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Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness - Quest


Discover iconic wild Alaska on an expedition honed over 35+ years by a world-class operator.

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Alaska: Drink It In

Welcome Aboard the


National Geographic Quest or Venture

Venture into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife. For over 35 years this operator has been sharing the remarkable beauty of Southeast Alaska with adventurous guests, and over those years they’ve found the shallow, fast-moving channels where whales return to feed year after year and the ancestral trails carved in the forest by lumbering bears. Explore these wild places and search for marine life, kayak along the coast, and spend a full day in Glacier Bay National Park with insights from a park ranger and a Tlingit cultural interpreter. Discover Alaska’s seldom-seen, wilderness and vibrant marine life as revealed by some of the world's most prominent experts in their fields.
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    • Hike and kayak in the wild remote areas of Tongass National Forest by special permit.
    • If schedules permit, this operator's conservation partners from the Alaska Whale Foundation will come aboard to meet with you and speak about the local whale population.
    • This longtime operator is offering National Geographic-level guiding and what we consider to be the "gold standard" of ship trips to Southeast Alaska.

Travel Curator’s Insights:


From $6,232 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.

May 11-18, 2024
May 18-25, 2024
May 19-26, 2024
May 25-June 1, 2024
May 26-June 2, 2024
June 1-9, 2024
June 9-16, 2024
Ask us for later dates.

May - September
Hover here for specific dates


Trip Sustainability Awards 



Sources all food and seafood sustainably and locally



100% free of single-use plastics!



Offsets 100% of operations and is carbon neutral


This itinerary runs in reverse on some dates:

Day 1: Juneau, Alaska/Embark Ship

Explore Juneau and the Alaska State Museum with its sprawling collection of natural history and cultural artifacts. Settle into your cabin before dinner.

Day 2: Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness

Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls. See the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close and take a cruise in a Zodiac for an unbeatable view among sculpted icebergs. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, harbor porpoises and arctic terns.

Day 3: Petersburg

Visit the small, true Alaskan fishing town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, which still retains much of its Norwegian heritage. Explore a unique Southeast Alaskan ecosystem, the “muskeg,” with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There is an opportunity to stretch your legs with an optional bike ride around town. This evening, enjoy a crab feast.

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Day 4: Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait

Explore along the rugged coast seeking out humpback whales in their summer feeding grounds. Expert staff will interpret their life histories and behaviors as we cruise the nutrient rich waters. Later we will explore the shoreline by kayak or go ashore to explore the rainforest ecosystem.

Day 5: Icy Strait and the Inian Islands

Explore among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea otters reside. We’ll search for marine mammals in the nutrient-rich waters of Icy Strait and choose the perfect spot around Chichagof Island to hike where sightings of bald eagles are very common.

Day 6: Glacier Bay National Park

By special permit, we explore Glacier Bay. Wildness abounds—glaciers calving, mountain goats roam the steep cliffs and brown bears patrol the shore; Steller sea lions and puffins live in the icy waters. A native Tlingit cultural interpreter joins us to share the lore and legend of the area. We will also be joined by a National Park Service Ranger.

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Day 7: Southeast Alaska’s Islands, Bays and Fjords

Today, nature is our guide. We may explore an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beachcomb, hike stunning forest trails, or see bear tracks worn into the soil while walking an isolated meadow. If conditions permit, we will do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.

Day 8: Sitka/Disembark

After breakfast we disembark in Sitka, Southeast Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, we enjoy closeup views of bald eagles, owls and other species normally seen at a distance.

Important Notes:

Please be aware this operator has made slight modifications to their itineraries in accordance with Covid 19 protocols.

Their Forest Service Special Use Permit for Tongass National Forest enables you to hike and kayak in wild and remote areas of Southeast Alaska.

National Geographic Quest or Venture

The identical sister ships, the National Geographic Quest and the National Geographic Venture, like much of the wildlife they follow, are migratory. They follow the seasons from Alaska, along the coast of British Columbia, up the Columbia & Snake Rivers, and along the Baja coast and into the Sea of Cortez. In each region, each ship's design innovations were informed by 50+ years of expedition expertise to ensure extraordinary discoveries. Both the Quest and Venture have dual boarding platforms, enabling our team to load two Zodiacs at once, which means guests get off ship quickly to take advantage of wildlife sightings and maximize exploring time. Modern, cleaned-lined, with large expanses of glass to keep you connected to the extraordinary views, National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest enable you to see, do and experience the best of their geographies.

Each vessel has a fleet of 8 Zodiacs, 24 kayaks, paddleboards; an ROV, hydrophone, splash-cam, underwater video camera, video microscope; snorkeling gear and wet suits for all guests (where applicable).

• Capacity: 100 guests
• Cabins: 50 outside cabins
• Specialists: Nat Geo photo instructor, undersea specialist and video chronicler


2019 "Best Small Ship Cruise Line in the World" by Condé Nast Traveler
2019 ”Best Small Ship Ocean Cruise Line" by Travel + Leisure
2018 "Best Small Ship Cruise Line in the World" by Condé Nast Traveler

"These outstanding ships represent the culmination of over 35 years of expeditionary experience. The cabins are bright and spacious, and the staff is friendly yet informal. It's the world-class Nat Geo-level experts that elevate these trips to award-winning experiences. If you like lots of expert information with your adventure, these are excellent vessels for you."

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Life On Board

Deck Plan

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#301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

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Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony.

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Solo traveler. #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

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#307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

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#101-108 (Suite) Two lower bed or queen, convertible sofa bed, large view windows, expanded bathroom, writing desk.

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#201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and a large view window.

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Solo traveler. #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and two portholes plus botanically-inspired toiletries.

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I've sent over 100 travelers on this itinerary and it's always been outstanding. These ships offer one of the best experiences in Southeast Alaska.

Joy Martinello, Founder



What’s Included & Cancellation Policy:

Accommodations aboard ship; meals as indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; park and entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes.

Air transportation; voyage DVD; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, etc.; discretionary tips to Naturalist staff and crew.

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