Certified Naturalist & Professional Captain

Sitka, Gustavus, Angoon, Kake Petersburg

Designed For Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts

9 Days Photographing the wildlife, landscapes and culture of Seldom Seen Southeast Alaska

If one of your goals is to create original and impactful wildlife photos, then this is the tour for you. As we explore the waters and native villages of the Alexander Archipelago, capture the awe-inspiring breaches of humpback whales, the adrenaline-fueled bubble-net feeding, the heartwarming moments of otters with their young, the gripping hunts of orcas, and the majestic presence of immense brown and black bears. Navigate through an enchanting collection of azure blue icebergs, where adorable newborn harbor seal pups reside, on your way to discovering Alaska’s fastest-flowing glacier. Join us aboard our vessel for an unforgettable journey, exploring hidden coves, towering waterfalls and pristine coastal areas.

Trip Details

Unveiling Alaska's Rich Wildlife Tapestry

Beyond the wonders of whales, otters, bears, and glaciers, our expedition unveils a tapestry of enthralling mammals. Witness the grandeur of Stellar’s sea lions, the charm of harbor seals, and the playful nature of sea otters for an abundance of wildlife sightings. Look skyward to behold the majestic flight of numerous bald eagles alongside eight gull species, tufted puffins, and a mosaic of waterfowl like buffleheads, goldeneyes, long-tailed ducks, and harlequin ducks. On serene shores, marvel at the elegance of blue herons, the vibrancy of belted kingfishers, the distinctiveness of black oystercatchers, and the captivating allure of black turnstones—all awaiting your lens to immortalize their natural grace and beauty. Join our intimate group of six guests aboard a specially designed private catamaran, ensuring exclusive encounters in this off-the-beaten-path paradise. By day, explore vibrant waters and tranquil coastlines; by night, unwind in characterful remote lodges brimming with warmth and genuine hospitality.

Price

$7699 per person based on double occupancy
$925 Single Supplement

The single supplement fee can be waived if there is a vacant room, and guests are comfortable sharing the room with a same-gender guest during the duration of the tour.

 

Fuel Surcharge:
Embracing transparency and service excellence, our dynamic fuel surcharge model correlates with Brent Crude Oil prices. With increased participation, expect a significant 16% reduction in surcharges per additional traveler. The surcharge ranges between $43 and $64 per guest for every $5.00 rise in oil prices above $80 per gallon, ensuring competitive pricing and unparalleled travel experiences.


Departure time

Departure timings will be flexibly recommended by the captain, considering both weather conditions and the group’s collective decision for an enjoyable voyage.


Meeting point

Crescent Harbor, Sitka.
We can also pick you up from other harbors around the Sitka area.
Click here for a Map


Availability

  • June 4 – 12, 2024 *Sold Out*
  • July 9 – 17, 2024 *Sold Out*
  • August 13 – 21, 2024 *Sold Out*
  • August 29 – September 6, 2024 … 4 Seats Left
  • June 2 – 10, 2025
  • June 17 – 25, 2025
  • June 30 – July 8, 2025
  • July 14 – 22, 2025
  • July 27 – August 4, 2025
  • August 7 – 15, 2025 *Sold Out*
  • August 20 – 28, 2025 *Sold Out*
  • June 2 – 10, 2026
  • June 16 – 24, 2026
  • June 30 – July 8, 2026
  • July 14 – 22, 2026
  • July 26 – August 2, 2026
  • August 7 – 15, 2026 *Sold Out*
  • August 18 – 26, 2026
  • August 31 – September 8, 2026

Duration

  • 9 Days
  • 8 Nights

Group size

Minimum 4
Maximum of 6

Should the tour fail to attain the required minimum number of guests within 120 days of the scheduled departure, regrettably, the tour will be canceled, and all payments will be promptly refunded.


Included

  • 9 nights accommodations
  • Most meals
  • Snacks
  • All National Park Fees
  • Harbor Fees
  • Transfers

Not included

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Flights
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance

Participation requirements

Must be 12 or older. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


What to bring

A list of suggested equipment and personal items will be provided upon booking

Number & type of staff for tour

1 – US Coast Guard Master Captain / Certified naturalist guide


Highlights

Untouched Wilderness Exploration: witness the extraordinary unfold as you delve into Alaska's rarely seen gems and wildlife encounters. A photography tour expedition into the rarely seen majesty of Southeast Alaska, where nature's wonders defy imagination.

Unforgettable Tapestry of Moments: Immerse yourself in Alaska's untamed allure, capturing astonishing animal behaviors that transcend time.

Unparalleled Memories: Anticipate intimate wildlife encounters, tailored to create stunning photographs mirroring Alaska's unspoiled beauty.

Carefully Selected Photographic Destinations: Our itinerary prioritizes the best times for photography, optimizing light conditions at every destination.

Expert Guidance and Knowledge: Our adept captain / naturalist

Comfortable and Cozy Retreats: Rejuvenate in cozy lodges after each exploration, ensuring a well-rested experience for the next day's adventures.

Immerse in Heritage and Tribal Insights: Dive into the heritage of local tribes, adding cultural richness to your wildlife photography adventure.

Discover the Lives of Bears: Gain insights into the intimate lives of Coastal Brown Bears and Black Bears during this expedition.

What You'll See & Do

This comprehensive 9-day photo journey through Alaska’s seldom-traveled wilderness encompasses a myriad of experiences, including wildlife marvels and cultural immersions. Please note, while ensuring the highest standards, lodging and dining venues may vary to offer experiences of equal or superior quality, adding further depth to your unforgettable exploration.

Day 1 – The Majesty of Sitka and its Wildlife Enchantment: Embark on your odyssey in the embrace of Sitka, a historical gem nestled within awe-inspiring panoramas. Delve into Sitka Sound, where humpbacks breach, otters share their delight, and seabirds unveil their vibrant personalities. Immerse yourself in the ancestral heritage of the Sitka tribe.
Lodge: Sitka Hotel
Meals: Lunch – The Nugget Restaurant and Welcome Dinner – Ludvig’s Restaurant

Day 2-5 – Exploring Angoon and Kake’s Wildlife Marvels: Witness the breathtaking Waterfall Coast as we look to capture the mesmerizing bubble-net feeding orchestrated by humpback whales. Let your lens seize the enchanting moment as these majestic creatures create a ballet of bubbles to ensnare their prey. Encounter Coastal Brown Bears and Black Bears in their natural habitat, showcasing their remarkable salmon-hunting prowess. Immerse yourself in the delicate world of salmon hatching while taking a tour at the Gunnuck Creek Hatchery. Observe Black Bears vying for sustenance amidst this remarkable cycle as spawning salmon return, ensuring your photography tour is a symphony of wildlife narratives.
Lodge: Day 2 and 3: Angoon – Eagles Wing Inn

Day 4 and 5: Kake – Waters Edge Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 and 7 – Discovering Petersburg’s Charm and Glacial Wonders: Perhaps your lens will focus on the enchanting scenes of a humpback calf mastering bubble-net feeding in Petersburg’s Norwegian-inspired setting. Experience the grandeur of North America’s Southernmost tidewater glacier, the majestic LeConte Glacier, through your lens. Explore the Tongass Forest, seeking Moose, Porcupines, and Bears for unforgettable wildlife photography opportunities.
Lodge: Petersburg Scandia House
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 – Homeward Sails: a blend of wistfulness and fulfillment accompanies our return journey to the home port, navigating the vibrant waters of Fredrick Sound, Chatham Strait, and Hoonah Sound. Our extended day at sea carries us toward Sitka, leaving us with treasured photographs, newly formed bonds, and the gratification of immortalizing Alaska’s untamed wilderness. Rest assured; we’ll pause for any enchanting photographic moments that may arise along the way.
Lodge: Sitka – Sitka Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Farewell Dinner

Day 9 – A Departure Crossroads: Today a decision emerges. If you decide to linger longer in Sitka’s enchantment, customize your experience with additional excursions organized by us. Opt for kayaking, e-bike rentals, flightseeing escapades, fishing expeditions, or an ATV tour of Kruzof Island. Use this day to seize any remaining photo opportunities during your extended exploration of Sitka. Alternatively, choose to return home or venture forth into your next exciting escapade. Reflect on the captured memories and newfound connections forged during this remarkable journey. Bid farewell to departing companions, departing with hearts enriched by cherished moments and a camera roll abundant with Alaska’s natural wonders.
Lodging and Meals are not included.

Good to Know


All our expeditions are subject to the realities of the natural world. We make no guarantees of seeing any specific species. Although we will do everything in our power to find and view the species that are of interest to the customer and stay on the itinerary. Circumstances such as species location, weather, and ocean conditions may result in an itinerary alteration. Payments are not refundable for any itinerary change.

Unfortunately, our vessel is not wheelchair accessible.

Features of our vessel:

  • A spacious heated cabin
  • Deluxe comfortable seats for all guests
  • Restroom equipped
  • Large wrap-around windows for unobstructed viewing
  • Expansive deck space for multiple perspectives
  • Great stability to ensure safety and comfort

Smoking and the consumption of alcohol or any illegal drug while aboard are prohibited.

If the captain determines that you may be under the influence or may pose a hazard to yourself, the vessel, the crew, or other guests you will not be permitted to board, and no refund will be given.

If you are prone to motion sickness, take your remedies at least 1 hour in advance.

Please arrive at the vessel 15 minutes before departure.

FAQ


Frequently Seen: Humpback Whales, Orcas, Dall’s Porpoise, Harbor Seals, Stellar Sealions, Tufted Puffins, A Variety of Colorful seabirds, Sea Otters, Brown Bears, Black Bears, Moose, Porcupines

Occasionally Seen: Wolves, Mountain Goats, Minke Whales.

Whale Behaviors: Breaching, Bubble-net feeding, Tail Slapping, Pectoral Fin Slapping

Your captain will network with fishermen, captains, and research scientists to discover the hotspots for this type of action. We travel through the waters where this behavior is often found during this time of year.

Yes and Yes; There are definitely plenty of sealions, Harbor seals and these are waters patrolled by Transient Orca pods

Tufted Puffins, Black Legged Kittiwakes, Rhinoceros Auklets, Murres, Black Oyster Catchers,

Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Arctic Terns to name just a few. Viewing guides are available onboard

MEMORY CARDS – You’ll want to have plenty of these, ideally enough that you won’t have to format any while in the field. Don’t forget a card reader!
PLUG ADAPTERS- If you are traveling internationally, you will likely need adapters for your plugs.
TWO CAMERA BODIES WHEN POSSIBLE –Why two? In case of accidental damage or electronic failure, you will have a back-up. With an additional set-up ready to go, you can quickly adjust if the action is at a different range than expected.
BATTERIES – Bring plenty of batteries for your cameras and chargers as well. Our boat is equipped with USB outlets and 110 AC outlets. You may want to bring a power bank to recharge your batteries.
LENSES – For most landscape and wildlife expeditions, a wide-angle zoom (like a 17-40), a general-purpose zoom (like 24-70), and a medium telephoto zoom (like 70-200) a standard. 100-400mm lenses is great for wildlife.
A comprehensive list will be sent to guests 90 days prior to tour

I always suggest always be ready as an amazing encounter can happen in the blink of an eye. I do not recommend a tripod nor a monopod.

The departure times and destination will vary according to weather and sea conditions, wildlife locations, and our guest’s desires.

We generally spend about 8 hours per day on the water. It will vary according to the conditions.

Absolutely. The proximity to the glacier will depend on the ability to safely maneuver amongst the icebergs.

Yes, Wear rubber-soled shoes. While on the deck always have 3 points of contact with the vessel 2 feet and leaning or holding on to the railing. Walk slowly and always heed the captain’s warnings and advice.

They are charming, quaint, clean, and comfortable.

There is a maximum of 6 participants.

The tour takes place in the largest temperate rainforest in the world so it’s not uncommon for rain. We are also traveling on waters that are exposed to the Gulf of Alaska so there might be occasions for choppy and rolling seas.

Often the clouds provide great lighting for your shots.

If you are prone to seasickness, please take any remedies at least 1 hour prior to leaving the dock. We also carry Ginger chews known to alleviate nausea.

Yes, we will visit the Sitka National Historical Park, Visit the Tlingit Clan house for a cultural dance presentation. The communities of Angoon and Kake are small Native Alaskan communities.

 

Terms and Conditions

Effective December 1, 2023

Payments Accepted

We accept payments through check, Amex, Visa, MasterCard, or Venmo. Full payment or a deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 120 days before multi-day tours unless otherwise specified.

Be aware that there is a 3% service charge when using a credit card. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss alternate payment options.

Booking Procedure

All booking requests will be processed directly on our website. If you prefer, you can call and book directly with M Squared Enterprises, DBA A Whale’s Song Expeditions.

Sometimes, there are elements outside our control, for example, the lodges raise the price after our Tour announced. The chance is small, but we reserve the right to raise the price if we can’t avoid it.

All expeditions are subject to the realities of the natural world. Although we will do everything in our power to stay on the planned itinerary, circumstances including but not limited to weather and ocean conditions may make us alter the itinerary. Payments are not refundable for any itinerary change. Furthermore, we make no guarantees of seeing any specific species.

Tax

Sitka City sales tax will be added to the cost of all expeditions:

5% October – March

6% April – September

Gratuities

Fees do not include gratuities.

Adjusting Your Reservation

You must contact our office directly to make any adjustments to your reservations. These include times, dates, amount of guests attending, and type of activity. A new confirmation will be emailed to you once the changes are completed. Adjusting your reservation does not exempt you from any penalties for which you may be responsible.

Deposits

For all Tours, Expeditions we require a Deposit in the amount of 25% of the total amount due.

Payment of Balance Due

Multi-Day Tours or Expeditions, the balance is due 120 days prior to the date of the tour. The credit card that was provided for the deposit will be charged.

Hourly Tours or Expeditions, Water Taxi and Gear Rental balance for is due 15 days prior to the date of the tour. The credit card that was provided for the deposit will be charged.

Cancellations and Refunds – If You Must Cancel

We know that plans can change, and unforeseen circumstances can happen. We strive to provide the best customer service available and at the same time be able to give quality service to our clients by keeping our groups small and our rates affordable. Our cancellation policy ensures that we can keep our rates affordable for future tours so that we can continue to provide our clients with the best photography experience. All cancellations shall be made in writing by email and sent to Neil@awhalessongexpeditions.com as soon as possible.

All cancellation and refund requests must be made in writing and e-mailed to us.

Full Day, Multi-Day Tours or Expeditions and Charters cancellations or changes made greater than 120 days before the tour start date, we will refund your payment minus a $250 processing fee.

  • The are no refunds for cancellations or changes made less than 120 days before the tour or expedition start date. However, if we or you can fill your spot, we will refund your payment minus a $250 processing fee. We will be happy to apply your deposit to another one of our future Tours or Expeditions instead (subject to availability).
  • In the very unlikely event that a tour is canceled, we will refund the tour fee to participants. Expenses related to travel and accommodations not provided by us will not be refunded. Some tours require that you obtain Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip with us. Proof is required 90 days before the tour starts. Please contact us for any additional questions with regards to our cancellation and refund policy.

Cancellations & Refunds – If A Whale’s Song Expeditions Must Cancel

Please Note: All Tours, Expeditions, and Water Taxi Service will proceed as scheduled in light rain and other mild weather conditions. Due to safety concerns or unforeseen circumstances, the captain may choose times of the day when weather and ocean conditions are more favorable. In the rare event that we, A Whale’s Song Expeditions, must cancel a Tour, Expedition, Charter, or Gear Rental you can choose to reschedule (subject to availability) or receive a full refund.

Should the tour fail to attain the required minimum number of guests within 120 days of the scheduled departure, regrettably, the tour will be canceled, and all payments will be promptly refunded.

Credit Card Statement

Your credit card statement will display M Squared Enterprises, (our legal business entity name) as the company authorized to bill your bank or credit card.

Credit Card Charges

By making your reservation online or by telephone you agree to authorize M Squared Enterprises LLC DBA A Whale’s Song Expeditions, to bill your credit card the agreed-upon amount for your reservation.

The credit card charges are authorized verbally and/or electronically by you, the reservation holder, and are valid in lieu of a signed credit card authorization form.

Liability Waiver

All tour and Expeditions participants are required to complete a hold harmless liability waiver before the start of the tour.

Travel Insurance

Sometimes life happens and you must cancel because of unforeseen circumstances. We highly recommend protecting your travel investment and purchasing a trip insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage.

Travel insurance provides you with trip cancellation/interruption, travel delay, medical expenses, emergency assistance, air flight, baggage, and baggage delay coverages. Medical coverage purchased with your policy is crucial if you do not have health insurance.

Proof of comprehensive travel insurance is required for the following tours and expeditions 90 days prior to departure of the tour:

  • Unveiling Seldom Seen Wonders: A 12-Day Photography Expedition in Southeast Alaska
  • Wildlife Spectacle: An 8-Day Photographic Expedition through Southeast Alaska

Please note that A Whale’s Song Expeditions does not recommend or endorse any plan or insurance company as everyone has different insurance requirements.

Safety

With all the uncertainty around us, we understand more than ever the need for personalized service and our impeccable attention to detail. In line with our personalized approach and our commitment to you, we have implemented several policies to keep you safe. Our small groups also ensure that you have a safe environment to enjoy the beauty of nature.

  • We have hand sanitizers available for our clients to use during tours.
  • Our Captain is first aid, CPR and AED trained and certified by the US Red Cross and will conduct daily safety checks during the duration of the tour.
  • We will conduct a pre-Tour safety briefing with opportunities for our clients to ask questions.

Confidentiality

M Squared Enterprises DBA A Whale’s Song Expeditions respects our guest’s privacy rights and will hold all information from the Guest in relation to the purchase as confidential. Under no circumstances will your information be handed to a third party, except as required for billing and regular tour operations (e.g., hotel reservations, etc.).

Committed to transparency and service excellence, we’re rolling out a dynamic fuel surcharge model linked to the price of Brent Crude Oil per barrel. Exciting news! As part of this model, the surcharge amount will progressively decrease with more participants joining our tours. For each additional traveler beyond the minimum, expect a remarkable 16% reduction in the surcharge per guest. When the price of Brent Crude Oil climbs above $80 per gallon, a fuel surcharge ranging between $43 and $64 per guest will be implemented for every $5.00 increase in oil prices. This flexible structure aims to buffer the impact of fuel cost fluctuations on our operations while maintaining competitive pricing, ensuring unparalleled travel experiences for our esteemed participants. The surcharge amount will be assessed and imposed in accordance with the specified departure date. Kindly refer to the chart detailing the fuel surcharge.

Previous Guests Rave About A Whale's Song Expeditions


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