18669
Alaska/British Columbia

Coastal Alaska: Glacial Waters, Breathtaking Shores

Discover the story of Alaska as you explore the Alaska coast, take a whale-watching expedition, explore seven ports of call and learn about Native cultures at the Totem Heritage Center.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18669RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
4,999
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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16 days
15 nights
43 meals
15 B 13 L 15 D
DAY
1
Hotel check-in, Program Registration, Dinner, Orientation
Vancouver, BC
D
Residence Inn by Marriott Vancouver Downtown

Afternoon: Program Registration. From 5:00-5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet. This will contain your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes and other important information. You will also learn when and where dinner and orientation session will take place and what time you should meet in the lobby. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check-in.

Dinner: Meeting in the hotel lobby at a specified time, we'll walk to a local restaurant where we'll have dinner, including salad, entree, sides, and dessert. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The group leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures and answer questions. Unless specified otherwise, land transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, thereby necessitating going up/down a few steps when boarding/getting off. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow Road Scholars. The group leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of the many activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program.

DAY
2
Coach Tour of Vancouver, Embark MS Maasdam at Canada Place
Vancouver, BC
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Driving tour of Vancouver is approximately two and a half hours, with stops for photo opportunities and exploration.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we'll depart for a motorcoach tour of Vancouver, BC. With an onboard expert providing educational commentary, we'll explore some of Vancouver's most vibrant and diverse communities. Along the way, we'll make stops for photo opportunities and to quickly explore some of these fascinating neighborhoods. We'll end our motorcoach tour at the Canad Place Terminal, where we'll embark the MS Maasdam.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: A mandatory drill is scheduled prior to the ship departing port, usually around 3:15 pm -- attendance by all guests is required. The ship is scheduled to depart port at 5:00 pm.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Evening activities are many and varied and run from extravagant production shows, dancing, an evening movie, sing-along piano bar, to live music of several genres. All routes and excursions are subject to change – weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions may affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of excursions without prior notice. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program.

DAY
3
Cruising the Inside Passage of British Columbia and Alaska
Inside Passage
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Meet at 9:00 am in the Hudson Room (Deck 5) for a lecture. We are aboard the ship all day.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe, Dining Room, or in your stateroom.

Morning: This morning we begin our Road Scholar educational programming in the Hudson Room on Deck 5, Upper Promenade. The group leader will lead introductions of participants and detail our itinerary for the next few weeks before beginning a several part program on the natural and human history of Coastal Alaska.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. The Ocean Bar provides live dance music and a polished teak dance floor to swing your partner round and round.

DAY
4
Ketchikan, Totem Heritage Center, SE Alaska Discovery Center
Ketchikan, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. There is some walking today on paved or hard dirt trails.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe, Dining Room, or in your stateroom.

Morning: We disembark the ship and motorcoach to the Totem Heritage Center for a presentation on the iconic totem, symbol of the Pacific Northwest Coastal peoples for thousands of years. Ancient totems are preserved here, and that technique is discussed as well as the significance and meaning of totems by one of the Center docents. We continue our exploration of Alaskan history and Native culture with a visit to Potlatch Park with totems, a re-created Alaskan Native village, and carving center. Following the presentation, we return to the ship for lunch.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room aboard the ship, or enjoy lunch on your own in Ketchikan.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will once again disembark and board our motorcoach for a visit to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, a museum administered by the National Forest Service. The outstanding displays provide significant educational content and help the visitor to understand the magnificent coastal rainforest that envelopes Coastal Alaska and British Columbia. An award winning short film is presented.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship. Take in the show at the Showroom at Sea, or perhaps join the sing-along at the Piano Bar.

DAY
5
Tracy Arm
Tracy Arm Fjord, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Meet at 9:00 am in the Hudson Room (Deck 5) for a lecture. Dress warmly and spend time out on the deck for narration and exploration of Tracy Arm. We are aboard the ship all day.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe, Dining Room, or in your stateroom.

Morning: This morning we will enjoy a Road Scholar lecture in the Hudson Room at 9:00 am to continue our educational programming and to introduce tomorrow's day in Haines and the following days activities at Icy Strait Point. After the lecture, there will be free time to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room aboard the ship, or enjoy lunch on your own in Haines.

Afternoon: We spend the afternoon exploring the stunningly scenic Tracy Arm fjord. Glittering icebergs dot the narrow, winding fjord. Hundreds of beautiful waterfalls cascade from the soaring 2,000' granite cliffs, while the process of primary plant succession unfolds in front of our eyes. Dress warmly and spend time out on deck or the bow and enjoy the informal narration. The magnificent Sawyer Glacier is our objective at the very end of the twisting, turning spectacular glacial fjord.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
6
Haines, Chilkoot Lake/River, Sheldon Museum, Ft. Seward
Haines, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress for the weather. Moderate walking required today.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: We board a motorcoach and head to Chilkoot Lake and River, where we'll enjoy a naturalist walk led by a local guide, highlighting the cultural and natural history of the area. Following the tour, we'll explore the Sheldon Museum, which collects and preserves artifacts representing the rich and and fascinating history of the area. After visiting the museum, we'll head back to the ship for lunch.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room, or you may wish to have lunch on your own in town.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll disembark and tour historic Fort Seward, Alaska's first military post. Following the tour of Ft. Seward, we'll take a walking tour of downtown Haines, including the historic district, where a local guide will give us an insider's understanding of the area. We will end the tour in front of the Hammer Museum. Participants are now free to continue exploring Ketchikan on your own. You can visit the Hammer Museum, the American Bald Eagle Foundation, or just enjoy the shops downtown.

Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
7
Icy Strait Point, Whale Watch Expedition
Icy Strait, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress warmly so you can spend lots of time out on decks when we are on the whale grounds. About a half mile of walking is required and there are several very nice trails in the area so wear comfortable walking shoes.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: This morning we disembark and board a high speed catamaran to explore Icy Strait and watch whales. Three separate currents meet here at Point Adolphus to create extremely productive waters that are the summer feeding home to over 80 humpback whales, as well as many other marine mammals, including Steller sea lions, porpoise, harbor seals, the occasional Orca, and thousands of sea birds. Dress warm so you can be out on deck as much as possible. The tour company provides binoculars to enhance your wildlife viewing experience. A local guide narrates the tour.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: There will be free time this afternoon to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship. Take in the show at the Showroom at Sea, or perhaps join the sing-along at the Piano Bar.

DAY
8
At Sea, Gulf of Alaska
At Sea
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Meet at 9:00 am in the Hudson Room (Deck 5) for a lecture. We are aboard the vessel all day.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: This morning we continue with our educational programming with a lecture in the Hudson Room at 9:00 am.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: This afternoon we continue our educational programming in the Hudson Room at 2:30 pm, plus an overview of our day tomorrow in Anchorage, and the following days in Homer and Valdez. There will be some free time this afternoon to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
9
Anchorage, Anchorage Museum, Alaska Native Heritage Center
Anchorage, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: There is some walking required today to get around, but distances depend on what you might do. All walking is on paved surfaces.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: We disembark the ship and board our motorcoach to drive to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. This outstanding museum features exhibits on Alaskan history and culture, Alaska's most celebrated artists, and the magnificent Smithsonian Exhibit celebrating the Native cultures of the North Pacific Rim. There will be a guided tour, as well as opportunities for self-exploration.

Lunch: Group lunch at the Muse Café in the Anchorage Museum.

Afternoon: Following lunch at the museum, we'll head to the Alaska Native Heritage Center which celebrates and shares Alaska's rich native history and contemporary culture. There will be a guided tour and time for self-exploration.

Dinner: Join your Road Scholar friends for dinner in the Dining Room, or have dinner in one of Anchorage's excellent downtown restaurants.

Evening: Enjoy activities aboard the ship, or continue your exploration of Anchorage.

DAY
10
Homer, Kachemak Bay State Park, Gull Island
Homer, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. There is free time to visit the Homer Spit on your own. About a half mile walk to the marina required today, so wear comfortable walking shoes.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: Homer is a really interesting small town at the very end of the Kenai Peninsula - known as "The End of the Road." It's situated on a five mile long, half-mile wide sand bar in Kachemak Bay. We'll board a small tour boat for an excursion across Kachemak Bay to the world famous birding site of Gull Island, home to thousands of nesting sea birds, including puffins. We continue through Edred Passage and the Yukon Islands - all part of the Kachemak Bay Wildlife Preserve.

Lunch: Return the the ship for lunch in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room, or enjoy lunch on your own in town.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore the Homer Spit on your own.

Dinner: Join your fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the ship.

DAY
11
Valdez, Thompson Pass
Valdez, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Moderate walking required today.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: We board a motorcoach for a trip to the stunningly scenic Keystone Canyon. This narrow canyon features soaring cliffs and crashing waterfalls, and is a scenic highlight of central Alaska. We continue to the summit of Thompson Pass, where we are above the timberline, and get another view of Alaska's tundra environment. We make a stop at Worthington Glacier. You can enjoy stunning views of this magnificent glacier from a covered viewpoint. Year in and year out, Thompson Pass receives the most snowfall of any place in Alaska. On our way back to the ship, we take a side trip through Old Valdez, the original townsite that was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1964, the most powerful earthquake ever in North America.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Valdez on your own.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the Dining Room with fellow Road Scholar participants.

Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the ship.

DAY
12
Yakutat Bay, Hubbard Glacier
Hubbard Glacier
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Meet at 9:00 am in the Hudson Room (Deck 5) for a lecture. Dress warmly and spend time on outside decks for the best look at this amazing glacier. We are aboard the vessel all day.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: This morning we'll continue our educational programming with a lecture in the Hudson Room at 9:00 am to preview our visit to Hubbard Glacier.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: This afternoon we visit one of Coastal Alaska's most stunning vistas, Yakutat Bay and the massive Hubbard Glacier. Thousands of icebergs glitter in the Bay as huge chunks of ice calve of the 350' high ice face. A half dozen more tidewater glaciers spill off the high coastal range mountains into the Bay. This is one of the best scenic highlights of the trip. Spend some time on outside decks or the bow and listen to the informal narration as well as the calving glacier.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
13
Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, Glacier Gardens, Fish Hatchery
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Dress warmly for the field trip. There will be time for exploring Juneau on your own. Moderate walking is required on paved or well maintained trails. There are several optional trails to hike on your own, so wear comfortable walking shoes if you will be hiking.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: There will be free time this morning to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Lunch: Eat lunch early as possible in the Lido Cafe. We depart for our shore excursion shortly after arrival into port at Juneau.

Afternoon: We board a comfortable motorcoach for a short tour through downtown historic Juneau before heading out to the Mendenhall Valley. We shall visit the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska's only drive up glacier. There are trails to walk, a visitor center with outstanding displays and an excellent short film and an Alaska Geographic bookstore. National Forest Service Rangers are on hand to answer questions. Scenic points provide outstanding viewing platforms as well as photographic points. After visiting Mendenhall Glacier, we'll head back into downtown Juneau, where you'll free time to explore on your own. Your group leaders will be happy to give you ideas for your visit. You might wish to visit the oldest building in Southeast Alaska - the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, take a docent-led tour through the State Capital Building, explore the outstanding Alaska State Museum, or browse the many unique shops and galleries.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
14
Misty Fjords
Misty Fjords
B,L,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: Meet at 9:00 am in the Hudson Room (Deck 5) for a lecture. We are aboard the vessel all day.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: This morning we'll continue our educational programming with a lecture in the Hudson Room at 9:00 am to provide an overview of the Misty Fjords.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: Aboard the ship, we will continue to explore the Misty Fjords. Taking in the natural beauty, with steep canyons of granite, and the home to grizzlies, salmon, whales, mountain goats, and deer.

Dinner: Join fellow Road Scholar participants for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time this evening to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

DAY
15
Inside Passage
Inside Passage
B,D
M/S Maasdam

Activity note: We will offer multiple Road Scholar presentations today and there is free time to enjoy activities aboard the ship.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: We have educational programming this morning in the Hudson Room.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time for ship's activities on this last full day aboard ship.

Dinner: join your fellow Road Scholar participants in the Dining Room for dinner. This will be our last dinner and time together as a full group.

DAY
16
Program Concludes at Canada Place in Vancouver
Vancouver, BC
B

Activity note: Disembark and head to your next destination

Breakfast: Breakfast is served at the Lido Cafe.






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