12-day SE Alaska Inside Passage with Pack Creek Bear Viewing

Southeast Alaska is a magical place to be on a boat. And the best way for you to take in all the magic is on an adventure cruise aboard the David B. Our small ship can take you through channels and into coves and anchorages that the big cruise ships with equally big crowds can’t go.

This 12-day trip sees the SE Alaska inside passage from Ketchikan to Juneau with stops along the way to the Misty Fjords, Petersburg and Fords Terror. We even go to the Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area, where a limited number of people are allowed to visit each year to quietly observe Alaska brown bears (grizzly) in their natural habitat.

Sea lions from a small ship cruise in Alaska

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This Northbound trip boards in Ketchikan at noon. We’ll explore several days in the Misty Fjords Wilderness before heading to the sleepy Norwegian fishing town of Petersburg. The sights of working fish boats and Stellers sea lions in the harbor are a window into the abundance of life in Southeast Alaska’s cold nutrient-rich waters.

The highlight of this trip is the Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area. This special place is where brown bears that are accustom to people commonly forage. You’ll be there for an amazing land-based bear experience.

Brown bear at Pack Creek waking up from a nap. Alaska small ship cruise david b
A brown bear waking up from a nap at Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area.

We’ll cross Stephens Passage for Holkham Bay and the Tracy Arm/Fords Terror Wilderness Area. Here you’ll experience the true majesty of southeast Alaska as we enter Holkham Bay with Mt. Sumdum and it’s glacier to greet you.

On our way to Fords Terror, the David B will glide between enormous sapphire icebergs from Dawes Glacier at the head Endicott Arm.  We’ll anchor in a deep water cove next to unbelievably steep cliffs that are laced with thin waterfalls that cascade into the aqua blue water.

Visiting a tidewater glacier such as Dawes Glacier, is another highlight of this cruise. After slowly picking our way through the ice that has calved off of Dawes, we’ll spend an hour or longer watching this magnificent river of ice as it calves its icebergs into Endicott Arm.

Along the way back to Juneau, you’ll be served handmade croissants while you watch for humpback whales. We’ll make our way up Stephens Passage to Gastineau Channel where Juneau clings to the side of Mount Roberts. We’ll arrive in Juneau by mid-day.

Visit our blog to check out a video of the highlights from some of our Alaska trips, or have a listen to our podcast with Pack Creek Bear Guide Dan Kirkwood describing what it’s like to visit Pack Creek.

Curious to see more about this 12-day cruise? Check out our Zoom Live Event Recording featuring our crew.