Follow Wild Earth Travel's Ellen as she explores Alaska's Inside Passage aboard the Chichagof Dream. She'll be taking us through Alaska's breathtaking scenery, curious wildlife and indigenous culture as she explores by small ship.
STORIES FROM THE SEA
Day 1 - Juneau.
We visited the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls for a few hours prior to embarking the ship and settling in for the night. An easy trail took us to the base of the waterfall which was in full flow. The visitors' centre is a great place to learn all about the movements of the glacier and listen to the rangers talking about the wildlife and geology of the area. Our home for the next seven nights is the comfortable 74 passenger Chichagof Dream
Day 2 – Bartlett Cove
Today was spent cruising down Chatham Sound where we were greeted with our first wildlife experience – Orcas and Humpback whales surrounded by Dalls porpoises and sea otters. Our first stop was Bartlett Cove, the entrance to Glacier Bay. We had a few hours here to walk around and enjoy the wilderness. The guides showed us all the native plants and we learnt about how the area has transformed over the years.
Day 3 – Glacier Bay
Sailing up through Glacier Bay as we ate breakfast in the dining room provided some spectacular views . The large windows give you a great view of the towering mountains on either side. Bald Eagles flew all around us, bears strolled along the shoreline. Later out on deck as we got close up we could really see how big the Glaciers are . Our Park Ranger gave us all the important information on the area along with a culturalist guide. Being a small group, meant that we were really able to quiz the guide on anything so we learnt a lot about the indigenous cultures.
Day 4 – Saginaw Bay, Northern Kuiri Island
The day light woke me up at 4.30, the days are so long here and it’s not even the summer solstice yet. Out on the DIBS (inflatable boats) to head ashore and explore the coastline. It’s early season so all the berries have not come out yet but there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to look at along the way.
In the afternoon we enjoyed the opportunity to kayak around the bay (complimentary), the water was calm and very clear. It was a thrill to see bears ambling along the shore line, from the vantage point of our kayaks! .
Day 5 – St Petersburg, Mitkof Island
Early arrival in to Petersburg - a lovely little town settled by Norwegians. We had a guide who took us on a yellow school bus around the town, the houses and buildings are quaint and it was interesting to see the Norwegian influences even today as we walked around the town through the local recreational area.
A group of school children showed us their local cultural dance and made us some Norwegian treats – just in case we were hungry… ( we were fed very well on board!)
Day 6 – Endicot Arm, Dawes Glacier
The temperature had dropped we were positioned close to Dawes Glacier, one of two small ships in the area. We geared up and wrapped up warm to head out on the DIB’s (inflatable boats). The driver took up as close as he could to the glacier, we watched a few calvings, the noise and the wave it generated was amazing.
Heading out in to Frederick Sound we were greeted by more porpoises and whales, the captain stopped for a while so we could enjoy the show!
Day 7 – Kake
We spent our last full day in Kake visiting the locals and enjoying the culture. A small town of around 500 people, we were welcomed at the school gymnasium for a look in to their culture. We learnt about the 132 foot totem pole which overlooks the harbour.
Our last night dinner was tasty as usual and after we enjoyed a farewell slideshow from the expedition leaders. Out on the deck watching our last sunset at 10.30 was quite sad.
Day 8 – Sitka
Arriving in to Sitka early morning , right outside the owners – Bob & Betty Allan’s house, a last breakfast and goodbye to the crew. Farewell to a magnificent cruise.
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