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Visit the waters of the Icy Strait area in the summer and there’s a good chance of seeing endangered humpback whales and other mammals gorging themselves on their annual northern feast of plankton. Each year in late spring to early summer, an extraordinary bloom of plant plankton occurs for about two weeks. Animal plankton, starfish, sea urchins, worms and clams feast on the plankton, and many of these species time their reproduction to occur at the height of the plankton concentration. Vast shoals of small fish, including herring and capelin, are drawn to the animal plankton, and salmon, birds, and marine mammals such as sea lions and seals join in the feast, feeding on the profusion of small fish. The terrestrial plant communities of the Icy Strait area are also an important component of the area’s biological diversity, and the site is one of the best places in the world to study how plants return to a landscape after glacial retreat.
Located about 45 miles south of Juneau, Tracy Arm, a classic fjord located in the heart of the Tracy Arm-Fjords Terror Wilderness, stands out as a "must see" for any Alaska vacation. The icebergs are framed by sheer mountain peaks reaching to 7,000 feet. Waterfalls flow from ice covered mountains to the jade colored inland sea. Tracy Arm is the summer home for pigeon guillemots, kittiwakes and arctic terns. Usually mountain goats are seen on the rocky slopes near Sawyer Glacier. They have been known to come down near the water. The best bear viewing is along the shores of Stephens Pass or Holkham Bay, and there are whales and seals.
Alert Bay lies off Vancouver Island in the straits and channels between the island and the mainland. It is home to one of the best-preserved and still vibrant native villages in western Canada. Totem poles face the waters, and cedar-pole longhouses are painted with traditional images and symbols. The U'Mista Cultural Centre contains a collection of carved wooden masks, baskets, and potlatch ceremonial objects.
Johnstone Strait is a deep glacier-carved passage off the east coat of Vancouver Island, British Colombia. The strait is home to the largest resident pod of killer whales in the world, and there is no better place for visitors to view these amazing creatures. Visitors may also enjoy visiting the Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park. The park is a maze of small islands, and a superb destination for sea kayaking.
Seymour Narrows is as a segment of the Discovery Passage in British Columbia. This section is well known for its strong tidal currents which can reach a velocity of up to 15 kn. The Seymour Narrows is well known for the infamous Ripple Rock, which was removed by an explosion back in 1958, and is known to Canada as being one of the countries National Historic Events.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
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