Alaska's Inside Passage: Western 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

  • Hike and kayak in Alaska's "wild and woolly" places with unforgettable sights
  • Explore Tongass National Forest, El Capitan Passage, and Frederick Sound
  • Sleep aboard a nimble, small expedition ship with cabins and private facilities
  • Visit the carving school and totems at Klawock, a native Tlingit Village

Pristine wilderness, mind-blowing natural wonder, humpback whales, and untamed wildlife are the real stars of this adventure through Alaska's Inside Passage. Hike "wild and woolly" places ("skookum" to the locals) and experience dramatic waterfall coasts. Kayak along shore looking for bears and near 10,000-year-old glaciers. Explore three wilderness areas and learn the stories of the totem. Hike through the largest temperate rainforest in the world, Tongass National Forest; eat oysters in El Capitan Passage; and paddle amid ample wildlife in Frederick Sound. Change the way you see the world on an Un-Cruise Adventure with REI.

Onboard, soak in a relaxing sauna, relax with an on-deck yoga class, or put your self in the hands of our experienced masseuses. Off the boat, choose from activities for all activity levels, like kayaking, caving, skiff riding, hiking, or paddleboarding for a truly tailored cruise experience.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Discover Ketchikan, "Salmon Capital of the World."
  • Day 2 - The El Capitan Passage and cave hike get us closer to nature.
  • Day 3 - Learn about the importance of carving in Alaska culture in Klawock.
  • Day 4 - Scour the shorelines or snorkel in Chatham Strait for wildlife sightings.
  • Day 5 - Explore a cove off Frederick Sound by zodiac or kayak.
  • Day 6 - Discover Frederick Sound, feeding ground of humpback whales.
  • Day 7 - Cruise the fjord of Endicott Arm and see the massive Dawes Glacier.
  • Day 8 - Disembark in Juneau, located on beautiful Gastineau Channel.

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 - Discover Ketchikan, "Salmon Capital of the World."

    Welcome aboard! Meet your crew, get settled in, and keep watch for eagles as we cruise through the Tongass Narrows out of Ketchikan. All meals included once on board. Plan to arrive in Ketchikan, Alaska before 2:00p.m.

  • Day 2 - The El Capitan Passage and cave hike get us closer to nature.

    Wake in El Capitan Passage surrounded by breathtaking Tongass National Forest—the largest national forest in the US. Take a "wild" Alaska hike winding through high forest on an old logging trail. Trek up to El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in Alaska and one of the largest mapped caves in the Americas. And if the stars are right (okay maybe it's the tides), you just may get lucky today and snag some organic oysters from a local grower.

  • Day 3 - Learn about the importance of carving in Alaska culture in Klawock.

    Discover living history in Klawock—one of the most authentic Tlingit villages in Alaska. Learn the importance of carving, gaze up at totem poles coloring the town, and hear their stories. Visit the carver's shed where the art of carving and restoring totems is passed on. Explore the area by foot, keeping an eye out for eagles and sea birds.

  • Day 4 - Scour the shorelines or snorkel in Chatham Strait for wildlife sightings.

    It's Captain's Choice today as you explore the intricate passages and shores along Chatham Strait's Kuiu or Baranof Islands. Join your expedition team on (or in!) the water. Conditions permitting, take to the water by kayak, skiff, or snorkel. Snorkeling is optional, but hidden beneath the surface lies a magical array of sea life only seen from below. Take a deep breath and go for it! Today's discoveries will be within some of the most untouched wilderness of the Tongass National Forest.

  • Day 5 - Explore a cove off Frederick Sound by zodiac or kayak.

    Lush forest, spectacular views, play time, and wildlife—they are all in abundance in Frederick Sound. Keep watch along the coastline for birds, wolves, and black bears. With many secluded coves to choose from, you may slip into the waters of Deep Cove, Patterson or Saginaw Bay, or perhaps another hidden gem to explore by skiff or paddle a kayak. Gear up for snorkeling or guided treks. This evening, toast another day of amazing adventure with a cold microbrew or cocktail.

  • Day 6 - Discover Frederick Sound, feeding ground of humpback whales.

    There'll be plenty of wildlife viewing today. The Brothers, a pair of tiny, rocky islands at the confluence of Stephen's Passage and Frederick Sound, are home to some of Alaska's most abundant wildlife, including a haulout for Stellar sea lions. The area is also the summer feeding ground for the largest concentration of humpback whales in the Northern Hemisphere. Keep watch for orca, humpback, and porpoise.

  • Day 7 - Cruise the fjord of Endicott Arm and see the massive Dawes Glacier.

    Snow covered mountains, glowing blues, and the white thunder of calving ice take your breath away at the face of Dawes Glacier. As you glide through Endicott Arm you’ll likely find a few seals taking respite on the glaciers smaller “bergy bits.” Tides permitting explore the narrow passage of Ford's Terror and admire the magnificent domes, hanging valleys, and pristine wilderness that surround it. Back on board join the Captain for a farewell toast during dinner.

  • Day 8 - Disembark in Juneau, located on beautiful Gastineau Channel.

    Bid adieu to new found friends over breakfast before disembarking the ship. Transfer directly to the Juneau airport or begin your overnight stay or extended land tour. Flights out of Juneau 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.

Accommodations

The "Wilderness" vessels are expedition ships capable of nimble exploration through nature's most 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.

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.

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, the adventure list includes caving, 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, daily yoga classes and inter-tidal 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: Western 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
  • Paddleboards
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: Western Coves
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Exceeded expectations (3)
  • Food (3)
  • Group camaraderie (3)
  • Guides (3)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (3)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (3), Destination (3), Good value (3)

      Reviewed by 3 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-3

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      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Journey to see Alaskan Vistas not ports

      By Tx Family Travelers

      from Houston, TX

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Flexibility To Meet Needs
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Knowledgable guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

          The staff and their flexibility to meet the guests' needs created a voyage that exceeded our expectations.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • We wanted to see Alaska up close and personal. This provided a trip that would be educational and full of adventure. Several friends have taken this trip and recommended it to us. Now we recommend to our friends.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The ability for our smaller cruise ship to port in remote coves. Each morning, we would be surrounded by nature and not other large cruise ships. We were able to see Alaska in its pristine, natural setting. Lots of whales, sea lions, otters and eagles.

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Trip

          By One Pole

          from Copake Falls, NY

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Site Member

          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: Western Coves:

              The over all planned trip and ability of crew to change itinery due to weather conditions to give the passengers the best possible time and variety of activities

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • Wanted to see Alaska, but not on a huge cruise ship.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • The scenery, wildlife and rain forest environment
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Be prepared for rain and muddy conditions. Be flexible to go with changing itinery due to weather conditions.

              (13 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Exceeding Expectations

              By BnJayO

              from Gloucester, VA

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              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: Western Coves:

                  The guides ability to adapt to the conditions instead of sticking to a set itinery. To have stayed with the original plan would have been uncomfortable for all.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • My wife and I wanted to see Alaska.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • The whales, no the Orca, no the seals, no the Glaciers, no the scenery, no the..... .
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Expect rain. It will rain so bring good rain gear and a sunny attitude.

                  Displaying reviews 1-3

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                  Wilderness Adventurer

                  Wilderness Discoverer

                  Wilderness Explorer



                  Dates & Prices:

                   Wilderness Adventurer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateNavigatorTrailblazerPathfinder
                  May 17, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995
                  May 31, 2014 - Sold out$2,595$3,195$3,395
                  Jun 14, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395
                  Jul 26, 2014*$3,195$3,995$4,395
                  Aug 9, 2014*$3,195$3,995$4,395
                  Aug 23, 2014$2,595$3,195$3,395


                  * Family departures



                   Wilderness Discoverer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateNavigatorTrailblazerPathfinderExplorer
                  Apr 26, 2014$1,595$2,045$2,195$3,995
                  May 24, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995$4,695
                  Jun 7, 2014$2,895$3,695$3,995$5,595
                  Jun 21, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Jul 5, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Jul 19, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Aug 2, 2014$3,195$3,995$4,395$5,995
                  Aug 16, 2014$2,895$3,695$3,995$5,595
                  Aug 30, 2014$2,195$2,795$2,995$4,695
                  Jun 6, 2015$3,095$3,895$4,295$5,995
                  Jul 4, 2015*$3,395$4,195$4,595$6,295
                  Aug 1, 2015*$3,395$4,195$4,595$6,295
                  Aug 29, 2015$2,395$2,995$3,195$4,995



                   Wilderness Explorer ---

                  Double Rates
                  DateNavigatorPathfinderExplorer
                  May 10, 2014$2,395$2,595$3,995
                  May 23, 2015$2,995$3,195$4,395
                  Jun 20, 2015$4,195$4,495$5,695
                  Jul 18, 2015$4,195$4,495$5,695
                  Aug 15, 2015$3,795$4,095$5,295


                  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 :
                  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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