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Chatham Strait, a deep 240 kilometre-long strait in the Alexander Archipelago in southeast Alaska, was historically inhabited by explorers and fur-trappers. It separates Admiralty Island from Baranof and Chichagof Islands to the west – the so-called Alaskan ABC Islands.

The narrow (5-16 kilometres wide) passage extends south from the junction of Icy Strait and Lynn Canal to the open sea. Over the centuries intrepid sailors and fur trappers who explored the region knew it by different names, but in 1794 George Vancouver named it Chatham Strait in honour of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. He named Chatham Sound, farther south in British Columbia, for his son John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, whose brother William became Prime Minister of Great Britain. 

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: humpback whale, Steller’s sealion, sea otter, tufted puffin, rhinoceros auklet
  • Where: Southeast Alaska, Alaska
Recommended cruise vessel:

Snow Goose

This comfortable and roomy 20-metre steel-hulled motor-vessel is ideal for expedition cruising in Alaskan waters. Perfect for research and educational programmes, she sleeps 12 passengers in six private cabins, has an expert naturalist on board and carries a motorised inflatable and kayaks for island excursions.