We hope to paddle Alaska in 2018. Started looking at Inner Passage using Alaska Ferry system starting from Prince Rupert, BC going north, driving. Also looking at REI Glacier Bay small cruise ship (60 passengers) with a few days of kayaking included in itinerary (flying in to Juneau). If we use Alaska Ferry we will use outfitters and their sea kayaks. In other areas (49 states and 10 provinces) we have tent camped in National or state parks and usually paddled our 14 & 15 feet kayaks. Many Alaska parks seem to be only accessible by water or not developed for camping? Would much prefer doing it ourselves and using outfitters than going on a cruise, however small the boat. Anyone familiar with the area have suggestions? Interior lakes paddling OK; we are not sea kayakers, but have kayaked coastal areas. No whitewater, at least not above class II.
Looking at end of May, early June – better chance of drier and longer days. Is this time ok for winds, also?
A friend warned us that Juneau (REI cruise starts and ends there) is a tourist area in the summer – we prefer out of the way locations.
Not posting this under wilderness paddling because there may be more likelihood of suggestions from reader of this section. One of us has been in Alaska, but only a fly in and fly out for a conference.