Road Scholar : Home
Alaska's Inside Passage Up Close

Program Number: 11479RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/5/2015 - 6/13/2015; 5/26/2016 - 6/3/2016; 6/2/2016 - 6/10/2016; 7/15/2016 - 7/23/2016; 7/22/2016 - 7/30/2016; 8/11/2016 - 8/19/2016; 9/2/2016 - 9/10/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Alaska
Price starting at: $5,599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship
Meals: 23; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    

Famed for deep glacial fjords, spectacular mountains and lush temperate rainforest, Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay National Park offer natural and scenic gifts rivaled only by the rich histories of the indigenous nations who have lived here for millennia. Experience magnificent sights and sounds as our guides create opportunities to view each glacier in a unique way. Enjoy native Tlingit dances in a replica clanhouse, explore secluded bays via sea kayak or guided watercraft and touch Alaskan sea life, all in the company of experts who narrate your experience with in-depth analysis of this yet untamed land.

Activity Particulars

Optional walking up to a mile at a time on maintained trails, some uneven or wet terrain on shorelines.

Order of ports may vary depending on program date. Please note that some departures operate on the Admiralty Dream. The August 4th spends the first night of the program on board in Sitka and ends in Juneau.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Sitka, Alaska, 1 night; aboard Admiralty or Baranof Dream, 7 nights.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Days 1-2:
Arrival Sitka, Alaska / embark Admiralty or Baranof Dream:

Discover Alaskan history at the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Cathedral. Enter the Sheet’ka Kwan Clan House for a colorful performance by the renowned NaKaHidi dancers. Board a catamaran for a "Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest" in beautiful Sitka Sound, home to abundant wildlife. Lodging first night: Centrally located hotel.

Day 3:
Windham Bay or Hobart Bay:

Visit one of these spectacular bays home to our wilderness adventure base camp where we'll enjoy sea kayaking, guided watercraft exploration and wildlife viewing.

Day 4:
Tracy Arm:

Explore the length of this glacier-carved, jade-green fjord, tracing the sheer granite face of cliffs that rise 4,000-feet above the sea, punctuated by a multitude of waterfalls and populated by harbor seals.

Day 5:

Go back in time to the Klondike Gold Rush as you ride the White Pass and Yukon Route, a narrow gauge railway completed in 1901 to carry miners over the mountains to the gold fields.

Day 6:
Auke Bay / Juneau / Orca Point Lodge:

Experience the massive ice field of the Mendenhall Glacier, then explore Alaska's thriving capital followed by a warm greeting by the Orca Point Lodge crew. Beachcombing, fresh Alaskan salmon and king crab will be tonight's entree followed by an evening campfire.

Day 7:
Glacier Bay National Park:

A National Park Service Ranger and a Tlingit Cultural Guide will board the ship at Glacier Bay to present onboard commentary on the park’s stunning scenery, including tidewater glaciers.

Day 8: Eastern Baranof Island:

Cruise the scenic region of Eastern Baranof Island (Red Bluff Bay or Kelp Bay) with opportunities to view humpback whales, brown bears and smell the fresh air of Southeast Alaska!

Day 9:
Sitka / disembark / departure

Baranof Dream

The 144-foot Baranof Dream features a shallow draft for navigating intimate coves and passages, a spacious bow for viewing fjords and glaciers, a covered outside deck and a relaxed cruising speed for optimum viewing of wilderness and wildlife. Cabins offer large viewing windows. The Lounge and Dining Room offer intimate venues to get to know your fellow travelers.

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

Lee Vale spent the first 11 years of his life living on his family’s 43-foot wood fishing trawler, The Idle Hour. His commercial fishing family then settled in Yakutat, Alaska (pop. 691), which he still calls home. Lee’s love for southeast Alaska is reflected in the positions he has held as a Glacier Bay National Park & Wrangell St-Elias National Park and Preserve cultural interpreter and shore-side ranger. He joins us this season eager to be back on the water and share his stories about life in Southeast Alaska.
Meals and Lodgings
   Westmark Hotel Sitka
  Sitka, AK 1 night
   Baranof Dream
  Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage 7 nights
 Westmark Hotel Sitka
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Convenient downtown location within walking distance of historical and cultural sites and shopping.
  Contact info: 330 Seward St
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-747-6241
  Room amenities: Flat screen TVs with cable, free high speed Internet access, in-room coffee makers, hairdryer and iron / ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Room service, fitness center, on-site restaurant and lounge, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet throughout hotel, guest computer available, coin-operated guest laundry and free airport shuttle (for scheduled flight times only).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact the hotel directly Please make arrangements for additional nights directly with the hotel.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Baranof Dream
Type: Cruise Ship
  Ship Information: The 144-foot Baranof Dream features a shallow draft for navigating intimate coves and passages, a spacious bow for viewing fjords and glaciers, a covered outside deck and a relaxed cruising speed for optimum viewing of wilderness and wildlife. The Lounge and Dining Room offer intimate venues to get to know your fellow travelers. Ship specifications: •Passengers: 49 •Length: 144 feet •Staterooms: 25 •Cruising speed: 9 knots Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessel including all staterooms. Smoking is permitted on selected outside decks.
  Contact info: N/A
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 907-723-3280
  Room amenities: Every cabin has shampoo, body wash and a hair dryer.
  Smoking allowed: No

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
You should try to arrive in Sitka, AK, by 7:00 PM for dinner. If Travel Services is arranging your flights, they will make every effort to get you to Sitka by this time. Orientation begins at 8:00 PM. You will be staying at Westmark Hotel Sitka that night.
  End of Program:
Arrive in Sitka at 7:30 AM. The group will disembark following breakfast at approximately 8:30 AM. Please arrange for flights no earlier than 11:30 AM. You will be staying at Baranof Dream the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Participants are required to sign the "Waiver and Release Agreement" before participating in program activities. This form is required by Alaskan Dream Cruises. We also ask that participants complete the "Required Information For Ship Boarding and Rain Gear Form" in advance of the program. A picture ID (passport, state issued ID, or driver's license) will be required to board the vessel. A passport is NOT required for the White Pass train trip. While the train goes into Canada, you do not step off of the train onto Canadian soil. If you prefer to have your passport with you, you are welcome to bring it Please include detailed information about your travel plans on the Participant Information Form including flight number, airline carrier, date and arrival time INTO Sitka and OUT OF Sitka so that shuttle service can be arranged for you.
  Parking availability:
Sitka is not accessible by road. The only way to get a vehicle to Sitka would be to bring one aboard the Alaska Ferry. Parking would be available if a participant chooses this option, but not at the program's site location, and at a considerable cost.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sitka, AK
  Nearest highway: Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. No land connection.
  Nearest airport:  Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT)
  From End of Program
  Location:  Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
Travel Details

Sitka, AK


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Alaskan Dream Cruises
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 




1.5 miles


Alaskan Dream Cruises, the Road Scholar provider, will provide free shuttle service from the Sitka airport to the start of the program the day the program begins. An Alaskan Dream Cruises representative will meet you in the baggage claim area. Please include detailed information about your travel plans on the Participant Information Form including flight number, airline carrier, date and arrival time INTO Sitka so that shuttle service can be arranged for you.


Sitka, AK


To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Alaskan Dream Cruises


Alaskan Dream Cruises, the Road Scholar cruise provider, will provide free shuttle service from the ship to the airport or a local hotel the day the program ends. Please include detailed information about your travel plans on the Participant Information Form including flight number, airline carrier, date and departure time OUT OF Sitka so that shuttle service can be arranged for you. Participants staying after the program are responsible for booking their own transfer to the airport.


Sitka, AK


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle


If you are spending extra nights before or after the program in Sitka, The Totem Square Hotel and Marina and the Westmark Sitka offer complimentary airport transfers to registered hotel guests. The shared shuttle meets all Alaska Airlines flights. Look for the shuttle at the airport. You can place your reservation for the shuttle to the airport at the hotel the night prior to your departure. They have pre-scheduled shuttle departures based on the airport's Alaska Airline flight schedules. Totem Square Hotel and Marina: Toll free: (866) 300-1353; local: (907) 747-3693. Westmark Sitka Hotel: 907-747-6241.

Driving Directions
  Continental USA Sitka isn't accessible by car. The only way to access Sitka is via air (Alaska Airlines is the only commercial carrier to service Juneau - or by ferry (Alaska Marine Highway- The Alaska Marine Highway has two sailings a week from Bellingham, Washington. Alaska Airlines has flights daily from Seattle or Anchorage.
Elevation Note: The White Pass Railway tour will briefly (less than 1/2 hour) be at about 3,000 feet. No walking.

Equipment Requirements: Rain gear is highly recommended. Alaskan Dream Cruises has rain coats, pants and boots available on board for your use during the program (without a fee). Comfortable walking shoes are necessary (they will probably get wet, so a good waterproofing is also recommended). Binoculars will also be available on board the ship but if you have a pair you are comfortable with we suggest you bring them. A windproof jacket or parka is required (this could be the same jacket used for rain gear).
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: Arrival in Sitka / Hotel Check-in / Orientation / Welcome Dinner / Program Overview
(Friday, June 5)
 Afternoon: After arrival in Sitka, transfer to hotel.

Hotel Check-in: Upon arrival.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby, register with the program staff, and pick up your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule, and other important information we will review during Orientation. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner selections from a select menu featuring fresh, organic, and locally produced foods, usually including a seafood or meat entrée.
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leaders will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will then provide an overview of the program.

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.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.
Accommodations: Westmark Hotel Sitka
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Exploring Sitka Field Trip / Tlingit NaKaHidi Dancers / Wildlife Quest / Transfer to Vessel / Social Hour Before Dinner / Previewing the Voyage
(Saturday, June 6)

Note: You will need to be packed and have luggage outside your door by 8:00 a.m. for pick-up and transfer to the ship. During Sitka field trip, walking up to 1 mile with stops. Stairs at St. Michael's Cathedral, Russian Bishop’s House, and dance performance. Transfer from dock to ship via 65-foot catamaran, and from catamaran to ship via a short ramp with railing.

 Breakfast: Our breakfast buffet at the hotel includes oatmeal, French toast, eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit, orange juice, tea, milk.
 Morning: Led by a local expert, we will explore downtown Sitka via bus with stops at key sites including the Russian Bishop’s House and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. One of Alaska's most charming communities, it has a complex history. Kiksadi Tlingit people have lived in the area for 8,000 years or more. The protected harbor and rich natural resources made it attractive to European explorers.

Serious Russian interest began in 1725 when Tsar Peter the Great sent Vitus Bering to explore the Pacific coast of North America. A Russian trading enterprise called the Russian American Company was eventually formed. After much fighting between Russian forces and the native Tlingit people, Sitka became the administrative center and remained so until the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867. The name “Alaska” is a Russified version of an Aleut word meaning “great land.” We will stand on the very site that witnessed the change-over of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867.

At the conclusion of the field trip, you will have some free time in Sitka on your own. Most points of interest are within walking distance of each other.

We then regroup and continue our experience of life in Sitka to see native Tlingit NaKaHidi dancers performing traditional dances and songs, some thousands of years old. The dance is performed in a traditional replica clan house, featuring beautiful Native Tlingit artwork. Afterward, the dancers in full regalia invite you to have your picture taken with them and chat informally.
 Lunch: We will have lunch during our field trip aboard the catamaran, typically sandwiches, salad, dessert, beverage.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we board a 65-foot catamaran for a wildlife quest through Sitka Sound to look for sea otters, bald eagles, and other creatures. We will transit two beautiful, twisty narrow passageways on our way to Peril Strait.

The boat will rendezvous with our ship near Peril Straits, 30 miles from Sitka. After boarding the vessel, we will meet the Captain and crew and have an orientation session as we get underway, then settle in.

Each evening aboard ship, there will be a social hour before dinner, an opportunity to recap the day’s activities, preview what happens tomorrow, get to know your fellow participants better and make new Road Scholar friends, and see amazing scenery. As a tasty treat, enjoy complimentary hors d‘oeuvres as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; other beverages available for purchase.

On some evenings, there will be a presentation for the group after dinner. It might be a narrated slide presentation, a talk, an opportunity for questions and answers, or just a good story. The ship’s public address system allows participants to hear programs in the forward lounge (where most of our onboard programming occurs) or in the comfort of staterooms.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner. In the pleasant dining room, enjoy meals prepared by professionally trained chefs using fresh, organic, and locally produced foods. Menus change daily, usually including a seafood or meat entrée.
 Evening: Tonight your Road Scholar team will give a talk on aspects of Alaska history, culture, or nature.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
(Sunday, June 7)
 Breakfast: Aboard ship.
 Morning: Birders and wildlife watchers will want to be up and out on decks as we enter Glacier Bay early this morning. We will be joined by a National Park Service (NPS) Ranger who will lead our programming today. The NPS citation reads, “Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site — one of the world’s largest international protected areas.” The entrance to Glacier Bay teems with wildlife, particularly sea birds. This is also an area frequented by feeding humpback whales. The Huna Tlingit people once lived here and consider it their spiritual homeland. A Native Tlingit interpretive naturalist will join the NPS Ranger to discuss their traditional ties to this stunning natural treasure.
 Lunch: Aboard ship.
 Afternoon: We continue our cruise exploration of Glacier Bay National Park, the crown jewel of Southeast Alaska and considered by many to be our Number 1 national park. Glacier Bay has the largest number of tidewater glaciers in North America, the 15,000-foot Fairweather Mountain range, stunning scenery, and wildlife including humpback whales, sea otters, puffins, mountain goats and more, often amid calving icebergs. Watch for all these wonders from the deck of the ship (binoculars provided). The Ranger and naturalist will be on deck for commentary, to point out highlights, and answer questions.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Skagway / White Pass Railway
(Monday, June 8)
 Breakfast: Aboard ship.
 Morning: Making our way up the spectacular Taya Inlet, we dock in Skagway. This famous gold rush town is also home to Klondike National Historic Park, which owns and has restored many of the buildings. We will take a narrated shuttle from the ship into town. You may return to the ship or, if you like, stay in town where you can either explore on your own or join our Road Scholar group leader for a guided walk. You may return to the ship for lunch or stay in town and have lunch on your own, re-joining the group at the White Pass Railway depot.
 Lunch: Aboard ship or in town on your own (at your cost).
 Afternoon: For our afternoon field trip, we will shuttle to the White Pass Railway depot, board the train, and take a narrated ride on rails up to the White Pass summit located in British Columbia, Canada, with spectacular views along the way. This narrow gauge railway route was built during the Klondike Gold Rush. Its proposed 110-mile journey through coastal mountains was considered impossible but became a reality in only 26 months of construction from 1898-1900. The railway operated as a business until 1982, then re-opened in 1988 for seasonal excursions.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.
 Evening: This evening will include some native storytelling or other Alaskan tales.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Auke Bay and Mendenhall Glacier / Juneau / Orca Point Lodge
(Tuesday, June 9)

Note: There are options today that involve extensive walking and getting on/off a tram.

 Breakfast: As we arrive in Auke Bay, 12 miles north of Juneau, enjoy breakfast in the dining room, choosing from a select menu.
 Morning: We will leave the ship and board buses for a field trip to one of Alaska’s extraordinary natural wonders, the Mendenhall Glacier. This river of ice is one of 38 large glaciers that flow from the 1,500 square mile Juneau Icefield formed about 3,000 years ago. The glacier stretches 12 miles from the ice field down to its terminus at Mendenhall Lake. The glacier and surrounding area are protected by the National Forest Service as part of Tongass National Forest, the largest in the U.S., encompassing 17 million acres.The Visitor Center offers magnificent views of the Glacier and the lake, many displays and presentations, a short movie, and hiking trails. National Forest Service interpretive rangers will provide information and answer questions.

We then explore Juneau. Originating with the Alaska Gold Rush in 1880, the miners’ tent camp grew into a small town, then kept growing as mines produced millions of dollars in gold well into the 20th Century. Tourism expanded as adventure travelers were attracted by the surrounding old-growth forests, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, salmon steams, bear habitat, and migratory whale routes.
 Lunch: Enroute to town.
 Afternoon: You have options this afternoon. There will be a transfer back to the ship after lunch for anyone who would like to return and relax. Or, you may take a walking excursion with the Group Leader that includes a ride on the Mt. Roberts Tramway with wonderful views of the surrounding area. You may also go on a self-guided walking tour and visit the tramway on your own. We will have an assigned meeting time and place for transfer back to the ship.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner. As a special treat, we have an exclusive stop at Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island to enjoy a wonderful meal of Alaskan salmon and King Crab. You can also get “up close and personal” with Alaskan sea life at the lodge's touch tank and stroll on the private beach.
 Evening: Take an evening walk on the beach at Colt Island prior to our departure.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Tracy Arm Fjord
(Wednesday, June 10)
 Breakfast: Aboard ship.
 Morning: This morning we head for what may be Alaska’s most scenic fjord, Tracy Arm, and a photographer’s paradise. A “fjord” is a narrow inlet of ocean running between cliffs or steep slopes. Tracy Arm twists and turns for more than 30 miles through some of the most dramatically scenic landscapes anywhere, dotted with thousands of icebergs from twin glaciers -- North Sawyer and South Sawyer -- at the end of the fjord. Wildlife is seasonally prolific, with whales and sea lions, seals on floating ice, bears, deer, mountain goats, wolves, and smaller animals inhabiting surrounding forests, and bald eagles and other birds flying above. As you observe from the decks, commentary along the way tells the story and points out highlights.
 Lunch: Aboard ship.
 Afternoon: We wind our way back down the arm, pausing to view some of the spectacular waterfalls that spill out of the granite cliffs along the fjord.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.
 Evening: Onboard staff will lead an orientation to procedures for tomorrow’s outdoor activities in Windham Bay.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Windham Bay
(Thursday, June 11)

Note: Activities in Windham Bay are at particpants' option. 22-foot skiffs and kayaks require the ability to climb in and out of the boats. Before each event, crew give operating instructions, paddling instructions, safety instructions. Each group that goes out has two guides to provide assistance as needed.

 Breakfast: Aboard ship.
 Morning: Arriving at Windham Bay, we will have a full day of exhilarating outdoor activities. You will have the chance to explore the Bay via 2-person sea kayaks, or via 22 foot skiffs for quiet exploration. Kayak launchers make it easy to get into kayaks that are then slid into the water slowly. Groups will be limited to 10-12 on the skiffs providing room to easily maneuver and catch sight of wildlife and take photos as well as watch for eagles or bears along the shore.
 Lunch: Aboard ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the secluded bay. A variety of marine life and birds are visible as well as an occasional black bear roaming the shoreline.
 Dinner: Social hour before dinner aboard ship.
 Evening: Your Road Scholar Group Leader will give a presentation on more fascinating aspects of Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Kelp Bay and Baranof Island Cruising
(Friday, June 12)
 Breakfast: As we sit down to breakfast this morning, the ship heads for Kelp Bay.
 Morning: Today’s destination, Kelp Bay, is virtually unknown to tourists. We will spend the morning cruising through this delightful and lovely yet rarely visited part of Alaska. Kelp Bay has several arms that can be explored. As you view the old-growth rainforest, waterfalls, and pristine beaches from the comfort of the ship, scan the skies for birds and the shores for wildlife. As we make our way back to Sitka, you will be able to see the remote east coast of Baranof Island from the ship.
 Lunch: Aboard ship.
 Afternoon: We continue cruising along Baranoff Island, scoping the shores for wildlife. Eastern Baranof is known as the waterfall coast with many cascading falls. If we’re lucky, you may see brown bear and both Humpback and Orca whales.
 Dinner: Social hour before our farewell dinner aboard ship. This is occasion for sharing your fondest memories with new Road Scholar friends.
 Evening: At leisure. As we head back to Sitka overnight, prepare for departure in the morning and get a good night’s sleep.
Accommodations: Baranof Dream
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: ArriveSitka / Disembark / Program Concludes
(Saturday, June 13)

Note: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Sitka at approximately 7:30 a.m. Disembarkation from the ship will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m.

 Breakfast: Aboard ship. This concludes our program.
 Morning: Disembarkation from the ship will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. We advise making onward travel arrangements that depart no earlier than 11:30 a.m. The cruise line will provide free shuttle service from the ship to the airport or a hotel if you are staying on. You may speak to a cruise line representative about holding your luggage until departure and about a transfer to the airport or a hotel if you are staying on.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Sitka, AK Charter fishing
World class salmon and halibut fishing on a chartered boat with all gear provided. Non-resident fishing license may be purchased from captain. A list of charter operators can be found online. For additional information, visit
9 holes in a fantastic setting. Rentals available. For additional information, visit
There are hiking trails easily accessed from downtown Sitka. Maps are available.
Local rentals of sea kayaks and gear. They provide basic safety lessons and guides if needed. For additional information, visit
Three museums are located in Sitka: Sitka National Historic Park (concentrating on the local Tlingit culture); Sitka Historical Museum (concentrating on Sitka after purchase) and Sheldon Jackson State Museum (concentrating on the native cultures of all Alaska). For additional information, visit;
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


Author: James Michner

Alaska Trees and Shrubs

Author: Leslie Viereck and Elbert Little

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

Author: Harry Ritter

Description: This is a small, easily readable "digest" of Alaska's history. It is great for a quick overview and it is a good size for tucking into a suitcase or reading on a plane.

An Alaska Anthology: Interpreting the Past

Author: Edited by Stephen w. Haycox and Mary Childers Mangusso

Description: This anthology is a compilation of essays by noted Alaska historians, geographers and naturalists and is easy to browse and read in small segments. The essays cover Alaskan history from the days of Russian-American Company domination to the threat of nuclear testing by the Atomic Energy Commission and provide an understanding of the events, themes and those involved in the development of the state.

Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska

Author: Kate Wynne

Description: This book covers all 29 marine mammal species of Alaska. Each whale, porpoise, dolphin, seal, sea lion, walrus, sea otter, and polar bear is described and illustrated. Color photos and surface profile drawings show all Alaska marine mammals and compare similar species, and color range maps show distribution.

Guide to the Birds of Alaska

Author: Robert Armstrong

Description: This comprehensive guide provides the most current knowledge about the birds in Alaska.

Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast

Author: Hilary Stewart

Nature of Southeast Alaska: A Guide to Plants, Animals, and Habitats

Author: Robert Armstrong

Roadside Geology of Alaska

Author: Cathy Connor

Description: Alaska is a mosaic patchwork, a collage of continental scraps swept in from the Pacific and added, one after the other, onto the far northwest corner of the continent. Here are the rocky foundations of Alaska, every bit as exotic as the landscape they support, just as varied and vital as the people who live in that landscape. Due to the rugged terrain and limited road access, this is not just a "roadside" book--it describes the geology of southeast Alaska as one might see it from the observation lounge of one of Alaska's comfortable ferries traveling the marine highway.

The Island Within

Author: Richard Nelson

Description: Richard Nelson a Sitka resident is recognized as one of the nation's best known nature writers. This is his account of his exploration of an unnamed Alaskan island which causes one to think about our own relationship with nature, and the importance of observing and participating in nature with reverence and a sense of wonder.

The Klondike Fever: The Life and Death of the Last Great Gold Rush

Author: Pierre Berton

Description: In 1897 a grimy steamer docked in Seattle and set into epic motion the incredible succession of events that Pierre Berton's exhilarating The Klondike Fever chronicles in all its splendid and astonishing folly. For the steamer Portland bore two tons of pure Klondike gold. And immediately, the stampede north to Alaska began.

The Sea Runners

Author: Ivan Doig

Description: In this timeless survival story, four indentured servants escape their Russian Alaska work camp in a stolen canoe, only to face a harrowing journey down the Pacific Northwest coast. Battling unrelenting high seas and fierce weather from New Archangel, Alaska, to Astoria, Oregon, the men struggle to avoid hostile Tlingit Indians, to fend off starvation and exhaustion, and to endure their own doubt and distrust. Although fictional it is based on an actual incident in 1853.

Tlingit Tales: Potlatch and Totem Pole

Author: Lorie K. Harris

Description: Legends of the Tlingit people.

Travels in Alaska

Author: John Muir

Description: Take a trip to last century's Alaska through Muir's clean, easy-going, enthusiastic prose. He wrote the way he took pictures, with insight, attention, care and genuine feeling.

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