Written by Missy Johnston
Looking for the ultimate escape from the crowds while still enjoying the amenities of a luxury vacation? The wilderness of Alaska is calling your name! The combination of amazing wildlife, pristine natural beauty, and unending adventure make this an unforgettable trip. But forget about a cruise ship—the best way to enjoy the natural wonders of Alaska is on a private yacht charter. A small group of your family or close friends with a crew dedicated to meeting your every need and desire serves up luxury Alaska travel up close and personal and at its finest—with total seclusion and privacy.
There is no time like the present to start planning your luxury yacht charter vacation in Alaska. We have some tips to help make this a truly memorable experience, as well as a sneak peek at what makes a private yacht charter here the most unique and breathtaking way to see the Last Frontier.
Travel Tips for Your Private Yacht Charter in Alaska
With so much to see and do in Alaska, your itinerary will fill up quickly. Fortunately, as your yacht charter broker, we can make sure your trip checks off all the boxes on your wishlist. As with any destination, there are, of course, ideal times to visit depending on what you would like to see and do. We work closely with our clients to make sure every detail is covered to ensure each trip is perfectly customized in keeping with your preferences, but here are a few high-level tips to keep in mind as you begin to think about your Alaska yacht charter vacation:
- June provides the longest daylight hours, which affords more opportunities for fun activities such as fishing, hiking, watching humpback whales bubble net feed, or setting crab pots.
- July is the warmest month and the best time to spot pods of humpback whales.
- June through August are the most popular months to visit Alaska (although on your private yacht charter you never have to worry about crowds of tourists).
- Late August on a yacht charter is the best time to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
We will work closely with you to select the ideal time for your yacht charter vacation to make sure your charter is timed appropriately for the marine, wild and birdlife you want to see and experience.
Step Aboard Your Luxury Charter Yacht
There are a number of private charter yachts from which to choose for your Alaskan vacation, and we can help find the perfect fit for your group’s size, travel dates, and preferences. The Serengeti is just one of the yachts available in this location, and it has a lot to offer those who step aboard.
At 129 feet in length and a cruising speed of 20 knots, the Serengeti can accommodate up to 12 guests and features a 7-member crew. Start each morning with a workout in the private gym and end each night in the jacuzzi on the deck.
If the Serengeti isn’t the yacht for you, check our database of charter yachts for more choices for your Alaskan adventure. Feel free to browse for yourself or let us help you locate the perfect charter yacht.
A Sneak Peek at Your Alaska Yacht Charter Vacation
Calving tidewater glaciers, fishing, crabbing, and humpback whales bubble net feeding. These are just some of the amazing sights to be seen and experienced during an Alaskan vacation aboard a private charter yacht. So much of the Alaskan landscape remains undisturbed, with so many isolated anchorages affording those seeking a remote getaway many options when it comes to a yacht charter itinerary.
Experience outstanding marine, wild, and birdlife. Sit right next to a pod of humpback whales as they replicate the steps of the age-old dance of bubble net feeding. Watch them dive under and then emerge with mouths open to catch the hundreds of tiny fish they have corralled together into the center of their “net,” forcing the tiny fish high into the sky from the explosive air bubbling up, only to fall into their huge open mouths waiting below. Alaska is one of the few locations where humpback whales gather food using the bubble net dance, making this an experience not to be missed.
Hike through virgin forests, where the untouched forest floor is covered in piles of moss. Take a flight on a float plane to a fly fishing lodge for a half day of sport fly fishing with a guide. Watch Bald Eagles make their nests while you sit on board your charter yacht in an anchorage. See these proud birds soar overhead and go about their daily routines. Or, sit in the yacht tender in front of a group of lazy sea lions basking in the sun.
Cruise to the head of Tracy Arm and watch the glacier face of one of the Twin Sawyer Glaciers calve into the seas below, causing the harbor seals sunning on the many ice floes to dive to safety into the surrounding icy waters. Sea kayak around an ice floe to chip off age-old glacier ice for drinks later on board at sundown.
Take a look at some of the sample itineraries below to help narrow down your Alaskan yacht charter itinerary. Imagine yourself aboard your luxury charter yacht, enjoying all that each location has to offer.
Example itineraries include:
- Juneau, Alaska—Start in the state capital and explore spots such as Tracy Arm, Frederick Sound, and Baranof Island.
- Sitka to Juneau—Fish for salmon if the yacht has a fishing license, whale watch, and take a sea kayak out for a paddle.
- Juneau to Ketchikan—Watch the glacier faces of the magnificent tidewater Twin Sawyer Glaciers calve and enjoy a hike in the wilderness through virgin forests looking for Bald Eagles. Visit the largest collection of standing totem poles in the world.
- Sitka to Ketchikan—Soak in the hot springs at Warm Springs Bay. Look for pods of humpback whales, watch while orcas dive under the hull of your yacht, and head ashore in Ketchikan to learn all about the Tlingit Indian culture of Totem Poles. Don’t forget to chip off a piece of old glacier ice for your evening drinks aboard your charter yacht.
- Juneau to Sitka—Kayak around large ice floes, look for bears hunting for salmon for dinner, and watch the dolphins play in the wake of the yacht. Hike across moss-covered virgin forest floors.
- Juneau to Glacier Bay to Juneau—Look for brown bears as you cruise around the “ABC” islands. Watch pods of humpback whales and listen for their mournful sounds. Watch calving tidewater glaciers ringing Glacier Bay. (Insider tip: Your charter yacht must have a license for Glacier Bay. We can help select the right charter yacht if this is a must-see.)
Each location in Alaska has so much to offer. But it is all about the right itinerary created around what you want to see and do, with your charter dates planned for the right month based on the wild, marine and birdlife that you find the most exciting. So, let’s dig a little deeper into some of the locations available to visit, along with how a private yacht charter elevates the entire Alaskan experience.
Many start their yacht charter right in the capital city, as it provides a winning combination of gorgeous natural landscapes and local culture. Before or after a yacht charter, visit Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter. Standing 100 feet high and 1.5 miles wide, feel free to enjoy a hike on the top of the glacier or a dog sled adventure. After dog sledding, take some time to visit the new puppies at the dog sledding center.
We also recommend a visit to the Alaska and Juneau-Douglas City Museums to learn about the local culture and history. And don’t forget a float plane trip out to Taku Lodge to indulge in a meal of fresh Alaskan salmon—or stay local and enjoy a beer tasting at the Alaskan Brewing Company.
Sawyer Glacier and Tracy Arm
Tracy Arm boasts jaw-dropping mountain views, waterfalls, and glacial blue water. While cruising to the head of Tracy Arm, keep your eyes open for all types of Alaskan wildlife, including wolves, brown bears, harbor seals, sea lions, eagles, arctic terns, and more. Take in the magnificent ice floes that are always floating by as you cruise out to Frederick Sound. These ice chunks can be as tall as a three-story apartment building! The various colors of blue reflected in the ice floes that float by are gorgeous. Take it all in!
Jump in the ship’s tender to get up close under the face of one of the Twin Sawyer Glaciers to see the ice face of the glacier crack and drop into the waters below. Just be ready for the loud sound of the crack when the ice breaks from the glacier face and the large waves created when the calving ice splashes into the water. Away from the face of the glacier, Tracy Arm offers calm waters to kayak around ice floes, and on either side along the walls of Tracy Arm, there are always spectacular waterfalls of fresh water dropping into the seawater far below.
It would be a miss not to include one side of Admiralty Island on a yacht charter in Alaska. Known to the indigenous Tlingits as Kootznoowoo (Fortress of the Bear), Admiralty Island is home to the highest density of (you guessed it) brown bears in North America. In fact, brown bears outnumber the humans living on the island at a ratio of about three to one!
The majority of the island is a federally protected national park. Watch the brown bears in action as they fish for salmon at the Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area. But the area isn’t just known for bears. Admiralty Island also has the highest concentration of nesting Bald Eagles anywhere in the world. And there is no better place to look for these magnificent creatures than from the deck of your charter yacht as you cruise along the shoreline. Also be sure to look out for humpback whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, and porpoises, all of which inhabit the waters around the island.
Yet another bonus of exploring the Fortress of the Bear via a private yacht charter is the possibility of seeing killer whales or porpoises swim alongside or dive right under your yacht. These creatures simply love to play in the currents of the rippling waters the yacht creates while cruising along.
Once called “the Paris of the Pacific,” Sitka is the center of culture and art in Southeast Alaska. Immerse yourself in the Native American culture with hands-on workshops at the Sitka National Historic Park. With over 40 miles of scenic trails, this spot is also a hiker’s dream. Learn about the Tlingit culture and totem poles, which were an integral part of the lives of these Indians. A number of beautiful totem poles are located along the various trails throughout the Park.
Visit the local museums and galleries, and don’t forget to do a little shopping. Purchase a carving from one of the famous soapstone carvers as a souvenir, or bring some Indian salmon jerky or wild berry jam back on board your charter yacht for an afternoon snack.
No matter which locations are chosen, a private yacht charter in Alaska is sure to be an outstanding experience for everyone. Adventure, beauty, total seclusion, and outstanding wild, marine and birdlife await in the wilds and waters. Escape while being pampered in luxury while exploring the Last Frontier.