The Call of the Wild: Summer on the Alaskan Coast - 2020

Anchorage • 12-night expedition cruise with Seward, College Fjord, Hubbard, Icy Strait Point, Haines, Tracy and Endicott Arm Fjords, Sitka*, Petersburg, Wrangell, Misty Fjords National Monument, Ketchikan • Vancouver
  • FROM MOOSE AND CARIBOU TO BALD EAGLES AND HUMPBACKS, DISCOVER THE BREADTH AND BOUNTY OF ALASKAN WILDLIFE
  • DISCOVER THE LUSH GREENERY, STEEP VALLEYS, ICE FLOES, AND WILDLIFE ALONG THESE AWE-INSPIRING FJORDS
  • CRUISE THE SCENIC ALASKAN COASTLINE — HOME TO DOLPHINS, ORCAS, WHALES, AND MORE!
  • EXPLORE KETCHIKAN, THE SALMON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, AND VIEW ITS LARGE COLLECTION OF TOTEM POLES
  • EXPLORE THE U.S.’S LARGEST TIDEWATER GLACIER AT 76 MILES LONG AND ALMOST 7 MILES WIDE
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The U.S.’s largest and most enigmatic state finally gets its due on this debut expedition cruise, which brings you to Alaska during the desirable summertime. You’ll also visit during the peak of Alaska’s salmon running season while enjoying balmy temperatures perfect for experiencing a melting pot of cultures and rugged landscapes, from rainforests to crystalline waterfalls to awe-inspiring fjords. What’s more, you’ll discover Gold Rush towns like Ketchikan, known as the “salmon capital of the world”; explore Petersburg’s Norwegian flourishes; and learn about the indigenous Tlingit community in Wrangell and Icy Strait Point. Along the way, photograph glaciers, mountains, and wildlife — including bears, whales, moose, and more! — as you immerse yourself in the natural extremes of this unique American outpost.

Your 14-night voyage from Anchorage to Vancouver takes place on the m/s Roald Amundsen, a luxurious “floating university” staffed with an Expedition Team of handpicked experts in geology, photography, biology, and more, who will amplify your adventures with their regional knowledge, scientific expertise, and friendly insight. While other travel companies offer shorter itineraries and visit less ports, Vantage offers you a true expedition along Alaska’s wild coastline on the industry's finest expedition vessel and an array of Cultural Discoveries that will reveal the state’s fascinating multicultural heritage. Add on extensions to Denali and Vancouver for even more adventure and wildlife! With “north to the future” as its motto, Alaska was admitted to the union in 1959 — and on this unforgettable expedition, you’ll see why this state remains a land of promise.

Please note: Travelers on the May 30 departure will explore Prince William Sound in place of Sitka on an enriching 14-day tour with all other features.

Vancouver to Anchorage

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DAY 1:

Arrival in Vancouver

You’ll board a Vancouver-bound flight today to begin your Alaskan expedition cruise! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your transfer to the hotel. After check-in, enjoy an afternoon at leisure. If you’ve joined our Vancouver optional pre-trip extension, you’ll likewise join the base program today.

DAY 2:

Explore Vancouver on your own, embark the m/s Roald Amundsen

Take some time this morning for independent exploration of Vancouver, a cosmopolitan city full of renowned cuisine, including Chinese restaurants established by the area’s high concentration of Chinese immigrants. Vancouver also boasts beaches and nearby mountains for skiing, including Whistler, one of North America’s largest ski resorts. This afternoon, transfer to the pier and embark the m/s Roald Amundsen, your new expedition hub! Toast the adventure to come at the Captain’s Cocktail Reception this evening, followed by your first dinner on ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3:

Cruising the Inside Passage

Today we’ll sail toward Ketchikan, passing through the narrow weaving channels and straits of Canada’s Inside Passage. Be on the lookout for the dolphins, porpoises, orcas, and whales that frequent these protected inland waters. Regroup in the Amundsen’s Science Center for lectures by the Expedition Team, or spend some time on deck, enjoying the scenery, or relaxing alongside your fellow travelers.

Included Feature:

  • Search for marine wildlife while sailing Canada’s Inside Passage

Cultural Discovery:

  •  Onboard lectures by the Expedition Team

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Exploring the salmon capital of the world

On a full-day excursion, discover Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world and Alaska’s fourth-largest city. Cultural Discovery: Despite its size, you’ll find a true frontier town surrounded by mountains and colorful Gold Rush-era clapboard homes nestled on Creek Street, which runs along the shores of Ketchikan Creek. You’ll find great shopping here, as well as restaurants, people-watching, and opportunities to view salmon making their way upstream. With its strong Tlingit presence, Ketchikan also boasts one of the largest collections of standing totem poles!

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Ketchikan

Cultural Discovery:

  •  Explore historical Creek Street and Ketchikan’s Tlingit totem poles

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Exploring Misty Fjords National Monument

This ancient landscape was once covered with ice, but as that ice broke and disbanded, it carved the long, deep fjords that now comprise Misty Fjords National Monument. We’ll spend a full day exploring this region’s thick evergreen rainforests, granite cliffs and cascading waterfalls, mountain rivers and coastal wetlands, with milky fog often filling the bays and coves. This quiet and tranquil outpost will speak to your soul, and show you why so many people are proud to call this state home.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day exploration of Misty Fjords National Monument

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Seeking Wrangell’s petroglyphs

One of the oldest island towns in Alaska, Wrangell has been governed by four different nations — Tlingit, Russia, Britain, and the United States — and these shifts in culture and power, coupled with a collapsed lumber industry, have given the town its rough-and-tumble outback soul. But peel back Wrangell’s layers and you’ll find that it’s a nature lover’s paradise with its proximity to the Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory and the Stikine River Delta. Birdwatchers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Stikine, which is comprised of 11,000 hectares of freshwater and tidal wetlands home to lesser snow geese, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, and other important waterfowl.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Wrangell, one of the oldest towns in Alaska

Cultural Discovery:

  • Explore Native American petroglyphs at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Uncovering Russian influence in Sitka

Tlingit, Russian, and American settlers have all made a lasting impact on the town of Sitka, nestled on the western side of Baranof Island. With its snowcapped mountains, small islands, and even a visible volcano, Sitka oozes adventure — but its culture is just as alluring.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day tour of Sitka

Cultural Discovery:

  • Learn about the Russian and Native American history of Sitka

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

A slice of Norway in Petersburg

Nicknamed “Little Norway,” the rarely-visited Petersburg was founded more than a century ago by Norwegian fisherman. The city’s name can be traced to Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in the late 1890s and within 10 years had built a cannery, sawmill, and a dock, luring more people of Scandinavian origin to this area. Today, Buschmann’s cannery still operates and Petersburg remains one of Alaska’s most thriving fishing villages. Cultural Discovery: Discover this village’s Norwegian heritage, breathtaking scenery, and abundant marine life on an exploration. Proud of their Scandinavian roots, local residents even celebrate Norwegian holidays, and the heart of the community is the “Sons of Norway Hall.”

Included Feature:

  • Visit the town of Petersburg, known as “Little Norway”

Cultural Discovery:

  • Experience Norwegian culture and heritage around the town

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

The Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm Fjords

This morning, awaken to some of the most spectacular scenery around — the Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm fjords. On a full-day exploration of these fjords, we’ll discover lush greenery and steep valleys, as well as intricately shaped icebergs bobbing in the water, calved from the radiant blue glaciers at the end of the fjords. We may also encounter mountain goats and harbor seals!

Included Feature:

  • Visit Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm fjords

Cultural Discovery:

  • Cruise up close to the fjords and their glaciers

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Exploring Haines, Alaska’s adventure capital

Located on the edge of North America’s longest and deepest fjord is Haines, which bills itself as the state’s adventure capital. The town was home to the Tlingit people for centuries, before Europeans arrived in the late 1800s, followed by Gold Rush settlers. Today, on an exploration of this town, you’ll discover that Haines is famous for its community of local artists, adventure lovers and RV travelers, as well as avid birders who arrive with the hopes of witnessing bald eagles in the wild.

Included Feature:

  • Visit the town of Haines

Cultural Discovery:

  • Explore the town’s community of local artists and learn about its history

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Inside the Tlingit culture

Today we arrive at Icy Strait Point, an outpost originally built as a salmon cannery in the early 20th century. Today, it offers a glimpse into the life of the indigenous Tlingit people, whose culture developed within southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest and along the Alexander Archipelago.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Icy Strait Point

Cultural Discovery:

  • Learn more about the indigenous Tlingit people at a native settlement and a local museum

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Hubbard Glacier, the world’s largest tidewater glacier

At 76 miles long and almost 7 miles wide, Hubbard Glacier is North America’s largest tidewater glacier, and yours to explore today. Framed by an amphitheater of snowcapped mountains, it sits at the end of Disenchantment Bay like a sleeping giant. But this glacier was once very active after its surges — when glaciers move at velocities up to 100 times faster than normal — crossed the bay, transforming the fjord into a lake, and threatening to flood nearby Yakutat. With icebergs and brash ice in the bay, the scenery is simply breathtaking!

Included Feature:

  • Visit Hubbard Glacier

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Exploring College Fjord’s glacial wonderland

Experience a true expedition day and rare treat when we make landfall at the lesser-visited College Fjord, a natural wonderland home to an impressive array of glaciers. Here, the ice and forests meet, and forge the world’s largest collection of tidewater glaciers, five valley glaciers, and other smaller glaciers — all named after prestigious East Coast colleges, including Vassar, Smith, Harvard, and Yale. Have your camera at the ready — you’ll get awesome shots of glacier fronts, ice calving into the sea, and sea lions and whales may make a cameo, too!

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of College Fjord

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Explore the fishing village of Seward, disembark the m/s Roald Amundsen and transfer to Anchorage

Seward is your focus today. This scenic fishing town sits at the edge of Resurrection Bay, beneath otherworldly panoramas of the surrounding mountains, forest, ocean, and endless skies. But on the way there, you’ll make a couple of stops — at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Alaska SeaLife Center. You'll also enjoy a tram ride to the top of Mt. Aleska — you'll revel in views of the Turnagain Arm, up to seven “hanging” glaciers, and endless peaks deep into the Chugach Mountain range. In the summer months, moose and bear sightings are common on the aerial tram rides, too.

Afterward, transfer by motorcoach through incredible scenery to Anchorage, where you’ll check into your hotel.

Included Features:

  • Visit the fishing town of Seward
  • Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Alaska SeaLife Center
  • Tram ride to the top of Mt. Aleska

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Fly home

Transfer to Anchorage’s airport for your return flight home; or, join the optional post-trip extension to Denali National Park.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Denali, Alaska

FROM: $2399 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $600 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert. Vantage reserves the right to refuse compensation to any traveler due to itinerary changes not listed on our web site.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Note: That hotel ratings are based on the hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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The Call of the Wild: Summer on the Alaskan Coast - 2020

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