Summary : During your voyage, Le Soleal will cruise through the Interior Passage and draw closer to the temperate rainforest on Canada’s west coast. This primary forest is a biodiversity hotspot where you will be able to observe numerous species such as bald eagles, black bears, grizzlies, sea otters, humpback whales and orcas. Here you’ll find a concentration of life in an enchanting setting of mountains and conifers that is typical of these wild regions. In Prince William Sound, in the Gulf of Alaska, surrender to the beauty of the icy decor all around you. During your Zodiac outings, explore the meanders of stunning fjords that will lead you to impressive glacier fronts like that of the Hubbard Glacier.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Fly from Seattle to Anchorage. Transfer by coach (approx. 3 hours) to the pier in Seward to board the ship. Embark the vessel in the afternoon for introductions to crew and fellow travelers. Settle in to life on board as your voyage begins.
A secret inlet in a bay on the southern coast of Alaska, College Fjord features outstandingly rich glacier scenery. Come and admire the five tidewater glaciers and high-altitude glaciers. These glaciers were named after the prestigious U.S. East Coast schools attended by the professors who first laid eyes on them at the end of the 19th century. The setting is awe-inspiring, but don't forget to listen out for the thunderous crack as great pillars of ice break off from the glaciers. Or would you rather be charmed by the song of the seals?
Located in Yakutat Bay, Disenchantment Bay is a feast for the eyes. Happy explorers of this sublime wilderness, you will perhaps surprise a seal, an otter. Into this fjord flows Hubbard glacier, the largest North American tidewater glacier. Its “front” dates from about 400 years ago. This was the time it took for the first ice to cross the distance separating it from the sea. Sometimes, chunks of this ice wall break off and fall into the water: a vision that leaves you utterly speechless!
Picture this—all around you translucent waters and in the distance snow-capped mountains. This is the vision that greets you on disembarking in Petersburg, one of Alaska’s largest commercial fishing towns. The heart of the Tongass National Forest is for people who yearn for a lungful of the great outdoors. The fauna here includes birds, seals, sea lions, and humpback whales. Another special feature of this very lively town is its penchant for art. On its pavements and facades you can admire several murals, totems, and sculptures.
Your ship will sail along Discovery Passage, between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island. As the channel tapers, you will arrive at Seymour Narrows, a narrow passage which, in the past, posed a significant challenge for sailors. Between 1850 and 1950, some one hundred ships hit the rocks hidden under the water, and the outcome was often fatal. At the time, due to the strong currents that run through Seymour Narrows, it was considered to be one of the most dangerous waterways in British Columbia. But in 1955, the decision was made to blow up Ripple Rock, two submerged rocks responsible for most of the shipwrecks. This historic explosion made access to this passage much safer.
Disembark the vessel after breakfast.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
One-way flight in economy class Seattle to Anchorage; transfer from Anchorage airport to ship; meals on board the ship; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; coffee, juice, soft drinks and open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); gratuities; parka; boot rental; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying on Deck 6. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare not mentioned as included; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; passport and visa fees; travel and medical insurances; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, internet, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Wolfgang Kaehler, © Laure Patricot, © Ponant