Cruise Prince William Sound

Alaska

June 21 - 27, 2021
Cost: $4,700
Leader: Bill Mohrwinkel
Group Size: 12
Days: 7

Safari Overview

Explore the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest in the world from your comfortable boat, the Discovery. From calving glaciers to breaching humpback whales, every day on Prince William Sound is full of highlights. On your five-day voyage, observe sea otters, harbor seals, whales, puffins, and loons, amidst a spectacular blend of mountain, forest, and glacial scenery. Whether you want to kayak quietly amongst icebergs or watch playful sea otters on ice floes, a cruise on the Discovery in Prince William Sound is the best thing you can do on water in Alaska!

HIGHLIGHTS
• Watch as massive icebergs calve at tidewater glacier faces.
• Observe and photograph sea otters close-up as they play and rest on ice floes.
• Walk through old growth coastal temperate rainforest in quiet solitude.
• Enjoy local seafood and gourmet meals onboard the Discovery.
• Kayak amongst icebergs at a tidewater glacier face or quietly up a stream to observe black bears fishing for salmon.

SAFARI OPTIONS
Mix and match any of our four Alaska tours as follows:

1. Begin your journey early on our Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers tour from June 16 to 22, 2021 and SAVE $400. Experience Denali National Park, the Crown Jewel of the North, in all its spring glory from our private, custom-designed Sprinter van, avoiding the crowds on the public shuttle buses.

2. Continue your journey on our Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek tour from June 26 to July 1, 2021 and SAVE $400. Take a bush flight to the seldom visited Lake Clark National Park to witness Alaska brown bears up-close in their habitat. Enjoy the completely unique experience of walking among some of the largest bears in the world as they go about their daily lives of eating, playing, and sleeping.

3. Combine three Alaska tours (Arctic in Spring, Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, and Cruise Prince William Sound (this tour) OR Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Cruise Prince William Sound (this tour), and Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek) and SAVE $600.

4. Combine all four Alaska tours (Arctic in Spring, Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Cruise Prince William Sound (this tour), Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek) and SAVE $1,979.

Itinerary Updated: May 2019



Ship Info Print Trip Safari Options
Date Description Lodge Meals
Jun 21 Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska from our Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers tour or from home. Susitna Place B&B, Anchorage
Jun 22-25 Drive to Whittier to board the Discovery for a five-day voyage on Prince William Sound. Discovery B, L, D
Jun 26 Spend the morning on Prince William Sound then disembark and return to Anchorage. Susitna Place B&B, Anchorage B, L
Jun 27 Continue on our Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek tour or fly home. B

Our Trip Leaders

Bill Mohrwinkel

Living and guiding in Alaska for 25 years, Bill has vast knowledge to share. He was part owner of an Arctic tour business for 10 years and has guided sea kayaking trips in Prince William Sound, polar and brown bear trips, and birding trips. His love of the polar regions has led bill to also guide in Antarctica and South Georgia Island. Though he is not a photographer, he has extensive experience guiding photo trips and works hard to help clients accomplish their goals for the tour. His true passion is natural history and sharing that passion with participants, and he loves to have fun!

Dean Rand

Dean will assist during days aboard the Discovery only. Considered by many to be one of the most knowledgeable mariners in Prince William Sound, Dean's extensive involvement with a broad range of scientific research conducted throughout the sound has provided him with a well-rounded background in the region's natural history. Longtime owner and Captain of the Discovery, Dean is a master shipwright and marine mechanic with more than 40 years of full-time service in the marine trades on the Alaska coast.

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Prince William Sound aboard the Discovery

Jun 22-25

You’ll travel to the small port town of Whittier on the western side of Prince William Sound to rendezvous with the Discovery and begin your five-day voyage through breathtaking glacial scenery, blue icebergs, and spectacular marine life. Lush vegetation drapes the hillsides in green as streaming waterfalls cascade down the rocky cliffs. Harbor seals hauled out on icebergs and bald eagles perched atop trees watch as the Discovery navigates the icy, blue waters. You’ll search for marine mammals such as sea otters, often seen sunbathing on icebergs or carrying young on their bellies as they swim. Listen to the cracks, pops, and thunderous roars of calving glaciers while the Discovery drifts silently by these active rivers of ice.

Prince William Sound is surrounded by the northern-most temperate rainforest in the world and many land mammals are also present, though not always easy to spot. You’ll hike on shore among the wildflowers and also kayak for a water-level view of the wonders of the sound. Whale watching will be another exciting and unpredictable experience as many whales, especially humpbacks, are found in the region.

Prince William Sound to Anchorage

Jun 26

Wake up to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery with sprawling glaciers and a panoramic skyline of mountain grandeur. After disembarking, you’ll follow the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet to return to Anchorage. Be sure to keep an eye out for the occasional family of Dall sheep on the cliffs above the highway or beluga whales in the turbid waters of Turnagain Arm below.

Alaska

From calving glaciers to breaching humpback whales, every day on Prince William Sound is full of highlights. 

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Ship Information

Discovery

The Discovery is meticulously fitted to combine comfort and utility with an atmosphere of charm and style. The lower deck includes sleeping accommodations for up to twelve guests in six cabins, plus crew quarters, two bathrooms with hot showers, and stowage space. Guests can readily view and photograph panoramic scenery and marine life from the ship's complete walk-around deck and expansive windows. Unlike the cumbersome cruise ship giants, the Discovery's size enables access to Alaska's lesser-traveled, more intimate inside passages.


More Information
Discovery ship photo by Heather McFarland

Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Trip cost, double occupancy $4,700
Single supplement Contact us

Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare, singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.

We reserve the right to charge for cost increases that occur between when we set tour prices and the date of travel, for example, changes due to the cost of lodging and transportation. If you are a single traveler and you desire, we will find a roommate for you. If we cannot find you a roommate, we will not charge you a single supplement. Single rooms are subject to availability.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific cabin number. If changes occur, we will do everything in our power to assign a cabin of equal or greater value as the cabin type specified in your reservation. Deck plan, cabin arrangements, and cabin amenities are subject to change by ship operator.


Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Per Person
Deposit Due now to reserve your space $500
Final January 15, 2021 Remaining balance

Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space. For reservations made after a due date, all past payments will be due with registration. By sending your initial deposit, you agree to accept our payment schedule and cancellation policy as a contract. If payments are still outstanding two weeks after the due date, your space may be forfeited.


Cancellations

Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another tour if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.

Included

  • All activities, leaders, transport, park entry and user fees, landing fees and permits unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations for the nights of June 21 through June 26.
  • Meals from breakfast on June 22 through breakfast on June 27 except meals listed in the Not Included section.
  • Complimentary beverages (wine, beer, spirits, sodas, juice) aboard the Discovery.
  • Rubber boots, rain gear, and kayaks available for use aboard the Discovery.
  • Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.

Not Included

  • All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • Dinner on June 26.
  • Airport transfers in Anchorage.
  • Gratuities for the crew of the Discovery: tipping is, of course, discretionary, however we suggest budgeting a total of $200-$260 per participant to be distributed among the three Discovery crewmembers (including Bill).
  • Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Refer to our website for more information: www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages (except on the Discovery), items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.

Climate

You are visiting the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest in the world so expect some rain. That said, this time of the summer tends to have some of the driest weather. Daytime temperatures are typically in the 60s°F, but may be as high as 70°F, with night temperatures in the 50s°F. You may visit multiple tidewater glaciers where cool breezes descend from the glaciers, so be prepared with a hat and gloves. The Discovery loans you rubber boots and warm rubberized gloves for kayaking and glacier visits where it may be raining, as well as high-quality rain jackets and pants. Bring sunscreen for those warm, sunny days.

Fitness Level

Your voyage in Prince William Sound will include landings and opportunities to hike on shore, typically no more than a mile or two on varying terrain. Walks and hikes are generally at a slow pace with stops for observation and photography and may be skipped by anyone that is not interested or able. Kayaking is also an option. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.

Flights

Airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you.

Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) by June 21. If you are arriving from our Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers tour, see Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information. Depart from Anchorage anytime on June 27. If you are continuing on our Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek tour, see Flights section in its itinerary for departure information.

FAQ

Accommodations

Seasickness

Don’t let a fear of seasickness scare you away! For all but the most sensitive, seasickness is rarely a problem in this region. It’s a good idea to bring medication if you get seasick or are unsure, but you may find that you do not need it after a couple days once you have your “sea legs.” Even those who have experienced seasickness reported that the incredible wildlife and overall experience were well worth the temporary discomfort. Read our suggestions for coping with seasickness at www.cheesemans.com/seasickness and contact us if you have any concerns.

Transportation

Conditions

  • Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
  • Maximum time in nature: We try to spend as much time in nature as possible, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.
  • Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops, and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
  • Additional forms: For some of our tours, you may be asked to fill out additional forms (e.g., medical questionnaire).
  • Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but it is important to understand and accept the risks, both medical and logistical. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but because we are often far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this tour. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your deposit and signed Reservation/Release Form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
  • Use of drones/UAVs on tours: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), AKA drones, are not suitable for use on most Cheesemans’ Ecology expeditions due to logistical constraints and in many cases, local and national laws or regulations. In some cases, such as on our polar voyages, we operate under environmental regulations that ban the use of recreational drones. Do not bring a drone on safari without contacting us first.