Summary : Sail from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia to experience the dynamic culture and natural splendor this region has to offer. Cruise past the six mile-wide Hubbard Glacier and through the labyrinth of the incredible Misty Fjords. See the totem poles of Metlakatla and learn of the Tsimshian and Tlingit indigenous cultures. Tour the Tongass National Forest and seek out wildlife by land and sea. Nature lovers will delight not just in sweeping views of mountains and fjords, but also in sightings of Bald Eagles, brown and black bears, humpback and orca whales, and harbor seals. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife, and botany of these locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on board Expedition Team.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$8,300 to $24,200
Embark the ship and be introduced to your Expedition Team. Familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
College Fjord in the northern sector of Prince William Sound, is considered one of the most scenic fjords in the world with spectacular glacier viewing. There are over a dozen major glaciers in the fjord, all surrounded by rugged snow-capped mountains. It is possible from one point to see eight glaciers at once. College Fjord was discovered in 1899 during the Harriman Expedition. Edward Henry Herriman, a millionaire railroad tycoon, set sail with 125 other passengers and crew, including 23 of esteemed scientists from several Ivy League schools, to explore the fjords of Alaskan.
Cape St Elias is the southwest end of Kayak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. It is separated from the mainland by a channel 4 miles wide. The island, named by Lt. Sarichef of the Russian Navy in 1826 because its outline resembles the shape of an Eskimo skin canoe, is 20 miles long and only 2 miles wide and covered in dense rainforest. The cape itself was named by Russian explorer Vitus Bering on July 20, 1741 in honor of St. Elias, whose saint's day is July 20. The lighthouse, located at the southernmost tip, is a National Historic Landmark. It was built in 1916, and has been automated since.
Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.
Elfin Cove sits snugly on the southern shore of Cross Sound, which leads in eastwards to the Inside Passage. Northwards and across the Sound from the small community lies Glacier Bay National Park and the Fairweather Mountain range. Elfin Cove is a quaint little harbor clustered with attractive timber houses built into the wooded hillsides on stilts. The population swells to about 200 during the summer months, from a rather meager 6 or so during the snowy and isolated winters. Its commercial hub consists of a Post Office, mini-Museum, a General Store, and the Coho Bar.
Just to the east of the Elfin Cove along the Bay of Alaska, Idaho Inlet is a deep bay that extends 12 miles south from South Passage. The inlet is nestled amid dramatic tree-topped mountains and is full of wildlife visible on land or from a small water craft. From the water, nature lovers may spot sea otters, Sitka black-tailed deer, and even a brown bear along the shores of this inlet. The area is appreciated in the summer by local people and wildlife alike for its ample salmonberries, blueberries, and huckleberries.
Located within Alaska’s Frederick Sound along the way to Stephens Passage, the Brothers are an archipelago made up of East Brother and West Brother Islands, named because they are twin islands nestled close together. These islands are a popular haul-out location for sea lions; depending on the season, visitors may see up to a hundred sea lions resting in the sun. The islands are lined with venerable fir trees that cast stunning reflections in the still waters, lending themselves well to beautiful nature photography. The waters around The Brothers are known to be rich with plankton.
Little Pybus Bay is located just 47 miles from Sitka, near Hood Bay, Alaska. Pybus Bay holds a protected cove, the shoreline of which is surrounded by thick temperate rainforest of old-growth spruce and hemlock trees, ferns, shrubs, and grasses. There is ample wildlife to be found in this area, including Sitka black-tailed deer, brown bears, shorebirds, and migratory waterfowl. Pybus Bay is quiet and remote and therefore a fisher’s paradise. The area is also an ideal place for humpback whale sightings.
Ketchikan is famous for its colorful totem poles, rainy skies, steep–as–San Francisco streets, and lush island setting. Some 13,500 people call the town home, and, in the summer, cruise ships crowd the shoreline, floatplanes depart for Misty Fiords National Monument, and salmon-laden commercial fishing boats motor through Tongass Narrows. In the last decade Ketchikan's rowdy, blue-collar heritage of logging and fishing has been softened by the loss of many timber-industry jobs and the dramatic rise of cruise-ship tourism.
Walker Cove, located just 41.8 miles from Ketchikan, extends about 8.5 miles into the mainland. The scenery is stunning with towering rock walls on both side and hundreds of waterfalls plunging down into the fjord. There is always the possibility of seeing bears, harbor seals, and Bald Eagles along the shoreline. The British explorer George Vancouver noted this bay on his chart in 1793, although there was no mention of it in his log. It was named after Dr. William Walker, the physician on board the HMS Chatham.
Rudyerd Bay is one of the highlights of the Misty Fiords, 40 miles east of Ketchikan, along the Inside Passage. This fjord cuts through steep-sided mountainous terrain and extends far into the mainland. The scenery is stunning, with dramatic thousand-foot waterfalls plunging down rainforest covered cliffs to the water below.
Since the late 19th century, Metlakatla has been the major settlement of the Metlakatla Indian Community of the federally recognized Annette Islands Reserve, the only remaining reservation in Alaska. It is located on Annette Island, and in 2010 had 1,405 residents. Membership in the community is primarily by lineage and is comprised primarily of Tsimshian people. Metlakatla comes from a Tsimshian word meaning "Salt Water Passage."
While you're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.
Nanaimo is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, about 70.2 miles northwest of Victoria and 34.1 miles west of Vancouver. The 'Harbor City' of Nanaimo is separated by the Strait of Georgia, and linked to Vancouver via the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries terminal in West Vancouver. As the site of the main ferry terminal, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the northern part of the island, such as Tofino, Comox Valley, Parksville, Campbell River, Port Alberni, and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
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.
Ship accommodation; Wi-Fi aboard ship; onboard meals; butler service; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); parka and backpack; onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa options, fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Creative Services at Silversea Cruises, © Richard Sidey (bear cub), © Daniela Plaza (orcas)