As almost a bonus, our Wednesday involved venturing to a group of islands which no Lindblad-National Geographic vessel has ever visited. The Semidi Islands are a few small dots on the map of the Aleutian Islands on the Pacific side of the chain. Nestled between Kodiak and the Shumagin Islands, this small archipelago is the breeding side of a vast majority of Alaska’s seabirds. Our morning was spent Zodiac cruising amongst the raucous calls of cliff dwelling birds on Aghik Island, and for the afternoon we simply about-faced and landed on the larger island of Aghiyuk for hikes and tundra siestas. The evening was topped with a delicious dinner from the galley team and a fantastic show from the ship’s crew.
National Geographic Orion
The final day of our epic voyage through Western Alaska ended with a spectacular visit into Kenai Fjords National Park. We sailed up Northwestern Fjord to the tidewater glacier that flows out from the Harden Ice Field: the largest icefield that exists entirely within the United States. Extended Zodiac cruises were punctuated with visits from hot-chocolate-bearing crew members and throaty calving events from the face of the glacier. After lunch we sailed out of the fjord and into the sunshine. We spent the afternoon watching humpback and fin whales swim amongst the islets of Kenai accompanied with Steller sea lions and Dall’s porpoise. Sea otters made another appearance as they bobbed peacefully by, and even the elusive harbor porpoise showed itself to the select few who could catch a glimpse.