Friday 16 June Auckland – Vancouver (D)
We assemble at Auckland International Airport early this evening and join the direct flight to Vancouver. Cross the International Dateline en route arriving into Vancouver early afternoon of the same day. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 3-night stay. The remainder of the day is free to rest up and relax after the flight before we meet up for dinner this evening.
Saturday 17 June Vancouver B, D
Vancouver is one of the most captivating cities within Canada, with its multicultural fusion and spectacular mountain and ocean setting. A city tour includes Stanley Bay and Park, Chinatown, Gastown, Queen Elizabeth Park, English Bay as well as some prestigious residential areas of Vancouver. Cross the Lion Gate Bridge and visit Capilano Park. Experience the suspension bridge, the tree top adventure and the cliff walk, plus Salish Nations culture. See the Salmon Hatchery before continuing onto Grouse Mountain to take the gondola ride where we will see spectacular city, mountain and Gulf Island views.
Sunday 18 June Vancouver – Whistler Mountain (B,D)
Travel the sea-to-sky highway through some of Canada’s most rugged coastal mountain scenery. Stop to see Shannon Falls, third highest waterfall in Canada and then enjoy free time to explore the charming European style Whistler Village before returning to Vancouver for dinner.
Monday 19 June Vancouver (Join Seabourn Cruise) (B,D)
We have a free morning to explore this waterfront city at your leisure. Early this afternoon we join our cruise ship, Seabourn Odyssey for our relaxing 11-night Alaska Fjord cruise with various ports of call in Alaska. Our ship departs at 5.00pm.
Tuesday 20 June Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound (B,L,D)
A chance to acquaint yourself with our ship today as we spend the day cruising the Queen Charlotte Sound. The Queen Charlotte Sound lies between the Queen Charlotte Strait, which winds between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland in the south, and Hecate Strait, which is northward, adjacent to the Haida Gwaii Islands off the Pacific coast of British Columbia. It is a broad reach in the long shipping route called the Inside Passage threading the myriad islands stretching from Washington’s Puget Sound to Alaska.
Wednesday 21 June Cruising Misty Fjords (B,L,D)
The 108-mile Behm Canal runs from the Clarence Strait through the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast Alaska, and into the channel separating Revillagigedo Island from the mainland. It forms part Inside Passage on the route between Ketchikan and the Misty Fjords National Monument. Scottish-American naturalist John Muir compared the 2,294,343-acre (930,000 hectare) Misty Fjords National Monument to his favorite place in America, Yosemite National Park. Often shrouded in mist, Misty Fjords is a true wilderness. Its vertical granite cliffs, which reach 3,000’ (900 m) above sea level, descend another 1,000’ (300 m) below the water’s surface. Carved by glaciers and covered in a green carpet of mosses and lichens, Misty Fjords receives more than 150” (381 cm) of rain per year. Western hemlock, Sitka spruce, and western red cedar dominate the prolific vegetation along its shore. Mountain goats, brown and black bears, coastal wolves, sea lions, bald eagles, ravens, Dall’s porpoises, orca and humpback whales can be spotted along its shorelines and throughout its waters. Arrive 8.00am, Depart 6.00pm.
Thursday 22 June Wrangell, Alaska & Cruising Clarence Strait (B,L,D)
One of the thousands of islands of the Alexander Archipelago, Wrangell Island sits at the heart of the Tongass National Rain Forest and receives approximately 203 cm of rain per year. The city of Wrangell, a true Alaskan frontier town, sits at the northern end of the island, a short distance from the mouth of the mighty Stikine River. The history of Wrangell is deeply rooted in the Tlingit people, the fur trade and the gold rush. The Stikine River trade route brought the Tlingit people here thousands of years ago, evidenced by some forty petroglyphs at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site and Totem Park. Arrive 8.00am, Depart 6.00pm.
Friday 23 June Juneau, Alaska (B,L,D)
Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is accessible only by air and sea, due to the rugged mountain terrain that surrounds the city. It has been a world-class travel destination since the early 1900’s. The city has plenty to offer the outdoor adventurer. You may choose to explore on foot along the Perseverance Trail or around Mendenhall Glacier, or board one of the many local whale-watching boats or view the mountains and extensive glaciers of the Juneau Icefield from a helicopter. Although founded by Alaskan pioneers, this area was in use for thousands of years by the Tlingit people and was originally settled by the Auke tribe, taking advantage of the abundant food and natural resources provided by the land and sea. Their descendants continue to gather clams, gumboot chitons, grass and sea urchins to this day. Originally named Harrisburg in 1880, after the gold prospector Richard Harris, the name was later changed to honor his partner Joe Juneau.
Arrive 6.00am, Depart 9.00pm.
Saturday 24 June Inian Islands & Icy Strait Point, Alaska (B,L,D)
As the gatekeepers to the northern entrance of the fabled Inside Passage, the remote Inian Islands stand between Cross Sound and Icy Strait, exposed to the high energy seas of the Pacific Ocean. Tidal currents surging through the narrow channels separating the islands can be severe. Nicknames like ‘The Laundry Chute’ justify their notorious reputations. Arrive 4.30am, Depart 10.30am. Icy Strait Point is a unique community on Chichagof Island near the entry to Glacier Bay National Park. It was created and is owned by a corporation of over 1300 Native Americans of various local Tlingit tribes, for the purpose of offering visitors an enjoyable, educational experience of Alaska’s native cultures, as well as the human and natural history of the region. Arrive 2.00pm, Depart 9.00pm.
Sunday 25 June Cruising Yakutat Bay & Hubbard Glacier (B,L,D)
Yakutat Bay is 18 miles wide at its entry, and cuts from the Gulf of Alaska into Disenchantment Bay, the entryway to the huge Hubbard Glacier, North America’s largest tidewater glacier. As the bay narrows and the shorelines draw closer, the 400-foot face of the glacier exerts a luminous, ghostly presence, often from as much as 30 miles away. More and more floating ice dimples the surface of the water, and seals bob up and disappear again. The chilled air from the glacier flows in a downdraft of cold that gives rise to mists and gray clouds, through which the vivid blue of the ice wall shimmers. It is an impressive sight of nature’s immense raw workplace, shaping the earth itself as part of an endless cycle of water from the sea evaporating to the sky, falling as snow on the heights and inching over centuries back again to the sea. Arrive 10.00am, Depart 5.00pm
Monday 26 June Sitka, Alaska (B,L,D)
A stroll through the streets and National Historic Park of Sitka is a glimpse into its unique and colorful past. A blend of Tlingit and Russian cultures defines this first capital of Alaska. Although fish canning and gold mining were the initial catalysts for growth in Sitka, the construction of an air base during World War II truly paved the way for Sitka to come into its own. One of Sitka’s most intriguing structures is the Cathedral of Saint Michael, built in 1848 to honor a Russian Orthodox bishop. Sitka’s history begins thousands of years ago with the Tlingit people and their use of the land for sustenance and spirituality. Old Sitka, located just north of the present-day settlement, was founded by Russian-American Company trader Alexander Baranov in 1799. Originally named Novo-Arkhangelsk (New Archangel) under Russian rule, its name was changed to Sitka after Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867. Sitka is a Tlingit word meaning ‘by the sea.’ Arrive 8.00am, Depart 5.00pm.
Tuesday 27 June Ketchikan, Alaska (B,L,D)
Ketchikan is a picturesque coastal town with a colorful frontier history, standing at the southern entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. It began as a salmon cannery in 1885, built by company employee Mike Martin at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. Once dubbed the ‘Canned Salmon Capital of the World,’ today government, commercial fishing, and tourism are its main industries. The renowned Creek Street, perched on stilts along the mouth of the creek, would bring lasting infamy to the area for the red-light district that burgeoned there during the Gold Rush. The town’s site first served as a camp for Tlingit people, and for thousands of years this has been their home. Their rich culture is being preserved to this day. A visit to Ketchikan is not complete without visiting one or all of Native American sites such as Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center. Together, these locations comprise the world’s largest collection of standing Native American totem poles. Arrive 7.00am, Depart 3.00pm.
Wednesday 28 June Scenic Cruising – Princess Royal Channel and Bella Bella (B,L,D)
The Princess Royal Channel separates the largest island along British Columbia’s coast from the mainland. It is located roughly halfway between Bella Bella in the south and Prince Rupert in the north, in one of the province’s most remote areas. Princess Royal Island was named in 1788 by Captain Charles Duncan, in honor of his ship, the Princess Royal. The island is uninhabited, although there are two small villages in the channel, the First Nations community of Klemtu on Swindle Island and Hartley Bay on the mainland. Wildlife, by contrast, is plentiful, including Kermode, black and grizzly bears, deer, wolves and foxes. Golden and bald eagles nest in the region, as well as the endangered marbled murrelet. In the waters, there are abundant salmon, elephant seals, whales, orcas and dolphins.
Thursday 29 June Alert Bay, British Columbia (B,L,D)
Located on the now-dormant Alert Bay volcanic belt, Cormorant Island is host to Vancouver Island’s oldest northern community, the small town of Alert Bay. It is located in the traditional territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation and today is a blend of both aboriginal and pioneer culture. A walk along the shores of this tiny 0.69-square mile (1.8 sq. km) island will amaze you with its history, spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Remnants of its former fish-salting plant from the 1800’s remain along the harbor. The U’mista Cultural Centre is Canada’s longest-running First Nations museum and home to the famed Potlach Collection. This collection of ceremonial regalia was confiscated for preservation by Canadian authorities in 1922, and finally returned to the community during the 1980’s. Seabirds, humpback, orca, and gray whales, sea lions and white-sided dolphins are all present in the surrounding waters. Alert Bay was named in 1860 for the Royal Navy ship HMS Alert which conducted survey operations in and around the region.
Friday 30 June Disembark Vancouver – Home (B)
Sadly, this morning we disembark our ship. We have hotel rooms reserved until our flight home this evening.
***Cross International Dateline***
Sunday 2 July Arrive Auckland
Arrival time is early morning.