Sample the best of Southeast Alaska, including glaciers, whales, brown bears, bald eagles, small villages, and so much more.
A Multi-Day Cruise Through Icy Fjords:
Juneau to Petersburg & Petersburg to Juneau
This seven-day cruise offers a diverse experience of Southeast Alaska, from fishing towns to wilderness solitude, from islands to glacial fjords. Navigating through ice-filled fjords, we visit a tidewater glacier, searching the shores for brown bears, and stop our engines to watch and listen to humpback whales. We kayak up a narrow inlet that John Muir called “an ocean-filled Yosemite” and follow bear trails through rich estuarial meadows. Our goal is to give you the most remote wilderness experience possible while you enjoy the amenities of our wandering home.
We ask for a deposit of $1,000 per person to reserve your cabin. The balance is due 90 days before the cruise begins; see Terms & Conditions for details. Itineraries are dependent on weather and tides and may change at the captain’s discretion.
- Equipment needed for excursions (see Equipment list for what to bring)
- All park and permit fees
- Gourmet food cooked fresh from locally sourced ingredients
- Breakfast, Lunch and three-course Dinners with wine pairings
- Boat Drinks, Sodas, Beer, Wine
Cruises do not Include:
- Tips and Gratuities
Location/size: Main deck, private washroom with shower. Bunk: Double bunk, 49 inches by 80 inches, single pull-down upper bunk, 32 inches by 74 inches, door to deck, one opening porthole.
Location/size: Lower deck, forward starboard side, private head and shower. 6 feet 10 inches by 7 feet. Bunks: Double bunk, 50 inches by 78 inches. Accommodations: Private head and shower. Four drawers under bed, two non-opening portholes.
Location/size: Lower deck, forward port side, 6 feet 10 inches by 6 feet 6 inches. Bunk: Double bunk, 50 inches by 78 inches. Accommodations: Private head and shower. Two drawers, storage locker, two non-opening portholes.
Location/size: Lower deck, aft starboard side, 6 feet by 7 feet, less 4 feet by 2 feet 6 inches companionway. Bunks: Single bunk, 43 inches by 84 inches. Accommodations: Storage under gear hammock, one non-opening porthole.
Location/size: Lower deck, aft cabin, 13 feet by 13 feet. Bunks: Two singles, one double. Accommodations: Two bench seats with storage underneath, six opening portholes, four non-opening portholes.
Location/size: Behind pilothouse. Bunk: Double bed with no bunk, 50 inches by 78 inches. Accommodations: Private entry from outside of pilot house, private head and shower, drawers and storage space, bookshelf, opening porthole and windows.
NOTE: Cabins 4 and 5 share one washroom with shower. There is a second head on the upper deck next to the main salon. The crew has its own head and shower in the crew quarters.
Catalyst will be moored either on “D” float in the South Harbor or in North Harbor. The dock access ramp for South Harbor is located on the Crane Dock; in North Harbor it is adjacent to the Harbor Master’s Office. Because we don’t know in advance where we will be assigned moorage, please call the Harbor Master at 907.772.4688.
Passengers are welcome to come on board at 12:30 pm, stow their gear and familiarize themselves with the vessel. At 1:15 pm we will be underway, headed north out Wrangell Narrows and into Frederick Sound. We will enjoy a full lunch and have an orientation and safety meeting. About a two and a half hour run, our first night’s anchorage will be Scenery Cove in Thomas Bay. Tides permitting, a skiff ride and hike will provide a unique opportunity to explore Baird Glacier’s cobbled outwash plain. The evening might be spent introducing everyone to kayaking.
Docked near downtown Juneau, passengers are welcome to come on board at 12:00 noon, stow their gear and familiarize themselves with the vessel. Following a brief safety orientation, we will get underway by 12:30 pm, headed south down Gastineau Channel and out into Stephens Passage. After a full lunch, our crew will introduce themselves and share their roles aboard Catalyst. After cruising south for several hours, we will turn east and enter Endicott Arm, probably seeing our first icebergs as we cross the sometimes turbulent entrance bar into the inlet. We will spend our first night anchored along the shore, not far inside the inlet. Listening for wolves howling as the long northern twilight fades from orange to purple to black; we turn in, excited about the adventure ahead.
Navigating through ice filled fjords we visit a tidewater glacier, searching the shores for brown bears, and stop our engines to watch and listen to humpback whales. We will kayak up a narrow inlet that John Muir called an ocean filled Yosemite and follow bear trails through rich estuarial meadows. Each trip varies depending on the weather; some highlights may include:
The Brothers Islands
The Brothers are a group of small islands positioned in the middle of Frederick Sound. We will be alert for humpback or orca whale sightings. This is one of the prime summer feeding grounds for the migratory humpback and it is a rare transit if we do not encounter a pod. We may shut down the engine and just drift, watching them feeding. Later we will drop the hook in an idyllic anchorage, where the sounds of breathing whales, Steller sea lions hauled out close by, or the screech of an eagle are heard across the water. Here we’ll explore a temperate rainforest and test our kayak skills, discovering sea creatures in exposed tide pools.
Seymour Canal is home to the highest concentration of bald eagles in Southeast Alaska, and its rich waters support a large population of energetic Dall’s porpoise. Our destination is the Pack Creek Zoological Reserve. Pack Creek has been a place where, for over 60 years, brown bears and humans have lived in close proximity. The bears have had generations to become accustomed to the presence of people. If this is not available, we will be exploring another area of Admiralty Island to look for brown bears and explore their habitat.
Wood Spit & Dawes Glacier
Watching for whales, we pass Wood Spit, the terminal moraine of Dawes Glacier, where we will hike to be introduced to the fascinating geology of this glacial area, its Tlingit culture and gold rush history. The spit is frequented by deer, wolf, nesting bald eagles, and an array of water birds. At the face of Dawes Glacier, we will linger for awhile to witness the calving and booming of the burgs.
A seldom visited anchorage, Ford’s Terror is surrounded by 5,000 foot granite faces. The mist hanging to the precipices, the vessel is suspended in time…we will kayak through the tidal rapids (at slack water of course) and paddle into the majestic inner fjord. We will hike the highlands of Ford’s Terror’s unique, glacial-caused ecosystem of alpine, bog and forest and view the raging tidal rapids from above. After our hike, we will head out the Endicott Arm watching for bear, moose, wolves, and whales. We may stop for a walk through a brown bear frequented meadow before continuing north. In the evening, we will enjoy our final night together and share our images and memories of the week.
A slower start allows us time to pack and savor our last few hours aboard Catalyst. We reach Juneau in time to catch a flight to Seattle or to explore Alaska’s capital city.
A few hours’ travel brings us to Petersburg, where we will be tied up at the dock in time to catch the morning flight to Juneau, or to explore this Scandinavian fishing village in more detail.