The M/V Discovery in Harriman Fjord, Prince William Sound. Photo Patrick J. Endres.

We are thrilled to announce the addition of an exciting new tour to our line-up, an intimate exploration of Alaska’s Prince William Sound and Copper River Delta. This trip is the perfect way to experience this fascinating and biologically rich part of Alaska, a region many travelers completely overlook on their Alaskan vacation. We’re partnering with our friend Dean Rand and his company, Discovery Voyages, for this small ship expedition.

On this trip we’ll ply the protected waters of Prince William Sound on board the M/V Discovery, a classically fitted 65-foot historic yacht. While expertly blending comfort and adventure, this small vessel sails into quiet coves and navigates ice-bound channels that larger boats must avoid, letting us get an up close and personal view of glaciers, birds, and wildlife. With the leisure of eight days aboard the Discovery, plenty of time exists for us to explore via zodiac, kayak, and on foot the secluded beauty of Prince William Sound, including calving glaciers, whales and other marine mammals, impressive bird concentrations, and stunning scenery.

During the final five days of our trip we’ll get to know the small fishing town of Cordova and the rich wonders of the Copper River Delta, the largest wetland on the Pacific Coast of North America and the site of the world famous shorebird migration, where dense flocks of Western Sandpipers, sometimes 100,000 or more at a time, congregate to feed and rest before pushing on to their breeding grounds.

There is no better time to visit Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta than late April and early May and our itinerary targets special areas for key bird observations, as well as the wildlife that congregates due the surge of the marine food web in Prince William Sound. We’ve timed this trip to attempt to catch the peak of the herring spawn in Prince William Sound, where impressive numbers of Surfbirds, Black Turnstones, and other species congregate to feast. The end of our itinerary is anchored around the shorebird migration at Hartney Bay and the Copper River Delta, where staggering numbers of birds stage and pass through during a few short weeks each spring.

The birding, wildlife viewing, and photographic opportunities on this tour will be world class and you’ll be led by three of the most knowledgeable naturalists in Alaska. For those interested in photography, you’ll have the opportunity to work with professional photographer, Hugh Rose, throughout the journey to hone your photography skills.

Download the detailed itinerary here.

A flock of Western Sandpipers surrounds two birders at Hartney Bay, Cordova. Photo Patrick J. Endres.