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Remarkable Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii

Program Number: 18780RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/1/2013 - 5/12/2013; 5/1/2015 - 5/17/2015;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Alaska/British Columbia
Price starting at: $8,430.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising; National Parks
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Explore a thousand miles of fjords, glaciers, inlets and islands, from Seattle to Glacier Bay, on this epic 17-day voyage. Wake to the cry of a soaring eagle, watch tons of ice thunder from a glacier, walk amid towering spruce trees, and witness the antics of orcas and humpback whales. Our special-use permits allow you to spend a full day in Glacier Bay and to hike and kayak in wild, remote places that are generally off limits.




Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for up to one hour at a time on sandy and uneven terrain. Climbing some steep stairs. Many optional opportunities for walks, hikes and kayaking.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Seattle, Wash., 1 night; embark National Geographic Sea Bird, 14 nights; Sitka, Alaska, 1 night.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Days 1-2: Arrival Seattle, Wash. / embark National Geographic Sea Bird:

Arrive in Seattle for orientation and begin your voyage. Lodging: Historic downtown hotel.



Days 3-4: Gulf Islands, Johnstone Straight and Alert Bay (Canada):

Search for pods of orca whales known to spend at least a part of the year in Johnstone Strait as we navigate around thickly forested islands. Visit the U’Mista Cultural Center, where we'll watch traditional First Nations performances and learn from the Kwakwaka'wakw people.



Days 5-6: Inside Passage of British Columbia:

Sail northward along untouched coastline of British Columbia looking for whales, dolphins, bears, deer and other wildlife. Go ashore to explore and kayak into beautiful bays and inlets.



Day 7-9: Haida Gwaii:

Visit the Haida Heritage Center to learn the incredible story of the Haida people of the Pacific Northwest. Join in a traditional dance performance and feast and meet community members and local artistians. Explore incredibly biodiverse islands home to the largest black bears in the world.



Day 10: Misty Fiords, Alaska:

Glide past glacially carved cliffs and kayak in the stillness of Misty Fiords’ forested backwaters.



Day 11: Frederick Sound and Petersburg:

Join naturalists on deck to search for orcas, humpback whales and Steller sea lions. Go ashore for a walk along a quiet forest trail. Visit the fishing village of Petersburg, known as “Alaska’s Little Norway.” Enjoy a crab feast this evening.



Day 12: Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness:

Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls. See the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close.



Day 13: Juneau:

Discover Mendenhall Glacier with naturalists and observe the ever-changing, ice-carved valley up close.



Day 14: Glacier Bay National Park:

Search for Steller sea lions, puffins and mountain goats during a full day field trip in iconic Glacier Bay National Park.



Day 15: Southeast Alaska’s Islands, Bays and Fjords:

Experience the beautiful environments of these forested islands on your final full day aboard the ship.



Days 16-17: Sitka / disembark / departure

Explore the city by foot with your group leader before the journey's end. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



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
  On board ship - Seattle
At Sea
On board ship - Juneau
At Sea
11 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:
In the evening in Seattle, Washington. Embarkation is at 5:00 p.m. Please make your own way to the ship. You will be staying at National Geographic Sea Bird that night.
  End of Program:
In the morning in Sitka, Alaska. Disembarkation will begin at 8:30AM. There will be one group transfer for all participants in the morning. Please do not book flights out of Sitka before 12:00 noon. You will be staying at National Geographic Sea Bird the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
There is no parking available on this program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  On board ship - Seattle
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Sea
Travel Details
 

Seattle, Washington

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Taxi from airport to pier cost approximately $30.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Ride is approximately 25 minutes. 

   

You are responsible for meeting the ship at the designated embarkation time. Embarkation will be at the Victoria Clipper Terminal, Pier 69, on the Seattle waterfront at 5:00 p.m. (subject to change). Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions staff will be available at Pier 69 from 12:00 noon on and will store your luggage until embarkation. Please note that you will not be able to embark the ship before 5:00 p.m. We do not recommend booking flights that arrive in Seattle later than 3:00 pm .

 

Port in Sitka

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

A taxi from ship to Sitka Airport cost approximately $10.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

The transfer takes approximately 5-10 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 Sitka is scheduled prior to transfer to the airport at approximately 12:00noon. Please do not schedule your flight earlier than 1pm if you plan on taking the group transfer.

 
Driving Directions
  Directions from Downtown Seattle Head toward the waterfront. Streets that go through are Madison Street and Broad Street. If you are on Madison, turn right (or North) on Alaskan Way. Continue for 1.5 miles. The Victoria Clipper Terminal is on the water at Pier 69, between Pier 70 and the Edgewater Hotel.
  Directions from the North or South of Seattle North of Seattle, get on 1-5 South. South of Seattle or from Seatac Airport, get on 1-5 North. From I-5, take exit 167 at Mercer Street. Continue on Mercer Street which will turn into Broad Street. Stay on Broad Street until you reach the waterfront at Pier 70. Turn left onto Alaskan Way and continue for 1/2 block. The Victoria Clipper Terminal is on the water at Pier 69, between Pier 70 and the Edgewater Hotel.
Equipment Requirements: ***ESSENTIAL*** Waterproof boots with a strong non-skid sole (or traditional English Wellington calf-high rubber boots). 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 Seattle, Washington / Embark Ship
(Wednesday, May 1)

Note: ***IMPORTANT REMINDER*** Waterproof boots with a strong non-skid sole (or traditional English Wellington calf-high rubber boots) are essential for this program. Some of our landings will be wet, by Zodiac onto a beach or low jetty.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Seattle. You are responsible for meeting the ship at the designated embarkation time. Embarkation will be at the Victoria Clipper Terminal, Pier 69, on the Seattle waterfront at 5:00 p.m. A taxi to Pier 69 from the Seattle Tacoma Airport will cost approximately $30 and the ride will take upwards of 25 minutes. Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions staff will be available at Pier 69 from 12:00 noon on and will store your luggage until embarkation. Please note that you will not be able to embark the ship before 5:00 p.m. The ship will sail shortly after embarkation. Please be sure to arrive in Seattle before 3:00pm.
 Afternoon: Embark the ship in the heart of Seattle, with the Olympic Mountains, majestic Mount Rainier and the Seattle skyline as the backdrop.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Gulf Islands, British Columbia
(Thursday, May 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Search for orca whales and kayak around forested islands.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Explore the town of Nanaimo, British Colombia
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Alert Bay and Johnstone Strait, British Columbia
(Friday, May 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: We'll head to the Johnstone Straight, one of the foremost viewing areas for orca whales in the entire Northern Hemisphere. As 19 whale pods are known to spend part of the year here, there is an excellent chance of exciting whale watching opportunities.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll make a stop in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Once the ship is secured we'll make our way to the U'Mista Cultural Center, home to a stunning collection of potlatch maskis created by the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. At the center, anyone related to any member of this tribe is able to trace their ancestry. We'll then walk or ride to the Big House where the Tsasala Cultural Group performs a dance for us.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Inside Passage of British Columbia
(Saturday, May 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Continue northward looking for whales, dolphins, bears, deer and other wildlife. This is an area where vast sections of untouched coastal rain forest still exist — and where an expedition ship proves to be the perfect vessel. Without a specific plan, open to spontaneity and adventure, you'll freely rove within the near-limitless expanse of pristine wildness — to explore any intriguing bay or inlet we happen upon, or reverse course to follow a sighted whale pod. The small ship allows this freedom. Wherever the ship choose to stop and explore, you are certain to be the only human life, accompanied by spectacular birds and animals. In such a populated and busy world, these opportunities are tonic for the mind, body and soul.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the inside passage.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Inside passage of British Columbia
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Continue northward along the untouched coastline looking for whales, dolphins, bears, deer and other wildlife.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Go ashore to explore or kayak the many bays and inlets.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Misty Fjords, Alsaka
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Misty Fjords National Monument, often referred to as "Yosemite of the sea" for its sheer majesty, is 2.3 million acres of pristine wilderness that will leave you with exquisite memories of your stay in Alaska. Head out on a personal kayak reconnaissance or take a Zodiac cruise beneath glacier-carved cliffs with saw-tooth tops. Float past sheer cliffs and icy waterfalls, easily navigating in and out of areas the “big white boats” that ply Alaska’s waters can't get near.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring some of the 2.3 million acers of pristine wilderness the are Misty Fiord.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Exploring Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It is also fertile ground for the majestic bald eagle which you may see keeping watch atop a tall spruce. As for whales, it’s not uncommon here to see herds of up to 30 humpbacks or orcas. Get to observe fascinating behavior — breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding — as you fill the deck, delighting in their activities and listening to the play-by-play from your expert Naturalists, as your skilled Captain and crew keep you in perfect proximity. You may also see Steller's sea lions hauled out on the rocky islands and dozing.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Go ashore for an opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail, accompanied by your Naturalists and visit the fishing village of Petersburg, known as "Alaska's Little Norway"
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Tracy Arm - Ford's Terror Wilderness
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: See the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close and take a zodiac cruise for an unbeatable view of sculpted icebergs.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Juneau
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Vist the Alaska State Museum in Juneau for an excellent overview of Alaska's natural history and cultures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: At Mendenhall Glacier observe the ice-carved valley up close.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Glacier Bay National Park
(Friday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers, freshwater lakes and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. You’ll see glaciers that end abruptly at the water’s edge and observe them “calving” — tons of ice crashing into the sea — accompanied by an exhilaratingly thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks as well as harbor seals and Steller's sea lions are some of the creatures we may observe in these icy waters. You may have the opportunity to see not only one, but two kinds of puffins: the tufted and the horned puffin. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. If the timing is right, a bear and her cub may be playing in the water. Watch their interactions, knowing the cub will be on its own next year.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Glacier Bay. 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Southeast Alaksa's Islands, Bays and Fjords
(Saturday, May 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Today is a day with the luxury of a flexible schedule. There are many options for landings on islands such as Baranof and Chicagof, where bald eagles nest and brown bears make themselves at home. If you're a beachcomber, the shoreline is rich with treasures. The forest trails are dense and beautiful, whether you choose the long walk option or a short stroll, accompanied by one of our Naturalists familiar with the local terrain. Hemlock and spruce abound in the old-growth forest. When kayaking, we always offer choices. If you're looking for excerise and excitement, choose a more strenuous course. If you want scenery and relaxation, you'll have the option to paddle slowly - exploring, poking into littel inlets and relishing the quiet and upclose, personal view.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Alaska's islands, bays and fjords.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Disembark - Sitka
(Sunday, May 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: 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 (subject to change). Please do not schedule your flight earlier than 1pm if you plan on taking the group transfer.
   
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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