We’ve got your back. When you join one of our trips, we want you to have peace of mind. In response to COVID-19, we’ve:
To learn more:Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Join us aboard the M/V Discovery for an exciting exploration of the magical sheltered waterways of southeast Alaska's Prince William Sound. The Sound is a nearly untouched wilderness surrounded by the world's northernmost temperate rainforest, rugged mountain ridges, and gentle ocean waters. On this Atlas Obscura exclusive land and sea journey, we'll share a selection of our favorite destinations in the Sound, explicitly highlighted for their scenic beauty, wildlife viewing, and shoreside explorations. Daily excursions, including leg-stretching strolls along quiet shores, hikes through lush, inland meadows and old-growth forests, and kayaking through gentle icy waters, provide intimate encounters with Alaska's wildlife. Come along to enjoy a gentle maritime pace and epic scenery while traveling in the home of whales, sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, and many more residents of this wilderness sanctuary.
Please keep in mind that itinerary changes will occur due to weather or to take advantage of seasonal opportunities like wildlife viewing, tide cycles, etc.
The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.
You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. Accommodations on board the Discovery are twin rooms, and you’ll be matched with another solo traveler. The only way to secure a private cabin as a solo traveler is to book a second space on the trip.
A single room may be requested for the first and last nights of the trip in Anchorage. Please inquire for availability and rate.
On this trip, we will be spending four nights aboard the 65-foot M/V Discovery. The lower deck includes sleeping accommodations for twelve guests in six cabins fitted with upper and lower berths and stowage space for personal items. The Discovery has two shared bathrooms with hot showers. Guests enjoy the panoramic scenery and wildlife viewing from the ship’s complete walk-around deck and expansive windows. The Discovery carries two large, outboard-powered, inflatable zodiacs used for shore visits. Single and double kayaks are stored onboard and used for kayak excursions. The Discovery is distinguished among other vessels in the small cruise ship category by maintaining status as a U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified passenger vessel. This means it adheres to the strictest safety regulations, including annual examinations of the vessel’s structural, mechanical, and safety equipment in addition to requirements for captains and crew licensing, training, and testing.
Our trip begins with overnight bed and breakfast accommodations in Anchorage on Day 1. You may arrive in Anchorage any time that day and make your own way to the downtown hotel. Our trip concludes with a return transfer to Anchorage on Day 6, arriving between 5:30 and 6:30 PM, and hotel accommodations for the night. Most flights to the Lower 48 states depart late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.
We do not have the ability to satisfy extended travel requests in Alaska before or after the group trip. We will do our best to extend your hotel booking in Anchorage upon request and based on availability. We welcome you to extend your travels on your own arrangement.
Average agility is required to navigate the ship’s narrow stairway leading to the sleeping quarters and bathrooms in the lower deck or to access the smaller inflatable zodiacs for optional shoreside excursions. Trips to shore are customized to meet the desired physical activity level of the voyage and more specifically, the interests of the group. We do not hike on an established trail system, which means we may encounter stepping over downed trees, crossing a creek, uneven bog terrain, or walking along glacial outcroppings. Whether you want to go for a hike with a physical challenge or you prefer an easy walk along the shore, you’ll enjoy a range of experiences on the optional excursions. Or instead, you can experience the Sound’s spectacular beauty right from the walk-around deck or spacious lounge of our vessel. There are two guides on board to accommodate variations in activity levels. By far, the most important qualifications are a positive attitude, a spirit of adventure, a sense of humor, and a willingness to try new and different experiences.
Since this is a maritime trip, you should also be comfortable on and around the water. Be prepared for compact quarters and meals onboard. In addition to adventures ashore, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and take in the scenery.
You will be in the experienced hands of the wonderful Dean Rand and Megan Ciana, owners and operators of the family-run M/V Discovery and licensed captains and naturalists. Captain Dean began his Alaskan maritime experience in the Bering Sea crab fisheries in the 1970s. He continued with commercial fishing ventures as well as forestry projects throughout Alaska and in the late 1980s began providing logistic support for maritime scientific research studies in Prince William Sound. He and his two daughters launched the Discovery in 1992, first in the coastal community of Cordova and then moved to Whittier in 1997. Dean is an accomplished shipwright and keeps the Discovery in top-notch working shape. Megan met Dean in 2010 and they were married in 2015 on a lush mountain hillside overlooking a glacier in Prince William Sound. Megan is a licensed captain, a licensed physical therapist, and an accomplished gourmet chef.
In May in Alaska, you should expect low temperatures to dip into the 30s°F and daytime highs in the 40s to low 50s°F. A common scenario in Prince William Sound is to wake up to dense morning fog that typically burns off, at least in part, by the middle of the day. The average water temperature in Prince William Sound in May is around 46°F and therefore is not suitable for comfortable swimming, but we encourage you to try a refreshing polar plunge! On a sunny day in the right spot, you may find warmer surface waters. You should pack in layers and expect a range of temperature and climate conditions. Rain jackets, rain pants, rubber boots, and rubber gloves will be provided if needed due to inclement weather (rain pants and jackets sizes XS-XXL).
Carefully prepared, home-cooked meals await you, featuring locally caught seafood, such as seasonally fresh Copper River king salmon, sockeye salmon, and or halibut, oysters, shrimp, and rockfish. The tastefully prepared main courses are served with fresh, quality vegetables, rolls, soups, and fruit (organically grown ingredients are used whenever possible). Beverages include fruit juices, milk, and a complimentary bar of fine wines, quality beer, and spirits. Please advise of any dietary restrictions as soon as possible.
The Discovery cruise operations ensure as low an environmental impact as possible. Your crew provides high-quality natural and cultural history interpretation so you can fully explore the history and present-day concerns of the region.