Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts – from naturalists to regional specialists – who will share their knowledge and insights the wildlife, landscape and local culture. Select a member of the expedition team below to see their bio and dates.
Experience the remarkable beauty of southeastern Alaska on a voyage into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife. Search for orcas and humpback whales, kayak around dramatic icebergs, spend a full day in Glacier Bay National Park, and learn about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage. Our approach during this voyage is one of discovery, and the long days of summer allow for wildlife viewing well into the evening hours. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Sea Lionor the new sister ships National Geographic Questand National Geographic Venture, we take time to stop and explore this intriguing place up close in the company of expert naturalists who have an intimate knowledge of the region.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Fly from Seattle to Juneau. Meet our naturalists and visit the newly constructed Alaska State Museum, home to an impressive collection of natural history and cultural artifacts. Tour downtown Juneau before settling into your cabin. Gather for dinner on board, and then head back into town if you wish.
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially carved fjords. See the soaring South Sawyer or Dawes Glacier up close, and take a cruise in an expedition landing craft for an unbeatable view of sculpted icebergs. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises, and arctic terns.
Search for humpback whales as we head toward the small Alaska town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, founded more than 100 years ago by Norwegian fishermen. Explore Southeast Alaska’s muskeg, an area with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There is an opportunity for optional flightseeing (weather permitting) or bike riding. Enjoy a crab feast for dinner this evening.
These waters often make for great whale watching. Look for Steller sea lions stretched out on the rocky islands that dot the channels. Take a walk with naturalists along a quiet forest trail or kayak in the tiny coves in this area. Meet members of the Alaska Whale Foundation—whose work is supported by a grant from the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic—and discuss some of their recent discoveries about the region’s marine mammal population.
Cruise among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea otters reside. Hike nearby islands, kayak, and search for marine mammals in the rich waters off Icy Strait. Conditions permitting, we’ll lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the whales’ communication.
By special permit, explore Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a not-to-be-missed Alaska gem. See glaciers that end abruptly at the water’s edge, and observe them calving—when tons of ice crash into the sea. Wilderness abounds—mountain goats and brown bears patrol the shore; and harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and puffins swim in these icy waters. A native Tlingit interpreter joins us to discuss indigenous culture, and a National Park Service ranger will share insights on the natural world.
Today, nature is our guide. We may explore an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools and beachcomb, hike stunning forest trails, or see bear tracks worn into the soil while walking through an isolated meadow. Sightings of bald eagles are very common. If conditions permit, we’ll go kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.
After breakfast, disembark in Sitka, Southeast Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral. At the Alaska Raptor Center, get an up-close view of species normally seen at a distance. Drive to the airport for our afternoon flight to Seattle.
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, we keep our schedule flexible to take advantage of the unexpected, adapting our course to the conditions and opportunities that arise. Your expedition experience can be tailored to the activity level you choose, whether it’s light or moderate or a little of both. Travelers should be in good health, comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time, and able to get in and out of expedition landing craft. Daily activities may include Zodiac cruises, easy hikes, walking tours, and visits to cultural or historic sites, with options each day for more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, and paddleboarding. All departures are family friendly.
A National Geographic expert or photographer joins the expedition team on select departures.
Our new kids and teens program, which recently launched in the Galápagos, will soon be available aboard our Alaska voyages! Beginning in June 2018, young travelers on all our Alaska expeditions can participate in the National Geographic Global Explorers program. Developed with National Geographic Education, this hands-on, interactive program teaches kids how to develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of an explorer and offers all kinds of fun activities—like learning about glaciers by making ice cream sundaes, or using glacial ice to paint watercolors. Our certified field educators are trained to optimize the myriad learning opportunities found in Alaska. Kids and teens will hone their observation skills and learn to capture and share their experiences through photographs, videos, maps, drawings, and more. With a range of activities to choose from—in the field and on board—our flexible program encourages young travelers to explore their own interests, whether it’s marine biology or photography.
Traveling aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, you’ll enjoy the daily thrill of discovery without sacrificing comfort. Each of our ships provides an inviting home base with superior amenities, personalized service, and a vibrant yet casual onboard atmosphere. Step aboard and you’ll find comfortable cabins, a well-stocked library, and dining rooms serving regionally inspired cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. Expansive decks provide an exceptional vantage point for spotting and photographing wildlife.
The National Geographic Quest traces the coast of North America, bringing travelers to Alaska and British Columbia in the summer, and heading south in the winter to navigate Baja California and the Sea of Cortez as well as Costa Rica and Panama. The ship is designed to navigate narrow inlets and wildlife-rich passageways inaccessible to larger ships.
The National Geographic Venture traces the coast of North America, bringing travelers to Alaska and British Columbia in the summer, and heading south in the winter to navigate Baja California and the Sea of Cortez as well as Costa Rica and Panama. The ship is designed to navigate narrow inlets and wildlife-rich passageways inaccessible to larger ships.
Accommodating just 62 guests in 31 outside cabins, the National Geographic Sea Lion is large enough to operate in remote environments in comfort, yet small enough to enter ports and inlets inaccessible to bigger ships. The ship carries sea kayaks and a fleet of expedition landing crafts, providing easy access to coastlines and other places of interest. All cabins have windows and are attractively and comfortably furnished with lower berths, private bathrooms, reading lights, and individual climate control. The Sea Lion is authorized to operate in the Tongass National Forest under a Forest Service Special Use Permit.
Alaska: Complimentary Airfare
Book by October 31, 2018 and receive free round-trip airfare between Seattle and Alaska on the May 18 and 25, 2019 departures (Sea Lion), May 19 and 26, 2019 departures (Venture), and May 25, 2019 departure (Quest). Offer is for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and is subject to availability. Please call for details.
Prices are per person, double occupancy.
For a single cabin on the Quest or Venture in 2018, add $3,400 in Category 1 and $3,310 in Category 2; in 2019, add $3,440 in Category 1 and $3,810 in Category 2. For a single cabin on the Sea Lion, add $3,000 in Category 1 and $3,450 in Category 2 in 2018 and 2019.
Airfare to Juneau and return from Sitka, or vice versa, is not included in the expedition cost.
*Departures on the National Geographic Sea Lion will not stop at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and will instead follow alternate routing. Please call for details.
Add one of two six-day extensions to Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve. Please call for details.