With most Alaska cruise excursions, you need to sign up ahead of time and pay extra to participate in shore excursions and activities. But not with Custom Alaska Cruises. Everything is included, and you can take part as often as you want.
Our ship deckhands/naturalists will serve as your guides on off-ship activities to keep you safe and ensure you have the best experience possible.
Here’s an overview of our most popular shore excursions and activities:
Imagine seeing a humpback whale rise 40 to 50 feet out of the water, then slam its body back down on the water to confuse the fish it’s feeding on. Because we can maneuver our small ships into the right waters, bubble-net feeding, as this behavior is called, often takes place right next to us. No binoculars or telephoto lens needed! And most people never get to see this.
We often see humpback and orca whales, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions, seals, otters, and other maritime mammals as our guests are relaxing on the deck, taking in the scenery.
Our small ships can sail right up to the base of many glaciers, allowing for prime photo opportunities. One of our guests’ favorite adventures is to cruise up Tracy Arm Fjord, which meanders among towering mountains and massive chunks of ice in the Tongass National Forest for more than 30 miles. The reward at the end is an amazing view of the spectacular deep-blue Sawyer Glacier. Along the way you’ll spot lazy seals sunning themselves on icebergs and majestic bald eagles soaring overhead, scanning the water for their next catch.
There’s nothing like the view of the Alaskan wilderness directly from the water level. Whether you’re a first-timer or an old pro, our stable, single and double sea kayaks will give you a whole new perspective, and our special aqua port dock lets you easily launch right from the ship. Paddle among floating glacial ice, observe playful harbor seals and otters as they observe you, or load up lunch and head to shore for an afternoon picnic.
Don’t think a kayak is for you? The captain can take you out in the skiff to give you a similar view of the surroundings. We also have equipment on board each boat for other water sports.
Grab a rod and drop in your line for the opportunity to snag a salmon or halibut that the chef would be happy to prepare. While we’re not a fishing charter, which limits our fishing opportunities (you can’t catch fish to take with you off the boat), our guests rave about their fresh catch served up for dinner Sikumi or Golden Eagle-style. Don’t forget your Alaska fishing license!
In air, on the ground, and in the water, the Alaskan wilderness coastline is teeming with wildlife. Bald eagles are everywhere! They are riveting to watch, soaring through the sky, then plummeting in a dive to snag a fish or land critter. Adorable puffins are delightful to watch as they hunt for fish along the coast and hop among the rocks. See if you can spot both varieties! There are also hundreds of species of sea and land birds – a true birdwatcher’s delight.
On land, watch for moose, brown and black bears, foxes, and porcupines. Opportunities to view marine mammals happen around every turn. See humpback and orca whales, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, and more, right from the ship!
Whether your idea of hiking is a leisurely stroll along the beach, an easy walk to enjoy a soak in pool fed by hot springs, or a trek through a secluded forest, we can fuel your soul. The Tongass National Forest is the largest rain forest in North America and is filled with incredible flora and fauna like you’ve never seen. Let your crew know of your hiking desires or point out an area you want to explore as we’re cruising by, and we can arrange a shore landing.
The ever-changing tides create ever-changing beaches. So, when you happen upon an isolated beach during your Inside Passage cruise, it’s safe to say no one has been to it in its current state before, which makes it ripe for discovery. Tide pools, driftwood piles, and berry bushes are all waiting to be explored. Let the chef pack you a lunch and you can have a picnic. Or wait until after dinner and your crew can make you a bonfire perfect for making s’mores.
We don’t have a hot tub on board, but we can offer you a soak in the Baranof Warm Springs. This series of nine natural pools in a variety of temperatures from warm to too-hot is nested next to a waterfall, creating the idyllic setting to soak any remaining cares you may have away. The springs are a quarter mile walk from the Baranof Warm Springs community, but if you don’t wish to make the trek, there is a bathhouse at the waterfront that offers three private soaking tubs.
We keep shrimp and crab pots conveniently on a line and ready for you to try your hand. Toss a pot overboard to set it, give it a little time, then haul in your catch. Hand the shrimp or crab over to the chef, describe how you like them cooked, and like magic, you will get to devour a fresh seafood dish made just for you.
For those who prefer a low-key, relaxing vacation, your options are limitless. Kick back inside or out with a good book. Watch for whales and other sea life. Soak in breathtaking views of the mountains. Our goal is for you to do what you want to do, so please let us know how we can help you relax.