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Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness by Small Ship

Program Number: 20183RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2013 - 5/19/2013; 5/16/2015 - 5/24/2015;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Alaska
Price starting at: $5,990.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising; National Parks
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Discover Alaska’s incredible fjords, islands and wildlife on a small ship expedition — the best way to experience the Last Frontier up close. Encounter brown bears foraging, eagles soaring overhead, whales lunge-feeding and tons of ice thundering from a glacier. Accompanying you is the most knowledgeable expedition team in Alaska including six naturalists, a native Tlingit interpreter and a National Park Ranger.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles at a time on sandy and uneven terrain. Some steep stairs. Many optional opportunities for walks, hikes and kayaking on your choice of a slow, moderate or active pace. Shore landings by expedition landing craft.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Sitka, Alaska, 1 night; aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, 7 nights.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Days 1-2: Arrival Sitka, Alaska / embark National Geographic Sea Lion:

Walk through Sitka National Historical Park, where totem poles line the trails. Meet eagles up close at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Lodging: Comfortable waterfront hotel.



Day 3: Southeast Alaska's Islands, Bays and Fjords:

Set sail on the icy Alaskan waters, voyaging past thickly forested islands. This area is home to the world’s highest density of nesting bald eagles.



Day 4: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve:

In this iconic National Park, find yourself among enormous glaciers and listen as the quiet stillness is broken by the thunder of ice calving into the sea. Wildlife abounds: mountain goats, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and puffins live in these icy waters.



Day 5: Icy Strait and the Inian Islands:

Hike and kayak among the Inian islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions and sea otters reside. We'll search for whales in the rich waters of Icy strait and, conditions permitting, lower the ship's hydrophone to listen in on the whales' communication.



Day 6: Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait:

With luck, we'll see whales breaching, tail-slapping and feeding. We'll explore spectacular bays and inlets, following bear trails and salmon streams. Later, hike or kayak for up close exploration.



Day 7: Petersburg:

Search for humpback whales as we head towards the small, true Alaskan town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Explore an unique Alaskan ecosystem, the “muskeg,” with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. Enjoy a crab feast this evening.



Day 8: Tracy Arm:

Voyage into Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, spectacular fjords with waterfalls cascading from glacially-carved walls. See the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close and board an expedition craft for an unbeatable view of sculpted icebergs.



Day 9: Juneau / disembark / departure:

Visit the Mendenhall Glacier before transferring to the airport for flights home.



National Geographic Sea Bird

Lindblad Expeditions nimble 152-foot boat carrying 62 passengers, the National Geographic Sea Bird is scaled to cater to small groups and to be in harmony with the environment. It can access areas that larger boats cannot and carries a fleet of versatile Zodiac landing craft and sea kayaks for up-close shoreline exploration.


Meals and Lodgings
   National Geographic Sea Bird
  At Sea 7 nights
 National Geographic Sea Bird
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: This expedition ship is able reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to her small size. The feeling, we’re told, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Lindblad Expeditions' captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions they explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. Thanks to the sturdy fleet of Zodiacs and virtually untippable kayaks, you can be off the ship and out exploring within a moment’s notice. Launch your kayak from a picturesque beach, hike with naturalists into the rain forest or walk easily along a sandy dune. During your time on board, the expedition staff likes nothing better than to surprise and delight you by directing the ship toward breaching whales, bow-riding dolphins or into an alluring cove. The seasoned crew consists of expert Zodiac drivers and considerate service providers. Their energy, enthusiasm and field expertise are sure to enhance your experience. This is what expedition travel is all about: not just seeing wildness, but being out there, in it.
  Contact info: Lindblad Expeditions
96 Morton Street
New York, NY 10014 USA
phone: 180-076-2000 x3
web: www.expeditions.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: All face outside with windows, private facilities, and climate controls.
  Facility amenities: The ship features a library; lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slide shows and presentations; observation deck; partially covered sun deck with chairs and tables, spa. The "Open Bridge" policy provides guests and opportunity to meet the Officers and Captain and learn about navigation. Meals are served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Breakfast is a wide selection buffet and lunch is often served family style. Menu emphasizes local flair.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
On board the ship in Sitka, Alaska. Embarkation begins at 5:00 p.m. You will be staying at National Geographic Sea Bird that night.
  End of Program:
In the morning in Juneau, Alaska. Disembarkation will begin at 8:30AM. You will be staying at National Geographic Sea Bird the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will not need a passport for this voyage. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact the U.S. consulate or embassy nearest you and obtain a U.S. visa, if one is required.
  Parking availability:
There is no parking available on this program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  At Sea
  From End of Program
  Location: At Sea
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Sitka, Alaska

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$6-10 Dollars
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

   

Exceptionally for this program, all participants arriving and departing on the group date can join the group airport transfers at no additional cost, as long as the flight arrival and departure coincide with the group flights. If independent travelers would like to join the arrival group transfer and city tour they will need to provide their flight information to Road Scholar as soon as possible.

 

Port in Juneau

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

A taxi from ship to Juneau Airport cost approximately $25.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

The transfer takes approximately 20 minutes. 

   

Exceptionally for this program, all participants departing on the group date can join the group airport transfers at no additional cost, as long as the flight arrival and departure coincide with the group flights. The group transfer is currently set to depart the ship at 8:30am. A city tour of Juneau is scheduled prior to transfer to the airport at approximately 12:00 noon. Please do not schedule your flight earlier than 12:00 noon if you plan on taking the group transfer.

Equipment Requirements: Waterproof knee-high rubber boots with a strong non-skid sole. Some of our landings will be wet, by Zodiac onto a beach or low jetty.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive in Sitka, Alaska / Embark Ship
(Sunday, May 12)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Sitka, southeastern Alaska's only oceanfront town. Join the group transfer at 5:30pm on the arrival date or make your own way to the cruise ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: After dinner, taking advantage of longer daylight hours, there will be an opportunity to go back ashore for a short city tour.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Alaska's Islands, Bays and Fjords
(Monday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Hike or cruise island coastlines among the world's highest density of nesting bald eagles. In the spring and early summer the landscape is often blanketed with colorful wildflowers.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon presentation by your own board lecturer.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Point Adolphus/Inian Pass
(Tuesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Hike, kayak and search for whales near Point Adolphus, consistently a favored summer feeding area for humpback whales. Then, cruise to Inian Pass, where playful sea otters reside.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Point Adolphus and Indian Pass.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Glacier Bay National park
(Wednesday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: In Glacier Bay, enormous glaciers flow from ice fields. Listen as the quiet stillness of the area is broken by the thunder of tons of ice calving into the sea and search for brown bears and mountain goats. A Tlingit interpreter will also be on board to give the local, cultural perspective.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Glacier Bay National Park
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
(Thursday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: With luck, we'll be able to observe breaching whales while searching for Steller sea lions on the rocky islands. Later, hike or kayak for up close exploration.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon presentation by your own board lecturer.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Petersburg
(Friday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Search for humpback whales as we head toward Le Conte Bay, a virtual sculpture garden of grounded icebergs. Visit the small town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, a true Alaskan town. There is an opportunity for optional flightseeing (weather permitting).
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue north exploring Alaska's coastline.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Tracy Arm / Ford's Terror Wilderness
(Saturday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Voyage into Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially-carved walls. See the pure azure and take a Zodiac cruise for an eye-level view of elementally sculpted icebergs. Keep an eye out for harbor seals and porpoises, Arctic terns and Bonaparte gulls.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon presentation by your own board lecturer.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Juneau / Disembark
(Sunday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: After breakfast, visit Mendenhall Glacier and the Alaska State Museum. Transfer to the airport for flights home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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