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14-Day Great Alaskan Explorer

 
 
14-Day Great Alaskan Explorer
Starting from $1,499*

Vancouver, B.C., CA to Vancouver, B.C., CA


Ship: ms Maasdam


Departure Date :

May 4 2020 | May 18 2020 | Jun 1 2020 | Jun 15 2020 | Jun 29 2020 | Jul 13 2020 | Jul 27 2020 | Aug 10 2020 | Aug 24 2020 | Sep 7 2020

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

 

Itinerary

 
Day Vancouver, BC, Canada
Departs 05:00 PM
Vancouver’s location at the mouth of the Fraser River and on the waterways of the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and all their tributaries makes this busy seaport an easy place for meeting. It is one of Canada’s most populated, most ethnically diverse cities that is a popular filming location. Visit the interesting neighborhoods of Gastown, Granville Island and Chinatown. Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and stroll through Stanley Park. See the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology. There is an amazing variety of things to see and do here.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
 
 
Day Scenic Cruising The Inside Passage
Cruising Only
"Alaska’s Inside Passage is a protected network of waterways that wind through glacier-cut fjords and lush temperate rain forests along the rugged coast of Southeast Alaska. Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline. Numerous ports along the way recount Alaska’s colorful history. In Sitka, an onion-domed church marks Russia’s onetime foothold in the Americas; Ketchikan provides 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 at the turn of the 19th century, when it served as the rowdy Wild West gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush. "
Scenic Cruising The Inside Passage
 
 
Day Ketchikan, Alaska
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 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 Scenic Cruising Tracy Arm
Cruising Only
Stunningly beautiful Tracy Arm is a fjord 45 miles south of Juneau that actually consists of two deep and narrow fjords – Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. Both fjords are over 30 miles long. At the end of Tracy Arm are the impressive twin Sawyer Glaciers. Wildlife in the area includes black and brown bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals and a variety of birds. What you'll be able to see today and how far we can travel up Tracy Arm is weather and ice dependent.
Scenic Cruising Tracy Arm
 
 
Day Haines, Alaska
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM
Haines is one of the most popular Alaska cruise ports and one of the best places for hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing, especially bald eagles. Within the Haines city limits Fort William H. Seward is a nationally recognized historic landmark, with some of its structures open to the public. Other cultural offerings in Haines include the Alaska Indian Arts Center where traditional craftsmen offer demonstrations of their work, the Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center where local Tlingit people are featured, the Hammer Museum, dedicated to the history of the hammer and the Tsirku Canning Company Museum with memories of Haines’ salmon canneries.
Haines, Alaska
 
 
Day Icy Strait Point, Alaska, US / Inian Islands, Alaska, US
Arrives 07:00 AM Departs 12:30 PM / Arrives 04:00 PM Departs 08:00 PM
Back in the old days when a freezer was a piece of ice, fishermen in Alaska had two problems. The first one was finding the fish, although that wasn’t too complicated, the ocean was chock-full of fins; but the second problem was a little harder. The government regulated how long you could keep your catch on the boat, and it wasn’t very long. Canneries were the answer. Owning a cannery was having a license to print money. Really. As operations spread up and down Southeast Alaska, each cannery had its own currency. True company towns, canneries had their own workforce, their own laws. A big cannery needed a couple hundred workers, for everything from keeping books to making the millions of cans needed to ship all that fish, as well as the actual cleaning and prepping of fish on the line, called "slime row." Canneries were usually somewhere beautiful, someplace you could see from far off and aim your boat towards. But canneries didn’t survive the advent of refrigeration. Most were taken back by the forest or simply left to rot. With one exception: Icy Strait Point, beautifully restored. Just opposite Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point stretches for a few hundred meters along the beach; the old wooden buildings, bright red in the endless green of the Tongass, now offer a museum and a cannery demo. But more interesting is simply the madness of scale. Icy Strait Point gives a chance to look into history to see where Alaska’s money came from, all in a ghost town of millions of fish.
Inian Islands, Alaska, US
Located at the northernmost point where the Gulf of Alaska enters the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska, the Inian Islands are prime feeding waters for a wide array of creatures, including sea lions, humpback whales and sea otters. This is Alaska at its most pristine and wild.
Icy Strait Point, Alaska, US / Inian Islands, Alaska, US
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Anchorage, Alaska, US
Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 10:00 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
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 04:00 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 Valdez, Alaska, USA
Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
A paradise for fishing enthusiasts, Valdez offers every kind of salmon, huge halibut and ample opportunity to reel them in. Rivers and streams spill into the Sound here and are ideal for kayaking.
Valdez, Alaska, USA
 
 
Day Hubbard Glacier
Arrives 01:00 PM Departs 05:00 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 Juneau, Alaska
Arrives 11:00 AM Departs 05:00 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 Misty Fiords, US
Cruising Only
Sculpted by glaciers over millions of years, Misty Fjords’ u-shaped “canals” wind through steep canyons of granite, shrouded in western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar. Misty Fjords is a part of Tongass National Forest and home to grizzlies, salmon, whales, mountain goats and deer.
Misty Fiords, US
 
 
Day Scenic Cruising The Inside Passage
Cruising Only
"Alaska’s Inside Passage is a protected network of waterways that wind through glacier-cut fjords and lush temperate rain forests along the rugged coast of Southeast Alaska. Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline. Numerous ports along the way recount Alaska’s colorful history. In Sitka, an onion-domed church marks Russia’s onetime foothold in the Americas; Ketchikan provides 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 at the turn of the 19th century, when it served as the rowdy Wild West gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush. "
Scenic Cruising The Inside Passage
 
 
Day Vancouver, BC, Canada
Arrives 08:00 AM
Vancouver’s location at the mouth of the Fraser River and on the waterways of the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and all their tributaries makes this busy seaport an easy place for meeting. It is one of Canada’s most populated, most ethnically diverse cities that is a popular filming location. Visit the interesting neighborhoods of Gastown, Granville Island and Chinatown. Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and stroll through Stanley Park. See the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology. There is an amazing variety of things to see and do here.
Vancouver, BC, Canada