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The Call of the Last Frontier: From San Francisco to Alaska

Program Number: 21078RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2013 - 8/28/2013;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Alaska/California
Price starting at: $3,695.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 29; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the grandeur of Alaska on a round-trip voyage from San Francisco. Navigate the Inside Passage, stand in awe of massive glaciers and examine their environmental importance, search for majestic wildlife like bald eagles and grizzly bears and delve into fascinating topics like Alaskan Native culture and the Klondike Gold Rush. Plus, enjoy a day in charming Victoria.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day on mostly flat sidewalks and paths.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Grand Princess, 10 nights.



Coordinated by Alaska-In-Depth.



Day 1: Arrival San Francisco, Calif. / embark Grand Princess


Days 2-4: At Sea / Ketchikan, Alaska:

Set sail up the scenic Pacific Northwest coastline. Arrive in Ketchikan and go ashore for a field trip to the Totem Heritage Center to learn about the art of the iconic totem pole.



Day 5: Juneau:

Venture from Alaska’s capital to the 12-mile-long Mendenhall Glacier. Continue into Alaska’s coastal rainforest then on to the Macauley Fish Hatchery, where biologists will provide a short introduction to the facility and the salmon life cycle.



Day 6: Skagway:

This small town was once the rowdy gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush. Enjoy a catamaran excursion down the scenic Taya Inlet to Haines, where you search for bald eagles, Alaskan grizzly bears, spawning salmon and mountain goats with a wildlife expert. Visit historic Fort William H. Seward.



Day 7: Tracy Arm Fjord:

Enter one of the most spectacularly scenic places in Alaska, the Tracy Arm fjord, where icebergs bob beneath soaring granite cliffs. See the awesome Sawyer Glacier, a prolifically calving tidewater glacier at the end of the fjord.



Days 8-9: At Sea / Victoria (Canada):

Discover the capital city of British Columbia including the beautiful floral displays of world famous Butchart Gardens. Enjoy some free time to explore this lovely, British-influenced capital city on your own.



Days 10-11: At Sea / San Francisco, Calif. / disembark / departure


Grand Princess

The largest passenger ship ever built at the time of its construction in 1998, this world-class ocean liner underwent an extensive restoration in 2011. Onboard public areas include an Italian-inspired piazza, tea lounge, library and writing room, pools, hot tubs, spa, fitness center, walking track and a nine-hole putting course.


Meals and Lodgings
   Grand Princess
  Grand Princess 10 nights
 Grand Princess
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Newly enhanced with the latest innovations, Grand Princess continues to offer the signature service for which Princess Cruises is renowned. Along with their signature features like Movies Under the Stars®, the Italian-inspired Piazza and The Sanctuary®, fresh venues onboard offer new ways to help you escape completely. Sip on a variety of soothing teas at Leaves Tea Lounge & Library, or enjoy hand-tossed pizza in Alfredo’s, the full-service pizzeria. The chefs aboard Princess Cruises are true culinary artists who insist on serving the freshest and most flavorful meals at sea. Using only the finest ingredients, each mouth-watering dish is prepared from scratch, with intriguing new selections offered daily. Pair every great-tasting meal with impeccable service, and you'll see why dining onboard Grand Princess is a truly unforgettable experience. Enjoy lunch in the top-of-the-ship restaurant, Horizon Court, in the Wheelhouse Pub, or even more casually outdoors, on deck, next to the pool. Looking for something a little fancier? How about indulging in Afternoon Tea. Or grab a good book and settle in to the Leaves Tea Lounge and Library complete with a tea sommelier Nightly entertainment includes blockbuster hit movies in the outdoor theater, or lively comedy shows or impressive Princess Signature Shows. The theater venues are designed with outstanding acoustics so each seat feels like the best seat in the house! Or try your luck in the casino or dance the night away. Daily activities include enjoying one of the 4 pools and numerous hot tubs (including an adults only area), fitness center, lap pool, golf simulator, jogging track and shuffleboard courts. In addition, you could expand your horizons with knowledgeable port lecturers, classes taught by local experts, and art exhibits to peruse.
  Ship Information: 951 feet long 118 feet beam 26 foot draft 107,517 gross tons 2,600 passengers 1,150 crew
  Contact info: unknown
San Francisco, CA unknown USA
phone: 765-077-8330 x00000000
  Room amenities: Staterooms include the deluxe amenities you would expect from a first class hotel: from 24-hour room service to chocolates on your pillow at night. All rooms use 100% Egyptian cotton linens, luxury mattresses and European style duvets. Each stateroom also comes equipped with a flat screen TV and a refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: Botticelli Dining Room, Michelangelo Dining Room, Da Vinci Dining Room, Sabatini's (Italian), Crown Grill (steak and seafood), Ultimate Balcony Dining, Horizon Court buffet, Alfredo's full-service pizzeria, Prego's Pizzeria, Ice cream bar, Bar Piazza, Trident Grill (burgers &hot dogs), Afternoon tea, Vines (wine, sushi & tapas), International Café, 24-hour room service, Princess Theater, Vista Show Lounge, Movies Under the Stars outdoor theater, Atlantis Casino, Explorers Lounge (nightclub style performances), The One5 (lounge and nightclub), Wheelhouse Bar, Snooker's Cigar Bar, Crooner's Lounge and Bar, Calypso Reef and Pool (plus 2 hot tubs), Neptune's Reef and Pool (plus 2 hot tubs), Terrace Pool, Oasis bar & hot tubs, The Sanctuary (adults only area), Lotus Spa and Fitness Center, Swim-against-the-current lap pool, Virtual gold simulators, jogging track, shuffleboard, Center Court, world-class art collection, gallery, auctions, ScholarShip@Sea enrichment classes, 24-hour Internet Café, Library and writing room, tax and duty-free hops,
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 1:00 PM
  Check out time: 8:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
1:00 PM You will be staying at Grand Princess that night.
  End of Program:
8:00 AM You will be staying at Grand Princess the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking may be available at the cruise terminal.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Grand Princess
  Nearest city or town:  San Francisco
  Nearest airport:  San Francisco
  From End of Program
  Location:  Disembark
Travel Details
 

San Francisco

 

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required
private vehicle parking
phone: 415-398-1900 xext112
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15.00 per day
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

varied 

 

Distance:

 

varied

   

Parking for private vehicles driving to San Francisco available at Pier 35 with Ace Parking at 55 Francisco Street for $15.00 per day. Call 415-398-1900 ext 112 for reservations.

Elevation Note: Program is at sea level

Equipment Requirements: Rain gear is highly recommended as well as comfortable walking shoes. Binoculars are also recommended.
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: Embark in San Francisco.
(Sunday, August 18)
   
 Afternoon: Life Jacket Demo and Safety Drill -- all passengers required to attend
 Afternoon: Embark the Grand Princess -- Check in at the Road Scholar desk between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM on Fiesta Deck (6) near the Guest Service Office.
 Dinner: Dinner with the Road Scholar group at the Botocelli Dining Room aft on Fiesta Deck (6).
 Evening: Enjoy ship activities on your own
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: At sea off the Pacific Northwest Coast. Program orientation and introductions. Educational programming. Free time to enjoy ship's activities and programs.
(Monday, August 19)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in at the Horizon Court Buffett or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: Join fellow participants at our meeting room at 9:00 AM for a program orientation and introductions. In the second morning session we begin with an introduction to Alaska.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch onboard the Grand Princess at one of the several restaurants.
 Afternoon: Join the group at our meeting room at 2:00 PM. We begin an exploration of Alaska's fascinating human and natural with pre-European contact history, and in the second session begin to look at the geological story of Alaska's natural history process.
 Dinner: Dinner with the group at the Bottocelli Dining Room or on your own at any of the on-board restaurant choices.
 Evening: Free for evening shows and ship activities
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: At sea off the coast of Vancouver Island. Lectures and free time to take advantage of all the ship has to offer.
(Tuesday, August 20)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: Join the group at 9:00 AM in meeting room. We continue our exploration of Alaska's history with a look at Russian America. In our second session, we study the most amazing gold rush history of the Pacific Northwest Coast beginning with the Great California Gold Rush and ending with the unbelievable Klondike Goad Rush of 1878 that would forever change Alaska.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on one of the Grand Princess' several dining options.
 Afternoon: Join us in the meeting room and we will continue our exploration of Alaska's natural history process with an in depth look at Alaska's famous glaciers (more than anywhere else on earth save Greenland and Antarctica), their process, their significance, and the relationship to the climate change discussion. In our second session, we introduce Ketchikan and detail our field trip and options for exploring Ketchikan on your own at tomorrow's first port call.
 Dinner: Dinner with the group at the Bottocelli Dining Room or on your own at one of the many dining options.
 Evening: Enjoy a performance or movie in one of the ship's theaters or go for a spin on the dance floor in the Wheelhouse Bar
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Ketchikan, Alaska. Alaska’s First City near the British Columbia border. Field trip to the Totem Heritage Center and Southeast Alaska Visitor Center. Free time to explore Ketechikan on your own.
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: We are in Ketchikan from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM. All aboard at 2:30 PM. Field trip to the Totem Heritage Center and Southeast Alaska Visitor Center via motorcoach. Approximately 200 yards walking on sidewalks and one flight of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: We journey ashore at our first Alaska port of call for a Road Scholar excursion to the Totem Heritage Center where a docent led presentation details the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic symbol, the totem pole. Participants may view archived poles and enjoy a special lecture in the basement archive storage exploring the Pacific Northwest Native cultures that is excusive to Road Scholar participants
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at one of the Grand Princess' many dining options. You may also choose to have lunch in town on your own.
 Afternoon: You will have tickets to explore the National Forest Service Southeast Alaska Visitor Center with an excellent short film and outstanding displays that highlight natural and human history of Southeast Alaska’s 17 million acre Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest that we spend most of our time traveling through. Free time to explore Ketchikan on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner with our group at the Bottocelli Dining Room or on your own at one of the many dining options.
 Evening: Enjoy the ship's evening activites.
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Juneau, Alaska. Alaska’s Capital city nestled under soaring mountains on a lovely glacial fjord. Field trip to the famous Mendenhall Glacier, to Glacier Gardens (rainforest tour), and the McCauley Fish Hatchery. Free time to explore Juneau on your own.
(Thursday, August 22)

Note: We are in Juneau from 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM. All aboard at 8:30 PM. Field trip to Mendenhall Glacier, Glacier Gardens, and McCauley Fish Hatchery via motorcoach. Approximately 350 yards of walking required on sidewalks. Optional 1 mile hike provided at Mendenhall Glacier. Visitor Center at Mendenhall is accessible by stairs, ramp, or elevator. An optional 1/4 mile stroll may be taken at Glacier Gardens.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: We take a motor coach excursion to Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s most accessible glacier in the Mendenhall Valley near Juneau. National Forest Service Rangers will answer questions in the Visitor Center which houses excellent displays explaining the role of Coastal Alaska’s many glaciers and hosts an excellent movie and Alaska Geographic bookstore. There are several excellent trails in the area and sometimes bear and salmon spawning viewing. We continue our excursion to Alaska Rainforest Gardens with a guided cart excursion through the magnificent, lush Alaska Coastal Rainforest. We will enjoy a short walk on a boardwalk platform with terrific views and a photo opportunity of the Chilkat Mountains and ocean fjords surrounding Juneau. There is free time to enjoy the beautiful gardens and a short forest stroll at the base facility. We complete our field trip with a visit to the Macauley Fish Hatchery where biologists provide a short introduction to the facility and the salmon cycle. You then may enjoy the excellent aquarium and exhibits on your own. You can observe salmon fighting up the fish ladder to the breeding pools as well.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on board the Grand Princess at one of the many dining options or have lunch on your own in town.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Juneau on your own. Your tour leader can provide information on sightseeing, gallery, or shopping options.
 Dinner: Join the group for dinner at the Bottocelli Dining Room or enjoy dinner on your own at one of the dining options. You may also choose to enjoy dinner in town.
 Evening: Spend the evening participating in the ship's calandar of events
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Skagway and Haines, Alaska. Skagway, the gateway to the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 is an historical Alaskan town with a huge history. Field trip to the small community of Haines where we join a wildlife watching excursion. Free time in Skagway..
(Friday, August 23)

Note: We are in Skagway from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. All aboard at 7:30 PM. We join a catamaran vessel excursion to the small communtiy of Haines where we board a small tour bus to explore for watchable wildlife including bald eagles and brown bears. Approximately 400 yards of walking required on boardwalk or concrete and a short ramp.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: We go ashore for an exciting excursion to the small village of Haines, Alaska about 30 miles south of Skagway on the Chilkat River. We travel aboard a high speed catamaran vessel for the 45 minute tour boat excursion from Skagway to Haines down the stunningly scenic Taya Inlet. Once in Haines we join Alaska Nature Tours for a wildlife viewing expedition of the Chilkat River and Chilkoot Lake areas. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, Alaska Coastal Brown Bears, spawning salmon and mountain goats. Viewing scopes and binoculars will be provided along with some of Alaska’s premier wilderness naturalist/guides. Stretch your legs with a short 45-minute walk into the rain forest at Chilkoot Lake on an old Indian trading trail (optional activity planned for those who don't wish to walk). We'll finish up with a visit to historic Fort Seward.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch at Fort Seward
 Afternoon: We'll travel back to Skagway and the ship via catamaran. There is ample time to explore some of Skagway's raucous gold rush history (much of the town belongs to the Klondike National Park) including the Klonkike National Park Visitor Center. You may join one of the National Park Service led free walking tours, take a hike, or explore Skagway on your own.
 Dinner: Join the group for dinner in the Bottocelli Dining Room or have dinner on your own at one of the many dining options or enjoy dinner in town.
 Evening: Enjoy any of the array of cruise offerings for the eveing.
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska. A scenic cruise up the 30 mile Tracy Arm Fjord
(Saturday, August 24)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: This morning we explore Tracy Arm, one of the most stunningly scenic places in all of Alaska and part of the 600,000 acre Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror Wilderness. Hundreds of waterfalls spill of the 2,000 foot soaring granite cliffs that enclose this 30 mile long narrow twisting glacial fjord. If ice conditions allow we may get to the face of the prolifically calving awesome Sawyer Glacier at the end of the fjord. Plan to dress warmly and spend much of the time on deck. The ship's naturalist will narrate over the ship PA system and your tour leader will detail highlights as well.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the Grand Princess
 Afternoon: Join the group in the meetiing room as we continue our educational expoloration of Alaska's history focusing on WW II and the movement to statehood.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner with the group at the Bottocelli Dining Room or on your own at one of the several dining options.
 Evening: Enjoy a performance aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At sea. Lectures and free time to take advantage of all the ship has to offer.
(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court Buffet or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: Join us in the meeting room as we continue our educational exploration of Alaska's history from statehood to present day.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Horizon Court Buffet or one of the many dining options.
 Afternoon: Join us in the meeting room where we will introduce the beautiful provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria, and our detail our shore excursion there and options for exploration of Victoria on your own. Victoria is a lovely city, very British in feel and architecture. Later this afternoon, join your fellow Road Scholar travelers for a cocktail party in one of the ship's lounges.
 Dinner: Dinner with the group onboard the Grand Princess
 Evening: Check out the Princess Patter onboard newsletter to see what's happening tonight.
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Victoria, British Columbia. The Provincial Capital of British Columbia. We visit the world famous Buchart Gardens on our shore excursion and there will be time to explore beautiful Victoria on your own.
(Monday, August 26)

Note: We are in Victoria from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM. All aboard at 1:30 PM. We tour Victoria and transfer to the Butchart Gardens via motorcoach. Approximately 300 yards of walking required on sidewalk, but walking distances at Butchart Gardens depend on personal inclination.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court or in the privacy of your own stateroom.
 Morning: Victoria is a stunning small city with a distinctively British appearance and feel. Take a break from the ocean and step into a world of flora at the world famous, 55 acre, Butchart Gardens, one of Canada's National Historic Sites. There are many, many sights to see in Victoria and lots of shopping as well for those last minute gifts. There will be free time to explore Victoria on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the Grand Princess or perhaps enjoy lunch on your own in town.
 Afternoon: Free time to enjoy ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join the group for dinner at the Bottocelli Dining Room or enjoy dinner at one of the several dinning options.
 Evening: Enjoy the ship's evening offerings
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At Sea. Lectures and free time to take advantage of all the ship has to offer.
(Tuesday, August 27)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Horizon Court or in the privacy of your own staterooom.
 Morning: Join us this morning in the meeting room for our final get together.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the Grand Princess
 Afternoon: Enjoy a swim or soak in one of the many pools or hot tubs, listen to a ship sponsored lecture or take a Princess Scholarship@Sea class
 Dinner: Our final dinner with the group onboard the Grand Princess at the Bottocelli Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy your last night aboard the Grand Princess
   
Accommodations: Grand Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: San Francisco / Disembark Arrival at 7:00 AM
(Wednesday, August 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the Grand Princess
 Morning: Disembark.
   
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.

Suggested Reading List


Crude Awakening - Money, Mavericks, and Mayhem in Alaska


Author: Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger


Description: A recently released history of the big oil boom in Alaska, it's effect on the economy, politics, and people of Alaska. Remarkable in its scope and detail, this is an excellent story of how big oil changed Alaska forever for good or for bad.



Alaska


Author: James Michner


Description: This book, is of course, a fictional account of Alaska and its history, but it's a good read and there is a ton of useful information about Alaska in it.



Alaska -- Saga of a Bold Land


Author: Walter Boreman


Description: A recently published history of Alaska is sweeping in its comprehensive review of Alaska's history, and reads like a novel.



Alaska's History -- The People, The Land, and The Events of the North Country


Author: Harry Ritter


Description: This small pocketbook is an easy to read, easy to carry pocket reference to Alaska history. It doesn't get into much detail about any specific event but does reference all the major ones briefly.



Alaska's Southeast - Touring the Inside Passage


Author: Sarah Eppenbach


Description: This is an outstanding reference and introduction to the Inside Passage and Southeast Alaska. Ms Eppenbach not only references ports of call but also incorporates history, geology, wildlife, Native culture, weather, and local lore into her outstanding narrative.



Frigid Embrace -- Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska


Author: Stephen Haycox


Description: The story of Alaska's history and dependence on extraction of natural resources and the effect on the land and its Native people is examined. It's current, so has merit if you're interested in politics.



Russians in America


Author: Lydia Black


Description: Written by a professor of Russian History, this descendent of a member of the Russian America Company provides perhaps the most comprehensive history of the Russian era in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast.



Southeast Alaska


Author: Kim Heacox


Description: This beautiful coffee table book details life in Southeast Alaska with the lovely photographs of renowned National Geographic photographer and writer Kim Heacox. The informative narrative is written by Sherry Simpson, a local writer and professor of creative writing at the University of Alaska.



The Native People of Alaska


Author: Steve Langdon


Description: Langdon provides a good general introduction to the Native peoples of Alaska.



Travels in Alaska


Author: John Muir


Description: John Muir, one of America's most famous conservationists, visited Alaska several times in the late 1880's and penned perhaps the original first person account of traveling in Alaska including his extensive time in Glacier Bay.





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