Alaska is a true wilderness to be explored. This popular destination has more coastline than all other US states combined, meaning a visit by yacht is the best way to maximise your experience. A haven of flora and fauna, the best time to visit is between May and September, when the days are long, the temperature is warm and the wildlife is flourishing. A cruise through the Alexander archipelago off the south-eastern coast you’ll be sure to encounter the abundance of wildlife living there, such as the brown bear, caribou, seals, osprey, orca and humpback whales.
The rugged coastline offers breath-taking scenery of dramatic fjords, glaciers, snow-capped mountains and wildlife roaming the forest-lined shores. Be sure to venture within the Tongass National Forest, with its praised biodiversity and natural beauty, it’s home to many rare and endangered species. Summer is the best time to witness the salmon run, track down bears on Baranof Island or spot orcas patrolling the fjords.
The cuisine in Alaska is varied and often locally sourced from the many organic food shops scattered across the state. Don’t miss out on sampling some of the local specialities, including reindeer dogs, smoked Chinook salmon, and Eskimo ice cream. If whale watching is your thing, take the trip to Frederick Sound and enjoy uninterrupted views from your yacht of humpbacks breaching the surface, surrounded verdant forests. In Alaska, you will never run out of breath-taking places to visit and the state makes for a memorable summer destination for all.
For travellers with negative SARS-CoV2 test results:
Negative test results from a test taken within 72 hours of departure should be submitted into the Alaska Travel Portal or have proof of a negative test available upon arrival.
A second test taken between five and 14 days after arrival is also strongly recommended.
For travellers without SARS-CoV2 test results:
Proof of a test taken within 72 hours of departure should be submitted into the Alaska Travel Portal or have proof available of have proof a test has been taken available upon arrival.
If a non-resident traveller (aged 11 years or older) arrives in Alaska without proof of a negative test result or proof of a test taken within 72 hours of departure, they should take a test at the airport. The traveller should then follow strict social distancing until the test results are available and then obtain a second test 5-14 days after arrival.
Day 1 – Juneau to Tenakee Springs
The capital of Alaska, Juneau, is the gateway to the Inside Passage. Soak up the panoramic views over the city before setting off by taking a guided tour through the forests up Mount Roberts.
Spend the afternoon exploring the native town of Tenakee Springs. With an abundance of activities feel free to wander the local art galleries, kayak the bays or bike through local logging trails.
Day 2 – Tenakee Springs to Baranof Island
Baranof Island is hailed for its striking landscape featuring some of the highest mountains in Alaska. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike up to the lakes to witness the astonishing views or relax in the Baranof Warm Springs besides a towering waterfall.
Day 3 – Baranof Island to Red Bluff Bay
Travelling along the Chatham Strait, try your luck at fishing for halibut in the tender or spotting sea otters along the shore. Red Bluff Bay is one of the locations you can see bears fishing for salmon, with the area having one of the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. You can take sea kayaks around the bay getting up close to waterfalls and surrounding mountains.
Day 4 – Red Bluff Bay to Cannery Cove
Frederick Sound (along with Chatham Strait) is one of the only places in the world you can witness humpbacks ‘bubble net feeding’. While whale watching in the tender you will also commonly see killer whales patrolling the sounds. On the shore, visit a local sea lion colony before dropping anchor in Cannery Cove in Pybus Bay.
Day 5 – Cannery Cove to Holkham Bay
The Brothers are two small islands offering a chance to experience more of Alaska’s diverse wildlife such as local deer and river otters. With a stop here to explore the weathered landscape, the yacht can then head to Wood Spit Cove to enjoy the dramatic scenery, with bald eagles, seals and wild goats frequently spotted.
Day 6 – Holkham Bay to Tracy Arm
Spend a day cruising up the fjords and have lunch with the spectacular backdrop of the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. These glaciers are known to suddenly shear off into the sea making a dramatic sighting. Return to Wood Spit Cove for the evening and listen to whales breaking the surface in Holkham Bay.
Day 7 – Holkham Bay to Juneau
Finish the trip with a relaxing journey returning to Juneau through the fjords.