Alaska/British Columbia Trips 2014

These Alaska and British Columbia trips come with a warning: These trips are addictive. The proof is in the fact that well over half of the guests are either returning – some for over 40 trips – or have come because of enthusiastic recommendations from friends. We have welcomed guests from around the world, including Alaska itself.

Southeast Alaska/B.C. is best seen and visited by boat or float plane, and the smaller the boat or plane (within reason) the better the experience. Miles of tree lined deep green fiords combined with ice, dramatic basalt and granitic rock and all the animals that live here make for a tremendous sense of awe and exhilaration. Come and join us for the adventure!

Fabulous Inside Passage

Port Townsend to Ketchikan
June 9 - June 18, 2014       Ronn Patterson

Water RipplesThe excitement begins immediately as we twist and turn around and between islands and narrow passes along side Vancouver Island—protecting you from the ocean—and the high, ice-covered peaks and fiords of the mainland. The space in between is the Inside Passage—an island studded wilderness and a boating adventurer's dream. After our passage through the Gulf Islands, Nanaimo and the Straits of Georgia, we must time our passage through the famous Seymour Narrows, just north of Campbell River as we can pass through here only at slack water. Next come Johnstone Straits and the legendary home of the northern community of resident orcas and the home also to a renaissance of Native culture. Crossing Queen Charlotte Sound at the north end of Vancouver Island brings us to a remote part of Coastal British Columbia and its treasures. Nine days after we start our adventure the trip ends in Ketchikan, just across the Dixon Entrance.

Valid passport required for this trip.

Check Schedule

Find out more about Ronn Patterson
Back to top of page

Wildlife and Native Culture

Ketchikan to Juneau
June 21 - June 30, 2014       Ronn Patterson

Bear with SalmonThe journey from Ketchikan to Juneau is as spectacular as the scenery, inhabitants, and wildlife in SE Alaska. The approximately 150 miles (as the raven flies) of watery wilderness is punctuated by coastal strands where there might be foraging black or brown (grizzly) bears, glaciers reaching to the tops of the mountains, and all around you the temperate rainforest of the Tongass National Forest. Humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and many, many seabirds and fish species call this place home. With Ronn Patterson as captain and John Kipping as naturalist, they'll endeavor to put you in the places of maximum interest and opportunities.

Valid passport required for this trip.

Check Schedule

Find out more about Ronn Patterson
Back to top of page

Around Admiralty Island

Juneau to Gustavus
July 3 - July 12, 2014       Ronn Patterson

Painted Houses ReflectionsThis voyage of exploration around Admiralty Island (the 7th largest island in the US) provides a wonderful opportunity to visit wilderness (almost a million acres of it) and experience a lot of what Southeast Alaska has to offer. Ice, bears, whales, waterfalls are all part of the picture as are most of the other wildlife that inhabits this region. The Tlingit town of Angoon is on the agenda, and several hours can be spent looking at painted house fronts and other evidence of native art.

Pack Creek is probably the best known of the bear reserves in the area and we will be spending a day there. With the trip ending in Gustavus at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, time with the whales that are usually near the entrance to Glacier Bay is a must do. Come with us and see what you think!

Valid passport required for this trip.

Check Schedule

Find out more about Ronn Patterson
Back to top of page

Glacier Bay I

Hoonah to Gustavus
July 14 - July 21, 2014       Roger Devore

Whale Fluke In Front Of MountainsThis Glacier Bay adventure has it all – and possibly a little more. Glacier Bay National Park itself has the pinnacle of scenic splendor plus an amazing ice kingdom. An abundance of wildlife exists also - grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, marmots, eagles, Black-legged kitty wake colonies with thousands of birds, eagles, Tufted and Horned Puffins, humpback whales, killer whales and more. This cruise explores the backwaters and less visited portions of Glacier Bay as well as the "standard" must see portions. In addition, you visit and explore several wildlife rich areas - especially some of the best whale waters - outside the park. Best of all, you get to explore and play among the scenery - new and old forests, acres of imposing glacial ice, mountains, meadows of flowers – all in the shadow of grandfather grizzly.

Check Schedule

Find out more about Don Paulson or Roger Devore
Back to top of page

Glacier Bay II

Hoonah to Gustavus
July 23 - July 29, 2014       Darran Leal

Rainbow in the FiordsThese Glacier Bay adventures have it all – and possibly a little more. Glacier Bay National Park itself has the pinnacle of scenic splendor plus an amazing ice kingdom. An abundance of wildlife exists also - grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, marmots, eagles, Black-legged kitty wake colonies with thousands of birds, eagles, Tufted and Horned Puffins, humpback whales, killer whales and more. This cruise explores the backwaters and less visited portions of Glacier Bay as well as the "standard" must see portions. In addition, you visit and explore several wildlife rich areas - especially some of the best whale waters - outside the park. Best of all, you get to explore and play among the scenery - new and old forests, acres of imposing glacial ice, mountains, meadows of flowers – all in the shadow of grandfather grizzly.

"...an imposing array of jagged spires and pyramids, and flat-topped towers and battlements, of many shades of blue, from pale, shimmering, limpid tones in the crevasses and hollows, to the most startling, chilling, almost shrieking vitriol blue on the plain mural spaces from which bergs had just been discharged." John Muir

Check Schedule

Find out more about Darren Leal
Back to top of page

Whales, Bears, Glaciers I

Hoonah to Wrangell
July 31 - August 8, 2014       Jed Manwaring / Brenda Tharp

Backlit Whale FlukesFlying in to Juneau (the Alaska state capital) before arriving in Hoonah gives you time to explore this most northern of our state capitals (and the only one you can't drive to). Departing from the small town of Hoonah near the entrance to Glacier Bay, there may be tremendous opportunities to view humpback whales, Steller sea lions, and other wildlife as you and the boat start the adventure towards Wrangell. This trip across Southeast Alaska ends in the small frontier town of Wrangell. Cruise ships don't stop here to it retains more of the flavor of small town Alaska: fishing, mining, lumbering all backed by a strong Native American influence which have shaped the area. Some nice museums, native art, and "you never know what you'll find" experiences grace your visit here. Leaving time to explore the town is worth it.

As the adventure unfolds there will be terrific scenery (snowcapped mountains and ice), opportunities to venture ashore in very remote areas, kayaking, fishing, and of course, photography. Two of the best bear viewing areas in Southeast (Pack and Anan Creeks) are on the agenda and usually orcas, seabirds, bears on the shore and other surprises wait around the next bend. Our itineraries are flexible and we like to take unexpected turns when opportunity knocks. Join us and see what happens!

Visit our Facebook page to view past and present trips. Our photo gallery also provides lots of what we may encounter during this cruise!

Check Schedule

Find out more about Jed Manwaring and Brenda Tharp
Back to top of page

Whales, Bears, Glaciers I, II & III

Wrangell to Juneau
August 11 - August 19, 2014       Betty Sederquest

Juneau to Wrangell
August 22 - August 30, 2014       Don Paulson

Pack Creek Running BearThese 3 trips are Wrangell to Juneau or Juneau to Wrangell. All are covering a prime area of Southeast Alaska for bears (Anan and Pack Creeks), ice (Endicott or Tracy Arm), and whales (Frederick Sound). Out of Wrangell everyone will also have a jetboat trip up the Stikine River almost into Canada. With a little luck the magnificent glacial valley that holds Shakes Lake will be open (ice closes it at times). Bald eages, ravens, crows, and seabirds provide the activity overhead (and so do the Northern Lights on occasion). The salmon are running at this time of year, so both bears and fisherman are happy. Let us show you some of the wonders of Alaska.

Visit our Facebook page to view past and present trips. Our photo gallery also provides lots of what we may encounter during this cruise!

Check Schedule

Find out more about Betty Sederquist or Don Paulson
Back to top of page

Spirit Bear

Ketchikan to Port McNeill
September 6 - September 15, 2014       Ronn Patterson

Spirit Bear CubBeginning in Ketchikan, this trip enters into very remote British Columbia. It's a land of mists and mountains and, apart from Prince Rupert, only scattered human populations. Bears and other wildlife outnumber the people! The "Spirit Bear" –a white phase of the black bear– is most visible on Princess Royal Island where we'll be guided by natives to, potentially, the best bear viewing locations. They also can be visible from the beach, as were these two cubs from last year. The scenery and narrow passages through this area emphasize the glaciers that cut these channels during the last Ice Age. For overall grandeur, this cruise can't be beat!

Check Schedule

Find out more about Ronn Patterson
Back to top of page

Orcas, Orcas, Orcas

Port McNeil to Friday Harbor
September 17 - September 25, 2014       Ellen Anon / Barbara Jordan

Orca JumpingMore orcas inhabit this region than exist in the rest of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska combined! This cruise spends time with resident orcas at two communities as well as the transient orcas in between. The northern resident community is near Johnstone Strait, and the southern resident community is near Friday Harbor, Washington. This region, the top of Vancouver Island to Friday Harbor, is the heart of a strong native culture with well–developed art, religion and social structure.

The setting is one of unbelievable beauty – deep green bays rimmed by forests and mountains, punctuated by the black and white of the orca whale (actually the largest member of the dolphin family). We will spend as much time as possible with the orcas, visit bird rookeries and go ashore for brief hikes and beach combing. We will also make special visits to wonderful native museums and village sites.

A valid passport is required for this trip.

Check Schedule

Find out more about Ellen Anon or Barbara Jordan

Back to top of page


Alaska/British Columbia

Dolphin Charters operates under permit from the Tongass National Forest.

NOTE: All itineraries and schedules are subject to change based on weather conditions and the captain's discretion.

List of Trips