Southeast Alaska Sailing Tour
Prince Rupert to South East Alaska
- 8, 9, 10 and 11 - Day Trips
From $ 4,370.00 USD
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Experience Alaska as few can ever do! Watch as a 40-ton humpback whale launches itself out of the ocean in Frederick Sound, turns gracefully in the air, then lands on its back in a thunderous cascade of water; see brown bears fishing for salmon in a rushing river; float among icebergs as a part of a glacier tumbles into the sea.
Nothing compares to an enormous whale and her calf surfacing along side your boat and blowing geysers of mist into the air. That is what you may very well experience on our Alaska Natural History Sailing Tour. Visit a bear-viewing platform and watch grizzlies and eagles feed on spawning salmon. Admiralty Island National Monument has more brown bears and eagles per square mile than anywhere in North America, for that matter, the world. In addition to the wildlife, Southeast Alaska has been home to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian natives for thousands of years, and their cultures will astound, inform and entertain.
How this Alaska Natural History Sailing Tour makes a difference:
Operating a sailing vessel brings a number of challenges from an environmental impact point of view, which we try to minimize through refuse management practices that are the focus of many discussions on-board, on land and at the office. We recycle glass and tin along the coast, in the small communities we work out of. Tin, glass and cardboard in some cases require us to hop in a cab because the recycling facility is outside of town. Oil recycling is imperative and responsible disposal is essential.
For plastics, this is more difficult, when attempts are made to measure how the carbon footprint created by hauling plastics back to port compares to flying them back from the outermost regions we work in, where there is just no economy of scale for recycling plastics. Paper is a major issue. We find that burning paper along the ocean shores at low tide is a better choice than adding to very small landfill sites on remote islands. The tide washes it up in the next cycle.
We also compost out in deeper water. There are all sorts of marine organisms like crabs that are detritus feeders. Some of the organic matter, like orange peels, will float, so we avoid composting those in places that are more densely populated like the Gulf Islands.
All the lights on-board are 12-Volt, so they run off the batteries. We don’t have incandescent lights; everything is compact fluorescent. The efficiency of our conventional power train is enhanced by the shape of sailing vessels which are slender and foster easier movement through the water than more blunt hulls.
In all Canadian areas that are part of First Nations territory, we work collaboratively with them. In the Great Bear Rainforest—the most tangible example—we signed protocol agreements with two First Nations that carry 90% of our operating area. Hartley Bay’s Gitga’at people is one; and the Kitasoo Native Band at Klemtu is the other. Our activities generate $10 per person per night as a fee that is paid for the use of their territory. It is our recognition of their historic rights. We are committed to hiring local guides. At Hartley Bay, on all of our Great Bear Rainforest trips, we will spend a day with a guide hired through the Gitga’at development corporation. Typically, that is a Spirit bear-focused experience.
We are committed to buying our food for the trips in local communities, despite this being at times a challenge for our cooks, because supplies are not as dependable and more menu flexibility is required as a result.
There are 4 crew members, the captain, the chef, our resource person who is typically a biologist, and then our mate who assists the others, runs the zodiacs, assists with the kayaks and sails. We have an on-going wildlife log so all significant sightings are catalogued. We are travelling in parts of the coast that researchers seldom get to. For 20 years, we have been doing marine mammal sightings in conjunction with the Vancouver Aquarium and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo.
“Appreciate wilderness, respect wildlife and native cultures”
We only travel in small groups of 12-16 guests. Small groups can watch in awe as a bear feeds on salmon. Smaller boats can float silently among the whales.
We adhere to the principals of ecotourism. We support local communities, promote conservation, ensure our practices are low impact, and provide guests with world-class knowledge about the coast, the wildlife and Native cultures. We travel together in a relaxed, fun style (our lives are here to be enjoyed). We contribute to a variety of whale and seabird research programs and support conservation groups working to protect coastal wilderness.
On each trip we are committed to introducing participants to the wonders of nature. An experienced naturalist leads daily walks ashore and often provides short evening slide shows or presentations. Participants find learning engages their curiosity, and enriches the trip immensely.
On all our voyages we intentionally keep our itineraries flexible to take advantage of wildlife sightings, weather and tides, and the interests of the group.
Personal Identification Needed:
Passengers will require a valid passport when crossing the US/CDN border for all trips.
All meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day; all accommodation onboard ship; skipper, cook, naturalist; full use of all onboard facilities.
Transportation to the start point and from the finish point of the trip; any accommodation or meals prior to the start of the trip or after the completion; travel or cancellation insurance; airport transfers. The only money participants require during the trip is for optional purchases and gratuities for the crew.
- We ask that you bring a sleeping bag, as there are no facilities for laundry onboard. If you are taking a trip in the Spring or Fall a warm sleeping bag is recommended.
- Rain gear needs to be completely waterproof and strong enough to stand up to wear. Rubber boots should be comfortable. Knee high boots will ensure dry feet. Expect daily use stepping ashore from small boats at the ocean's edge and walking in west coast rainforest.
- We cannot accommodate suitcases aboard the boat and ask that your clothing and equipment be brought aboard in soft sided, compressible bags, for example duffel bags or some other soft case that can be easily stowed.
- Be prepared to dress in layers to accommodate changes in weather. Good warm outer clothing (including warm hat and gloves or mittens) and good rain clothing allows you to remain comfortable in windy or wet conditions. A good, light thermal layer can go along way to providing comfort. (Remember the whales don't stop just because it's raining).
- Please be aware that there may be weight restrictions for floatplanes, if your trip includes this option. If you are concerned about seasickness your doctor can recommend medications designed to prevent motion sickness.
A professional cook (who may be one of the resource guides) is in charge of all of the cooking during the trip. We carry ample quantities of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and dairy products for the duration of the trip. Meals are served buffet-style. We are confident that you will be fully impressed with the variety and excellence of the meals that are prepared for you. Complimentary wines will be served with dinner. There is no bar onboard to purchase additional drinks. Guests are responsible and welcome to bring their own cocktail, beer and soft drinks.
Join our Alaska Natural History Sailing Tour!