1017
Alaska/Washington
The Best of Alaska’s Inside Passage
Discover magnificent glaciers, unique wildlife, coastal villages and the story of the local Tlingit people as you sail north through Alaska’s awe-inspiring Inside Passage.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 1017RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,949
Special Offer
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8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive, Check-In, Board Ferry, Orientation
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Activity note: Ferry cabins require climbing up a ladder to a bunk bed.

Afternoon: Board the ferry, locate your room and orient yourself to the vessel. The Alaska Marine Highway ferry is public transportation; therefore the cabins are small and basic in nature with limited storage space.

Dinner: Meals are taken in the ferry cafeteria. There isn't dedicated eating space for our group. Instead we will take our meals with the general ridership. Food is ample and good and there are several choices, often including seafood. Each person will receive a punch card with a set amount for the duration of the program (this will be explained by the group leaders during orientation). You may want to bring your own tea bags or coffee as hot water is available.

Evening: Introductions and program orientation.

DAY
2
British Columbia, Inside Passage
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: An overview of the State of Alaska and an introduction to Alaska terminology will start off our morning. This will help orient you to Alaska's Inside Passage and the areas we will visit. This day is spent enjoying the scenery of British Columbia, and we will not be making a port of call. Watching for orca and humpback whales, as well as bald eagles, will be high on the agenda for today. Several educational programs will be offered for you to attend, but programs stop for wildlife sightings. Two open water crossings, Queen Charlotte Sound and Milbanke Sound, are negotiated today.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria

Afternoon: Pre-port lecture for the city of Ketchikan.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: Free time--the observation lounge is a great place to spend an evening watching the lights as the ferry sails along. If you want to read a book the best location is the cafeteria area as the observation lounge lights turn off at night so as not to obstruct the navigation of the ferry.

DAY
3
Ketchikan, Wrangell
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Activity note: Outdoor walks of up to 1/2 mile in each town.

Breakfast: In ferry cafeteria

Morning: During the night we crossed into Alaskan waters and have arrived at our first port of call, Ketchikan. We will take an excursion to Potlatch Totem Park and learn about the history and lifestyle of the Tlingit Natives of Southeast Alaska.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria

Afternoon: Back aboard, we make our way through the Alaskan portion of the Inside Passage toward Wrangell. The port talk will cover interesting items of Wrangell's history, including the John Muir connection. If time allows, we will take a brief walking tour in Wrangell, a logging community.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
Mendenhall Glacier, Haines, Skagway
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Activity note: Walk from bus to glacier viewing area 1/4 mile. Walking into Skagway from ferry 1 mile roundtrip. Walking tour of Skagway 1 mile.

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: The capital city of Juneau will be our first stop this morning. We'll make an early visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. View the blue ice and the peaceful lake at morning's early light. Back onboard, the ferry will then head to Haines, arriving early in the afternoon. In Haines we'll have the opportunity to explore and learn about the community. Afterwards we'll continue on our way to Skagway.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria--if departure for a port visit is scheduled close to the start of lunch, it is possible to get a sandwich to take with you from the cafeteria.

Afternoon: We continue northward up the Lynn Canal, one of the most stunning fjords in the world. Instructors offer educational programming along the way on our journey to Skagway.This is the route of the goldminers seeking gold in the Yukon. There will be a stop in Skagway where we will disembark and walk the gold-mining era town.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: Back aboard the ferry, we'll return to Haines where you'll have another opportunity to disembark and explore the city.

DAY
5
Excursion in Sitka
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Activity note: Walking of up to 1/2 mi in town. Standing for 1/2 hour for Bishop's House tour

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: We will stop again in Juneau during the night and the ferry will then head to Sitka, arriving midday.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria

Afternoon: The Russian Colonial town of Sitka is characterized by the onion-domed spires of St Michael's Orthodox Cathedral in the center of town. We will have a guided tour of the Russian Bishop's House. It is one of four original Russian Colonial era buildings in North America, and the best preserved. There may be some time for you to look around Sitka on your own before returning to the ferry.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Wrangell Narrows, Ketchikan
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Activity note: Outdoor walk of up to 2 miles in Ketchikan.

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: Spend the morning cruising through the Wrangell Narrows, another passage where we are very close to the shore and where the ship makes numerous course corrections that are interesting to watch.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria

Afternoon: We return to Ketchikan and have another chance to learn about this community, including some free time to explore downtown. After we depart Ketchikan we'll continue with our educational programs onboard.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: At leisure

DAY
7
Classes and viewing scenery and wildlife
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B,L,D
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: We crossed into Canadian waters during the night. There are no stops scheduled for today. We will be on the lookout for wildlife and the red-roofed Canadian lighthouses.

Lunch: In the ferry cafeteria

Afternoon: Instructors continue with educational presentations along the way.

Dinner: In the ferry cafeteria

Evening: After dinner participants join together one last time for some departure information, closing thoughts and farewells to your fellow Road Scholars.

DAY
8
Program Concludes in Bellingham
Inside Passage, Alaska and Washington
B

Breakfast: In the ferry cafeteria

Morning: Upon disembarkation, our program will conclude. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar learning adventure. We look forward to having you join us on future Road Scholar programs. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network to share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes and safe travels.






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