Cloud Ridge Naturalists
m/v Sea Wolf in Lituya Bay
  Wild Ocean Mists


May 8-20, 2010
(13 Days/12 Nights)

Audrey Benedict, Kimber Owen, and the Crew of the M/V Sea Wolf

Imagine Glacier Bay as John Muir saw it in 1899, as a member of the legendary Harriman Expedition—without the cruise ships, the guidebooks, and interpretive signs that define the modern visitor’s experience. Aboard the M/V Sea Wolfm/v Sea Wolf - 97 foot vintage wooden boat, a 97-foot vintage wooden boat, we’ll have the chance to see this spectacular glacier and fjord landscape in much the same way that Harriman’s scientists did. We’ll trace the evidence of climatic change left behind by the advance and retreat of these immense glaciers—just as Muir did—and ponder the impacts and changes that loom on the horizon. Unlike the big cruise ships, Sea Wolf is trim enough to explore the narrowest of fjords and shallow coastal waters. She carries twelve passengers and a crew of five in superb comfort—the perfect size for a voyage such as ours. Best of all, Sea Wolf carries a full complement of sea kayaks and a motorized inflatable to enable exploration both far and wide. For those who take paddle in hand, the use of sea kayaks allows a more intimate, seal’s eye view of the tidewater glaciers, inlets, islets, and estuary streams that make this coastal wilderness one of North America’s most beautiful and biologically diverse areas.

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Glacier CalvingAlong the wild, storm-battered coastline of the Gulf of Alaska, a whale-shaped fjord—Lituya Bay—lies within the snowy embrace of the spectacular Fairweather Range. The only access to this legendary outlier of Glacier Bay National Park is by small boat or float plane. Lituya Bay is situated at the confluence of three glaciers—the Lituya, the Cascade, and the North Crillon—and centered along a T-shaped epicenter of intense geologic activity known as the Fairweather Fault. Since 1899, nine earthquakes have rumbled across the region, toppling mountains and flaying this ice-carved landscape to its bedrock roots. In 1958, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake centered on Cross Sound, forty-five miles to the southeast, set the fjord into earth-wrenching motion and triggered a 1,740-foot-tsunami-like wave. The opportunity to explore the extraordinary geology and human history of Lituya Bay is a highlight of our voyage.

May is a magical time to be in Glacier Bay, largely because the weather is often at its best and we have these spectacular fjords mostly to ourselves—just the bears, the first returning whales, and the thousands of migrating shore- and seabirds traveling the Pacific Flyway. Paddling Chichagof IslandAgainst a backdrop of some of the most magnificent mountains on earth, rivers of glacial ice tumble into the sea and aquamarine-colored icebergs drift by on the tides. Responding to the boom and crash of ice at the glacier front, kittiwakes and Arctic terns swirl over the churning, welling waters in search of food. Western sandpipers and other shorebirds skitter along the shorelines, poking their bills into the food-rich mud and gravels of the intertidal zone. Sea ducks and huge rafts of harlequin ducks forage in quiet bays before making the final push to their breeding areas. Grizzlies and black bears, recently emerged from hibernation dens, can be seen bending down the branches of black cottonwoods to feed on the sweetly-resinous leaf buds, grazing on swards of lush sedges, or scraping succulent barnacles and mussels from rocks along the water’s edge. For the wildlife of Glacier Bay and the outer islands, this is truly a time of plenty.

Price: $4,950 (includes a $500 deposit)
Group Size: 12
Trip Rating: 2-3

Price Includes: 10 nights/10 days aboard the M/V Sea Wolf, all meals and beverages aboard, 2 nights lodging in Juneau (May 8 & 19), two group dinners ashore, the services of a four-person crew and three naturalist leaders, roundtrip Air Excursions charter flight to Gustavus from Juneau and return, boat/hotel transfers, full sea kayak outfitting and instruction, and gratuities to the Sea Wolf’s crew.

Does not include roundtrip airfare to Juneau, Alaska from your point of departure or meals other than those listed.

Need more information? Visit Sea Wolf Adventures online at for pictures of the M/V Sea Wolf, her cabins, interior amenities, accessibility & crew biographies.

Registration form 2010 (PDF) |  Trip Information Page

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