Holding more Glacier Bay National Park entry days than any other cruise line, un-cruise adventure operator InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises offer guests two or three days of in-depth exploration inside the Park throughout summer 2012.
Designated as a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay is a wilderness sanctuary with tidewater glaciers, deep fjords, towering mountains and a variety of wildlife including whales, seals, sea lions, bears, mountain goats, sea birds, sea otters and moose.
From May through August, four yachts of American Safari Cruises offer luxury adventures sailing 57 weeklong Alaska cruises roundtrip Juneau with two days spent inside Glacier Bay: 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour (new in 2012). Longer 15-day cruises between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) are offered in spring and fall and also include a two-day exploration inside the Park.
From June through August, the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer, an InnerSea Discoveries expedition vessel joining the fleet in spring 2012, sails 12 weeklong active adventure cruises between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska (and reverse). The itinerary includes three full days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park including the lesser visited but equally spectacular East Arm with McBride Glacier and Muir Glacier. An innovative human-powered watercraft—a new amenity only aboard this vessel–may be taken out for low-impact, up-close exploration powered by two peddlers and up to six paddlers.
“We’ve been operating our yachts on extended explorations inside the Park for 15 years and many of our captains have even longer histories of experience there,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO. “This summer, a new human-powered watercraft aboard the Wilderness Explorer will allow guests to explore inlets inside the park that are closed to motorized traffic.”
Unlike most guests aboard cruise ships or tour boats, guests enjoying Alaska un-cruise adventures with InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises have the privilege of disembarking the boat to go hiking ashore, exploring via a small inflatable boat or kayaking—all accompanied by a National Park Ranger and shipboard expedition guides.
A Park Ranger boards each boat at the park entrance and stays on board for the full two or three days overnighting on the boat (except for the 12-guest Safari Spirit). The Ranger takes the lead on narration and interpretation of the park’s history, native culture of the Hoonah Tlingit, geology, flora and fauna.
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