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Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness by Small Ship

Program Number: 20183RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/16/2015 - 5/24/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Alaska
Price starting at: $6,290.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising; National Parks
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat    

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 Lion

Lindblad Expeditions nimble, 62-passenger expedition vessel is equipped with kayaks and Zodiacs to let you explore distant shorelines and have up-close views of glaciers and wildlife, as well as underwater cameras and hydrophones to discover the world beneath us. All cabins are on the outside of the ship and feature large viewing windows.


Meals and Lodgings
   Totem Square Inn
  Sitka, Alaska 1 night
   National Geographic Sea Lion
  At Sea 7 nights
 Totem Square Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Totem Square Inn is located on the historic Sitka waterfront, where schooners docked two centuries ago. As the only Native-owned Sitka, Alaska hotel, Shee Atika Totem Square Inn blends timeless traditions with modern amenities. It is located in Sitka's historic district, a short walk to all the attractions.
  Contact info: 201 Katlian St
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 866-300-1353
web: www.totemsquareinn.com
  Room amenities: The Inn has 68 comfortable rooms. Every room has high speed Internet access, cable TV, a radio alarm clock, writing table, coffee maker, hair dryer, and voice mail. All guestrooms are non smoking.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary airport shuttle; wireless Internet access (WiFi); Business Center with two workstations, printer, copier and fax services; exercise facility; guest laundry on first floor (laundry soap and fabric softener are available for purchase at the gift shop in the lobby); snack center with a microwave, single use dishes and utensils provided free of charge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rate Summer is a busy time of the year so reservations need to be made far in advance if you plan to arrive early or stay after the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 National Geographic Sea Lion
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.
  Ship Information: Accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins.
  Contact info: Lindblad Expeditions
96 Morton Street
Seattle, WA 00000 USA
phone: 800-762-0003
web: www.expeditions.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: All face outside with windows, private facilities, and climate controls.
  Facility amenities: Library; Lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slide shows and presentations; Observation Deck; partially covered Sun Deck with chairs and tables, and LEXspa. Our "Open Bridge" policy provides guests and opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation. Meals: 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 late afternoon on Day 1 at the program hotel. You will be staying at Totem Square Inn that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on board the ship. You will be staying at National Geographic Sea Lion 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:  Sitka, Alaska
  Nearest city or town:  Sitka
  Nearest airport:  Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT)
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Sea
Travel Details
 

Sitka, Alaska

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Totem Square Inn Airport Shuttle

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary (from hotel)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

   

The Totem Square Hotel in Sitka offers a complimentary hotel shuttle. Please look for the shuttle at the airport and make your own way to the hotel (located approximately 2 miles - 5 minutes- from the airport)

 

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.

 
Driving Directions
  Sitka International Airport 1. Head southeast on Airport Rd toward Charcoal Dr 0.6 mi 2. Continue onto Harbor Dr 0.8 mi 3. Turn left onto Harbor Rd 0.2 mi 4. Turn right onto Lincoln St 213 ft 5. Take the 1st left onto Katltan St 423 ft 6. Continue onto Katlian St Destination will be on the left
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. Waterproof pants and a waterproof jacket are also strongly recommended. Please see the packing list for a complete list of recommended equipment.
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
(Saturday, May 16)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Sitka, Alaska. Using the hotel's complimentary shuttle, please make your own way to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar desk to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet with your name tag, the up-to-date schedule and other important information we will review during orientation following dinner. If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the front desk.
 Dinner: In the Road Scholar meeting space, enjoy dinner with your fellow participants. Dinner will include a salad, entree, vegetable, starch, dessert, coffee or hot tea.
 Evening: Following dinner we will introduce everyone, review the daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

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

Then, take some time to settle in, relax and get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Arrive in Sitka, Alaska / Embark Ship
(Sunday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: In the group meeting space to include fruit, cereals, yogurt, steel cut oats, toast, fruit juice, coffee or tea.
 Morning: This morning we will gather in Road Scholar's meeting space for a lecture on Russian American history. Following the presentation, we'll take a coach to meet eagles up close at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center whose mission is to provide medical treatment for injured bald eagles and other birds with the goal of returning them to nature. Discover native Tlingit history with a walk along the totem lined forest trails of the Sitka National Historic Park.
 Lunch: On your own with some time to explore Sitka. Most points of interest are within walking distance of each other.
 Afternoon: Meet your Road Scholar staff at a pre-determined location for a fieldtrip to the Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral followed by a short walk to board the National Geographic Sea Lion.
 Dinner: The chefs aboard the ship use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, including locally grown produce, sustainable catch king salmon, local halibut, and other indigenous products. By adding local flavors to the menu, they provide a greater sense of the cuisine and culture of Southeast Alaska.
 Evening: After dinner, taking advantage of longer daylight hours, there will be an opportunity to go back ashore for a walk through town.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Southeast Alaska's Islands, Bays and Fjords
(Monday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Served aboard the ship, buffet style with an array of fresh fruits and fresh juices.
 Morning: Today we let nature be our guide. Depending on weather conditions and tides the ship has the flexibility to take advantage of what comes our way. Beachcomb, hike forest trails and explore by kayak (weather permitting) in a region with perhaps the world's highest density of nesting bald eagles.
 Lunch: Lunch will include fresh vegetables, and often fish as well as vegetarian items. The ship’s staff maintain always-open stations for coffee, tea, soda, and water. Each room has a refillable water bottle with water stations on the ship to fill them as needed.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Alaska's Islands, Bays and Fjords always watching for marine and terrestial life as we go.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: We'll recap the days events and Road Scholar staff will provide an evening lecture.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Glacier Bay National Park
(Tuesday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard 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. Search for brown bears on the hillsides, as well as mountain goats scaling the rocky peaks. Harbor seals, Steller sea lions and puffins may be seen as well. A Tlingit interpreter will also be on board to give the local, cultural perspective.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: We'll spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park.

Taking photos is easy with the onboard photo instructor assisting with camera settings and the basics of composition helping you become a better, more confident photographer.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: We'll gather each evening for discussions of the days activities and to share stories of our experiences. Some evenings we will have a lecture by onboard staff discussing the history and culture of the area we are visiting.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Icy Stait / Inian Islands
(Wednesday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Hike, kayak among the Inian islands, where playful sea otters reside and Steller sea lions swim. In Icy Strait we'll search for whales in these rich waters and if weather permits listen for the sounds of whales via hydrophone as they communicate under water.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Point Adolphus and Inian Pass. If we stop for some hiking, we will always have a few varieties of hikes, from leisurely paced to medium to fast. Options will be outlined and described by the program staff before your excursions begin.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: After our evening recap, sit back and enjoy the sights of the area.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Frederick Sound / Chatham Strait
(Thursday, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: These waters are prime areas for both orca whales and humpback whales. With luck, we'll see whales breaching, tail-slapping and feeding as the onboard naturalists discuss what you are viewing. The still waters are excellent for kayaking and allow up close exploration of the spectacular bays and inlets. If weather allows we'll go ashore, hiking along quiet forest trails.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait. With a special use permit in Tongass National Park we'll have opportunities to hike and kayak in pristine wilderness on most days.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Onboard staff will offer a lecture discussing the natural history or culture of the area.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Petersburg
(Friday, May 22)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Search for humpback whales as we head towards the small, true Alaskan town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Known as Alaska's little Norway, it was founded more than 100 years ago by Norwegian fishermen. While in town explore a unique Southeast Alaska ecosystem, the 'muskeg' with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There will be opportunities to explore on your own to take an optional flightseeing trip or rent some bikes to explore the area.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue north exploring Alaska's coastline.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Dungeness crab feast this evening.
 Evening: The ship's open bridge policy provides guests with an opportunity to learn about navigation. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity when possible to see the waters from the viewpoint of the Captain!
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Tracy Arm / Ford's Terror Wilderness
(Saturday, May 23)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Voyage into Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm to see spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially-carved walls. Experience the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close via expedition landing craft providing unbeatable views of sculpted icebergs.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Alaskan coastline.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Spend the evening discussing the areas we have visited and your favorite experiences as we enjoy each others company on this final evening together.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Lion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Juneau / Disembark
(Sunday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: After breakfast, visit Mendenhall Glacier as well as an additional activity dependent on timing of arrival. This glacier set in the Mendenhall Valley is located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. After our morning activities we will 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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