Sitka to Juneau Cruise : Alaska Bear Country

Check Bears off your Bucket List!

Bears are an iconic symbol of Alaska and its vast wildness. During this 7-night small ship cruise between Sitka and Juneau on the Kruzof Explorer, you will get an up-close look at both brown and black bears in their natural habitat. Watch them gorging themselves on wild salmon and get unfettered access to wilderness areas that are typically only accessible by permits or special permission for local Alaskan Native groups.

Brown Bears, Black Bears, "Oh My!"

Day 1

Arrive in Sitka

Welcome to Alaska! Upon arrival in Sitka, known as the “Second City” you will receive a personal greeting and a transfer to your hotel. The evening is at your leisure to explore downtown Sitka.

Overnight in Sitka.

(c) Mark Kelley. All rights reserved.

Day 2

Set Sail from Sitka on the Kruzof Explorer

Today you will get to discover the historic sights of Stika with your cruise adventure guide! Learn about the communities Tlingit roots as well as the Russian occupation. Totem poles adorn public areas as well as the Sitka National Historical Park. This afternoon make your way to the dock to board the Kruzof Explorer and embark on your 7-night cruise expedition.

Overnight on the Kruzof Explorer, your home for the next seven nights.

Day 3

Hike to Lake Eva and Hidden Fall Bear Viewing near Baranof Island

Start your morning off with freshly made breakfast before setting out on a hike to Lake Eva on northern Baranof Island. The trail is lined with towering spruce and hemlock, during late summer and early fall salmon can be seen making their run into the lake’s outlet stream.

The ship will then stop in Kasnyku Bay where you will enjoy a visit to Hidden Falls. This area is an excellent opportunity to see Alaska’s coastal brown bears as they fatten up on salmon for their winter hibernation. Keep your camera at the ready to take home an amazing shot of a lifetime.

Day 4

Kuiu Islands

The journey thus far as mainly focused on the habitats of brown bears, but today you will continue sailing south to Kuiu Island which is prime black bear territory. Enjoy an exploration by zodiac or kayak to a western bay near the island. Beachcomb or hike along the beautiful secluded coastline and make sure to bring your camera!

Day 5

Sumner Strait's Many Islands

Sumner Strait offers endless possibilities for in-depth exploring. The islands in this area are home to black bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, wolves, and countless bald eagles. Venture out into the wilderness with your knowledgeable guide and explore via kayak, paddleboard, or in the ship’s nimble Zodiac. You may choose to visit the small community of Port Protection, a place that has gained national notoriety due to a reality show of the same name.

Day 6

Visit Wrangell and Anan Wildlife Observetory

The small community of Wrangell is home to just over 2,000 permanent residents and is the only town in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of four nations; the Tlingit, Russia, England, and the United States.

Dock in Wrangell where you will be transported to the trailhead for the Anan Wildlife Observatory, which offers some of the best brown and black bear viewing in the world.  You will get to enjoy several hours on the observatory deck which overlooks a creek that hosts a large run of pink salmon, creating a tasty buffet for the hungry bears. Watch and photograph these majestic creatures as they get their fill of salmon for the winter.

(c) Mark Kelley. All rights reserved.

Day 7

Exclusive Access to Hobart Bay

The Kruzof Explorer has an exclusive agreement with a local Alaskan Native organization to have private access to scenic Hobart Bay. The site was first settled as a logging camp and is now a prime location for guided hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. After an active day exploring the area, sip on your favorite beverage and enjoy Alaskan snacks around a roaring campfire.

Day 8

Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness

Sail through Tracy or Endicott Arm into Tracy Arm-Fjords Terror Wilderness. Renowned for its pristine waterfalls, abundant harbor seals, towering icebergs, and granite cliffs, this 653,000-acre preserve has been sculpted by a millennia of ice formations. Both of these dramatic glacial fjords offer stunning views of tidewater glaciers. Zodiac and kayak excursions afford up-close discoveries and unmatched perspective of both glaciers and wildlife.

Enjoy a final gourmet dinner while you share memories with your shipmates you will surely cherish for years to come.

Day 9

Disembark in Juneau

On your departure day arrive in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, and say goodbye to your crew on board the Kruzof Explorer. A transfer will be provided to your hotel or airport in time for your departing flight.

Amenities, nearby adventures and more...

Price range:  $1500 - $2000 per person, per day

Main Ship

The Kruzof Explorer caters to 12 guests at a time making for an exclusive experience in Southeast Alaska. Modern renovations and elegant finishings elevate this previous fishing boat to a luxury experience.

The ship is outfitted with a sport fishing vessel, high-speed zodiac, kayaks, and paddleboards so you can get up-close to the scenery and never miss out on an adventure.

Cabins

The six comfortable cabins on the ship are located on the main deck and five of them have one queen bed and a twin bunk, while the sixth cabin has one queen bed. All cabins are complete with en-suite bathrooms, ample storage space, and a picture window.

This 7-night cruise departs from Sitka, a small city located on the west side of Baranof Island that is originally home to the Tlingit people and was later occupied by Russian settlers and was made the seat of the Russian Orthodox bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands, and Alaska. While there are no roads to Sitka it can be reached by daily flights on Alaska Airlines.

The fresh seafood that can be found along the Inside Passage is a chef’s dream. Each meal prepared onboard the ship will feature fresh ingredients and locally sourced seafood caught by nearby fishing vessels. Guests will also enjoy daily baked pastries, bread, and desserts, and don’t forget to visit the lounge every afternoon for “Cookie time”. The ship stocks a full-service bar that features Alaska beers, Pacific Northwest wines, and locally distilled spirits. Your daily adventures will work up an appetite and the onboard chef is there to cater to your desires.

The Kruzof Explorer and the onboard team pride themselves in providing hands-on active exploration. The ship itself is nimble and able to access shallow-waters for up-close glacier exploration and access to remote wilderness areas. Kayaks and paddleboards are available for guest use, and the custom-built kayak launchers all for easy and safe loading and unloading. While providing adventure is one of the main goals of the Kruzof crew it is also important for them to share their knowledge of the natural world that surrounds the journey as well as information about the native cultures that can be found along the way. Take in a local dance performance and carving demonstrations, witness families working together to harvest their annual salmon haul in a smokehouse, and end each evening with an educational program in the ship’s lounge.

Customize your adventure

Reverse the cruise

We can arrange for your cruise to start in Juneau and end in Sitka.

Exclusive charter

Consider chartering the whole ship for an exclusive tour for family and friends.

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We had an amazing time in Alaska! Thank you for your planning and willingness to work with us to create an itinerary that met our wants and needs. We were thrilled to have Savannah with us for the entirety of our trip. What a professional and caring young woman she is. She... Read more

Katherine Trexler