

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.


Days 1-2
Gustavus / Reid Glacier / Kayaking / Hiking

Embarking from Bartlett Cove, we set off into Glacier Bay, John Muir’s “icy wilderness unspeakably pure and sublime,” cruising up to Reid Glacier, with its incredible wall of ice. Kayaking here is fantastic (no previous experience required), with calm mirrored waters and breathtaking glacier views. Paddling to shore, we hike onto the ice to explore ice caves, hunt for unusual ice worms, and learn about the ebb and flow of glaciers. At day’s end we return to the welcome of our ship for a cup of hot chocolate or glass of wine and to savor a delicious dinner (fresh seafood, of course!).

Day 3
Johns Hopkins Glacier / Tarr Inlet / Margerie Glacier

We venture close to the Johns Hopkins Glacier, the fastest advancing glacier in the park, to listen for the crackle and boom of impending calving and watch seals lounging on floating icebergs. Inside Tarr Inlet, where the Grand Pacific and Margerie glaciers plunge into the water, we paddle below a sheer cliff with a kittiwake and puffin rookery, and right in front of the icy face of Margerie Glacier.

Days 4-5
Hugh Miller Inlet / South Marble Island / Elfin Cove / George Island

At the entrance of the Hugh Miller Wilderness Area, we paddle through quiet coves, viewing mighty glaciers while looking for wildlife along the beach. If the tides are right, we can peer into a fascinating marine world of sea stars and sea urchins. The next day, we cruise to a series of islands to view a large Steller sea lion haulout and a seabird rookery. We also visit the tiny fishing community of Elfin Cove, accessible only by floatplane or boat, and enjoy a hike or paddle before a bonfire and s’mores on the beach.

Days 6-7
Idaho Inlet / Gustavus

Paddling the placid waters of Idaho Inlet, named for a steamboat that ran aground here a century ago, we encounter sea otters and watch for bears feeding in the stream. On our last morning, we cruise to the rich waters off Point Adolphus to search for the humpback whales that call this home in summer. Arriving in Gustavus in the late afternoon, we bid farewell to our captain and crew and depart.

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