Day 8 Following a hearty breakfast, we’ll head down the road to Seward and board the tour boat to head out into the Gulf of Alaska for the spectacular Kenai Fjords National Park, passing through the Chiswell Islands Refuge. Here we will view calving glaciers up very close in our small vessel and cruise the rugged coastline to view a tremendous concentration of wildlife including orcas and humpback whales, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, eagles, and many different kinds of sea birds. It’s one of the best one-day experiences in Alaska. Returning late afternoon we’ll head north through the mountain lake community of Moose Pass and back to Hope. If inclined after dinner, we’ll have a walk to the historic Seaview Bar down on the waterfront to meet some of the local “wildlife”. Or, you might just like to poke around the old settlement and see the magnificent views of the mountains bordering Cook Inlet, before lodging again for the night at Discovery Cabins.
In nine days, this wonderful itinerary offers a representative cross section of Alaska from the varied wilderness interior to the rugged maritime environments, traversing three major mountain ranges and hundreds of miles of marine sanctuary and coastline in this tour accessible to all. By being small and mobile, we can leave the crowds behind and explore treasures unavailable through other means, allowing a true sense of self-discovery. From visiting many unspoiled frontier towns and the national parks of Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords; to exploring a remote ghost city, to traversing famous Prince William Sound to view whales, bald eagles, and glaciers; this overview of Alaska goes far beyond what the merely conventional tourist will ever see. While many means exist to visit the wild North, the only way to truly experience it is to get off the beaten track. This 9-day itinerary provides a bit more leisure than our venerable shorter version, both offering a wonderful option to enable a tremendous and personal overview, without sacrificing several weeks or all idea of comfort. Staying each night in lovely and unique accommodations and dining in restaurants, this tour still retains a very definite spirit of adventure in the places and people we visit. If longing to see some of the real Alaska, but don’t care to camp, then this is the tour for you.