Alaska luxury yacht charter

The epitome of an epic ice adventure, a luxury yacht charter in the US state of Alaska, which can be accessed via the famous Inside Passage, will appeal to intrepid souls and nature enthusiasts alike. Explore a labyrinth of winding channels, emerald fjords and desolate sounds, visit traditional villages and picturesque islands and gaze upon towering mountains, heaving icebergs and wildly beautiful vistas. One of the most majestic cruising grounds in the world, this remote region of the United States is a glacial wonderland where visitors can see abundant wildlife like humpback whales breaching the sapphire waters, pods of orcas swimming amid the ice and seals basking on the rocks. Mix in activities from heli-skiing and dog sledding to kayaking and fishing, and your tailor-made itinerary can make for a truly awesome charter of a lifetime.

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Alaska yacht season and weather

The charter season is relatively short and runs from mid-May to mid-September. Late May to late July are the peak months where visitors can enjoy longer daylight hours and balmier weather. On June 21st, the longest day of the year, the south-east region of Alaska can experience up to 18 hours of daylight. Summer highs will be between 21 and 25°C.

Alaska yacht charter itineraries

Most charters rendezvous in Juneau or Ketchikan. Superyachts can cruise north from Seattle to Alaska.

The famous Inside Passage features on many Alaskan itineraries thanks to its dramatic sunsets, abundant flora and fauna and last-frontier landscapes. If meeting your charter in Juneau, enjoy the beauty of this remote capital and take dog sleds across the glacier or hike the picturesque trails. For your first passage, cruise around 40 nautical miles to the isolated fjord of Tracy Arm and the jaw-dropping twin Sawyer Glaciers. Next stop is Dawes Glacier, 30 nautical miles south, where shards and lumps of ice calve and tumble into the fjord. Drop anchor in Wood Spit Cove for a perfect evening of kayaking or fishing, before a gourmet dinner on board with a spellbinding backdrop. The next day, cruise south into Frederick Sound, where lucky visitors will spot humpback whales breaching the water and pods of orcas. Swing on the hook in Cannery Cove, where you can spot brown bears feeding along the shoreline.

The icy waterfalls and towering mountains of Red Bluff Bay are a prime spot to see bears snatching at water for salmon, especially in August. From there, it’s an easy 20 nautical-mile stretch to a treasure trove of natural wonders at Baranof Warm Springs, off the Chatham Strait, where visitors will find the cascading 30-metre waterfall and nine geothermal springs. Cruise north through the Chatham Strait, stopping at Tenakee Springs, and anchor overnight at the picturesque harbour of Pavlof. The next morning, head back to Juneau and disembark.

Alaska by superyacht

Getting to Alaska

Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau airports are Alaska’s primary ports of entry. Juneau International Airport is served by private jets, charter, regional and major airlines. Seattle is a three-hour flight from Juneau.

Much of the Alaskan wilderness is inaccesible by road, so chartering a yacht with a touch-and-go helipad is the best way to get around and see this magical region. Picnics can be arranged on the glaciers or adventure lovers can go heli-skiing.

Legal requirements

Travellers from some countries may need to be apply for a Visa to visit Alaska. US citizens do not need passports to fly to Alaska from other destinations in the US.

Permits are required to enter Glacier Bay National Park, Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary and Anan Creek Bear Observatory.

Following a change in US law in August 2018, owners of vessels over 300 GT can now fly an American flag and register their boat in the United States.

According to Yacht Services of Alaska, vessels of more than 400 GT require a current Alaskan COFR and Oil Spill Response Plan to be in effect prior to arrival in Alaskan waters.

Various pilotage rules apply, though vessels larger than 19 metres and less than 53 metres are eligible for exemptions (apply at least 30 days in advance).