Alaska Small Ship Adventure Cruises

If you want to see Alaska by sea but up close—and without having to battle the crowds— then you'll want to set sail on a small ship. Here’s what they offer:

Reach Places Big Ships Can’t

These nimble vessels carry fewer passengers than large ships, offer more frequent and more up-close glacier viewing, and make unplanned stops whenever wildlife appears. Itineraries call on less-visited ports where large ships can't go. You’ll likely explore wild, secluded coves where you can go ashore for nature hikes, custom excursions and intimate wildlife viewing. Ships carry 12-150 passengers.

Personalized Service

Small ships lack the amenities of a big ship. You won’t get big shows or endless buffets. Small ship cruises are more expensive than big-ship cruises, but in return, you get a more personal level of service, and the chance to travel with a typically curious, adventurous group of travelers.

A Hands-On Experience

Take a small ship cruise to immerse yourself in your adventure and maximize your learning. Evening programs include naturalists and speakers who enlighten you about the wildlife, history and culture you’re exploring. During the day, instead of disembarking to, say, go shopping, you may take bikes or kayaks ashore.

Inside Passage

Fly into Juneau or Sitka • same region as large cruises but more intimate ports • Glacier Bay National Park

Season: May to mid-September 7 days / 6 nights

Explore Alas­ka by char­ter­ing the 90-foot yacht Alaskan Sto­ry, out of Juneau. It’s the per­fect way to see some of the state’s most stun­ning­ly beau­ti­ful areas, like Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park, and enjoy lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties for fish­ing, kayak­ing, hik­ing, and wildlife view­ing along the way.

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 15
$7,200+
14 Nights / 15 Days
Ports of Call: Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Wrangell, Ketchikan
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Wilderness Explorer
Season: May 1 - September 1 Custom Trips, Call for Quote 3 - 21 Days

Dis­cov­er South­east Alaska’s nat­ur­al won­ders aboard a char­tered sail­boat with Sail­ing Alas­ka. Cus­tomize your pri­vate expe­di­tion with expe­ri­enced cap­tain John Joeright and enjoy all-inclu­sive meals, com­fort­able accom­mo­da­tions, and end­less adven­tures on the 46-foot S/V Sham­rock. Watch whales, hike, fish, vis­it local com­mu­ni­ties, and more — all at your own pace.

Season: May 11 to Sep 21
$5600+
8 Days / 7 Nights
Ports of Call: Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Hoonah / Icy Strait, Sitka
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Safari Endeavour

Start your wilder­ness jour­ney in Juneau, the state capi­tol of Alas­ka, and end in Sit­ka, the per­fect spot to view the meld­ing of Russ­ian and Alas­ka Native cul­tures. In between, vis­it Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park, go bird watch­ing on South Mar­ble Island, look for whales in Icy Strait, hike along inter­tidal zones, and when your cap­tain sets the course for adven­ture, slip into your kayak or skiff for a day of guid­ed explo­ration. (Itin­er­ary also  ...more

Season: Apr 15 to Sep 28
$6,100+
13 Days / 12 Nights
Ports of Call: Seattle, San Juan Island, Southeast / Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Tongass National Forest, Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Hoonah / Icy Strait, Juneau
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Safari Endeavour, Wilderness Legacy, Safari Explorer, Safari Quest
Season: June - Sept $16,000+ 2+ Nights 4-5 hr & 2+ Nights

Bear Paw Char­ters offers pri­vate, all-inclu­sive day trips and longer tours on its lux­u­ry yacht — per­fect for whale watch­ing, bear view­ing, and expe­ri­enc­ing Alaska’s scenic majesty.

Season: Apr 16 to Oct 08
$4,800+
7 Nights / 8 Days
Ports of Call: Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Wilderness Discoverer
Season: May - September
$5,850+ (Inside Passage $2,650+)
5 days / 4 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star

Set sail for 5 days and 4 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adven­ture cruis­ing in Prince William Sound, Kenai Penin­su­la or along the Inside Pas­sage. The well-appoint­ed yacht accom­mo­dates just 12 guests, allow­ing for a per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ence where you are the explor­er! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the won­ders of Alaska’s amaz­ing coast­line. All meals pre­pared by an on-board chef and fea­tur­ing fresh local  ...more

Season: May 24 - Aug 30
$6,100+
8 Days / 7 Nights
Ports of Call: Juneau, Hoonah / Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Safari Quest, Wilderness Adventurer

Get close to Dawes, Marg­erie and Grand Pacif­ic Glac­i­er and spend one day in Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park, guid­ed by an expert nat­u­ral­ist. Explore Fords Ter­ror Wilder­ness area by skiff, hike inland on Chichagof Island, and Bushwack in the Ton­gass Nation­al For­est. Search for Hump­back whales in Fred­er­ick Sound and Chatham Straight, and be on the look­out for black and brown bears, eagles, seat otters, har­bor seals, sea lions, and sea birds dur­ing your  ...more

Season: Apr 06 to Sep 29
$6,100+
7 Nights / 8 Days
Ports of Call: Juneau, Hoonah / Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Safari Quest

This itin­er­ary includes two full days in Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park, includ­ing active explo­ration in the out­back. Vis­it Marg­erie and Grand Pacif­ic glac­i­ers. Go ashore in Haines for hik­ing, bik­ing, a float trip and his­to­ry. Look for wildlife on shore and at sea, with excep­tion­al bird­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties at South Mar­ble Island.

Season: May 15 to Sep 15
Call for Quote
Custom
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: The Sea Mist

Design your exclu­sive itin­er­ary then set sail into the vast open waters and wildlife-rich shore­lines of Prince William Sound aboard your own spa­cious and pri­vate yacht. Up to six pas­sen­gers can sit back, relax, and expe­ri­ence an inti­mate tour. Most guests enjoy the 5‑day/​4‑night trips, but you can book longer 10-day/9‑night expeditions.

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Whittier & Prince William Sound View All

Fly into Anchorage • 1.5 hr drive to Whittier • largest concentration of tidewater glaciers • calm waters

Season: May 15 to Sep 15
Call for Quote
Custom
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: The Sea Mist

Design your exclu­sive itin­er­ary then set sail into the vast open waters and wildlife-rich shore­lines of Prince William Sound aboard your own spa­cious and pri­vate yacht. Up to six pas­sen­gers can sit back, relax, and expe­ri­ence an inti­mate tour. Most guests enjoy the 5‑day/​4‑night trips, but you can book longer 10-day/9‑night expeditions.

From $4,450+
5 to 7 Days
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Our Clas­sic Dis­cov­ery Voy­age is the per­fect wilder­ness sam­pler. We take in the most spec­tac­tu­lar sights of Prince William Sound — moun­tains, fjords, glac­i­ers and wildlife — with the num­ber of dai­ly excur­sions (ashore or by kayak) tai­lored to the inter­ests and activ­i­ty lev­el of the group.

Season: May - September
$5,850+ (Inside Passage $2,650+)
5 days / 4 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star

Set sail for 5 days and 4 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adven­ture cruis­ing in Prince William Sound, Kenai Penin­su­la or along the Inside Pas­sage. The well-appoint­ed yacht accom­mo­dates just 12 guests, allow­ing for a per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ence where you are the explor­er! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the won­ders of Alaska’s amaz­ing coast­line. All meals pre­pared by an on-board chef and fea­tur­ing fresh local  ...more

Season: June 25 - July 5
From $9500*
5 days / 4 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Prince William Sound, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Explore a wildlife rich slice of Alas­ka, set in the scenic wilder­ness set­tings of Lake Clark Nation­al Park, and the Chugach Nation­al For­est Wilder­ness of Prince William Sound.

Season: July 7 - August 21
From $4,950+
5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Cordova
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Per­fect for the adven­tur­ous trav­el­er, the Hike and Kayak voy­age sees all the same sites as on our Clas­sic voy­age, but with more excur­sions. Kayak among ice­bergs, hike through moun­tain mead­ows, and take in the scenery on this unique trip. Activ­i­ties can be cus­tomized to suit the inter­ests and activ­i­ty lev­el of those on board.

Season: April - Sept
$4,000 Day Cruise, 8 Hrs Up To 6 Guests | $8,000+ Multi-Day, Up To 6 Guests
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline

Spend the after­noon, or a few days explor­ing the waters of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Car­o­line, a beau­ti­ful cus­tom-built yacht set for adven­ture! It’s the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly or small group vaca­tion. Fill your days loung­ing on the fly­bridge, fish­ing, kayak­ing, strolling beach­es and cruis­ing to your next fan­tas­tic destination.

Season: June 8 - Aug 5
From $2,995
3 Days
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Explore the nat­ur­al won­ders of north­west­ern Prince William Sound Alas­ka in this 3‑day ver­sion of our Clas­sic Dis­cov­ery Voy­age. This is the per­fect cruise for those who don’t have time to do the whole Inside Pas­sage or wish to com­bine their Alas­ka cruise with more shore-based activities. 

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Seward & Kenai Fjords View All

Fly into Anchorage • 2.5 hr drive to Seward • Private charters

3.5 Hr Day Sail, $769 up to 6 people | $2949+ Multi-day 3.5 Hour Day Sail to Multi-Day

Char­ter a sail­boat out of Seward and hit the waters of gor­geous Res­ur­rec­tion Bay! Choose an after­noon tour if you’re just in Seward for the day, or opt for a mul­ti-day cruise. Your char­ter comes with a sea­soned cap­tain, or expe­ri­enced sailors can rent the boat and take the helm them­selves. Sur­round­ed by moun­tains, the bay offers ide­al sail­ing con­di­tions, and you’ll have plen­ty of chances to see wildlife and glaciers.

Season: April - Sept
$4,000 Day Cruise, 8 Hrs Up To 6 Guests | $8,000+ Multi-Day, Up To 6 Guests
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline

Spend the after­noon, or a few days explor­ing the waters of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Car­o­line, a beau­ti­ful cus­tom-built yacht set for adven­ture! It’s the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly or small group vaca­tion. Fill your days loung­ing on the fly­bridge, fish­ing, kayak­ing, strolling beach­es and cruis­ing to your next fan­tas­tic destination.

Season: May - September
$5,850+ (Inside Passage $2,650+)
5 days / 4 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star

Set sail for 5 days and 4 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adven­ture cruis­ing in Prince William Sound, Kenai Penin­su­la or along the Inside Pas­sage. The well-appoint­ed yacht accom­mo­dates just 12 guests, allow­ing for a per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ence where you are the explor­er! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the won­ders of Alaska’s amaz­ing coast­line. All meals pre­pared by an on-board chef and fea­tur­ing fresh local  ...more

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Homer View All

Fly into Anchorage • 1 hr flight or 5 hour drive to Homer • Private charters

Season: June 1 - October 1 Custom, call for rates. Up to 10 guests

A ful­ly cus­tomiz­able expe­di­tion that show­cas­es Alaska’s beau­ty by land, sea, and air. The trip starts with a pri­vate flight from Anchor­age to Homer, where guests stay in a pre­mi­um log chalet. Choose from var­i­ous activ­i­ties includ­ing dri­ving an amphibi­ous vehi­cle, bear view­ing, fish­ing, hik­ing, and kayak­ing. On the fourth day, board the M/V Pere­grine and explore Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, glac­i­ers, ice caves, and water­falls while look­ing for  ...more

Season: May 1–Sept 30 $300 4 hrs / $10,500+ 3+ days 4 hrs - 3+ days

Set sail on a lux­u­ri­ous 70-ft yacht out of Homer for 3+ days of fish­ing, hik­ing, kayak­ing, and wildlife view­ing while indulging in mass amounts of seafood. Your itin­er­ary will depend on the inter­ests of the group, and the expe­ri­enced local crew can ful­fill those interests.

Season: May 1 - Sept 15 $3,450+ per day Four-day, four-night

Char­ter their pri­vate, live-aboard, 60’ yacht. Wake up each day in the mid­dle of untouched wilder­ness and go sea kayak­ing, hike through bore­al forests, fish for tro­phy hal­ibut and salmon, or spend a qui­et day on the water pho­tograph­ing wildlife

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Kodiak and Coasts of Katmai & Lake Clark National Parks

Kodiak Island • Bears of Katmai National Park • Sailing on Lake Clark

Season: June -  September $6,252+ 6 nights

Immerse your­self in a mul­ti-day Alaskan adven­ture that promis­es incred­i­ble views and jaw-drop­ping bear view­ing in Kat­mai Nation­al Park, along with a warm cama­raderie that only a small group expe­di­tion can cre­ate. Explore from your home base on the Island C, a research ves­sel that gets you close to the action while pro­vid­ing com­fort­able lodg­ing and deli­cious meals.

Season: June - September $2,666+ per cabin (double occupancy) 3+ nights

You’ll spend either 4 or 7 days sail­ing around Lake Clark, expe­ri­enc­ing all the nat­ur­al majesty this nation­al park has to offer, with its many crag­gy moun­tains set close to the water. Anchor each night in a new loca­tion. Look for wildlife, hike, explore with kayaks and pad­dle­boards, and enjoy bon­fires on the beach. 

Season: May - Sept 15 $9500+ per person 5+ Days

Fly from Anchor­age by sea­plane to the North­west Odyssey, anchored off the coast of Kat­mai Nation­al Park. This lux­u­ri­ous yacht will be your home base for spec­tac­u­lar bear view­ing and fish­ing in uncrowd­ed waters.

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