Your trip begins with a 45-minute ferry ride along the steep-walled fjords connecting Skagway to Haines. Over a dozen unnamed waterfalls drop hundreds of feet from the cliff sides on both sides of the boat. Marvel at the scenery and look for humpback whales, harbor seals, and bald eagles.
Upon arrival in Haines, meet your expert guide and enjoy a riverside drive along the Haines Highway. The drive is incredibly scenic: glacier-clad mountains thrust to the sky, colorful wildflowers line the road, green riverside channels provide habitat for moose, bear, and trumpeter swans. The highway was declared a National Scenic Byway in 2009. Arrive at the river in the heart of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, approximately 40 minutes away.
After boarding your raft, enjoy a scenic float down the Chilkat River through the famous Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, home of the world's largest concentration of Bald Eagles. You are immersed in the Alaskan wilderness, floating the silent river. As there are no rapids (white water) on the river, it makes for a very relaxing float. Depending on the flow of the river, the float portion lasts about 1 1/2 hours.
Along the way, your professional guide will explain the natural history of the area, Chilkat Indian Heritage, and share some exciting stories from life in the Alaskan wilderness. The number of eagles you will see is dependent on the food available to the eagles (i.e. the fish runs). During the early months of the summer season, you will often see parent eagles sitting on nests, eaglets in nests, and the parent eagles flying to the nest with food for their young. Thousands of bald eagles travel here to feed on salmon in the fall and winter. During very warm days, the eagles are often seen catching the thermals and soaring above the mountain peaks.
Paddling is not required, as your expert guide will push the raft along, explaining the intricate balance of nature that makes this a unique and special place. Don't leave your camera behind for this adventure!
After rafting, enjoy a picnic lunch on your way back to Haines. Board the Fast Ferry to Skagway and return to your ship with memories of an unforgettable adventure.
Inclusions: Roundtrip transportation to Haines. Lunch.
Please note: Minimum of 2 passengers required to book. Child prices for ages 7-12.
Duration: 6.5 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal. Ferry to Haines: 45 minutes. Float time: 1.5 hours.)
- Fast Ferry fare to and from Haines on public service Catamaran Ferry.
- A picnic-style lunch: turkey sandwich on organic whole wheat bread, fruit, freshly baked cookie, and bottled water. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available with advance notice.
- Gear: Personal Floatation Device, Ponchos (if needed), and 7 person 16ft raft.
- Minimum of 2 passengers required to book
- Minimum age of 7 years old
- Maximum weight of 250lbs
Duration: 6.5 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 45 minutes - fast ferry to Haines
- 40 minutes - scenic tour to Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
- 15 minutes - safety talk and equipment distribution
- 90 minutes - guided rafting float trip
- 30 minutes - lunch at the picnic location
- 60 minutes - scenic tour and transfer to fast ferry
- 45 minutes - fast ferry to Skagway
- This tour meets on the cruise ship dock. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is not recommended for those with limited mobility. Guests must be able to climb 4 steps into and out of the bus and they need to be able to walk up and down gangways that vary depending on the tide. Additionally, guests must be able to sit unsupported on the sides of the inflatable raft for 90 minutes during the float portion of the tour. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for collapsible equipment will be required on tour.
Is there a minimum number of guests?
Yes. There is a minimum of 2 guests and a maximum of 14 guests per departure.
What time does the tour run?
Our tours typically leave in the morning around 8am but vary due to the Fast Ferry schedule.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Our kayaking and rafting tours have a Minimum age of 7. Our other tours do not have an age limit. If a child requires a car seat, please provide advance notice.
Is there a maximum weight limit or restrictions for rafting and kayaking?
Yes. The weight limit for the rafting and kayak trip is 250lbs. The kayaking tour requires that guests can paddle for 1.5 hours and get themselves comfortably in and out of a kayak. Our rafts do not have a back rest, so guests must be able to sit for 1.5 hours.
Are there any physical requirements for this tour?
Guests on the rafting tour need to be able to get in and out of an 8 person raft unassisted, and be able to sit on the edge of the raft as it goes down the river. There is no rapid white water and guests will take a float trip down on a calm river. If the raft gets stuck on a sand bar, guests need to be able to get out of the raft onto a sand bar, which will enable our guide to move the raft off the sand bar.
What kind of rafts do you use?
We use a variety of 16ft. rafts, propelled by the guide utilizing an oar frame.
Do you meet us at our ship?
Yes, a representative will meet the guests just past security.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
No. We do not have a wheelchair lift in any of our vehicles.
What should I wear while on tour?
We recommend that you dress in layers. It can be cold enough where you want a wool cap, gloves and a jacket, or it could be so warm you will be in a T-shirt with sunscreen and sunglasses. The weather can change quickly.
What size groups are on your tours?
Our maximum group size is 14. Our typical tour has around 6-8 guests at one time. We can charter large buses for large groups with advance notice.
What kinds of vehicles do you use?
Depending on the size of the group and the tour, we utilize everything from an SUV like the Toyota Sequoia or Sienna, to the 14-passenger Ford Econoline Van to the 14- passenger Airporter-style bus.
What are your lunches like? What if I have a special diet?
The tour includes a deli-style lunch. It consists of a turkey sandwich on fresh baked bread, fruit, freshly baked cookie, and bottled water. Vegetarian and gluten free options are available with advance notice.
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Aug 2022 - Ronald B.
The only reason this not a 5 is because I had expected to see more Eagles, which is beyond the control of our guide. Our guide was great, he was very knowledgeable and went out of his way to ensure the Eagles we did see, we had extra time to sit and watch them.
Aug 2022 - Paul B.
We thoroughly enjoyed our rafting tour. Our guide Kyle was great! Very knowledgeable about the area. We felt like it was our own personal tour. Will reccomend to others.
Aug 2022 - Richard G.
Kyle was an excellent and professional tour guide. Really enjoyed the excursion.
Sep 2017 - John R.
Excellent. Ferry ride roundtrip from Skagway to Haines was comfortable, efficient and fast. Naturalist narrator on ferry was very good. Raft Trip with Rainbow and Ashley/Dave was even better. Weather and eagles cooperated. Scenery was peaceful and magnificent. Ashley was an excellent guide.
Jul 2017 - Carolyn L.
Very good. Saw many eagles at the beginning. Not so many at the end. Beautiful scenery. Excellent guide. Would definitely do it again when the bald eagles are very plentiful during the last salmon run.
Sep 2016 - Steve F.
Aug 2016 - Brenda C.
We did see eagles and that was the main goal. Not having to do any of the rowing was a plus, but it was a dreary day - which seems to be the norm in July in Alaska.
Nothing against the tour itself, but I was disappointed in the weather. Feel like they could offer rain gear to keep you dry.