Road Scholar : Home
Coastal Alaska: Glacial Waters, Breathtaking Shores

Program Number: 18669RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/22/2014 - 7/6/2014; 7/27/2014 - 8/10/2014; 8/24/2014 - 9/7/2014;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Canada/United States
Price starting at: $3,948.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 41; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Kosher; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Purchased for two cents per acre, Alaska has become an invaluable part of America, its Last Frontier. Glide past icebergs and through breathtaking fjords to explore Alaska’s coast and learn about those who’ve inhabited it, from the indigenous peoples to Russian traders to adventurers seeking Gold Rush fortunes.




Activity Particulars

Moderate walking, mainly on flat surfaces but some trails can be uneven or wet. Participants should be able to walk up to one mile per day at a rate of ¼ mile in 15 minutes.



In some ports you will have the option of enjoying lunch on your own at your expense rather than returning to the ship for lunch.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard MS Amsterdam, 14 nights.



Coordinated by Alaska-In-Depth.



Days 1-2:
Arrival Seattle (Wash.) / embark MS Amsterdam / At Sea:

Set sail from Seattle and navigate past scenic coastal islands along British Columbia’s Inside Passage.



Day 3:
Aboard MS Amsterdam. Disembark downtown Ketchikan:

Learn about the art and the significance of totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center, with its large collection of poles that are protected and preserved.



Days 4-5:
Aboard MS Amsterdam. Disembark downtown Juneau:

Explore spectacular iceberg filled Tracy Arm Fjord -- explore Juneau with a trip to the amazing Menenhall Glacier, ride a open air cart through the lush and mysterious Coastal Rainforest, and enjoy the fish ladder and outstanding salt water aquarium at the McCauley Fish Hatchery.



Day 6:
Icy Strait Point:

Anchor off shore from the small community of Hoonah. Disembark and board a small 'lighter' to travel to shore. Board a small catamaran boat for an expedition to the whale and marine mammal rich waters of Icy Strait and Point Adophus area just outside Glacier Bay National Park.



Days 7-8:
At Sea/ Anchorage:

Take part in onboard lectures and discussions as you sail along the coast and up Cook Inlet to Anchorage. At Anchorage visit the renovated and expanded Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center where there will be outdoor exhibits and demonstrations to help you understand the richness and diversity of the native peoples in Alaska.



Day 9:
Homer:

Here at “The End of the Road,” visit the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.



Day 10:
Kodiak:

Visit the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and learn about the famous Kodiak Brown Bears. Explore the Russian Heritage of Kodiak at the Baranof Museum and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.



Days 11-12:
Hubbard Glacier & Sitka:

Voyage through Yakutat Bay up near the face of the massive Hubbard Glacier. Anchor near Sitka and board a 'lighter' to transfer to town. Explore the historic core of Sitka which was the 'headquarters' for Colonial Russian America. Walk the rainforest of Sitka National Historical Park and hear how the Tlingit natives use some of the plants. Visit the Russian orthodox cathedral.



Days 13-14:
At sea / Victoria:

Step ashore on Vancouver Island and discover Butchart Gardens, a genteel collection of floral displays and fountains.



Day 15: Seattle

Early morning arrival at Seattle. Disembark and head for your next destination



ms Amsterdam

Refurbished in 2005, the ms Amsterdam pays tribute to Dutch heritage and tradition with original Art Deco pieces and its signature Planeto Astrolabium sculpture suspended from a three-story atrium.



Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Scheerens

John Scheerens is one of Alaska's premier naturalists and educational excursion leaders. Raised in the deserts of Tucson, Arizona, he moved to Alaska in 1979 to work a seasonal job in Glacier Bay National Park, where he has remained for 33 years. Today, John is the owner of Alaska In Depth, specializing in educational adventures in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. He has been featured as an Alaskan expert on ESPN, the Outdoor Channel, and “Good Morning America.”
 
Meals and Lodgings
   MS Amsterdam
  MS Amsterdam 14 nights
 MS Amsterdam
Type: Cruise Ship
  Ship Information: 780 foot long ship with a capacity of 1380 passengers. 10 passenger decks, 12 passenger elevators, 18 public rooms, two swimming pools, spa, library, casino, tennis courts, internet center
  Contact info: Holland America Line
300 Elliott Ave West
Seattle, WA 98119 USA
phone: 800-355-3016 x2062813535
web: www.hollandamerica.com
  Facility amenities: 18 public rooms, two swimming pools, spa, library, casino, tennis courts, internet center. Movie theater, Permance theater/lounge, Dining room, Cafeteria, Launderettes
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 1:00 PM
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
2:00 PM You will be staying at MS Amsterdam that night.
  End of Program:
9:00 AM You will be staying at MS Amsterdam the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Current Passport and visa if applicable.
  Parking availability:
Limited parking in the downtown area of Seattle. Most long term parking is near the airport. Parking is available at the Smith Cove cruise ship terminal
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  MS Amsterdam
  Nearest city or town:  Seattle, WA
  Nearest highway: Interstate 90 and Interstate 5
  Nearest airport:  Sea-Tac International
  From End of Program
  Location:  Your next destination
Travel Details
 

Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Holland America Shuttle
phone: 617-457-5403
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about a half-hour 

 

Distance:

 

about 24 miles

   

Holland America provides transfers from the airport to the cruise terminal. It can be paid by credit card if booked in advance or charged to your ship account, cash is not accepted. Reservations can be made up to 16 days prior to departure by calling 617-457-5403. Holland America representatives are located at South end of Luggage Claim, outside Door #00 between 8:30am and 2:00pm to direct guests to the appropriate shuttle. You can usually buy a transfer from them without a reservation.

 

Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Shuttle Express
phone: 425-981-7070
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$18.00 per person for shared van
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about a half and hour 

 

Distance:

 

about 24 miles

   

three passenger town car also available at $64.00

 

Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
.varies

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

approx $50.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about a half-hour 

 

Distance:

 

about 24 miles

   

Direct driver to go to the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal on Pier 91.

 

Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Link Light Rail

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$2.50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

~ 5am to midnight 

 

Distance:

 

varies

   

Light rail can be boarded next to parking garage at Seattle airport. Last stop downtown Seattle is at 'Westlake Center'. Other transportation between Westlake and Pier 91 is needed (taxi recommended -- about $10.00). Approx 20 mimute ride on Light Link Rail between airport and Westlake Center. There is no porterage service so baggage must be handled by you -- it is about a 500 yard walk. If you wish to use this service recommend calling the program provider Alaska-In-Depth at 907-723-3281

 
Driving Directions
  East or South Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 provide direct access to the Seattle downtown area and waterfront where the MS Amsterdam will depart from. Parking is available at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. Pier 91 is located at 2420 21st Ave West near downtown Seattle. From Interstate 5 take the Mercer Ave Exit and follow Mercer which runs into Elliot Ave West which will turn into 15th Ave. Just past the Taco Time, turn right onto W Garfield Street and follow the signs to the cruise terminal. Parking is available at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal (pier 91) from Republic Parking. Advance reservations are recommended. Contact them on line at www.portofseattle.org/Cruise/Explore-Terminals/Smith-Cove-at-Pier-91. Rates are $22.00 per day.
Elevation Note: Most of this program occurs at sea level -- no activities occur above 200 feet

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable walking shoes are required. Rain gear is 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: Board MS Amsterdam at Pier # 91
(Sunday, June 22)

Note: Recommend boarding between 1pm and 3pm.



   
 Depart From: Ship departs from Seattle at 5pm. Be on board no later than 3pm. Boarding begins at 1pm.
 Afternoon: Board MS Amsterdam at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at PIER # 91 near downtown Seattle between 1pm and 3pm. Departure from Seattle is scheduled for 5:00 pm. Lunch is served in the Lido Restaurant. Check in with Road Scholar staff -- we will staff a signed desk on deck 3 in the Atrium between 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM. Sail away is scheduled for 5:00 PM.
 Dinner: Our Road Scholar group will have dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room. We sit at adjoining tables. We are on the upper level, deck 5 Upper Promenade. We have the early seating -- 5:45 PM.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Evening activities are many and varied and run from extravagant production shows to dancing to an evening movie to sing along piano bar to live music of several genres.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Today we are at sea all day off the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. We will begin our Road Scholar programming with several presentations. There is free time to enjoy ship's activities as well.
(Monday, June 23)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: This morning we begin our Road Scholar programming in the Hudson Room on Deck 5, Upper Promenade. We'll do some introductions of participants and detail our itinerary for the next few weeks before beginning a several part program on the natural and human history of Coastal Alaska.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration of Coastal Alaska natural and human history in the Hudson Room on Deck 5, Upper Promenade. An introduction to tomorrow's activities in Ketchikan is presented.
 Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Perhaps enjoy some live music in one of the specialty bars!
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Today we visit Ketchikan, "Alaska's First City". We visit the Totem Heritage Center and Southeast Alaska Visitor Center. There will be adequate free time to explore Ketchikan on your own.
(Tuesday, June 24)

Note: Ship is in port from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sponsored field trips to the Totem Heritage Center and Southeast Alaska Visitor Center. Free time to explore Ketchikan on your own. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: We disembark the ship and visit the Totem Heritage Center for a presentation on the iconic totem, symbol of the Pacific Northwest Coastal peoples for thousands of years. Ancient totems are preserved here, and that technique is discussed as well as the significance and meaning of totems by one of the Center docents. Road Scholar participants enjoy an exclusive tour of the basement archives not generally open to the public and a Road Scholar exclusive lecture by an expert on Native culture.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Return to the vessel for lunch in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room or have lunch in town.
 Afternoon: You have tickets to visit the Southeast Alaska Visitor Center, a museum type facility administered by the National Forest Service. The outstanding displays provide significant educational content and help the visitor to understand the magnificent coastal rainforest that envelopes Coastal Alaska and British Columbia. An award winning short film is presented and there is an excellent bookstore in the center as well. You are free to explore Ketchikan on your own for the remainder of the afternoon. Visit the colorful and historic Creek Stree, ride the tram to the Cape Fox Hotel overlooking the harbor with its exquisite collection of Native Art, or check out the Tongass Historical Musuem.
 Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Today we visit Alaska's Capital City, Juneau. We enjoy a field trip to Mendenhall Glacier, Glacier Gardens, and the McAuley Fish Hatchery with its wonderful salt water aquarium.
(Wednesday, June 25)

Note: We are in port from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM tonight. Dress warmly for the field trip expedition as we are outside most of the time. There is lots of time for exploring Juneau on your own. Molderate walking is required on paved or well maintained trails. There are several optional trails to hike on your own so wear comfortable walking shoes if you will be hiking.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room
 Morning: We'll meet in the Hudson Room prior to our arrival in Juneau for a briefing and orientation on our visit to Alaska's State Capital City. Have an early lunch as we board our motorcoaches for our field trip shortly after docking (11:15 AM) and will be out for nearly 5 hours.
 Lunch: Have your lunch prior to the ship's docking in Juneau (11:00 AM) We will depart shortly after docking for our 5 hour field trip
 Afternoon: We depart shortly after docking at 11:15 AM aboard comfortable motor coaches for a short tour through downtown historic Juneau before heading out to Mendenhall Valley. We shall visit Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska's only drive up glacier. There are trails to walk, a visitor center with outstanding displays and an excellent short film and an Alaska Geographic bookstore. National Forest Service Rangers are on hand to answer questions. Scenic points provide outstanding viewing platforms as well as photographic points. We move on to Glacier Gardens. The Visitor Center sports delightful gardens to wander through and a short interpretive trail to stroll. Here also, we break up into small groups and board golf cart type vehicles for a wonderful trip through the heart of the old growth Pacific Coastal Rain Forest. Riding in open air carts give a great feel for the mystic forest and the air and aroma is fresh and wonderful. High on the mountainside, a short walk on a boardwalk brings us to a platform overlook with terrific views of the Mendenhall Valley, Gastineau Channel, Juneau, the spectacular distant Chilkat Range. We enjoy one additional stop at the McAuley Fish Hatchery. Depending on the time of the year you may experience watching wild Pacific salmon fight their way up the fish ladder to spawning areas. One of the scientists provides us with an overview of hatchery operations and fisheries management. Finally, spend time enjoying the magnificent aquarium in the hatchery building. You are returned to the dock late afternoon with plenty of time to explore downtown Juneau. Visit the oldest building in Southeast Alaska, the St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, take a free docent led tour through the State Capital Building, explore the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, or browse the many unique shops and galleries.
 Dinner: Dinner together with Road Scholar participants in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: You are free to enjoy ship's activities this evening or to explore downtown Juneau on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Tracy Arm is one of the most spectacular glacial fjords in Coastal Alaska. We spend the bulk of our day exploring this spectacular fjord.
(Thursday, June 26)

Note: Dress warmly and join your Road Scholar leaders on a selected deck area for narration and explanation of Tracy Arm.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room. You may wish to eat early this morning so you can enjoy the spectacular scenery from the deck or an inside window.
 Morning: We spend the morning exploring the stunningly scenic Tracy Arm fjord. Glittering icebergs dot the narrow, winding fjord. Hundreds of beautiful waterfalls cascade from the soaring 2,000' granite cliffs while the process of primary plant succession unfolds in front of our eyes. Dress warmly and join your Road Scholar leaders at a selected deck area -- they will narrate the unfolding scene and explain the processes of glaciation and plant succession along the way in an informal presentationl.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Afternoon: There will be a short Road Scholar meeting in the Hudson Room to continue our educational programming and to introduce tomorrow's activities at Icy Strait Point mid afternoon. in the meantime, there will be free time to enjoy ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room
 Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy ship's activities. Check to schedule to see what tonight's offering may be.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Today we visit an old refurbished cannery at Icy Strait Point in the Native Tlingit village of Hoonah. We board a high speed catamaran tour vessel for a whale watching expedition to Icy Stait at the mouth of Glacier Bay.
(Friday, June 27)

Note: Ship is at anchor off Icy Strait Point from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We utilize tenders between ship and the dock. Dress warmly so you can spend lots of time out on decks when we are on the whale grounds. There are several very nice trails in the area so wear comfortable walking shoes if you will be hiking on your own.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room
 Morning: There is no dock at Icy Strait Point so we will need to tender in. We will go as a group, meet on the dock, and then join our excrusion. This morning we board a high speed catamaran tour vessel to explore Icy Strait and watch whales. Three separate currents meet here at Point Adolphus to create extremely productive waters that are the summer feeding home to over 80 humpback whales as well as many other marine mammals including Steller Sea lions, porpoise, harbor seals, occasional Orcas, and thousands of sea birds. Dress warm so you can be out on decks as much as possible. The tour company provides binoculars to enhance your wildlife viewing experience. A local guide narrates the tour.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room. However, the tender process takes time so instead of spending the time to go back to the ship to eat, you could find something on your own at the restored cannery site at Icy Strait Point. That way you would have more time in the early afternoon to continue investigating the historic cannery area, the small shops and trails in the vicinity.
 Afternoon: You'll enjoy free time to visit the refurbished Icy Strait Point cannery, walk the interpretive trails, or visit the Native Tlingit village of Hoonah. Feeling adventuresome? Icy Strait Point features the longest, fastest ZIP line in the Pacific Northwest!
 Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Perhaps go dancing or enjoy tonight's shipboard movie!
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: We are at sea all day crossing the Gulf of Alaska enroute to Anchorage. Educational programming and free time to enjoy ship's activities.
(Saturday, June 28)

Note: We will present several educational programs today.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room
 Morning: This morning we continue with our educational programming in the Hudson Room.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Afternoon: We continue our educational programming in the Hudson Room and also preview our day tomorrow in Anchorage and the following days port calls in Homer and Kodiak. There will be some free time this afternoon to enjoy ship's activities on your own.
 Dinner: Join the group for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Free time tonight to enjoy ship's activities.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Today we visit Alaska's largest city and business and cultural center, Anchorage. Included visits to the Native Heritage Center and the excellent Anchorage/Rasmussen Museum.
(Sunday, June 29)

Note: We are in port from 7:00 AM this morning until 11:00 PM tonight. Visits to the Native Heritage Center and Museum are on your own but admission is included. There will be ample free time to explore Anchorage on your own. There is some walking required today to get around but distances depend on what you might do. All walking is on paved surfaces.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: We disembark the vessel and catch a shuttle coach to the Convention Center in the heart of downtown Anchorage. From there, on your own, you catch a shuttle to the Native Heritage Center and/or Anchorage/Rasmussen Museum. There, explore at your own pace and then catch another shuttle that operates between the two venues. The Native Heritage Center celebrates cultures of all of Alaska's indigenous Native groups with exhibitions, lectures, dance performances, and a lovely guided walk around a small lake. The Rasmussen / Anchorage Museum is outstanding with exhibits featuring Alaska history and culture, Alaska's most celebrated artists, and the magnificent Smithsonian Exhibit celebrating the Native cultures of the North Pacific Rim.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Rooom or find lunch on your own downtown or at the museum or at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
 Afternoon: Spend more time at the museum or the Heritage Center.....or explore downtown Anchorage.
 Dinner: You may return to the ship and enjoy dinner with fellow Road Scholar participants at the La Fontaine Dining Room or have dinner downtown at one of Anchorage's many excellent restaurants.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own or continue your exploration of Anchorage.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Today we visit the unique village of Homer, "The End of the Road", and hometown of writer and celebrity Tom Bodett. Visit the exceptional interpretive and research center Islands & Ocean Visitor Center.
(Monday, June 30)

Note: We are in port from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. There is free time to visit Homer on your own. Only moderate walking required today, but there is an excellent trail at the Island and Oceans Visitor Center that requires good walking shoes.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: Homer is a really interesting small town at the very end of the Kenai Peninsula -- known as "The End of the Road". It's situated on a 5 mile long, 1/2 mile wide sand bar in Kachemak Bay. We'll disembark the ship and board a shuttle bus for the famous Homer Spit. You may explore the Spit or board the Homer Trolley (you will have tickets). The trolley makes several stops to drop or pick up guests and the driver narrates Homer history and ambience along the way. One of the stops is the Island and Oceans Visitor Center, a first class interpretive and research center funded in part by compensation for the Valdez Oil Spill of 1989. Excellent exhibits can be studied and there is a lovely trail to a salt marsh where sometimes nesting sandhill cranes can be observed. You can ride the trolley all day and drop off and pick up as much as you like.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room, or have lunch in town on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Homer on your own and visit the Pratt Museum (a trolley drop off point) and other locations.
 Dinner: Join your Road Scholar friends for dinner at the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Today we visit Kodiak, one of Alaska's largest islands and the small town of the same name and the original capital of Russian America. We'll visit the Fish and Wildlife Center and have tickets to the Baranoff Museum.
(Tuesday, July 1)

Note: We are in port from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes as we will walk into town from the pier (about half a mile on a paved surface). There is a shuttle available for those who don't wish to walk. There is free time to explore Kodiak on your own.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: Disembark and walk to the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and explore on your own. The Visitor Center features exhibits detailing the Kodiak Game Refuge that is home to the Kodiak Brown Bear, the largest land mammal in North America. You may visit the Baranoff Museum (a small museum that highlights the Russian era in Kodiak) and explore the downtown area on your own. Use a walking tour map to see sights that interest you. You might enjoy a visit to the Russian Orhtodox Church, one of the first in Alaska, or stroll around the busy, working harbor home to one of Alaska's largest fishing fleets.
 Lunch: Return the the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room or enjoy lunch in town on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Kodiak on your own.
 Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants in the La Fontaine Dining Room for dinner
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Catch tonights show extravaganza in the auditorium or perhaps enjoy live classical music in the lounge!
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: We are at sea today again crossing the Gulf of Alaska. We take a spectacular side trip into Yakutat Bay to take a long look at the massive Hubbard Glacier, one of the largest and most spectacular tide water glaciers in Coastal Alaska.
(Wednesday, July 2)

Note: We continue educational programming today. Dress warmly and join your Road Scholar leaders on a selected deck area for narration and explanation while at Hubbard Glacier.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: We'll continue educational programming this morning in the Hudson Room and preview our visit to Hubbard Glacier this afternoon and our port call at Sitka tomorrow.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we visit one of Coastal Alaska's most stunning vistas, Yakutat Bay and the massive Hubbard Glacier. Thousands of icebergs glitter in the Bay as huge chunks of ice calve of the 350' high ice face. A half dozen more tidewater glaciers spill off the high coastal range mountains into the Bay. This is one of the scenic highlights of the trip. Your Road Scholar leaders gather the group on a selected deck area to narrate and explain the magnificent scene in front of us.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room with fellow Road Scholar participants.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Today we visit the historic village of Sitka, a most charming community continually occupied for over 8,000 years and for 67 years the capital of Russian America. We visit Sitka National Park and enjoy a Native dance performance by the NaKaHidi Dancers
(Thursday, July 3)

Note: We are anchored from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. We tender from ship to the dock. Dress for the weather for our excursions. There is ample free time to explore Sitka on your own. Walking is minimal today.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: We tender ashore here as in Icy Strait. On shore board a bus for a short town tour followed by a narrated walk in the rainforest at Sitka National Historical Park and have some time to puruse the Visitor Center. Our Native Tlingit tour guides discuss their 8,000 year history here in Sitka as well as their culture. We also visit the award winning Sitka Raptor Center, a private rehabiltation center for principally for injured eagles but other raptors as well. One of the trainers presents an "on the arm" eagle presentation, and there is time to observe many of the injured animals in their enclosures as well as check out the "touching" displays. You will have included tickets to visit the St Michaels Russian Cathedral, and an authentic Native Dance performance at a authentic clan house by the renowned and award winning NaKaHIdi Dancers. Following the performance, the dancers answer questions and offer picture taking opportunities!
 Lunch: You may return to the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room, but the tendering process is time consuming so you may wish to eat a one of the local restaurants in town to save time. The NaKaHidi Dance Performance is at 12:30 PM.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Sitka on your own. Sitka was the Capital and heart of Russian America and much Russian culture and history is still prevelant here. Visit the Bishop's House with its stunning Russian antiques and artifiacts, stroll up to Capital Hill where the original Russian Governor's Mansion once existed and was the sight of the official transfer ceremony when the USA took position of Alaska from Russian in 1867, or check out the Russian Cemetery and Blockhouse. Sitka is also home to the best bookstore in Alaska!
 Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Today we are at sea all day sailing southbound along the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.
(Friday, July 4)

Note: We will offer several Road Scholar presentations today and there is free time to enjoy ship's activities.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: We have educational programming this morning in the Hudson Room.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Afternoon: Join us in the Hudson Room as we wrap up our educational programming on the natural and human history of Coastal Alaska.
 Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants in the La Fontaine Dining Room for dinner. As we are in Victoria tomorrow evening, many folks will probably not return to the ship for dinner so this will be our last dinner together as a full group.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: This morning we dock at the beautiful provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria. We visit the world famous Buchart Gardens.
(Saturday, July 5)

Note: We are in port from 1:00 PM until 11:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes for our visit to Buchart Gardens. There will be ample free time to explore Victoria on your own.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or La Fontaine Dining Room.
 Morning: Join the group in the Hudson Room for a final wrap up, some final thoughts, some information on disembarkation, and an introduction to our day in Victoria. This is the last time we will meet as a group so all are asked to attend.
 Lunch: Eat lunch early as we will disembark as a group shortly after arrival for a motorcoach transfer to the world famous Buchart Gardens.
 Afternoon: We'll board a motorcoach for transfer to the Buchart Gardens, perhaps the most famous Gardens in North America. Set in an old limestone quarry, they are spectacular. You stroll the Gardens on your own until departure time. Following the visit to the Gardens, we enjoy a motorcoach narrated tour of greater Victoria. Upon our return, you have until 11:00 PM tonight to explore Victoria on your own. Visit the remarkable British Columbia Museum, stroll in Beacon Hill Park, visit the magnificent British Columbia Parliament Building, have tea at the famous Empress Hotel, or simply stroll the Promenade around the inner harbor and enjoy the arts and crafts and street performers.
 Dinner: You may return to the ship for dinner tonight or stay in town and dine on your own.
 Evening: Explore Victoria on your own or enjoy last night ship's activities.
   
Accommodations: MS Amsterdam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: We arrive back in Seattle at Pier 91 at 7:00 AM. Disembark.
(Sunday, July 6)

Note: Disembark and head to your next destination.



   
 Depart From: Disembark the vessel according to your disembarkation schedule. All passengers will be off the ship by 9:00 AM.
 Breakfast: Breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe. The La Fontaine Dining Room is not available this morning for breakfast.
   
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


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.



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.



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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