Today, our expedition took us to the stunningly charming town of Haines, where our guests embarked on an array of exciting activities that truly enriched our appreciation of Southeast Alaska. The options were plentiful, and our guests eagerly immersed themselves in the natural wonders and local community experiences that Haines had to offer. Our adventures included a captivating river rafting excursion down the magnificent Chilkat River, bike rides along the coastal forest, mountain hikes, fly fishing in local rivers running with salmon, and exploration of the town itself. Through all activities, guests were treated to exciting and memorable wildlife and wilderness memories to surely last a while.
Today’s activities were finalized with our evening’s cocktail hour aboard National Graphic Sea Bird, accompanied by our daily recaps from our naturalist team, delicious appetizers, and hand-crafted drinks and cocktails from our bar. Following our social hour is another fan favorite of the trip: crab night! Dungeons crab filled the dining tables for guests to enjoy a plentiful harvest of a local favorite, thanks to some incredible preparation from our crew on board.
Overall, the activities chosen by our guests in Haines truly added a tremendous amount of value to our expedition through Southeast Alaska. The river rafting, bike rides, mountain hikes, fishing, and community exploration all contributed to a holistic and immersive experience. Tomorrow, we eagerly await the adventures that await us as we explore the enchanting Inian Islands, where we hope to encounter even more captivating landscapes and wildlife that Alaska has to offer.
National Geographic Sea Bird
This morning we woke in Saook Bay with beautifully calm overcast conditions, mist on the mountains, and an intermittent sprinkling of rain. Three brown bears were spotted onshore from the ship’s bow before 7 a.m. by our early-rising naturalist. Several guests joined the early morning observations, while others joined the stretch class with our wellness specialist. After breakfast, kayakers and paddleboarders took to Saook Bay for a peaceful paddle. Global Explorers had a special shore expedition to experience the intertidal zone, where they learned to make kelp horns and rattles. Then we ramped up the energy for both participants and spectators during our exciting Polar Plunge into the cold Southeast Alaskan waters. With everyone back on board to enjoy conversations over lunch, we sailed to a small bay for an afternoon of hiking on the trailhead to Lake Eva. Hiking in the temperate rainforest after this morning’s light rain provided many photo opportunities of water droplets on leaves and moss, fabulous fungi, and vibrant berries. One highlight for everyone on the trail was seeing a mama brown bear with her young cub in the creek. She was catching pink salmon and sharing it with her cub. We even saw them both take short swims. With the excitement of this sighting still fresh on our minds, we then watched a cluster of humpback whales spout and fluke as we approached the fantail of National Geographic Sea Bird. A short while later these same whales began bubble-net and lunge feeding! Wow! There’s just so much to experience here in Southeast Alaska.