Skagway, Alaska, US
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Board a fast ferry for a 45-minute cruise down Lynn Canal to the town of Haines -- a great opportunity to visit two ports in one day. Keep a watchful eye for marine life and bald eagles dotted along the shoreline. Mountain peaks rise from the ocean to 6,000 feet, with cascading waterfalls making for fabulous photos of Alaska and its rugged terrain.
In Haines, meet your guide and board a bus for a ride along the Haines Scenic Byway. Where the road ends, the real Alaska begins, and so does your adventure.
Part company with civilization as you board a boat and traverse many channels of the silt-laden Chilkat River. You'll travel at least 20 miles into the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to view bald eagles and their massive nests in their natural habitat. This roadless wilderness area boasts the best moose territory in the valley. Your chances of spotting moose or a bear are very good.
The Hess family started their business almost 30 years ago with specially designed, flat-bottom, open riverboats and offer extra outerwear to keep you warm and comfortable. The friendly staff offers tales of the backcountry lifestyle and 'real Alaska' stories.
Enjoy a sack lunch of chicken Caesar wrap, chips, a homemade cookie and bottled water on your return bus trip to Haines.
The fast ferry returns you to Skagway.
Tidal conditions can make the dock ramp very steep. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Wheelchairs and electric scooters cannot be accommodated. Dress warmly in layers with a wind- and waterproof outer layer; bring gloves, a scarf and a warm hat. Wildlife sightings are likely but not guaranteed.