Alaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves

From: $1,595

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Dates: - see all dates

Total Days: 8

Activity Level: Varies

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7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

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Additional Fees

Port fees and taxes: $175

Trip Dates:


See Dates & Prices tab.

Group Size: up to 76

Activity Level: Varies

Activities:

  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Cabins with private facilities.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Tracy Arm Wilderness and Misty Fjord National Monument by boat
  • See massive icebergs, calving glaciers, temperate rainforests, and more
  • Explore the water by kayak, paddleboard, or skiff, your choice
  • Cruise where bigger ships can't go
  • Learn about Tlingit culture, search for wildlife, and go on beautiful hikes

Lots of ice, alpine-to-sea creeks, and rainforests are the highlights of this Alaskan cruise through the Inside Passage. Aboard a small-boat cruise with REI and Un-Cruise Adventures, our southeast Alaskan adventure is unmatched as we ride aboard expedition ships capable of nimble exploration and stay in cabins with private facilities.

Witness massive icebergs and calving glaciers aboard the ship, and kayak through icy narrows where salmon run. We hike trails into wildlife-rich forest and ride a skiff along a dramatic fjord. Along the way, learn about Tlingit culture, watch for whales, and visit two incredible areas—Tracy Arm Wilderness and Misty Fjords National Monument. Cruise past Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world, keeping an eye out for orca in the nearby Behm Canal. Amid this spectacular, pristine journey we see bountiful wildlife and stunning scenery found only in this corner of the Earth.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Make time to visit Mendehall Glacier before embarking on our cruise.
  • Day 2 - Cruise From Tracy Arm to Frederick Sound.
  • Day 3 - Drop anchor and kayak in Thomas Bay or hike in the mainland.
  • Day 4 - Hike, kayak, or paddleboard before cruising Christmas Tree Lane.
  • Day 5 - Learn about the Tlingit People and their ancestors in Wrangell.
  • Day 6 - Visit the largest temperate rainforest in the world, Tongass.
  • Day 7 - Kayak in the pristine Misty Fjords National Monument.
  • Day 8 - Disembark in Ketchikan, "Salmon Capital of the World. "

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Make time to visit Mendehall Glacier before embarking on our cruise.

    Welcome aboard! Meet your crew and get acquainted as we set sail into the Tracy Arm Wilderness.
    All meals included once onboard. Plan to arrive in Juneau before 2:00p.m.

  • Day 2 - Cruise From Tracy Arm to Frederick Sound.

    At the end of Tracy Arm, a winding fjord with sheer granite walls, hundreds of cascading waterfalls, and some of the largest floating icebergs in all of Alaska, sits the twin Sawyer Glaciers—North Sawyer and South Sawyer. The fjord is home to brown and black bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals, birds such as arctic terns and pigeon guillemots, and mountain goats, usually spotted high on the cliffs. Later today, move into Frederick Sound—summer feeding ground for the Northern Hemisphere's largest concentration of humpback whales. Keep watch for humpbacks, orca, and Steller sea lions.

  • Day 3 - Drop anchor and kayak in Thomas Bay or hike in the mainland.

    Choose kayaking and a lush forest trek on a scenic rainforest trail, or go big on a roundtrip 11-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking in the meltwaters of Patterson Glacier. Discover the origin of its "Devil's Country" nickname during a reading from "The Strangest Story Ever Told," about the area's mythical shape-shifting creatures called Kushtaka.

  • Day 4 - Hike, kayak, or paddleboard before cruising Christmas Tree Lane.

    Step into the back country of Alaska's wilderness, in an area known for glaciers and rich in gold and quartz. Explore glacial landscapes marked by moraines, muskegs, and mud. Adventure and natural beauty are sure to please whether you choose kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff riding, or hiking today. An abundance of bright red and green navigation lights guide you along "Christmas Tree Lane" as you cruise the winding Wrangell Narrows this evening.

  • Day 5 - Learn about the Tlingit People and their ancestors in Wrangell.

    Home to native culture, wildlife, and wonder—Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska and the only one ever governed by four nations. Before venturing into town, local islanders join you on board for an in-depth presentation on Tlingit and Haida cultures. View recently carved totem poles at Kiksetti Totem Park and step inside the famed and historically significant Chief Shakes Tribal House.

  • Day 6 - Visit the largest temperate rainforest in the world, Tongass.

    Wildlife abounds in Behm Canal and the surrounding Tongass National Forest—orca, porpoise, seals, sea lions, brown and black bears, mink, marten, eagles, and otters. Paddle along the canal or venture out on an intertidal shore walk or low-elevation trek on the Cleveland Peninsula.

  • Day 7 - Kayak in the pristine Misty Fjords National Monument.

    Affectionately called "The Yosemite of the North," Misty Fjords National Monument represents nearly every ecosystem found in Southeast Alaska. Glacial valleys filled with sea water, and sheer 3,000 foot cliffs are a haven for sea birds, brown and black bears, mountain goats, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, moose, river otters, and other wildlife. Glide through Walker Cove or Rudyerd Bay by kayak or explore by skiff soaking in the splendor of this largely forgotten corner of the world. This evening, join the Captain in a farewell toast and reminisce about your Alaskan journey over a sumptuous dinner.

  • Day 8 - Disembark in Ketchikan, "Salmon Capital of the World. "

    Enjoy a farewell breakfast before disembarking the ship this morning. Transfer directly to the Ketchikan airport or begin your add-on overnight stay or extended land tour. Flights out of Ketchikan must be scheduled after 11:30a.m.

Note on Itinerary

Due to the nature of our explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Trip price includes accommodations on board, airport transfers for embarkation day and disembarkation day, all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8, kayaks and kayaking gear, paddle boards, guided hiking, and small boat exploration.

Not Included

Airfare to/from Alaska, lodging and meals on the mainland, port fees and taxes, insurance, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

REI Adventures standard payment and cancellation policies do not apply. At the time of reservation, a $750 deposit is due. Full payment for this cruise is due at 90 days before departure. Cancellations received at any time after making your trip reservation are subject to a non-refundable $375 per person service charge. When a trip cancellation is received 120-91 days from departure, your deposit is 100% non-refundable. When a trip cancellation is received inside of 90 days from departure, all trip costs are 100% non-refundable.

Accommodations

The "Wilderness" vessels are expedition ships capable of nimble exploration through nature's most dramatic hideaways. The shallow draft and hull design allow easy access to Southeast Alaska's wildlife-rich shores and glacially-fed inlets and serve as ideal "launching pads" for an exciting array of daily adventure excursions. The interior complements the outside and both public and private spaces are loaded with amenities.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Active beginners are welcome. However, these expeditions are focused on providing guests with a multitude of meaningful ways to experience Southeast Alaska and its surrounding waterways in many private adventures. Whether you are looking for easy or moderate Alaska adventures, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits like hiking and kayaking, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level. Every Alaska adventure activity is ranked with an Activity Level and Activity Description to ensure that you feel comfortable with your selection.

Among your choices, kayaking, hiking far-off trails, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, "polar bear club swims", observing whales and other marine wildlife from inflatable boats, bird watching, friendly sporting contests and glacier walks.

Weather

Long periods of rainy, cool and overcast weather are common in Southeast Alaska. Summer daytime temperatures range from 45° to 65°F. When the boat is underway there is a cool breeze if you are on deck. During the summer, days are long: May has an average of 16:47 hours of daylight, June has 18:15, July has 17:36, August has 15:25 and September has 12:51 daylight hours. June is the driest month, but the Inside Passage has a marine climate which means you should always be prepared for rain.

Single Travelers

All single travelers pay the single rate.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Alaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Kayaks and paddling gear
  • Paddle boards
Official Papers
  • Valid ID-passport if not a US citizen
  • Airline itinerary and confirmation
Luggage
  • Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase
  • Small daypack for carrying water bottle(s), rain gear, camera, snacks, etc.
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
Travel Clothing
  • A few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and on board
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain or wind pants, waterproof and breathable
  • Sun hat
  • Rain hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool or fleece gloves
Clothing
  • Mid-weight fleece or synthetic tops
  • Mid-weight wool or fleece pants
  • Hiking pants (synthetic, quick-drying)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks and liner socks
  • Casual socks
  • Swimsuit
Footwear
  • Over the calf rubber boots or Wellingtons are necessary. (Please note that the boat will have a very limited supply of rubber boots on board)
  • Comfortable walking shoes for aboard ship, traveling and city excursions
  • Hiking boots if you plan on participating in the moderate hiking excursions
Travel Accessories
  • Binoculars
  • Ear plugs
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sun block and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first-aid kit, small
  • Insect repellent
  • Several Ziploc plastic bags for wet clothes
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, spare batteries
  • Watch with alarm clock or travel clock
  • Playing cards, travel games, etc.
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Hiking staff or trekking poles
  • Small dry bag for camera while kayaking
  • Trail gaiters (for muddy trails)
  • Paddling gloves

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to pack essential items such as appropriate identification, money, eyewear and medications in your carry-on baggage in case your luggage is delayed.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens users should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
  • Good raingear is essential. Your raingear should be able to repel a full day of rain without leaking. It should have taped seams and preferably an attached hood. We recommend bringing two jackets: A waterproof, non-breathable jacket with attached hood for use aboard the ship or on the zodiak, and a waterproof, breathable jacket with attached hood for use while kayaking or other physical activities.
  • Rain protection for your camera will be a must while in the temperate rain forest. There are many affordable options, all of varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on the amount of exposure to rain. If you are bringing a point and shoot camera, there are water proof cameras on the market that are small and a great optical quality. Bring a cloth to wipe rain and spray from the lens. Also, be sure to have a lanyard attached to your camera, you'll be thankful for it the first time it saves your camera from falling from your kayak or onto the steel deck of the boat.
  • A dry bag is highly recommended to keep your gear dry while kayaking (or hiking in the rain). Dry bags can be affixed to the top of your kayak.
  • If wildlife viewing is one of your main reasons for choosing this cruise, we recommend bringing good binoculars to have handy at all times.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresAlaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves
 
5.0

(based on 3 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accommodations (3)
  • Activity level (3)
  • Exceeded expectations (3)
  • Food (3)
  • Group camaraderie (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (3), Destination (3), I liked the itinerary (3)

      Reviewed by 3 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-3

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great trip

      By heraclitus

      from Sacramento, CA

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Alaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves:

          My first time on a cruise ship. This ship was the right size; not too big.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I have always wanted to visit the inside passage.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Misty Fiords
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Don't go if you don't like rain.

          (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A GREAT Experience

          By Wilderness Discoverer

          from Surburban Chicago

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Not a floating resort
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Scenery
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Alaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves:

              So glad we chose to travel with Inner Sea Discovery

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • We wanted to experience the inside passage, not spend a week on a floating resort visiting tourist ports.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • From the time we embarked in Juneau until we disembarked in Ketchican.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • It's a bit pricey but well worth it.

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Fantastic Trip of Alaska's Inside Passag

              By Warmsprings traveler

              from Bay View, Wisconsin

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • 57 Passengers
              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Great ship crew
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Hiking
              • Kayaking
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Alaska's Inside Passage: Eastern Coves:

                  The trip was a great experience. The small cruise ship, 57 passengers with room for 60, was perfect. You can choose to do as much or as little as you would like - go hiking, go kayaking or get into the hot tub, or enjoy from the ship's decks. This trip can be (and was enjoyed) by all age groups - teens to eighties.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Had been wanting to travel and see Alaska's Inside Passage. The large cruise ships were not appealing and then we came across this trip.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Whales, seals, bears, kayaking, hiking, polar plunge, food, crew, fellow travelers. Enjoyed everything.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Call today and go.

                  Displaying reviews 1-3

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                  Wilderness Adventurer

                  Wilderness Discoverer

                  Wilderness Explorer



                  Dates & Prices:

                   Wilderness Adventurer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateNavigatorTrailblazerPathfinder
                  May 24, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995
                  Jul 19, 2014* - Sold out$3,195$3,995$4,395
                  Aug 2, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395
                  Aug 16, 2014$2,895$3,695$3,995
                  Aug 30, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995
                  May 16, 2015$2,395$2,995$3,195
                  Sep 12, 2015$2,395$2,995$3,195

                  *Family departures



                   Wilderness Discoverer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateNavigatorTrailblazerPathfinderExplorer
                  May 17, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995$4,695
                  May 31, 2014$2,595$3,195$3,395$5,195
                  Jun 14, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Jun 28, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Jul 12, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Jul 26, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Aug 9, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Aug 23, 2014$2,595$3,195$3,395$5,195
                  Sep 20, 2014$1,595$2,045$2,195$3,995
                  Apr 25, 2015$1,895$2,395$2,595$4,595
                  May 30, 2015$2,795$3,595$3,895$5,595
                  Jun 27, 2015*$3,395$4,195$4,595$6,295
                  Jul 25, 2015$3,395$4,195$4,595$6,295
                  Aug 22, 2015$2,795$3,595$3,895$5,595
                  Sep 19, 2015$2,195$2,795$2,995$4,795



                   Wilderness Explorer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateTrailblazerPathfinderExplorer
                  Sep 6, 2014$2,795$2,995$3,795
                  May 9, 2015$2,795$2,995$4,195
                  May 16, 2015$2,995$3,195$4,395
                  Jun 13, 2015$3,995$4,295$5,495
                  Jul 11, 2015$4,195$4,495$5,695
                  Aug 8, 2015$4,195$4,495$5,695
                  Sep 5, 2015$2,995$3,195$4,395


                  All rates are in US$, per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees. Please add $175 (2014) or $200 (2015) per person to our Eastern, Western Coves, and Glacier Bay itineraries.

                  * indicates "Kids in Nature" family departures; kids 12 years and under receive 25% savings. All rates are in US$, per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees.

                  SINGLE Rates - available in designated cabins at 150% of the per person double rate:
                  Wilderness Adventurer: Navigator #202; Trailblazer #301; Pathfinder #306.
                  Wilderness Discoverer: Navigator #203; Trailblazer #321; Pathfinder #306 .
                  Wilderness Explorer: Trailblazer #103; #104; #105; #106.
                  All other cabins are available at 175% of double rate.

                  TRIPLE Rates - available in designated cabins with a third person savings of 25% off the double rate:
                  Wilderness Discoverer: Pathfinder #307, #309; Explorer #400, #401, #403

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