Please bring luggage from rooms to hotel lobby (assistance as needed). During Juneau field trip, walking up to 1 mile with stops on paved trails and sidewalks stops. Stairs at Mendenhall Glacier. Van or small bus will be available for those not wishing to walk to the sites visited in Juneau.
Our breakfast buffet at the hotel includes oatmeal, French toast, eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit, orange juice, tea, milk.
After bringing our luggage down and checking out of the hotel, we’ll reassemble and board a motorcoach 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 ice field 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 be available to provide information and answer questions as we explore independently. We’ll then explore Juneau via motorcoach as our driver provides commentary on our surroundings and the local history. Originating with the Alaska Gold Rush in 1880, the miners’ tent camp grew into a small town and 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 streams, bear habitat, and migratory whale routes. En route, we will pass the Capitol Building and the governor’s mansion, among other city highlights.
In our private meeting room at the hotel, we’ll choose from a selection of pre-made sandwiches along with dessert items, fresh fruit and sodas, water, coffee and tea.
Following lunch we will make our way to the Alaska State museum for a self-directed exploration of the museum which is the repository for the states history, highlighting he distinct native cultures of Alaska. Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to take a walking excursion with the Group Leader or explore on your own visiting other interesting sites in Juneau including the Walter Soboleff Center, Mt. Roberts Tramway, Capitol building, or city museum. We will then board our vessel for our embarkation from Juneau. After boarding, we will meet the Captain and crew and have an orientation session outlining safety procedures as we get underway.
As a special treat for our first night aboard the ship,we will have an opportunity for an exclusive stop at Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island to enjoy a wonderful buffet meal of Alaskan salmon and all-you-can-eat King Crab. A glass of wine, soft drinks, coffee, tea and water are included; other beverages available for purchase
A member of the staff will provide an overview of tomorrow’s activities as well as discuss the local history and culture. 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.