In 1978, President Jimmy Carter established 2.2 million acres as the Misty Fjords National Monument, located in the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact coastal rainforest in America. About 17,000 years ago, the area of Misty Fjords would have been covered with only one thing, a massive body of ice. As the ice retreated, it carved away glorious long deep fjords with granite cliffs that rise for thousands of feet. They are considered the skyscrapers of this wilderness wonderland.

This humid morning, the National Geographic Sea Lion enters Rudyard Bay. Guests and field staff gathered on the bow of the ship with coffee and binoculars excited for our first full day on this Wild Alaska Escape. The morning expedition activities include a round of Zodiac tours through Owl Pass and wildlife viewing from the ship. Cascading waterfalls charged from the rainwater gush down the walls of the fjords allow us to stick the bows of our Zodiacs under the chilly down pour.

During the lunch hour, we repositioned to a beautiful cove named the Punch Bowl. Guests took to the kayaks for a paddle on the briny, pristine waters. All back aboard for the evening, the ship buzzed with conversation and delight about the day in Misty Fjords.