Category Archives: Alaska & Canada

Join Naturalist Journeys’ Southeast Alaska Cruise To Glacier Bay JULY 2 – 9, 2022 For Unrivaled Natural Beauty

Peg Abbott guides our intimate small-ship cruise to Southeast Alaska’s Northern Passages

Guided by Naturalist Journeys’ founder Peg Abbott, our July 2-9 Southeast Alaska Cruise to Glacier Bay will be an intimate experience on a well-appointed ship that holds just 36 passengers! Built for close encounters with some of the most charismatic animals found anywhere in North America, the Safari Explorer is designed to go where mega cruise ships simply can’t.

Charting our path amid Southeast Alaska’s island archipelago, we are all but certain to see Humpback Whales, Orcas, Sea Lions and seals, seabirds, shorebirds and many other species.

On the 2021 dates of this cruise, Peg Abbott’s group were mesmerized by cooperative bubble feeding by Humpback Whales that she described this way in the trip report:

“This fine evening was one we will all have indelibly inked into our brains, full of beauty and wonder…We entered what was described as “whale soup”, an area of so much concentrated food that multiple Humpback Whales converged there. It would not be an exaggeration to say we saw over thirty to forty individuals surrounding the boat, with some at very close range, and others in the distance. Fish were boiling to the surface, and we could see streams of them moving and glittering in the light, at times looking like a river. We could see whale blows erupt like small geysers, often six or seven in a small area, some distant and some close, often in an alignment so you’d take in ten or twelve at one time.”

In addition to our small, fully vaccinated group and crew, our ship, the Safari Explorer also carries kayaks and skiffs, which we use to get into even more shallow waters closer to shore. Our ship is equipped with a wonderful feature that allows guests to get into and out of their kayaks on the ship.

  • Naturalist Journeys' Uncruise Alaska guests staying high and dry into and out of their kayaks on the ship's stern

Moving closer to shore, we are able to take in animals that roam or frequent the shoreline, including seabirds, shorebirds and mammals such as Grizzly Bears, which our 2021 guests did see this year from a skiff!

Some of the wonders are on and not off the ship! Cocktails and wine are included along with the spectacular food that awaits our guests.

Here, written by your Southeast Alaska tour guide and Naturalist Journeys Founder Peg Abbott, are some reasons why cruising is a wonderful way to travel:

Why Cruise with Naturalist Journeys?

Cruising is convenient. There’s a magic to unpacking once and  having everything taken care of. All you have to do is immerse  in the experience. But there is so much more to it! It’s simply  the best way to experience destinations that can’t be seen as  well by land.  

Our Naturalist Journeys Cruise to Southeast Alaska includes kayaks!

Cruising takes you to magical coastal landscapes. These  landscapes have shaped and transformed vibrant cultures for  centuries, and they are key to so many dynamic species of  wildlife. For birders, a trip along a coastline affords plentiful  seabirds and access to far-away places where stunning species  reside.  

This fresh and briny kelp tasting was a hit!

Cruising makes you feel so free. Casting off is something to be  celebrated! You participate in true expedition exploring. Our  cruises are chosen for the experience, and aboard the ship  we work hard to make you as comfortable and catered to as  possible. But for us, it’s really about seeing the places that we  cruise through—nature’s star performers of flora, fauna, and  landscape.  

Cruising lets you be you. You can be super social and have a  great time at night in the lounge trading stories, playing music,  and savoring great meals. Or, you can find a quiet spot on  the ship to cozy up with a book, or perhaps even work on your photography with an onboard expert.  

Our carefully chosen partners are masters at the logistics  of making the most of your time on land and at sea, where  experts give lectures to prepare for the next exciting landing. 

I invite you to join us to discover places that are simply Better by Boat! 

Peg Abbott

Finding Iconic Alaskan Mammals

We asked guide Greg Smith about his photos of iconic Alaskan mammals, how he finds them, and how they fit into the stunning Denali landscape. Here are his responses.

Alaskan Mammals
Grizzly Bear by Greg Smith

Naturalist Journeys’ guide, Greg Smith, is not only a fantastic guide, but also an incredible photographer; we are lucky to have him on our team. 

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Naturalist Journeys’ Alaska Wildlife Tour

Highlights from Naturalist Journeys’ June 2017 Alaska Wildlife Tour

Naturalist Journeys‘ guide Greg Smith shares his adventures with Muskox, Grizzlies, Caribou, Humpback Whales, and more from this past June’s Alaska wildlife tour with Naturalist Journeys. Click here to read the trip report from our clients’ fun experience in Nome, Anchorage, Seward, and Denali National Park.

Alaska Wildlife Tour
Nesting Black-legged Kittiwake by Greg Smith

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Southeast Alaska: Your 2017 Nature Travel Destination

Our Top-5 reasons to make Southeast Alaska your 2017 nature experience. Highlights from Naturalist Journeys’ Southeast Alaska Wildlife & Birding Tour.

Southeast Alaska
Glacier Bay by Peg Abbott

1: It’s Not a Cruise!
As a company, we’ve typically stayed away from Southeast Alaska for our birding and nature tours, turned off by throngs of cruise tourists. We’ve read reports of cruise ships’ negative affect on local towns and native communities, keeping profits within the cruise company — and that’s just not our goal as a company (check out our mission statement). We looked long and hard to find an “un-cruise” option in the region and we struck gold when Naturalist Journeys’ owner Peg Abbott visited the town of Gustavus, and its wonderful Gustavus Inn. Dave Lesh, owner and proprietor, has welcomed guests for 35+ years, carrying on three generations of family tradition. This beautiful and quintessential Alaskan inn allows us to live like locals for a week in the heart of Southeast Alaska’s iconic beauty, where we can simply unpack once, relax, and soak it all in. It’s a nature tour at its finest (and quite possibly at its most relaxing).

Southeast Alaska
Humpback Whale by Peg Abbott

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