Haines, Alaska, US
Whale Tails & Lighthouse Tales
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Approximately 2½ Hours
Haines, Alaska, sits on the Chilkat Peninsula, nestled between the coast and the Chilkat mountain range. Ice fields rim both shorelines and glacial nutrients kick-start the food chain in these waters. This summer bloom provides for the concentrated marine life in the waters of Lynn Canal.
Cruise these waters aboard the Fjordland -- a luxurious boat specially designed for Lynn Canal and for viewing the scenery and wildlife up close. The 65-foot, state-of-the-art, fast catamaran offers comfortable indoor seating with 360-degree views, and a large back deck for spending time outside to bring the sights, scents, and sounds closer yet. As you cruise, you'll likely see hanging glaciers, waterfalls, nesting bald eagles, harbor seals and humpback or killer whales. Drifting and quietly observing humpback whale behavior is a highlight of the cruise; they are spotted on 95% of trips.
A cruise by Sea Lion Rock, a rookery where hundreds of Steller sea lions gather in the summer to breed and pup, provides exhilarating up-close views and exciting photo opportunities.
Eldred Rock Lighthouse, your destination, stands on an island 18 miles south of Haines. This picturesque and historic octagonal lighthouse was first lit in 1906. It is the oldest remaining lighthouse in Alaska and one of the most remote in North America. The lighthouse was built after a series of disastrous shipwrecks that occurred here -- steamships full of miners heading north to Skagway during the Klondike Gold Rush. The most famous shipwreck was the steamship Clara Nevada, which sank in February of 1898. 75 lives and 850 pounds of gold were lost. The gold has never been discovered -- a true mystery to this day.
Hug the shoreline around the lighthouse and listen to tales of the various wrecks. Harbor seals bask on the rocks and nesting sea birds play in the surf.
A tasty smoked-salmon snack with fruit and beverages will be served while underway.
Bring a warm jacket to wear on the topside observation deck. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed.