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Alaska – Wildlife and Forests

Alaska Cruise

Summary : Discover Alaska’s stunning landscapes and the incredible wildlife they contain. Board Le Soleal for a 13-day expedition cruise from Vancouver to Seward, for a journey to the heart of wild and unspoiled natural environments. During the first part of your cruise, Le Soleal will clear a path through the Inside Passage and will 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. A little further north, you will reach the tiny port of Elfin Cove. Its calm and glistening waters are an unrivaled peaceful haven that the local community of fishermen will invite you to discover. In Prince William Sound, in the Gulf of Alaska, surrender to the beauty of the icy decor all around you. Aboard your ship, exploring the meanders of stunning fjords will lead you to the hanging glaciers and vertiginous waterfalls of Tsaa Fjord.

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


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Prices from
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Day 1
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Embark the ship today.

Day 2
Sailing in the Johnstone Strait

Along the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, Johnstone Strait is a long channel formed by an old glacier bed, dotted with a string of lush islands. Sailing amid this wilderness offers fantastic opportunities to observe the wildlife. Indeed, blue whales, humpback whales and the world’s largest population of orcas can be found in the cool and sheltered waters of the strait, and you can try to spot some from the ship’s deck.

Day 3
Alaska's Inside Passage

Sheltered from the ocean currents of the Gulf of Alaska, this maritime route that weaves a path around the islands and islets of Southeast Alaska will offer you a wonderful sailing experience. Conifer forests stretch on forever, interspersed with numerous coves, bays, huge valleys and deep fjords formed by ancient glacial valleys. Accessible only by sea, the fishing villages are surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glaciers that plunge into the waters of this veritable wildlife sanctuary. From your ship’s deck, you can try spotting humpback whales and bald eagles, two emblems of the region.

Day 4
Misty Fjords

Rain forest, hypnotic blue lakes, snowy peaks, glacier valleys, waterfalls...you will behold a heavenly vision. This United States monument covering is a designated Wilderness Area. This awesome countryside rolls out its majestic carpet of cedars, fir spruces and hemlocks. Here, you can feel Nature’s throbbing heartbeat. You may be lucky enough to spot some of the many animal inhabitants, such as river otters, sea lions, seals and porpoises.

Day 5

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 adventure in the great outdoors. There is some fauna here including no less than 240 species of birds, seals, sea lions, 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.

Day 6
Tracy Arm Fjord

When you reach Tracy Arm Fjord, southeast of Juneau, you will sail into the middle of the inlet, surrounded by waterfalls cascading down granite cliffs into the sea. A few seals guarding their spur of ice may add unexpected spice to your expedition. This is your opportunity to see the Sawyer glacier close up. Majestic and otherworldly, it spans the whole length of the mountain in shades of crystalline blue. Without a doubt, this is one of the most breathtaking wonders of Alaska.

Day 7

Discover the small Tlingit village of Kake, west of Petersburg. Located on Kupreanof Island, it houses a community of over 500 inhabitants. 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 is the totem pole standing over 180 feet tall, considered the highest in the world.

Day 8

Formerly a Russian colony located on Baranof Island, 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 9
Elfin Cove

At the tip of an island in the Alexander Archipelago, not far from the Canadian border, peaceful Elfin Cove shelters a fishing community that’s only linked to the rest of the world by the sea. There is just a dozen wooden houses, a long wooden pontoon and a tiny port surrounded by crystalline waters – it doesn’t get much quainter than this. Choose from a network of hiking paths that weave through a pristine forest, to lead you to secret beaches where silence reigns. The wonders of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, accessible by a short boat trip, are many.

Day 10
Tsaa Fjord, Icy Bay

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 floating through the clear and deep waters. Many marine mammals and sea birds have chosen to live on this remote territory.

Day 11

Nestled between Hawkins Island and Lake Eyak, to the east of Prince William Sound, the small town of Cordova will welcome you to a natural setting of great beauty. It is very rich in wildlife, in particular to millions of birds flocking in the migratory period. The Million Dollar Bridge stands at the very end of the Copper River Highway. There are superb views over Miles Glacier to the east while, on the western side, you can observe Childs Glacier, one of the most active in Alaska, advancing by more than 400 feet every year. Although Cordova’s 2,000 inhabitants now live mainly off fishing, the town experienced a real boom in the past thanks to copper mining, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Day 12
College Fjord / Barry Arm Fjord

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 US 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.

Located in a fjord on Alaska’s southern coast, secluded Barry Arm bay offers the infinite silence of a still pristine land. Its blue cove and dark-green hills bordered by black pebble beaches invite you to recharge your batteries in the heart of raw, mineral terrain. A highlight is the tidewater cascade glaciers whose white cliffs kiss the water’s edge. All year round, these glaciers break up into iceberg chunks the size of cathedrals.

Day 13
Seward / Disembark / Anchorage / Seattle, Washington

Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport in Anchorage for your flight to Seattle.


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.

Travel Insurance:
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

One-way flight Anchorage/Seattle; transfer from ship to Anchorage airport; shipboard accommodations; parka; gear on loan (boots); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare other than what is 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, laundry and hair salon; premium alcohol; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photo Credit: © Ponant

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