The short yet exceptional Alaska charter season brings an opportunity to discover natural wonders and fascinating history along one of the most stunning coastlines in the world.
Both Sitka and Juneau offer the visitor so much that it is recommended to spend a day or two in each. The natural beauty of Sitka and its history make this perhaps the most interesting of the south eastern towns and its small size puts most of it within easy walking distance. Tlingit and Aleut artefacts can be seen at the Sheldon Jackson Museum as well as at the Visitor Centre at the Sitka National Historic Park. At the park there is a great collection of totem poles arranged along the walk which leads to the site of the battle between the Tlingit and the Russians.
The Russian occupation period is featured in St Michael’s Cathedral, to be toured with the Russian Orthodox Tlingit priest, the Russian Bishop’s House, built by Finnish shipwrights and largely original, the Russian cemetery, Castle Hill, and the Isabel Miller Museum in the Centennial Building. Today’s arts and crafts are well represented in the gift and speciality shops, probably the best in the south east, and feature both native and Russian influences as well as modern artists.
Big game fishing
History and culture
In the know
Best time to visit:
June - July
In the know
Best time to visit:
June - July
Day to day itinerary
Luxury experiences in amazing locations
Sitka - Appleton Cove
Depart Sitka in the morning and cruise through Olga and Neva Straits, through the Sergius Narrows out of Peril Strait to a beautiful anchorage at Appleton Cove where you can set crab pots to perhaps catch lunch. If you wish, you may take a walk ashore.
Appleton Cove to Sitcoh Bay
Cruise out of Peril Strait to Chathan Strait where there is excellent salmon and halibut fishing and later cruise to Sitkoh Bay keeping an eye out for the little Sitka deer and the magnificent Alaska Brown Bear. Its possible you may also get to see several eagles.
Cruise down the west coast of Baranof Island, perhaps the most beautiful coastline in the world, in and out of small bays to see towering waterfalls. Spend the night either anchored off the float at Warm Springs Bay in front of the thundering Baranof Falls. You could hike up to Baranof Lake and take a small boat to catch some trout or perhaps just sit in the hot springs above the falls and relax.
Cruise further down Chatham Strait then head North East into Frederick Sound, keeping an eye out for Humpback whales which frequent these waters. These are the summer feeding grounds for hundreds of these magnificent animals who migrate up from the warmer southern waters. Spend the night at anchor in one of the most tranquil anchorages, a group of islands called the Brothers. Here, in 30 feet of water, Humpback whales can sometimes cruise within a few feet of the vessel.
Cruise up through the small islands whilst watching for whales and maybe stopping to see a Steller sea lion ‘haul-out’. Throughout the summer, hundreds of these loud but personable marine mammals sun themselves on the rocks. Anchor for the night in the very small and beautiful Pleasant Bay.
Pleasant Bay to Tracy Arm
This is salmon territory. It might be possible to take the tender into the creek to see if the salmon have returned to spawn. This is also a good area for putting down crab pots, a favourite with children. It is well worth a cruise down Seymour Canal and try to catch some of the famed king salmon. The yacht can then head up to No Name Cove in the mouth of Tracy Arm for the night.
Spend the day cruising Tracy Arm; a Norwegian like fjord 23 miles long. After watching amazing icebergs glide past, arrive at the tidewater Sawyer Glacier. There will probably be seals, eagles, brown bears, mountain goats and moose. Then cruise through the icebergs up Stephens passage, eat some crab outside on deck whilst viewing the snow covered mountains of Admiralty Island. Spend the night anchored in Taku Harbour the site of an almost totally derelict cannery. Take a walk ashore to see the ruins close up.
Taku to Juneau
Cruise past the Taku inlet, up Gastineau Channel and on to Juneau. You return to Juneau with a new appreciation for the way the earth existed before man. If Manhattan, New York had the same population density as does Alaska, it would have a population of 1. South East Alaska is such a vast area with so many cruising possibilities that it is not uncommon to spend up to a week without seeing another yacht. Juneau is the state capital and the largest city in the South East with 21,000 people. It is a tourist orientated city. There are numerous shops and the Alaska State Museum and Centennial Hall should both be visited.