Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Alaska Cruise – Inside Passage West tour

Alaska Cruise – Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

REI Adventures
4.4 . Great
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 3,795 $ 474 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the waterways by kayak, stand up paddle board, skiff, and foot

  • Visit Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Watch whales in Icy Strait and Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait
  • Decide each day's adventure based on ability level and interests
  • Sleep aboard a comfortable small ship with private facilities in each cabin

Short Description

Kayak in wildlife-rich waters, hike into moss-covered forests and visit Glacier Bay National Park on this eight-day cruise.

Alaska is known for its diverse wildlife, dramatic mountains, lush forests and massive glaciers. What better way to see all this then by small ship cruising? It’s a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and when we’re anchored in a quiet cove we explore by kayak, paddleboard, skiff and foot. This trip is offered in partnership with UnCruise Adventures, bringing unmatched, hands-on small group explorations that are absolutely unforgettable.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Juneau
End City Sitka

Trip Includes

  • Onboard meals

  • Spirits, wine, beer
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days only
  • Entry fees to national parks/preserves
  • All from-the-vessel activities and equipment

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Itinerary

Day 1: Make time to explore Juneau before embarking on our cruise.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Welcome aboard! We meet the crew, settle in and relax with our shipmates. Within minutes we'll cruise the scenic channels of the Inside Passage. From the bow, Southeast Alaska welcomes us with Coast Mountain views. Plan to arrive in Juneau, Alaska, before 2pm.

Day 2: Enjoy a variety of activities (Captain's choice).

Plying the remote waterways of Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait, our captain sets the course for adventure today. We wake up at anchor and kick off the morning with on-deck morning yoga stretches, then slip into a kayak or try out our skills stand up paddle boarding. While we keep watch for harbor seals who frequently play in these protected waters and pods of orcas skimming along the water’s surface, the bald eagles will likely keep an eye on our improving paddling skills from the treetops.

Day 3: Discover Glacier Bay National Park's natural wonders and wildlife.

One of America’s crown jewel national parks is ours to explore- Glacier Bay National Park. At Bartlett Cove, a park ranger joins in on our day’s exploration and shares the park’s history. Orange-beaked puffins, guillemots and marbled murrelets are just a few possible sightings today. Keep a tally- the list will grow. Arriving at South Marble Island, we can hear and smell ‘em before we see ‘em- it’s a haulout for sea lions. Perched above we watch for mountain goats, and lower along shore, foraging bears. Up bay, glacial silt turns the water a milky white and we find Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers- one holding steady, the other retreating. Lounging harbor seals laze on bits of bergs, and if time allows we tuck up in Tidal Inlet. We end this very full day with our feet up for the sail into Icy Strait.

Day 4: Cruise through Icy Strait.

We set course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Join the captain on the bridge or the expedition team out on deck in search of marine mammals. Camera in hand, we begin our land and sea exploration of these remote reaches. Later we head for a quiet pocket along the rugged coastline. A different sort of wild than the open strait now awaits us; muskeg leads to forest bushwhack hikes or ride the skiffs along the shore and down along kelp-threaded channels.

Day 5: Meander along the spectacular waterfall coast of Chichagof Island.

Today we cruise through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. At a perfect spot we stop for adventure. It’s a prime time to lower the kayaks and skiffs and with camera in hand, set off on land and sea explorations. Closer inspection by skiff finds moss-dripping trees that run right down to the water. Keeping our eyes open we look for bears. Because Chichagof Island has one of the world’s largest populations of bears, sightings are certainly possible. We search for giant trees and tidal pools and, hiking in the Tongass, it doesn’t take long to find them. Our eagle-eyed guides lead the pack- and pull up the rear as we look around in awe at the beauty around us. Later, our ship wends along the twisting channel of the Peril Strait, known for dramatic currents, which runs 50 miles to Salisbury Sound.

Day 6: The shorelines are close in Sergius Narrows and Neva Strait.

There’s an eerie, enigmatic feeling in these woods as the 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 us to play. Taking the skiff ashore, we might chose to hike into the backcountry or kayak in search of otters floating on their backs while working to crack snacks resting on their bellies. Opening at Hoonah Sound, the squeeze is back on as we wind into Neva Strait. Tonight we watch the scenery change in the late fading light- from the hot tub of course.

Day 7: Kayak, paddle board or beach comb in Krestof and Nakwasina Sounds.

There aren’t many straight lines along Baranof Island with its western side spattered with remote, uninhabited islands. These features mean endless opportunities for adventure. The ship drops anchor and we find ourselves in secluded coves and tree-covered islets. Picking our modus operandi, we get going in kayak, paddle board, or skiff being on the level with curious sea lions and possibly whales. The rocky intertidal zones make good beach combing; just turn a stone or two to see what’s underneath. There are no groomed trails here but our guides will take us on a hike John Muir would approve of. This evening we toast our voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner and a “photo journal” of our trip. It’s a gift for us from the expedition team.

Day 8: Disembark in Sitka, "Paris of the Pacific".

We gather for our last breakfast together this morning as we cruise into Russian-influenced Sitka for disembarkation. Transfer to the airport today or begin an overnight stay or land tour. Flights out of Sitka must be scheduled after 11:30am.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,795
Price Per Day: $ 474 per day
Check Availability
  • Deposit Price: $ 750

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Stride Featured in

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9 REI Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 1
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.4
Guide
4.4
Activities
4.4
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.4
Meals
4.4

Alaska Cruise – Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

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Company Reviews

Horrible!

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
We did not do this trip with REI, but did this trip by ourselves and had the group from REI camp next to use. We were there from 7/19-7/22/2018. My girlfriend and I are experienced backpackers. This is some of the things we noticed WRONG! Most of these have to do with the Leave No Trace policy that are strict rules, especially on the PCT. Some are just common courtesy. Some of these things aren’t bad when it is one person, but when thousands do it, it poses real environmental problems. Guides, especially, should not be teaching future backpackers the wrong mentality about leaving our wildernesses as pristine as possible.
LNT = Leave No Trace policy
They camped 15-25 (some tents were closer than others) feet from the water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water to minimize pollution of water.
They cooked and washed dishes and brushed their teeth 15 feet from water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water and camp site to minimize water pollution and critters in/near your campsite.
People were putting on sunscreen and then going swimming very shortly after. This clearly pollutes the water.
At one point around 7pm, the two guides left the entire group, with their packs on, and did not come back until around 9pm. What if someone tripped and fell and hit their head while the guides were gone?
While walking down a really narrow steep section from Mt. Eddy, the group was walking uphill and did not slow down or move over for us at all, forcing us to move to the side. The rule of thumb is that people going downhill have the right away because of momentum. People going up should always yield to those coming down.
The entire group hung and and swam right in front of our campsite, even-though they could have very easily gotten into the water and hung out around the water close to their campsite. People obviously go into the back-country to get away from people. Why would these ‘experienced’ guides let 10 people block the view and disturb other people when there was no need. This seemed very rude and selfish.
At one point we heard one guide talking about our bear hanging method (The Piutte or PCT method using a locking stick method), saying it was “Unnecessary”. We don’t know what they did for bear safety but we also heard the same guide telling the clients that bears and other animals were not a concern because she had “guided this for 4 years now and have never had any issues”. This is the wrong mentality. Maybe she simply got lucky for 4 years.
We heard one of the guides, while talking about glass in the area that “if you feel comfortable, you can just throw it in the fire pit. It’s better than it being on the ground or in the water”. This is the wrong mentality. They should inform the guide, and the guide should make a conscious effort to pack it out, versus simply throwing it into a fire pit where a ranger is simply going to spread the ashes away from the pit, later spreading the glass around.

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Outstanding

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Lightning Will Johnson Just got home from an 11 day expedition around Svalbard aboard the Ocean Nova. Quark Expeditions is a first rate outfit. Outstanding service, food, and exploration. We were able to kayak on 9 different occasions in addition to our shore excursions. The crew was outstanding and did everything they could to make our trip memorable. I rate them 10 out of 10.
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Exceeded our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have been on many REI trips, mainly because of the talented local guides. Our guide on this trip, Mike (a first time REI guide) has to be right at the top of the list. He did a great job of making sure that everyone got what they wanted from the adventure. And Mike's birding and wildlife expertise were unsurpassed! Highlight of the trip: The whole package, although kayaking to the penguins, hiking to the cave paintings, and the whole safari really stand out! Also, the accommodations and food far exceeded our expectations!
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Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I arrived in South Africa expecting good things. I left with a whole new view of the country. It is more than wonderful places. It filled with amazing people, flora and fauna. Thanks for sharing it with me. The highlight (in addition to the great people) were the amazing animals in the wild.
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We loved it!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the entire itinerary, and the accommodations and food were excellent. Our stay in Sabi Sabi and the safaris there were just amazing...we saw every animal we hoped to see and more! And Gavin was just the best guide we could possibly have had....not only leading us up the mountains on the hikes but also supplementing with his considerable expertise on the safaris. We normally plan and execute our own trips so having Gavin's support and organizational skills was a real luxury. 
We appreciate all the thought and effort REI puts into this adventure to make it as enjoyable as it is. It turns out that the hiking--and the biking--were just amazing...we all enjoyed each expedition and the counterpoints they offered to all the great food and wine we consumed in between!! But the really best part of the entire trip was Gavin, our guide. Others have said it but it bears repeating--Gavin makes this adventure what it is. He is kind, patient, knowledgeable, funny, helpful...!
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The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was grinning the whole time. I am already planning my next REI trip. This is a beautiful trip, I will never forget it. I felt so well cared for and treated individually. Gavin will know what to do in any situation or he will find out. This security allowed me to embrace the all the opportunities from the township visit to the safari. You will come home with a new awareness and appreciation for life.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group - 25 + people

Maximum Number of People in Group: 76

Accomodations

  • Cabins with private facilities

Cancellation Policy:

At the time of reservation, a $750 per person deposit is due. Full payment for this cruise is due at 90 days before departure. A $375 per person service charge is non-refundable from signup. If a trip cancellation is received 120-91 days from departure, the deposit is 100% non-refundable. When a trip cancellation is received inside of 90 days from departure, all trip costs are 100% non-refundable. A request to transfer a reservation is subject to the same fees outlined above for cancellations.

Additional Information:

This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Active beginners are welcome. However, these expeditions are focused on providing guests with a multitude of meaningful ways to experience Southeast Alaska and its surrounding waterways in many guided adventures. Each day’s activities take advantage of the current conditions and opportunities, and are planned to suit a range of skill levels and preferences. Every Alaska adventure activity is ranked with an Activity Level and Activity Description to ensure that you feel comfortable with your selection.

Kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, snorkeling, skiff excursions, wildlife viewing, yoga and cultural encounters top the agenda of possible choices.

  • Cruising
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Hiking

Trip ID#:

AlaCruReiAdv

Trip Excludes

  • Airfare to/from Alaska

  • Lodging and meals on the mainland
  • Port fees and taxes
  • Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Meals Included:

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and 1 Dinner

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