Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness - Quest
Discover iconic wild Alaska on an expedition honed over 35+ years by a world-class operator.
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.
- • 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:
Book by April 8 and Save 25% + No Solo Supplement on Select Departures!
From $7,560 per person
Cancel your expedition at least 14 days before departure and receive 100% future travel credit. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
May 13-20, 2023
May 20-27, 2023
May 21-28, 2023
May 27-June 3, 2023
May 28-June 4, 2023
June 3-10, 2023
June 4-11, 2023
Ask us for later dates
May - Sept, 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
Special Offer Details: Now’s your chance to reconnect with friends and family in the world’s most extraordinary places. This winter, book three full-paying guests and bring a fourth person free on select departures. Offer expires soon—book before February 28, 2022!
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."
Life On Board
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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: