THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. But contact us to get on a waiting list.

Once again, after a year off because of Covid, we return to Southeast Alaska. After many years of doing this trip, it has become one of my favorites. We get to see some of the best of the best in Southeast Alaska.

We start this adventure at 8 a.m., July 10, in ‘Wrangell, meeting at the Stikine Inn (where most of us will be staying). Wrangell has plenty to offer, most of it within walking distance of the hotel. You may want to arrive a day early to enjoy this little town. Highlights in this historic town include the Chief Shakes Totem Park and a magnificent museum. Using Wrangell as our base, we will spend half a day traveling by high-speed, shallow-draft jetboat up the mighty Stikine River to the fantastic Shakes Lake, with its other-worldly icebergs and rugged peaks. In late afternoon we board our 120-foot vessel for the trip to Anan Creek, where black bears congregate at a small waterfall to catch and eat salmon. Here, we follow a trail to an observation deck plus a blind where you will get amazing photos of these bruins.

From there we head back north through the Wrangell Narrows, past the delightful fishing town of Petersburg (we may stop here) and then to Frederick Sound, home to a summer population of hundreds of humpback whales. We typically see them in groups of two or three. With luck you might see them breaching or bubble feeding. Sometimes here we also see orcas. We’ll spend a couple of days here, lingering in The Brothers Islands with its sea lion colony and just enjoying the beauty of this magnificent place. From Frederick Sound we voyage even further north to Pack

Creek, Admiralty Island. Here we have permits to view brown bears fishing, always a special treat. Then we return back south, often anchoring in beautiful Pleasant Bay on Admiralty. We then cross east on Frederick Sound to the Ice Kingdom, nickname for Yosemite-like Endicott Arm, with its hundreds of brilliant aquamarine icebergs. If we see especially photogenic bergs, we’ll linger for photo ops. Our destination is the mighty tidewater Dawes Glacier, with its calving, crashing bergs. We’ll anchor at the mouth of Fords Terror, and if we’ve had rain, we can admire the dozens of massive waterfalls that thunder into the bay. We end our trip in Juneau on July 18, where after breakfast aboard you can either catch your flight home or linger in Juneau to enjoy the many sights here.

We eat and sleep on our liveaboard 120-foot boat. Although the boat can hold plenty more people, we take only eight passengers because of permit limitations at the bear reserve. Our captain, Ronn Patterson, and first mate/naturalist, John Kipping are both extremely knowledgeable about natural history. Also aboard we’ll have an amazing cook (expect fresh fish, fresh-baked goodies and much more), plus me as your photo advisor. As needed, I’ll be giving you photo tips and Photoshop techniques. Access to Juneau and Wrangell is via Alaska Airlines jet.

I have been leading smallboat Southeast Alaska tours since 1999, and trust me, this is one of the best, a dream come true and in so many wonderful ways, a life-changing adventure. Contact me and I can send you the highly detailed itinerary.

This trip will fill quickly; I have had a lot of people express interest. Don’t delay in signing up!

We can take up to eight passengers. We have plenty of plugs for laptops and battery recharging. The food is amazing, with fresh fish, homemade bread and cookies and much more. You are served by three crew: veteran Captain Ronn (a whale biologist who has been cruising these waters for over 40 years); our first mate John Kipping, and cook. Trip leader Betty will share her knowledge of photography and digital post-processing with you.

The trip is first come, first served. A $500 deposit per person holds your place. Cost is $5145, plus airfare (generally about $900 round trip from California) and hotels/meals in Wrangell and Juneau. To register, contact Dolphin Charters, www.dolphincharters.com; 1007 Leneve Place, El Cerrito CA 94530; (510) 527-9622 or (800) 472-9942. Or feel free to contact me with any questions.