Road Scholar : Home
Remarkable Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii

Program Number: 18780RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/1/2015 - 5/17/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Alaska/British Columbia
Price starting at: $10,390.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising; National Parks
Meals: 45; 16 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

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
   Roosevelt Hotel
  Seattle, WA 1 night
   National Geographic Sea Bird
  At Sea 14 nights
   Westmark Hotel Sitka
  Sitka, AK 1 night
 Roosevelt Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Built in 1929, the Roosevelt Hotel still continues to offer quality services to weary travelers. It can be recognized by the hotel’s signature pink neon sign, lighting the way to the hotel!
  Contact info: 1531 7th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101 USA
phone: 206-621-1200
web: www.roosevelthotel.com
  Room amenities: Some of the amenities present in each room include 37-inch HD flat screen TV, in-room wireless Internet access, clock radio, work desk, coffee maker, bathrobes and slippers, iron and ironing board, and hair dryer. Daily newspaper available at front desk.
  Facility amenities: The hotel is smoke-free and offers concierge services, business services, fitness room, as well as dry cleaning & laundry services.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel Please contact hotel directly if interested in booking pre or post nights.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 National Geographic Sea Bird
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The National Geographic Sea Bird is scaled to cater to small groups and to be in harmony with the environment, carrying a maximum of 62 passengers. It can access areas that larger boats cannot and carries a fleet of versatile expedition landing craft and sea kayaks for up-close shoreline exploration.
  Contact info: Lindblad Expeditions
96 Morton St
New York, NY 10014 USA
phone: 888-773-9007
web: www.expeditions.com
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning: The ship is air conditioned throughout. Each cabin has its own thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature level in your cabin. Cabin Amenities: Shampoo, shower gel and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit with SPF 15 lip balm and hair dryers. Cabin Keys: Lindblad does not issue keys to the cabins on this vessel as they have always operated with a no-key policy on this ship. Cabin doors may be locked from the inside, however. Electrical Current: Each cabin is equipped with 110 volt (standard American-style) outlets. Electric razors, hair dryers and other small appliances may be used in cabin outlets. Please note that the electrical current is sometimes uneven, so we suggest you use a surge protector if you have one for your computer or other sensitive equipment. Smoking: Smoking is allowed only in designated outdoor areas. Smoking is not permitted in guest cabins.
  Facility amenities: National Geographic Sea Bird features an open bow and sundeck for gathering to watch for wildlife Bar: A variety of beverages are available for purchase including wine by the glass or bottle, cocktails, specialty drinks, and spirits. There is also a 24-hour self-service beverage station with coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, ice, and snacks. Bridge: The is operated with an "open bridge" policy and you are welcome on the bridge at the discretion of the watch officer. Please note that there may be times when the bridge is restricted to shipboard personnel only. Fitness area: A variety of exercise equipment is located in the open air of the sundeck. Several pieces of cardio equipment are available. LEXspa: Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available. You will have the opportunity to sign up for treatments once on board. Library: Includes a wide range of history and natural history books on the area as well as games, novels and puzzles. Lounge: Forward on the main deck where the bar, internet kiosk and library are located. Sundeck: Morning stretch classes are held in the open air of the sundeck, located aft on the bridge deck. After stretch class the deck is set with tables and chairs, and lounge chairs.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Shower only (no bathtubs)

 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
web: www.westmarkhotels.com/sitka.php
  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 after: Contact the hotel directly Please make arrangements for additional nights directly with the hotel.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
SEATTLE, WA: Hotel check in at 4:00 PM. Program registration begins at 5:00 PM. Dinner begins at 6:00 PM, followed by program orientation. You will be staying at Roosevelt Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
SITKA, AK: 9:00 AM following breakfast. Hotel checkout by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Westmark Hotel Sitka the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. PLEASE NOTE: Anyone with a criminal record (including a Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants/Alcohol conviction) may be excluded from entering Canada. A waiver of exclusion may be issued but several weeks are required and a processing fee must be paid. Contact the Canadian Embassy or a Canadian Consulate in the U.S. for more information (http://canada.usembassy.gov/traveling_to_canada/entering-canada.html).
  Parking availability:
Parking may be available at the start or end locations but most participants will fly to the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Seattle, WA
  Nearest city or town:  Seattle, Washington
  Nearest highway: I-5
  Nearest airport:  Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Sitka, AK
  Nearest highway: Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. No land connection.
  Nearest airport:  Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT)
Travel Details
 

Shuttle Express to Downtown Seattle Hotels

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Share Ride Service
phone: 425-981-7000
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33 per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 mins depending on traffic 

 

Sitka, AK

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Westmark Sitka Hotel
phone: 907-747-6241
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

1.5 Miles

   

You can place your reservation for the shuttle at the hotel the night prior to your departure. They have pre-scheduled shuttle departures based on the airport's Alaska Airline flight schedules.

 

Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Included for those who booked air through Road Scholar Travel Services
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes (could vary due to traffic) 

   

If you have booked your travel through Road Scholar Travel Services, transfers will be provided from the Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) airport to the hotel in Seattle on the day the program begins. You will receive transfer information approximately 3 weeks prior to departure. Those that booked their flights independently may be able to join the group shuttle, depending on time and availability. Be sure to include your flight details so that we can determine if the group transfer is an option.

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 expedition landing craft 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: Arrival and Check-in / Registration and Orientation / Welcome Dinner
(Friday, May 1)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 4:00 p.m.

Program Registration: After 5:00 p.m. come over to the Road Scholar desk outside of our meeting space. Location can be found on the hotel reader board. Our staff will greet you and provide you with your up-to-date program schedule and other important information and will confirm the time and place for dinner.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of a change, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: In our private meeting space join your fellow Road Scholar travellers for dinner to include a salad, entrée, vegetable, starch, and dessert. Non-alcoholic beverage will be provided.
 Evening: Orientation: Following dinner Road Scholar staff will introduce everyone and review the program schedule, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
   
Accommodations: Roosevelt Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Walking Exploration of Pike Place Market / Free Time / Embarkation
(Saturday, May 2)

Note: Walk to Pike Place Market will be approximately 1/2 mile. We will be walking and standing in the market for approximately one hour.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Meet in the hotel lobby for our excursion to Seattle's Pike Place Market. Seattle's nine acre market is one of the country’s oldest farmers markets. Taste what’s in season at a farm stand, see the fish mongers at work, peruse the creative goods in the crafts market, and find treasures in the small shops. After our guided walk, take time to wander.
 Lunch: On your own near the market. Road Scholar staff will provide you with a list of suggestions.
 Afternoon: Road Scholar staff will arrange a time to meet and return to the hotel for our transfer to the ship for embarkation at 5:00 p.m. You'll have time to find your cabin, un pack and settle in.
 Dinner: Food served aboard is fresh, local and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who practice sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, and some meals are served on the sundeck - weather permitting.
 Evening: The ship's staff will provide a safety drill as well as discuss tomorrow's schedule and provide some background information on the areas you will be seeing.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Gulf Islands, British Columbia
(Sunday, May 3)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: As we sail through the Salish Sea, which includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, and Puget Sound, keep an eye out for Orca Whales. These whales, also known as Killer Whales, populate the waters of the Salish Sea and show predominately in the artifacts of the indigenous people. The waterways of the Salish Sea were important trade routes for the indigenous tribes of the Coast Salish and they remain a source of food and other resources for these peoples even today.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our travels around the forested islands in this waterway. Inhale the fresh air as we watch for seabirds and slumbering colonies of sea lions. The expedition staff will help with sitings and discuss points of interest. Their expertise in marine and terrestrial biology, botany, geology, and more will help you understand the relationships between the land, water and early people of this area. The staff photographer can provide tips on taking photos of the islands we are viewing.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Sit back and relax as we prepare for the active day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Alert Bay and Johnstone Strait, British Columbia
(Monday, May 4)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: We'll head to the Johnstone Strait, 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 for exciting whale watching opportunities.
 Lunch: Aboard 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 masks 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 T'sasala Cultural Group performs a dance for us.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Recap the days adventures and attend a presentation by ship staff.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Inside Passage of British Columbia
(Tuesday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Continue northward looking for whales, dolphins, bears, deer and other wildlife. This is an area where vast sections of untouched coastal rainforest 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 chooses 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: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the inside passage.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Relax on the deck of the ship or in the lounge following a recap of today's activities.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Inside passage of British Columbia
(Wednesday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Continue northward along the untouched coastline looking for whales, dolphins, bears, deer and other wildlife. Our onboard staff will provide presentations and discussions along the way.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: As weather permits we will go ashore to explore, or kayak the many bays and inlets.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: The evening may include a presentation by one of the ships many experts in topics such as natural history, geology, or photography. Road Scholar staff will be on hand to discuss life in Alaska.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Haida Gwaii
(Thursday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: With a shared respect for the natural world, explore the islands of Haida Gwaii. Two Haida interpreters will join us as we visit the Haida Heritage Center at Kay Llnagaay to learn about the incredible history of the Haida people and the meaning behind their totems and artwork.
 Lunch: Join in a traditional Haida feast.
 Afternoon: Attend a traditional Haida dance performance and meet community members and Haida artists.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Following our recap of the day's adventures, relax and enjoy the amenities of the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Haida Gwaii
(Friday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Explore the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Learn about the Parks Canada program responsible for marine areas management for sustainability, protecting the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the conservation area. Gwaii Haanas protects an archipelago of 138 islands, the largest being Moresby Island and the southernmost being Kunghit Island.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: We continue our exploration of this archipelago.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: The ship or Road Scholar staff will give a presentation this evening on the Haida Gwaii area.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Haida Gwaii
(Saturday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Kayak or take expedition landing craft around the incredibly biodiverse islands where black bears are the largest in the world and endemic species thrive.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: We'll visit ancient totems at Ninstints, the English name for SG'ang Gwaay Llnagaay ("Red Cod Island Village"), a village site of the Haida people and part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Misty Fjords, Alaska
(Sunday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Misty Fjords National Monument, often referred to as "Yosemite of the North" 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 expedition landing craft to cruise beneath glacier-carved cliffs with saw-toothed 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: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring some of the 2.3 million acres of pristine wilderness that are within the Misty Fjord National Monument.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: After the evenings recap, onboard staff will provide a presentation, story of the local peoples or discussion about life in Alaska.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Frederick Sound and Petersburg
(Monday, May 11)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Today is a day with the luxury of a flexible schedule. There are options for landings to walk along a quiet forest trail or to join the naturalist on deck to search for orcas, humpback whales and Steller sea lions. 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 a variety of choices. If you're looking for exercise and excitement, choose a more strenuous course. If you want scenery and relaxation, you'll have the option to paddle slowly; exploring, poking into little inlets and relishing the quiet and upclose, personal view.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Visit the fishing village of Petersburg, known as "Alaska's Little Norway" founded over 100 years ago by Norwegian fishermen.
 Dinner: Enjoy a crab feast aboard the ship.
 Evening: Rest and relax in the ship lounge or visit with new friends.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Tracy Arm - Ford's Terror Wilderness
(Tuesday, May 12)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular fjords, with waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: See the soaring Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier up close and take an expedition landing craft to cruise for an unbeatable view of sculpted icebergs.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Juneau
(Wednesday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: At the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, learn about the fascinating life cycle of salmon, their near shore marine environment, and the inner workings of a hatchery.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Visit the Mendenhall Glacier observe the ice-carved valley up close and see the real time impact of climate change on the natural world. At the visitor's center exhibits and a new film help show how the Mendenhall glacier moves and shapes the valley ecosystem. Several trails are based from the Center grounds and offer an alternative, adventurous way to experience the glacier and surrounding areas.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Visit with the ship staff as you learn more about the areas you have visited. If you need some additional tips on those last few photos waiting to happen, ask the onboard photographer!
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Glacier Bay National Park
(Thursday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard 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: Aboard 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. Also, continue searching for brown bears and mountain goats.
 Dinner: Aboard the ship.
 Evening: Recap your days adventures and visit with the staff and your new friends.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Southeast Alaska's Islands, Bays and Fjords
(Friday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: Kayak and hike among forested islands on our final day of exploration.
 Lunch: Aboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Take those last photos and enjoy the lush scenery on our last day at sea!
 Dinner: Enjoy a celebratory dinner as we discuss the adventures we've had over the past days!
 Evening: Share stories of your favorite adventures on this discovery voyage in the Inside Passage.
   
Accommodations: National Geographic Sea Bird
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Disembark - Sitka / Walking Exploration of Sitka / Farewell Dinner
(Saturday, May 16)

Note: Guided walk approximately 1/2 mile distance.



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the ship.
 Morning: After disembarkation we will transfer our luggage to the hotel and take a guided walk in Sitka visiting the Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Cathedral. Sitka's Russian heritage and history will be discussed along the way.
 Lunch: On your own in Sitka.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore Sitka. The Road Scholar staff will provide you with suggestions.

We will gather in the afternoon and return to the hotel to check in and get settled for the remainder of the day.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure to prepare for the continuation of your journey after our program ends tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Westmark Hotel Sitka
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Farewell!
(Sunday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel in our meeting space.
 Morning: Independent departures. The hotel will provide a free shuttle to the airport for departing flights. Check out 11:00 a.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Seattle, WA Olympic Sculpture Park
One of the best free attractions in Seattle, the park is open year-round and features sculptures from artists such as Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero and Louise Bourgeois. It’s located in a former industrial site, and the grounds make use of many native plants as well as eco-friendly features such as rainwater capture and a salmon habitat. A z-shaped path cuts through vast expanses and grassy meadows, connecting with beachside trails and bicycle paths. For additional information, visit www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/OSP/default.asp
  Pike Place Market
Open year-round, this is Seattle’s most iconic attraction — and it’s filled with tasty treats. There’s so much to love about Pike Place Market. Aisles of gleaming fruits and vegetables, tables overflowing with fresh floral bouquets, and booth after booth selling all manner of locally made jewelry, clothing and gifts. It’s also a great place to enjoy many fantastic eateries serving prepared dishes. When you’re not sure what kind of food you’re in the mood to eat, just head to Pike Place Market and sample a little of everything. There’s also the whole fish- throwing thing, too. For additional information, visit http://pikeplacemarket.org
  Seattle Art Museum
Located in downtown Seattle on the corner of First and Union, SAM presents items from its collection as well as traveling exhibits. If you’re exploring the permanent collection, you’ll want to see the Native & Meso-American collection with works by the area’s original inhabitants. Other highlights include contemporary works by Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol; European masterpieces of portraiture and sculpture; and Asian pieces dating back to the second century. The Seattle Asian Art Museum, in Volunteer Park, features noteworthy collections of Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian art, and its Japanese art collection is among the most distinguished outside of Japan. For additional information, visit www.seattleartmuseum.org
  Seattle Center
Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the 74-acre Seattle Center is a park, arts, and entertainment center in Seattle. Its landmark feature is the 605-foot tall Space Needle, which when it was completed was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The Seattle Center includes four museums, 11 theaters, five gardens, six fountains, more than a dozen restaurants, a skate park and an events arena. In short, this is Seattle’s entertainment hub. For additional information, visit www.seattlecenter.com
  Seattle Waterfront
A unique area located on Alaskan Way in downtown Seattle, the Waterfront is an active area pretty much year-round. With dozens of paths, piers and public spaces, it’s always a great place to relax and enjoy a little people watching as you absorb the local scene. The Seattle Aquarium is at Pier 59, and Piers 55 and 56 offer embarkation points for cruises to Tillicum Village on Blake Island, where visitors can experience Native American culture. The popular Water Taxi to West Seattle leaves from Pier 50, Washington State Ferries from Pier 52, and Metro's route 99 connects Elliott Bay's waterfront attractions such as the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Aquarium and ferry services with the International District, Pioneer Square and First Avenue destinations including the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market. If you’re in the area and looking for shopping and dining, you’re in luck as well. For additional information, visit www.seattlewaterfront.org
  Visit Seattle
Looking for additional ideas? Visit this terrific website dedicated to Seattle. The information provided above is largely from www.visitseattle.org/Visitors/Discover/Sightseeing.aspx For additional information, visit www.visitseattle.org
  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 www.sitka.com
  Golf
9 holes in a fantastic setting. Rentals available. For additional information, visit seamountaingolf.com
  Hiking
There are hiking trails easily accessed from downtown Sitka. Maps are available.
  Kayaking
Local rentals of sea kayaks and gear. They provide basic safety lessons and guides if needed. For additional information, visit www.ssoceanadventures.com
  Museums
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 www.museums.state.ak.us; www.sitkahistory.org
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


Alaska Mammals


Author: Alaska Geographic


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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