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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 explore Petersburg’s Norwegian flourishes and learn about the indigenous communities of Sitka and Wrangell. 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 12-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 an extension to Denali 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: The southbound Vancouver-Anchorage itinerary features Cordova; the northbound journey will visit Alert Bay instead.
Canada’s renowned west coast hub is not just a cultural capital but the Pacific Coast portal to the country’s adventurous side. Hiking, skiing, and the resort town of Whistler are all just a short drive away, and Vancouver itself offers a nonstop thrill ride of international cuisine and creative culture. From fabulous Asian restaurants to myriad galleries and the recently revamped Vancouver Art Gallery, you’ll see why this city keeps travelers returning for more.
You’ll board an Anchorage-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 Denali optional pre-trip extension, you’ll likewise join the base program today.
Transfer to the fishing village of Seward and embark the m/s Roald Amundsen
After breakfast, you’ll transfer by land on a scenic motorcoach ride from Anchorage to Seward. This scenic fishing town sits at the edge of Resurrection Bay, beneath otherworldly panoramas of the surrounding mountains, forest, ocean, and endless skies. Speaking of skies — while in Alaska, you’ll experience sunsets that sometimes stretch as late as 11 p.m.! Depending on your location, however, daylight hours may be shorter or longer.
Along the way to Seward, you’ll make a couple of stops — at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Alaska SeaLife Center. Get an early glimpse at some of the wildlife you may encounter on this voyage!
Your luxurious expedition vessel, the m/s Roald Amundsen, will be waiting for embarkation at the harbor in Seward. Toast the adventure to come at the Captain’s Cocktail Reception this evening, followed by your first dinner on ship.
Exploring College Fjord’s glacial wonderland
Experience a true expedition day and rare treat when explore 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. If weather complies, we'll get into Zodiac boats to scout around. 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!
Visit Prince William Sound’s Icy Bay
Icy Bay lives up to its name. Located in Prince William Sound, the spectacular scenery here was formed during the past 100 years with the retreat of three prominent glaciers, which still feed ice into the bay. Depending on weather conditions, our aim will be an exploration of 8-mile-wide Guyot Glacier.
Discover William Henry Bay
After breakfast, we head ashore on Zodiacs to explore with local guides. Nestled against the Chilkat mountain range, the wilderness of William Henry Bay features old growth forest, and is home to brown and black bears, wolves, moose, and Sitka black-tailed deer. In the evening, the ship passes through Point Adolphus, a renowned whale-watching area.
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.
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!
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.
A slice of Norway in Petersburg
Nicknamed “Little Norway,” the rarely-visited Petersburg was founded more than a century ago by Norwegian fishermen. 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.
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, and is home to lesser snow geese, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, and other important waterfowl.
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. Weather permitting, we'll spend a full day on expedition boats exploring the coastline'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.
Cruising the Inside Passage
Today we’ll sail toward Vancouver, 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.
Visit Alert Bay and explore wildlife in neighboring islands
Today we arrive in Alert Bay, a scenic village at the northern tip of Vancouver Island where the indigenous Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations community is based. Take a look at the elaborate totem poles, paintings, carvings and ceremonial masks in the local museum. After, we’ll search for wildlife in the nearby islands.
Arrive in Vancouver and disembark the m/s Roald Amundsen
Our Alaskan expedition comes to a close in cosmopolitan Vancouver, a city of waterfront parks, international cuisine, galleries, museums, colorful neighborhoods, and resplendent nature all around. Disembark the m/s Roald Amundsen and transfer to the hotel.
Today you’ll transfer to the airport and board your return flight home.
North America’s highest mountain peak is yours to explore on an exhilarating 4-day pre-trip extension through Denali National Park. Just a lone ribbon of road bisects this natural wonder, which is comprised of six million acres of pristine wilderness, alpine tundra, and towering mountain ranges. Even better — you’ll experience Denali in springtime, which means warmer temperatures and less ice, but the same unsurpassed tranquility and beauty. No matter what season you visit, though, you’ll witness small and large wildlife roaming uninhibited, as they have for centuries. Welcome to Alaska, the last frontier!
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.