7-Day Glacier Discovery – Southbound to Vancouver
Fly in to one of Southcentral Alaska’s oldest communities to begin this wonderful Alaska Cruise. A cruise/tour for those that have a “smart phone” and want to learn how to take better pictures as well as for serious photographers. Seward is ground zero for the Klondike Gold Rush Iditarod National Historic Trail, a dogsled route that connected the Kenai Peninsula’s ice-free port with Nome during frontier-era winters. Explorers from Russia, Britain and the United States all frequented this area before Seward’s official founding in 1903. Today this mellow town welcomes visitors to Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park, not to mention the 127-mile Seward Highway, honored as an All-American Road, stretching north to Anchorage. In town, favorite stops remain the Alaska SeaLife Center, a research aquarium open to the public, and the steep, stony 3,018-foot Mount Marathon, which hosts one of America’s oldest foot races on July 4th. This journey begins in Whittier.
7-Day Glacier Discovery Southbound
Whittier to Vancouver – May 2022 – $1749.
7-days – Holland America
Day 1: Holland America Line’s Alaska cruise tours now include the tiny town of Whittier. This remote village is nestled along breathtaking Prince William Sound, home to a stunning array of wildlife, including bald eagles, sea otters and killer whales, so have your camera ready. Whittier has the odd distinction of being almost entirely under one roof. No need to get in a car to go to the grocery store, bank or a friend’s house. All town services are sheltered from the often-inclement weather in this unique and practical way, and virtually all of Whittier’s approximately 220 residents live in the 14-story Begich Towers, originally a Cold War outpost for the U.S. Army. Not only will you experience Whittier’s small-town charm, but there is also plenty of outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, scuba diving and kayaking. It is also known for its high concentration of glaciers.
Day 2: As you cruise toward Hubbard Glacier it feels like you’re approaching another planet in a tiny space craft. It is that big and that otherworldly. Among all the vanishing Alaska glaciers, Hubbard has a rapidly advancing ice margin— up to seven feet in one day—earning it the nickname, “the Galloping Glacier.” Hubbard Glacier is so popular because of the glacier’s three-story icebergs that cannon into crystal waters, a process called calving. It’s also colorful. On clear days, Hubbard turns a stunning deep blue and on cloudy ones, its many ripples and icebergs shimmer in soft light. This glacier dwarfs the other glaciers in Alaska. It is the longest tidewater glacier in North America, pouring down off the shoulder of Mt. Walsh. It has an impressive terminal face that is making its regular audience of Alaska cruise ships look like toy boats. Hubbard Glacier is one of the few Alaska glaciers that’s advancing.
**Optional – EXCURSIONS BY CATAMARAN: HUBBARD GLACIER & ENCHANTING DISENCHANTMENT BAY: Board an Alaskan-built expedition vessel for stunning, unmatched perspective of Hubbard Glacier — one of Alaska’s most famous landmarks. From the mouth of Disenchantment Bay, you will cruise in comfort amid shimmering icebergs and dramatic wilderness. This tour departs directly from the cruise ship in a remote wilderness area. Hot beverages are included; food is available for purchase. STARTING AT $229
Day 3: On your cruise to Glacier Bay, close your eyes and take in the sounds—the creaks and groans of “living” ice, the shrill cries of gulls and soaring eagles, the splash of a breaching humpback whale. Frosted peaks towering over mossy forests, wide tidewater glaciers (there are seven in the park), and marine wildlife are a given, but every experience is unique. Our ships are perfectly sized for this experience. There are glaciers, fjords, inlets, rivers, streams and wildlife galore, so bring those binoculars to marvel at this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is also one of the planet’s largest biosphere reserves.
Day 4: At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, the port town of Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields, and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway—but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for a new kind of visitor: those looking to explore Alaska’s colorful history, pristine wildlife and unrivaled natural beauty. At every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in gold rush lore. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a classic narrow-gauge railway that traverses rugged mountains and passes cascading waterfalls and towering glaciers as it connects Skagway to Whitehorse deep in the Yukon. Known as the “Garden City of Alaska,” Skagway is filled with beauty and nature. Much of the town has been preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where rangers offer free walking tours around the historic district.
**Optional – WHITE PASS SUMMIT SCENIC RAILROAD: Take an unforgettable round-trip journey. Against all odds, this iron trail was built through some of the North’s most ruggedly beautiful terrain and more than 120 years later is still in operation. Ride in a comfortable, restored or replica vintage rail car to the summit of the White Pass, through two tunnels, over sky-high trestles, and remote valleys. Pass Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch as your guide announces all points of interest and tells the story of the Klondike Gold Rush. Wheelchair accessible. STARTING AT $139
**Optional – WHITE PASS RAIL & KLONDIKE HIGHWAY BY BIKE: Experience the great Northern outdoors, get some fresh air and go biking with Alaska’s original bicycle company on two great excursions — a unique way to tour Skagway and the surrounding area. STARTING AT $209
**Optional – WHITE PASS RAIL, KLONDIKE HIGHWAY & LIARSVILLE GOLD CAMP: Experience an unforgettable journey along the eastern side of White Pass aboard the world-famous narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, built more than 100 years ago. You’ll pass through some of the North’s most rugged terrain on board a comfortable rail car as you retrace the original route through breathtaking scenery beyond the summit of White Pass at 2,865 feet. This adventure crosses the border; US and Canadian citizens must carry a passport and ship ID. All other nationalities must have a valid passport, visa and ship ID. STARTING AT $179
**Optional – GOLD PANNING, SLED DOGS & 40 DEGREES BELOW ZERO: Come to the Klondike Gold Fields where photographs, artifacts and interpretive displays bring the past to life and immerse you in the wild history of the Klondike Gold Rush. Your adventure begins as you journey through the historic streets of downtown Skagway past wooden walkways to Dredge Town. Meet a dog-sled musher who will show you a video presentation that introduces you to dogs of the Klondike Gold Rush and explains the sport of winter dogsledding today. Meet and interact with the Iditarod sled dogs and their puppies, stopping first at the checkpoint tent with your musher. Wheelchair accessible. STARTING AT$89
**Optional – FOOD SCIENCE: A HANDS-ON TASTE OF ALASKA: IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE: At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, the port town of Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It then became a frontier hub packed with trading posts and guesthouses. A great way to discover that history is through Skagway’s present-day food scene. Meet your tour guide at the dock, head into town. Wheelchair accessible STARTING AT $89
**Optional – SKAGWAY STREETCAR CITY TOUR: Don’t miss this for a complete understanding of the city and its colorful century of history. This is your chance to experience Skagway with Alaska’s original historic city tour to ‘All Points of Interest’ — an informative and fun-filled 90 minutes. A Skagway prospector, Martin, came north looking for Klondike gold in 1898, and instead became the town’s most celebrated storyteller. The first passenger Martin took on his Skagway tour was US President Warren G. Harding. In 1923, he claimed that there was “nothing like it in the world” and he went on to delight visitors with his motorized sightseeing tour and tall tales for many decades. Today, Martin’s tour lives on in Skagway. Ideal for guests with mobility limitations. STARTING AT $44
**Optional – GLACIER DISCOVERY BY HELICOPTER: Leave all traces of civilization behind and experience the infinite beauty of Alaska’s remote glaciers by helicopter. Lift off from the historic Skagway waterfront and head into a rugged region of sheer mountains, majestic valleys and massive glaciers. Jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, or the spectacular ‘river of ice’ known as the Meade Glacier, may be among the wonders you encounter. Flight routes and landing zones are selected daily. Once you have reached your destination, you will have the rare opportunity to explore one of nature’s greatest marvels. Enjoy the walking tour over the surface of the glacier, as your guide answers all your questions and explains the awesome forces at work. There are weight restrictions. STARTING AT $369
Day 5 – Cruise to Juneau, and visit the most remote, most beautiful and strangest state capital in the United States. Surrounded by water, forest and mountain sights, visitors seeking things to do indoors and outdoors can hike a glacier, eat fresh-caught fish on a seaside patio and tour a grand capitol building all in one day! Juneau is known for its outdoor recreation, fresh seafood and pleasant, fine dining. The real highlight of a visit is tracking down wildlife. You can hike up Mount Roberts to chance upon wild deer and bald eagles. Most sightseeing and whale-watching tours head north to Auke Bay—bring a good pair of binoculars to get the best view of these majestic and surprisingly graceful creatures. If you prefer land mammals, catch a floatplane to a nearby wildlife reserve to spy some bears lolling around.
**Optional – EXCLUSIVE MENDENHALL GLACIER, RAINFOREST GARDEN & STATE MUSEUM: What is it like to live in the forest and how does it shape the lives of its inhabitants? The answers begin with a short drive en route to Mendenhall Glacier, located in the Tongass National Forest. Here you’ll spend 90 minutes exploring the surrounding trails and waterfall offering fabulous views. Allow time to check out the various exhibits and short film. At the Juneau Rainforest Garden, experience an intimate botanical oasis. Take a self-guided stroll among seasonal wildflowers and lush rain forest flora and learn about Native uses of the endemic plants. Enjoy a light snack amid natural science displays. The resident hosts will answer any questions you may have. The last part of the outing takes you to the state-of-the-art Alaska State Museum. Here, you will gain an understanding of Alaska’s development. STARTING AT $89.
**Optional – SALMON FISHING: Get serious with four hours on the water and a knowledgeable Coast Guard-licensed captain. This premium Alaskan salmon-fishing charter is a chance to learn from the best all about their migration patterns as well as the most effective way to catch them. The captain takes you to some of the best local hotspots to fish. Make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime fishing adventure — it’s designed for the serious fisherperson but is suitable for friends or families of all ages to come along. Snacks and cold beverages are available throughout the tour. Your captain can arrange for any fish you catch to be professionally processed locally (flash frozen, smoked, canned etc.) and shipped to your home for an additional charge. Alaska State law requires a valid one-day fishing license. You must purchase this from your fishing boat captain along with a king salmon stamp during king season. STARTING AT $199
**Optional – MENDENHALL GLACIER, HATCHERY & SALMON BAKE: Travel to the mighty Mendenhall Glacier, then visit Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. Learn about the importance of Alaska’s salmon and the impact these amazing fish have on the environment and economy. Enjoy great eagle viewing and the variety of local marine life in aquariums. Then you’ll board your motor coach and head to the traditional Alaskan salmon bake at Salmon Creek. A feast, this salmon bake features wild salmon grilled over an open alder wood fire. After dining, toast marshmallows over a crackling campfire and walk to view the beautiful Salmon Creek waterfall. Remnants of the historic Wagner Mine are evident here. Return to the ship by shuttle bus. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair due to uneven terrain. STARTING AT $99
**Optional – MENDENHALL GLACIER HELICOPTER & GUIDED WALK /or/ PILOT’S CHOICE GLACIER EXPLORER BY HELICOPTER (WITH TWO LANDINGS): Travel back to the Ice Age on this excursion that was featured on Good Morning America as Juneau’s top-rated excursion. Board a modern, turbine-powered helicopter to enjoy breathtaking vistas of thriving rain forests, alpine ridges, and mountain peaks. Your destination is the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier. The flight path takes you over the glacier itself, giving you an eagle’s-eye view of its icy spires, deep blue crevasses and meltwater pools. Descending towards the landing site, you may fly past the Mendenhall Towers — rock sentinels that soar to more than 7,000 feet. A gentle landing brings you to your close encounter with the ice itself.
/Or/ – Marvel at vistas seen by few — high alpine lakes, ‘icefalls’ hanging from sheer cliffs, and some of the most remote peaks and glaciers on the Juneau Icefield. Your pilot will create the best possible flightseeing based on the weather and glacier conditions. You’ll land in two different locations, where you will tour on foot. During these two landings, you will learn about the environmental and geological processes at work, creating moraines, crevasses, and the amazing glaciers themselves. STARTING AT $359 /or/ $489
**Optional – MENDENHALL GLACIER FLOAT TRIP: Your outing begins with a scenic, narrated motor coach ride and tour to beautiful Mendenhall Lake. There, you’ll be treated to an excellent view of the glacier. Arriving at the lake, gear up, board a raft and take off on an unforgettable adventure where you can get out into nature, learn about the area, and see the glacier, icebergs and some wildlife. STARTING AT $159
**Optional – UNDERGROUND MINE EXPLORATION & GOLD PANNING: Relive the mining heritage on a tour of what was once the world’s largest gold-producing mill. Hear the story of this great mine that was the heart of Juneau. A short ride brings you to the site of the mill ruins, where you will venture underground into the conveyer tunnel through which crushed ore was transported to the mill. Don a hard hat and proceed on foot along a boardwalk into the 360-foot-long tunnel. Inside, experienced miners demonstrate hard rock mining techniques and give you a feel for the mining lifestyle. STARTING AT $79
Day 6 – Take an adventure and cruise to Ketchikan, Alaska’s “First City” – is so named because it’s the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain. Ketchikan has long been an important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries. Visitors can try their luck on a sportfishing or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. This is one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park. Don’t forget to leave time to explore the sights in the town itself, including historic Creek Street, a boardwalk built over the Ketchikan Creek, where you can shop for souvenirs, smoked salmon and local art, while exploring gold rush era tourist attractions like Dolly’s House Museum.
**Optional – TOTEM BIGHT STATE PARK & KETCHIKAN HIGHLIGHTS: Begin your journey with a scenic drive to Totem Bight State Park, home to one of the world’s largest stands of totems. Stroll the trail under a canopy of majestic hemlock and cedar trees. At the end of the trail, you will find the totems. Through lively stories you will learn about the culture and lifestyles practiced by the Northwest Coastal Natives. STARTING AT $49
**Optional – MISTY FJORDS SEAPLANE & CRAB FEAST (A SMALL-GROUP TOUR): This exhilarating small-group tour combines flightseeing in Misty Fjords National Monument, a thrilling water landing, and a crab feast at a rustic Alaska lodge. Take off from the water and soar skyward in a floatplane. Individual headsets allow you to enjoy the lively narrative and inspirational music, specially selected. STARTING AT $389
**Optional – SAXMAN NATIVE VILLAGE, DANCE PERFORMANCE & TOTEM PARK: This tour provides exclusive access to the Beaver Clan House, a working Native carving center, and a chance to view the traditional Native dancers firsthand. You can’t buy this tour elsewhere, so if you’re going to Saxman Native Village make sure you are part of this genuine, up-close look at the rich living culture of Southeast Alaska’s Native Americans. Wheelchair accessible STARTING AT $64
**Optional – EAGLES, RAPTORS & RAIN FOREST EXPERIENCE: Join a naturalist for a guided trail walk in search of wildlife in the natural rain forest habitat of the Raptor Zone. Experience Alaska’s newest raptor presentation and exhibit, including an up-close view of a bald eagle, and explore a historic sawmill, blacksmith’s shop, and totem garden. Shopping opportunities. STARTING AT $139
**Optional – KETCHIKAN SALMON FISHING: Enjoy a 25- to 30-minute guided bus tour along the Tongass Narrows on your way to the marina. From there you will board a modern fishing boat, and head to the nearby salmon fishing grounds. Keep an eye out for eagles, whales, seals, or other wildlife. Catch a fish? Now enjoy every bite, perfectly prepared by our expert chefs and served to you on board your ship. Our Savor the Catch program is a true ocean-to-fork experience and is available with this adventure. STARTING AT $199
**Optional – THE GREAT ALASKAN LUMBERJACK SHOW & CRAB FEAST: Taste and experience what makes this such an awesome place to visit with the Alaska-style crab-crackin’ and lumberjackin’ day out. It’s a short walk to the Lumberjack Sports Arena where Ketchikan celebrates its annual logging heritage Timber Carnival. It’s the venue for the one-hour Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show extravaganza, where professionals battle it out in chopping, sawing, tree-climbing, axe-throwing, history-telling and more. STARTING AT $144
**Optional – RAIN FOREST TRAIL BIKE & HIKE ADVENTURE: Join an experienced trail guide for a mountain bike ride through the unspoiled beauty of the coastal rainforest. The gently sloping historical trail weaves through the Tongass National Forest, under the cover of towering spruce and hemlock. The three-mile-long trail has a series of optional, fun features for riders of all abilities and skill levels. STARTING AT $149
Day 7 – Scenic Cruising the Inside Passage: Numerous ports along the way recount Alaska’s colorful history. In Sitka, an onion-domed church marks Russia’s onetime foothold; Ketchikan offers a glimpse of the Native Alaskan experience, with historic totem poles and native-arts galleries; and the legendary town center of Skagway bustles as it did during the turn of the 19th century Klondike Gold Rush.
Day 8 – Once a trading post and a rough-and-tumble sawmilling settlement, today modern Vancouver, Canada is many things. This city is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking for active things to do in an ethnically diverse metropolis, and Hollywood of the North. Hemmed in by mountains and sea, Vancouver lures visitors with its combination of urban sophistication and laid-back attitude against a backdrop of glass towers and modern sights and plentiful green spaces.
**Optional – VANCOUVER HIGHLIGHTS WITH AIRPORT TRANSFER: The city of Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, is a shining light in the American Northwest, and is consistently ranked one of the most livable cities in the world. Come see why this location was chosen as the home for the 2010 Winter Olympics. A panoramic drive heads into the heart of downtown, a bustling urban environment surrounded by water and mountains. The city features one of the most diverse populations in North America — more than 50% of the population’s first language is not English.
**Optional – HOP-ON, HOP-OFF SIGHTSEEING TOUR WITH LUGGAGE SERVICE & AIRPORT TRANSFER: This flexible city tour offers the highlights of downtown by convertible, clear-top bus, with stunning views rain or shine. Choose to hop off at any of the 29-plus stops; then, hop on again to continue your adventure. Included are major attractions and scenic points of interest. Take an up-close look at the urban oasis of Stanley Park near English Bay, purchase lunch at Granville Island, visit historic Gastown or the trendy Yaletown, and Robson Street for a little shopping. Wheelchair accessible. STARTING AT $99
However, you choose to stay in Vancouver after your cruise, we will be happy to put that extended experience together for you. Many may enjoy an amazing extension of this cruise and opt to travel further on the famous Rocky Mountaineer rail tour of the Western Canadian Rockies ending in Banif or Calgary. Call Kathryn or Sandra at 352-277-7300 to book this trip.