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Alaska and Canada – Nome to Vancouver, BC

Alaska Cruise

Summary : From Nome to Vancouver, discover a remote territory still unknown and wild with landscapes from infinite tundra to gigantic glaciers, steep mountains and temperate rainforest. During your trip, discover the unique wildlife at some of the sites that have marked the history of Alaska. Your ship will first sail along the Bering Strait, before heading south to reach Saint Paul in the Pribilof Islands. Via Zodiac you will land on the lush shores of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, where you will have the option to go on a hike. After sailing in the magnificent Icy Bay to discover a fjord surrounded by hanging glaciers and vertiginous waterfalls, succumb to the charms of Alaska’s forests and discover the Tlingit village of Kake, where you might be lucky enough to spot a black bear. Then, set off to meet the whales and other marine mammals in Alert Bay, British Columbia on this trip of a lifetime!

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Seattle, Washington / Nome, Alaska

Fly from Seattle to Nome. Transfer to the pier 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.

Day 2
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3
Saint Matthew Island

Saint Matthew island is right in the middle of the Bering Sea, between Siberia and Alaska. Classified as a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States, this island covered in wet tundra corresponds to the northern boundary of the polar bear’s range during winter. It is home to many birds, including the McKay's bunting, an endemic species whose population is estimated at 6,000 individuals. We can also find Arctic foxes there. Although populated by the Aleut during prehistoric times, Saint Matthew Island is uninhabited today.

Day 4
Saint Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Part of the Earth’s History was written between Alaska and Russia. Discover a unique environment that seems to stretch out to infinity. Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts and crater lakes, offering travelers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds, especially on Saint Paul, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff.

Day 5
Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep water port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.

Day 6
Unga Island, Alaska

After a short Zodiac journey between the rocks in the company of your naturalist-guides, you will land in a former village of which many vestiges remain: run-down wooden houses scattered around a flowery meadow, a church with crumbling walls but a roof that still stands, a cemetery… Originally called Ougnagok by the Aleuts, this small hamlet, which was home to some 100 inhabitants in the 19th century, was renamed Delarof, after Evstratii Ivanovich Delarov. While working for the Shelikhov-Golikov Company, he was the first Greek mariner to discover the Aleutian Islands. These days, this small ghost-village now overrun by willowherb is called Unga.

Day 7
Chankliut Island, Alaska

Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighboring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendor of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious heads will catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…

Day 8
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 9
Tsaa Fjord, Icy Bay, Alaska

Formed by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers over the past 100 years, Icy Bay is one of those timeless places where silence reigns supreme. Let yourself be enthralled by landscapes of breathtaking beauty, enhanced by magnificent views over the Saint Elias Mountains, visible in the background. The wide bay is often scattered with icebergs. It will let you access several sounds, among which are the Tsaa fjord, very close to the Guyot glacier. Many marine mammals and sea birds have chosen to live on this territory with very few visitors in the south of Alaska, where one can sometimes see bear paw prints on the sand.

Day 10
Sitka, Alaska

Formerly a Russian colony located on Baranof Island, to the west of the Alexander archipelago, Sitka is brimming with history. The historical national park of Sitka shelters totems carved out of red cedar, a tree that is omnipresent in the region. These totems are testimonials of the former presence of Tlingit Indians. This place is full of natural wonders too. You just have to look up to admire the mountain range around the port. In the distance, the snow-peaked Edgecumbe volcano stands majestic. Numerous islands scattered around Sitka stretch out before you in a vision of preserved Alaska.

Day 11
Kake, Alaska

Discover the small Tlingit village of Kake, west of Petersburg. Located on Kupreanof Island, it houses a community of over 500 inhabitants. During your visit, the children from the school and the inhabitants will be delighted to put on a show of traditional song and dance. Kake is paradise for salmon, which spawn in the Gunnuk River near the village. Bald eagles often make an appearance, as do black bears, which come to enjoy the fish. Another singularity of these parts: the presence, on a hill, of a totem pole standing over 195 feet tall, considered the highest in the world.

Day 12
Prince Rupert

Wild and extraordinary, Prince Rupert is a dynamic town where the open spaces are “larger than nature”. Located on the remote Kaien Island, off the coast of British Columbia, this little town founded in 1910 witnessed the history of the North West Pacific with the birth of American Indian nations, such as the Haida and Gitksan. During this port of call, make a point of admiring its grandiose landscapes where more than 300 pairs of bald eagles have made a home here; its picturesque residential districts where the sea mist often lingers; and its famous Museum of Northern British Columbia, home to a large collection of ancient totems.

Day 13
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 14
Cormorant Island / Alert Bay

Right near the north coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, hides the small wooded island of Cormorant. Surrounded by pebble beaches, it offers wonderful opportunities for hikes and for whale watching. The surrounding waters are also home to harbor seals, orcas, Steller sea lions, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds. When your ship calls at Alert Bay, a small sheltered fishing port located in the island’s south, set off to discover the indigenous culture and its traditions. The ‘Namgis community, which is part of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, lives here in harmony with the other village inhabitants.

Day 15
Vancouver, BC

Disembark the vessel after breakfast.

Notes

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.

Included:
One-way flight in economy class Seattle to Nome; transfer from Nome 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) onboard ship; crew gratuities; parka; boot rental; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service onboard ship; butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
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, Wi-Fi, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos: © Wolfgang Kaehler, © Laure Patricot, © Ponant

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