Written by Missy Johnston

Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

Chartering in Alaska is a lifetime experience, and one of the only ways to be one on one with the spectacular wild and marine life. Private yacht charter brings you close to the scenery, anchoring in secluded coves, ringed by Bald Eagles, sitting next to a pod of whales bubble net feeding, watching bear fish from the streams, or fishing yourself for salmon and halibut. Rather than high in the air by plane or way offshore by cruise ship, be in the middle of the action, in private yacht charter. There are numerous itineraries throughout Alaska. The following offers an excellent slice of Alaska from Juneau to Sitka.


Sitka Harbor, Alaska

Sitka Harbor

Arrive on board, unpack and rest before taking a walking tour of Sitka. Its natural beauty and history make Sitka one of the most interesting of the Alaskan southeastern towns. Walk to the Sheldon Jackson Museum to view Tlingit and Aleut artifacts. Continue to the Visitors Center at the Sitka National Historical Park to see more native artifacts and an impressive collection of totem poles arranged along the walk that leads to the site of the battle between the Tlingit and the Russians. The Russian occupation period is featured in the Russian Bishop’s House, the Russian cemetery, Castle Hill, the Isabel Miller Museum in the Centennial Building and St. Michael’s Cathedral. Take some time to shop in the gift and specialty shops for native and Russian-influenced modern arts and crafts. Enjoy cocktails and dinner on board.

Depart Sitka after breakfast, cruising through Olga and Neva Straits. Fish for salmon along the way to Kalinan Bay, north of Salisbury Sound, where you will anchor for the evening.

Cruise through Sergius Narrows out Peril Strait, where you will see eagles and perhaps the little Sitka black tail deer and the magnificent Alaskan Brown Bear. After fishing and whale watching, you will cruise down the west coast of Baranof Island, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world magnificent Alaskan Brown Bear. After fishing and whale watching, you’ll cruise down the west coast of Baranof Island, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Spend the night either anchored in one of the beautiful coves or tie up to the government float at Warm Springs Bay in front of the thundering water of Baranof Falls. Hike up to Baranof Lake or choose to simply sit in the hot springs above the falls.

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Whales Bubble Net Feeding
Heading further down Chatham Strait you will cruise northeast into Frederick Sound. Watch for humpback whales as these waters are the summer feeding grounds for hundreds of Humpbacks that migrate up from the warmer summer waters. You will see them alone and in large groups from afar as well as close to the yacht. Later, spend the night in one of the most tranquil of anchorages, an island group called The Brothers. This area is known as a place where humpback whales cruise very closely to vessels and it’s also a great fishing area for halibut.
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Brown Bear Feeding on Salmon
After breakfast, you will cruise through the small islands, watching for whales and sea lions. Throughout the summer hundreds of sea lions sun themselves on the rocks of this area. After fishing for salmon and halibut, you will anchor for the night in Cannery Cove in Pybus Bay on Admiralty Island. Admiralty is a primary summer nesting ground for eagles and has the densest concentration of brown bears, also known as grizzlies, in the world – about one per square mile; about 2000 on the island!

In the morning, take a dingy ride to see if the salmon have returned to spawn. Then, cruise up Stevens Passage and catch some salmon in “no name” cove at the mouth of Tracy Arm.


Approaching the Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord

Spend a day cruising up Tracy Arm, a Norwegian like fjord 23 miles long, where you will see many large icebergs before arriving at the tide-water Sawyer Glacier. You will probably see seals, eagles, Brown bears, mountain goats and moose in this beautiful area. Continue cruising through the icebergs up Stephens Passage, while enjoying lunch on deck and viewing the snow-covered mountains of Admiralty Island. Anchor for the evening in Taku Harbor.

Cruise past Taku Inlet, up Gastineau Channel and arrive in Juneau. Tour the state capital with visits to the Alaska State Museum and Centennial Hall before disembarking.