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Chilkat River Jet-Boat Adventure

Journey to Haines and explore the tributaries of the Chilkat River by Jet Boat. Expert captains are adept at spotting wildlife along the way, and the jet boats provide a great platform for photography.

Tour Photos

Tour Notes

Port: Skagway
Duration: 6.5 Hours
Activity Level: Easy. Guests must be able to walk over loose gravel and dry river delta to board the jet boat.
Min. Age: 7 years
Min. Weight: None Max. Weight: 350 lbs.
Food: Picnic-style lunch provided.
Provided Equipment: Life jackets, rubber boots, and outerwear in case of inclement weather.
Recommended clothing: Layers for warmth, rain gear, and an extra pair of socks.
Wheelchair access: No
Medical Restrictions: No expectant mothers past 20 weeks. Guests must be in good health.
Liability Waiver Required

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Tour Description

Your tour begins as you board a high-speed catamaran for a scenic 45-minute cruise along North America’s longest and deepest fjord to Haines. Along the way, you’ll witness spectacular views of waterfalls and ice-sculpted peaks as your guide points out marine wildlife along the fjord. Upon arrival in Haines, board a bus for a 30-minute ride on the Haines Scenic Byway into the heart of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to the river dock. On your narrated drive you will enjoy stories of the history of the valley. Where the road ends, the real Alaska begins and so does your adventure. Board your boat and part company with civilization. During your time on the Chilkat River, traverse many different channels and travel at least 20 miles into the wilderness. Your vessel is specially designed for navigation on this silt-laden river which is the only access to a remote, roadless portion of the preserve. Your open-topped boat allows you to view and photograph the majestic scenery and animals seen in an unhindered fashion. Warm outerwear and blankets will be provided. The staff is friendly and welcoming and will entertain you with tales of their backcountry lifestyle and some “real Alaska” stories. View bald eagles and their massive nests in their natural habitat.

The preserve has the best moose habitat in the valley and although there are no guarantees, the chances of spotting moose and bears are very good. Have your cameras ready in case the wildlife provides a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. After returning to the dock, you’ll enjoy a riverside picnic. Your tour concludes with a return cruise aboard the catamaran back to Skagway. With Haines behind you, you leave with a myriad of unforgettable memories. Note: We are able to accommodate dietary restrictions with a minimum of 48 hours of advanced notice, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, allergies, etc.


(~30 minutes) – Sign waivers, learn about tours and walk down to a small boat harbor to catch the fast ferry.
(~45 minutes) – Your friendly tour dock representative will meet you near the Skagway Small Boat harbor sign and restrooms. We will provide answers to any questions that you might have about your upcoming excursion and get you ready to board the ferry to Haines. We’ll help you board the comfortable ferry for the 45-minute narrated, scenic journey to Haines.
(~45 minutes) – Upon arrival in Haines, restrooms will be available and you’ll meet your guide and driver for a breathtaking drive up the Haines Scenic Byway to the jet boat launch.
(~40 minutes) – When you arrive at the boat launch you’ll meet up with the boat captain and swap out your shoes for rubber river boots. Your captain will provide you with a thorough safety briefing and you’ll don a PFD before boarding one of four boats docked at the launch.
(~90 minutes) – You’ll spend the next 90 minutes exploring different channels along the Chilkat River via jet boat.
(~30 minutes) – Upon arrival back at the boat launch you’ll enjoy a sack lunch and refreshments.
(~30 minutes) – A short drive back down the Haines Scenic Byway will bring you to the ferry for your comfortable and scenic ride back to Skagway.
(~10 minutes) – Arrive boat dock in Haines to board the boat to Skagway.
(~45 minutes) – Scenic boat ride back to Skagway at the end of the excursion.
(~20 minutes) – Depart from the ferry and head to your boat.
Where will I meet my guide?
Your guide will meet you 15 minutes prior to the tour start time to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed. If you are arriving by cruise ship, your guide will meet you at the end of the pier where your ship docks at. Otherwise, the meeting location is the Small Boat Harbor sign. CLICK HERE to see a map detailing these locations in Skagway. Your guide will be holding a sign with the name of your tour.
Who are my tour guides?
Your tour guides are experts in the industry. They are fun, well-trained, and passionate about guiding and sharing their expert knowledge about the history and natural wonder of Haines and Skagway, Alaska with you! Our staff all go through extensive training and hold current first-aid (mostly WFR and WEMT) certifications. Many of our guides also lead courses and guided expedition trips for us both in Alaska and throughout the world.
Is there a bathroom?
Restrooms are available on the dock prior to departing for your tour, on the ferry during your travel to Haines, and restrooms at the start/finish of your jet boat tour.
Do you cancel due to the weather?
Our tours embrace Southeast Alaska’s unpredictable weather. Our tours run rain or shine. If in a rare instance weather does cause us to cancel the tour you will be refunded in full and provided with assistance with finding an alternative excursion for the day.
What wildlife will I see?
Though wildlife can never be guaranteed on tour, bald eagles, moose, all five types of Pacific salmon, and brown and black bears frequent the area. Wildlife sightings depend on the time of the year and the area within Haines where the excursion takes place. Your guides will choose the best locations to help you maximize your wildlife viewing opportunity on the excursion.
Will there be any whitewater on the tour?
No – there will be no whitewater or rapids during the tour.
Is there a charge for infants (0-18 months)?
No, infants are not allowed. The minimum age to participate in the tour is 7 years old.

Booking Options

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*Price is per adult in USD, taxes not included.

Guest Comments

This float trip was as advertised. We had fun and saw so many eagles and even a Grizzly. The Guides were informative; helpful for the handicapped; good food. If you want to see our national bird and like gentle float trips---this is the one for you!!
- StanWe had a fantastic time- all 3 generations of my family truly enjoyed the trip. The weather was beautiful, the food was yummy, and we saw numerous Eagles. Our guide was knowledgeable and funny. Would recommend this to everyone!
- MandyMy husband and I had such a great time with this company. From Steve, our bus guide, Dana our sweet bus driver, to Bryce, our rafting guide, we were encouraged by how kind and knowledgeable they all were. But Bryce stole the show with his rafting skills and great storytelling. This is a top-notch company and was our favorite day on our trip.
- Dena

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