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ALASKA

Adventures Afloat: Alaska's Inside Passage Up Close

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Road Scholar
Program #11479RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
The White Pass Railway tour will briefly (less than 1/2 hour) be at about 3,000 feet. No walking.

Equipment Requirements
Rain gear is highly recommended. Alaskan Dream Cruises has rain coats, pants and boots available on board for your use during the program (without a fee). Comfortable walking shoes are necessary (they will probably get wet, so a good waterproofing is also recommended). Binoculars will also be available on board the ship but if you have a pair you are comfortable with we suggest you bring them. A windproof jacket or parka is required (this could be the same jacket used for rain gear).

Itinerary for Sep 5 — Sep 13, 2014

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Convenient downtown location within walking distance of historical and cultural sites and shopping.

Contact info:
330 Seward St
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-747-6241
web: www.westmarkhotels.com/sitka.php

Room amenities: Flat screen TVs with cable, free high speed Internet access, in-room coffee makers, hairdryer and iron / ironing board.

Facility amenities: Room service, fitness center, on-site restaurant and lounge, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet throughout hotel, guest computer available, coin-operated guest laundry and free airport shuttle (for scheduled flight times only).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Contact the hotel directly
Please make arrangements for additional nights directly with the hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Friday, September 05 - Arrival in Sitka / Hotel Check-in / Orientation /...
Arrival in Sitka / Hotel Check-in / Orientation / Welcome Dinner / Program Overview

Afternoon: After arrival in Sitka, transfer to hotel.

Hotel Check-in: Upon arrival.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby, register with the program staff, and pick up your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule, and other important information we will review during Orientation. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner selections from a select menu featuring fresh, organic, and locally produced foods, usually including a seafood or meat entrée.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leaders will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will then provide an overview of the program.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Westmark Hotel Sitka

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Saturday, September 06 - Exploring Sitka Field Trip / Tlingit NaKaHidi Da...
Exploring Sitka Field Trip / Tlingit NaKaHidi Dancers / Wildlife Quest / Transfer to Vessel / Social Hour Before Dinner / Previewing the Voyage

Note: You will need to be packed and have luggage outside your door by 8:00 a.m. for pick-up and transfer to the ship. During Sitka field trip, walking up to 1 mile with stops. Stairs at St. Michael's Cathedral, Russian Bishop’s House, and dance performance. Transfer from dock to ship via 65-foot catamaran, and from catamaran to ship via a short ramp with railing.

Breakfast: Our breakfast buffet at the hotel includes oatmeal, French toast, eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit, orange juice, tea, milk.

Morning: Led by a local expert, we will explore downtown Sitka via bus with stops at key sites including the Russian Bishop’s House and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. One of Alaska's most charming communities, it has a complex history. Kiksadi Tlingit people have lived in the area for 8,000 years or more. The protected harbor and rich natural resources made it attractive to European explorers.

Serious Russian interest began in 1725 when Tsar Peter the Great sent Vitus Bering to explore the Pacific coast of North America. A Russian trading enterprise called the Russian American Company was eventually formed. After much fighting between Russian forces and the native Tlingit people, Sitka became the administrative center and remained so until the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867. The name “Alaska” is a Russified version of an Aleut word meaning “great land.” We will stand on the very site that witnessed the change-over of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867.

At the conclusion of the field trip, you will have some free time in Sitka on your own. Most points of interest are within walking distance of each other.

We then regroup and continue our experience of life in Sitka to see native Tlingit NaKaHidi dancers performing traditional dances and songs, some thousands of years old. The dance is performed in a traditional replica clan house, featuring beautiful Native Tlingit artwork. Afterward, the dancers in full regalia invite you to have your picture taken with them and chat informally.

Lunch: We will have lunch during our field trip aboard the catamaran, typically sandwiches, salad, dessert, beverage.

Afternoon: This afternoon we board a 65-foot catamaran for a wildlife quest through Sitka Sound to look for sea otters, bald eagles, and other creatures. We will transit two beautiful, twisty narrow passageways on our way to Peril Strait.

The boat will rendezvous with our ship near Peril Straits, 30 miles from Sitka. After boarding the vessel, we will meet the Captain and crew and have an orientation session as we get underway, then settle in.

Each evening aboard ship, there will be a social hour before dinner, an opportunity to recap the day’s activities, preview what happens tomorrow, get to know your fellow participants better and make new Road Scholar friends, and see amazing scenery. As a tasty treat, enjoy complimentary hors d‘oeuvres as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; other beverages available for purchase.

On some evenings, there will be a presentation for the group after dinner. It might be a narrated slide presentation, a talk, an opportunity for questions and answers, or just a good story. The ship’s public address system allows participants to hear programs in the forward lounge (where most of our onboard programming occurs) or in the comfort of staterooms.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner. In the pleasant dining room, enjoy meals prepared by professionally trained chefs using fresh, organic, and locally produced foods. Menus change daily, usually including a seafood or meat entrée.

Evening: A member of the Road Scholar staff will provide an overview of tomorrow’s activities in Juneau and at Orca Point Lodge.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Sunday, September 07 - Auke Bay and Mendenhall Glacier / Juneau / Orca P...
Note: There are options today that involve extensive walking and getting on/off a tram.

Breakfast: As we arrive in Auke Bay, 12 miles north of Juneau, enjoy breakfast in the dining room, choosing from a select menu.

Morning: We will leave the ship and board buses for a field trip to one of Alaska’s extraordinary natural wonders, the Mendenhall Glacier. This river of ice is one of 38 large glaciers that flow from the 1,500 square mile Juneau Icefield formed about 3,000 years ago. The glacier stretches 12 miles from the ice field down to its terminus at Mendenhall Lake. The glacier and surrounding area are protected by the National Forest Service as part of Tongass National Forest, the largest in the U.S., encompassing 17 million acres.The Visitor Center offers magnificent views of the Glacier and the lake, many displays and presentations, a short movie, and hiking trails. National Forest Service interpretive rangers will provide information and answer questions.

We then explore Juneau. Originating with the Alaska Gold Rush in 1880, the miners’ tent camp grew into a small town, then kept growing as mines produced millions of dollars in gold well into the 20th Century. Tourism expanded as adventure travelers were attracted by the surrounding old-growth forests, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, salmon steams, bear habitat, and migratory whale routes.

Lunch: Enjoy a tasty buffet at a restaurant in town.

Afternoon: You have options this afternoon. There will be a transfer back to the ship after lunch for anyone who would like to return and relax. Or, you may take a walking excursion with the Group Leader that includes a ride on the Mt. Roberts Tramway with wonderful views of the surrounding area. You may also go on a self-guided walking tour and visit the tramway on your own. We will have an assigned meeting time and place for transfer back to the ship.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner. As a special treat, we have an exclusive stop at Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island to enjoy a wonderful meal of Alaskan salmon and King Crab. You can also get “up close and personal” with Alaskan sea life at the lodge's touch tank and stroll on the private beach.

Evening: Tonight your Road Scholar team will give a talk on aspects of Alaska history, culture, or nature.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Monday, September 08 - Hobart Bay
Note: Activities in Hobart Bay are at particpants' option. Zego runabouts and kayaks require the ability to climb in and out of the boats. Before each event, crew give operating instructions, paddling instructions, safety instructions. Each group that goes out has two guides to provide assistance as needed.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Arriving at Hobart Bay, we will have a full day of exhilarating outdoor activities. You will can explore the Bay via 2-person sea kayaks, small outboard-driven Zego runabouts, and to explore old logging roads via Kawasaki all-terrain vehicles. Kayak launchers make it easy to get into kayaks that are then slid into the water slowly. The stable, catamaran-type runabouts are tied up at the dock.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Hobart Bay. If you were on the water this morning, try the all-terrain vehicles this afternoon, or vice-versa.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.

Evening: Your Road Scholar Group Leader will give a presentation on more fascinating aspects of Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Tuesday, September 09 - Tracy Arm Fjord
Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we head for what may be Alaska’s most scenic fjord, Tracy Arm, and a photographer’s paradise. A “fjord” is a narrow inlet of ocean running between cliffs or steep slopes. Tracy Arm twists and turns for more than 30 miles through some of the most dramatically scenic landscapes anywhere, dotted with thousands of icebergs from twin glaciers -- North Sawyer and South Sawyer -- at the end of the fjord. Wildlife is seasonally prolific, with whales and sea lions, seals on floating ice, bears, deer, mountain goats, wolves, and smaller animals inhabiting surrounding forests, and bald eagles and other birds flying above. As you observe from the decks, commentary along the way tells the story and points out highlights.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We wind our way back down the arm, pausing to view some of the spectacular waterfalls that spill out of the granite cliffs along the fjord.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.

Evening: Onboard staff will lead an orientation to procedures for tomorrow’s outdoor activities in Hobart Bay.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Wednesday, September 10 - Skagway / White Pass Railway
Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Making our way up the spectacular Taya Inlet, we dock in Skagway. This famous gold rush town is also home to Klondike National Historic Park, which owns and has restored many of the buildings. We will take a narrated shuttle from the ship into town. You may return to the ship or, if you like, stay in town where you can either explore on your own or join our Road Scholar group leader for a guided walk. You may return to the ship for lunch or stay in town and have lunch on your own, re-joining the group at the White Pass Railway depot.

Lunch: Aboard ship or in town on your own (at your cost).

Afternoon: For our afternoon field trip, we will shuttle to the White Pass Railway depot, board the train, and take a narrated ride on rails up to the White Pass summit located in British Columbia, Canada, with spectacular views along the way. This narrow gauge railway route was built during the Klondike Gold Rush. Its proposed 110-mile journey through coastal mountains was considered impossible but became a reality in only 26 months of construction from 1898-1900. The railway operated as a business until 1982, then re-opened in 1988 for seasonal excursions.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Thursday, September 11 - Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Birders and wildlife watchers will want to be up and out on decks as we enter Glacier Bay early this morning. We will be joined by a National Park Service (NPS) Ranger who will lead our programming today. The NPS citation reads, “Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site — one of the world’s largest international protected areas.” The entrance to Glacier Bay teems with wildlife, particularly sea birds. This is also an area frequented by feeding humpback whales. The Huna Tlingit people once lived here and consider it their spiritual homeland. A Native Tlingit interpretive naturalist will join the NPS Ranger to discuss their traditional ties to this stunning natural treasure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We continue our cruise exploration of Glacier Bay National Park, the crown jewel of Southeast Alaska and considered by many to be our Number 1 national park. Glacier Bay has the largest number of tidewater glaciers in North America, the 15,000-foot Fairweather Mountain range, stunning scenery, and wildlife including humpback whales, sea otters, puffins, mountain goats and more, often amid calving icebergs. Watch for all these wonders from the deck of the ship (binoculars provided). The Ranger and naturalist will be on deck for commentary, to point out highlights, and answer questions.

Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The three-deck American small cruise ship is 166 feet long and can carry 68 passengers on exclusive sailings for Road Scholar. The first thing guests notice when stepping into the Vista View Lounge aboard the Admiralty Dream is light, air, and views - wide picture windows port and starboard, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing forward. Backing the delightful scene are a bar and library with exquisitely detailed woodworking. Ample outside deck space and easy access to the extra-roomy bow area are perfect spots to view the sights around you. Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.

Contact info:
N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3281
web: www.alaskandreamcruises.com/alaskan-dream-ship/admiralty/

Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Friday, September 12 - Red Bluff Bay and Baranof Island Cruising
Breakfast: As we sit down to breakfast this morning, the ship heads for Red Bluff Bay.

Morning: Today’s destination, Red Bluff Bay, is virtually unknown to tourists. We will spend the morning cruising through this delightful and lovely yet rarely visited part of Alaska. As a result of mineral deposits, cliffs glow rust-red in the morning sun. As you view the old-growth rainforest, waterfalls, and pristine beaches from the comfort of the ship, scan the skies for birds and the shores for wildlife. As we make our way back to Sitka, you will be able to see the remote east coast of Baranof Island from the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We continue cruising along Red Bluff Bay and Baranoff Island, scoping the shores for wildlife. Eastern Baranof is known as the waterfall coast with many cascading falls. If we’re lucky, you may see brown bear and both Humpback and Orca whales.

Dinner: Social hour before our farewell dinner aboard ship. This is occasion for sharing your fondest memories with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. As we head back to Sitka overnight, prepare for departure in the morning and get a good night’s sleep.

Lodging: Admiralty Dream

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Nine: Saturday, September 13 - ArriveSitka / Disembark / Program Concludes
Note: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Sitka at approximately 7:30 a.m. Disembarkation from the ship will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast: Aboard ship. This concludes our program.

Morning: Disembarkation from the ship will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. We advise making onward travel arrangements that depart no earlier than 11:30 a.m. The cruise line will provide free shuttle service from the ship to the airport or a hotel if you are staying on. You may speak to a cruise line representative about holding your luggage until departure and about a transfer to the airport or a hotel if you are staying on.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Sep 5 — Sep 13, 2014 waitlist only  
Click Here to See Special Offer!
Special Offer: Free round-trip air from many cities is included in the program price. Please note free airfare may be limited. Also, there is no additional cost for a single room for this program date. Please note single rooms may be limited. We suggest enrolling as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
23 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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