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14-DAY GREAT ALASKAN EXPLORER

 
 
14-DAY GREAT ALASKAN EXPLORER
Starting from $1,299*

Seattle, Washington, US to Seattle, Washington, US


Ship: ms Amsterdam


Departure Date :

Aug 26 2019 | Sep 09 2019

Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.

 

Itinerary

 
Day Seattle, Washington, US
Depart 04:00 PM
Bounded by the Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east, and surrounded by forests and mountains, Seattle, Washington boasts a stunning location.

But the largest city in the Pacific Northwest is as much an homage to human ingenuity as it is to natural beauty. From logging to shipbuilding to aircraft manufacturing to modern-day software and biotech development, the Emerald City has worn a succession of industrial hats, birthing the likes of Amazon and Starbucks—not to mention music legends Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana—along the way.

Visitors are spoiled for choice of things to do in Seattle, with iconic attractions like the waterfront, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass and Pike Place Market all easily accessible. "Local" and "sustainable" are words to live by in Seattle, an ethos reflected in the profusion of fresh-seafood restaurants, independent coffee roasters and quirky boutiques that are dotted around the city, awaiting a taste or visit between sightseeing.
Seattle, Washington, US
 
 
Day Vancouver Island - Cruising

Pierced by snowcapped peaks and fringed by the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island—roughly the size of Holland—weighs in as the largest island on the west coast of North America.

This long, otter-shaped landmass notches down into Washington State’s “mitten,” and experiences the mildest climate in Canada, encouraging dense tangles of rare, temperate rain forest, including some very ancient groves. One particular western red cedar on Meares Island may be over 1,500 years old and has an 18-meter (60-foot) circumference, as well as at least 11 full-grown hemlocks sprouting from its flanks. This lush, leafy environment also shelters one of the world’s densest concentrations of cougars and black bears.
Vancouver Island - Cruising
 
 
Day Ketchikan, Alaska
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 05:00 PM
"Alaska’s “First City” of Ketchikan 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 excursion or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. It is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park, while the attractions of Saxman Village just outside of Ketchikan offers the chance to see Tlingit culture in action, with working carvers and a dance show in the clan house. And 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. "
Ketchikan, Alaska
 
 
Day Tracy Arm
Arrive Noon Depart 05:00 PM
Steep cliffs and glacier-covered mountains flank this fjord, fringed by the largest intact coastal temperate rain forest in the United States. Old-growth trees colonized Tracy Arm’s mouth long ago as the Ice Age retreated. But further up the sinuous 48-kilometer (30-mile) waterway, its icy grip lingers a little. There, the twin Sawyer Glaciers flow from the peaks down to the sea, sloughing off stories-high chunks of water frozen decades or even centuries before. Even more glorious than nearby Glacier Bay, Tracy Arm is part of the 5.7 million acres (or around 23,000 square kilometers) of pure wilderness sheltered by the Tongass National Forest (America’s biggest). Visitors often see bears, whales and mountain goats roaming across various corners of this pristine area—not to mention chubby baby seals resting on the ice floes. Summer temperatures average 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 16 degrees Celsius), so pack warm clothing. And don’t forget waterproof gear, even when traveling by cruise ship: More than a meter and a half of rain falls here each year! We also recommend a water bottle, thermos or reusable coffee cup: On scenic cruising days, cruise ships ban paper and disposable plastic products that could litter this unsullied environment.
Tracy Arm
 
 
Day Juneau, Alaska
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 10:00 PM
"Juneau, Alaska may well be 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 in Juneau 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. The city itself is pleasant, but the real highlight of a visit to Juneau is tracking down some 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 such as Chichagof or Admiralty Island to spy some bears lolling around. The sleepy, misty city of around 32,000—mostly fishermen and small-business owners—has a frontier town vibe, but welcomes more than a million visitors each summer to its natural attractions, cementing Juneau as Alaska’s number-one tourist destination. "
Juneau, Alaska
 
 
Day Icy Strait Point, (Hoonah) Alaska
Arrive 07:00 AM Depart 02:00 PM
Privately owned Icy Strait Point is a tourist destination and the only privately owned cruise destination in Alaska. It is the property of 1,350 Alaskan natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Visitors here enjoy an educational experience learning about Alaska's native cultures, and the natural history of the region. There is much to do here including a brown bear search, tram excursion, flightseeing over Glacier Bay and the biggest zipline in the United States.
Icy Strait Point, (Hoonah) Alaska
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Anchorage, Alaska, US
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 09:00 PM
After long and dark winters, Alaskans love their summers and the residents of Anchorage, Alaska are no exception. The city plants thousands of flowers to celebrate the arrival of warmer months and days that last as long as 19 hours from dawn to dusk.

Approximately 40 percent of Alaska’s population lives in Anchorage. This diverse city of 300,000 includes a large military population, Native Alaskans, individuals who work for the oil industry and adventure-seeking types who want to get away from “the Lower 48.” Much like Seattle, Anchorage is a place where you can find a coffee shop (or espresso shack) anywhere. Locals enjoy skijoring, a winter sport where a person is pulled on skis by one or more dogs or sometimes a horse. While some cities have deer, Anchorage has lots of moose, known for being a bit rambunctious (and should be steered clear of if seen wandering down a street).
Anchorage, Alaska, US
 
 
Day Homer, Alaska, US
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 06:00 PM
This plucky little town sells End of the Road certificates to visitors who’ve motored here to the furthest reach of the Kenai Peninsula. It’s something worth celebrating: a drive down the world’s longest street that protrudes into the ocean! But walkers, bikers and in-line skaters can also experience the thrill, thanks to a 6.5-kilometer-long (four-mile-long) paved multiuse trail.

The rich fishing grounds here attracted Native Alaskans centuries before Captain James Cook claimed the Kenai Peninsula for Britain in 1778. After some Russian tyranny—fur traders forced Native Alaskans to hunt sea-otter pelts for them—Homer got a proper start as an English-settled coal-mining town in the 1890s.
Homer, Alaska, US
 
 
Day Kodiak, Alaska, US
Arrive 07:00 AM Depart 02:00 PM
Kodiak is all about bears. And what bears! This unique subspecies named for the Kodiak Archipelago where they are found evolved in isolation for around 12,000 years and can reach heights of 3 meters, or 10 feet, when standing on their hind legs. One of the world’s largest carnivores, the bears have a diet that goes far beyond meat (they can sleep for up to eight months, then wake up ravenous to feast predominantly on grass, plants, berries and fish). About 3,500 live on this tiny island, meaning you have a great chance of seeing one, if not many, from May through October!
Kodiak, Alaska, US
 
 
Day Hubbard Glacier
Arrive 02:00 PM Depart 06:00 PM
Sailors used to worry about falling off the edge of the world. Surely somewhere out there, it all simply stopped, and the only thing left to do would be to fall. But what if you discover that you’ve already fallen, and now you’re trying to get back up? That’s what sailing towards Hubbard Glacier feels like.

The glacier is up to 65 meters (213 feet) wide at its face and 50 meters (164 feet) tall, but that’s only the tiniest piece of the ice: The main channel of this frozen river begins 122 kilometers (76 miles) back, pouring down from around the 3,400-meter (11,100-foot) mark off the shoulder of Mt. Walsh.

Hubbard is the longest tidewater glacier (meaning it ends at the ocean) in North America. But unlike nearly every other tidewater glacier on the continent, Hubbard is advancing, not retreating; it’s forever pushing a little further into the bay. Chunks of ice that break off become floaties for seals, who like the bergs because orca sonar doesn’t work well among them.
Hubbard Glacier
 
 
Day Sitka, Alaska
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM
Sitka is one of the oldest and most culturally significant communities in Alaska, filled with rich Tlingit, Russian, and early American settler history. Sitka is famous for its spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, the copper-domed St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Pioneer Home and the Russian Bishop’s House. It contains 22 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is where the contract of sale was signed transferring Alaska from Russia to the United States.
Sitka, Alaska
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Arrive 01:00 PM Depart 11:00 PM
Of all the cities in Canada, Victoria may be the furthest from Great Britain, but it has the most British vibe. Between sipping afternoon tea, visiting flower gardens and castles and stopping in at pubs, one could easily forget about the Pacific Ocean lapping at the other side of Vancouver Island. The influence of the First Nations culture is also strong here in Victoria, with totem poles taking a front-and-center position on the Inner Harbour and in Beacon Hill Park. Extensive galleries are devoted to the history of the First People at the Royal British Columbia Museum, too, one of Victoria's top tourist attractions. Other waves of immigration besides that of the English are evident in the streets of Canada’s oldest Chinatown here, as well as on the menus of the city’s many restaurants, pizzerias and tavernas.

Start your visit to Victoria's sights and attractions at the Inner Harbour. Whale-watching cruises and sightseeing floatplanes take off and return from their excursions here and government buildings, museums, the Visitor Centre and the grand Fairmont Empress provide a dignified welcome. Just around the point, Fisherman’s Wharf offers a lively contrast with working fishing boats, barking harbor seals and busy seafood restaurants serving up the catch of the day. Take time for a jaunt to the famous Butchart Gardens, a truly stunning show garden developed on the site of a depleted quarry. Enjoy afternoon tea or a walk in the park or a shopping trip to Market Square or along Government Street. However you choose to spend your day here or decide where to go in Victoria, the city’s civilized delights will charm you.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
 
 
Day Seattle, Washington, US
Arrive 07:00 AM
Bounded by the Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east, and surrounded by forests and mountains, Seattle, Washington boasts a stunning location.

But the largest city in the Pacific Northwest is as much an homage to human ingenuity as it is to natural beauty. From logging to shipbuilding to aircraft manufacturing to modern-day software and biotech development, the Emerald City has worn a succession of industrial hats, birthing the likes of Amazon and Starbucks—not to mention music legends Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana—along the way.

Visitors are spoiled for choice of things to do in Seattle, with iconic attractions like the waterfront, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass and Pike Place Market all easily accessible. "Local" and "sustainable" are words to live by in Seattle, an ethos reflected in the profusion of fresh-seafood restaurants, independent coffee roasters and quirky boutiques that are dotted around the city, awaiting a taste or visit between sightseeing.
Seattle, Washington, US