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
15 days
Starts at
4,495
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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15 days
14 nights
41 meals
14 B 13 L 14 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
ms Amsterdam
D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: Recommend boarding between Noon and 3pm.

Afternoon: Board MS Amsterdam at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at PIER # 91 near downtown Seattle between 12 noon and 3:00 PM. Departure from Seattle is scheduled for 4:00 PM. Lunch is served in the Lido Restaurant. Check in with Road Scholar staff -- we will staff a signed desk on deck 3 Lower Promenade in the Atrium between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Sail away is scheduled for 4:00 PM. A mandatory drill is scheduled prior to sail away usually around 3:15 PM -- attendance by al guests is required.

Dinner: Our Road Scholar group will have dinner in the Dining Room. We sit at adjoining tables. We are on the upper level, deck 5 Upper Promenade. We have the early seating -- 5:30 PM.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Evening activities are many and varied and run from extravagant production shows to dancing to an evening movie to sing along piano bar to live music of several genres.

DAY
2
British Columbia & Vancouver Island
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: Road Scholar Education programs

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

Morning: This morning we begin our Road Scholar programming in the Hudson Room on Deck 5, Upper Promenade. We'll do some 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: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration of Coastal Alaska natural and human history in the Hudson Room on Deck 5, Upper Promenade. An introduction to tomorrow's activities in Ketchikan is presented.

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

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own. Perhaps enjoy some live music in one of the specialty bars!

DAY
3
Ketchikan Port Call, Totem Heritage & Southeast Center
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: Ship is in port from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sponsored field trips to the Totem Heritage Center and Potlatch Park. Free time to explore Ketchikan on your own. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Minimal walking is required.

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

Morning: We disembark the ship and bus 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. Following the presentation we visit Potlatch Park, a recreated Native Village with totems, carving shed, Alaska historical displays. We return to downtown Ketchikan.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Return to the vessel for lunch in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room or have lunch in town.

Afternoon: You are free to explore Ketchikan on your own for the remainder of the afternoon. Visit the Southeast Alaska Visitor Center, a museum type facility 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. Visit the colorful and historic Creek Street, ride the tram to the Cape Fox Hotel overlooking the harbor with its exquisite collection of Native Art, or check out the Tongass Historical Museum.

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

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
4
Tracy Arm, Coastal Alaska
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: Dress warmly and spend time out on the deck area or bow for narration and exploration of Tracy Arm.

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

Morning: We will have a Road Scholar meeting in the Hudson Room from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM to continue our educational programming and to introduce tomorrow's day in Juneau and the following days activities at Icy Strait Point. There will be free time to enjoy ship's activities.

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

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 ship's activities. Take in a show at the Showroom at Sea or perhaps join the sing along at the Piano Bar.

DAY
5
Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, Gardens, Fish Hatchery
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are in port from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM tonight. Dress warmly for the field trip. There is lots of 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 or your stateroom.

Morning: Enjoy exploring Juneau on your own. Your Road Scholar leaders will give you several 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.

Lunch: Have lunch in the Lido Café or Dining Room or you may wish to have lunch in town.

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. We move on to Glacier Gardens. The Visitor Center sports delightful gardens to wander through and a short interpretive trail to stroll. Here also, we board golf cart type vehicles for a wonderful trip through the heart of the old growth Pacific Coastal Rain Forest. Riding in open air carts give a great feel for the mystic forest and the air and aroma is fresh and wonderful. High on a mountainside, a short walk on a boardwalk brings us to a platform overlook with terrific views of the Mendenhall Valley, Gastineau Channel, Juneau, and the spectacular Chilkat Range. We enjoy one additional stop at McAuley Fish Hatchery. Depending on the time of the year, you may experience watching wild Pacific Salmon fight their way up the fish ladder to spawning areas. One of the scientists provides us with an overview of hatchery operations and fisheries management. Finally, spend time enjoying the magnificent aquarium in the hatchery building. Free time after the field trip to continue your exploration of Juneau.

Dinner: Dinner together with Road Scholar participants in the Dining Room.

Evening: You are free to enjoy ship's activities this evening or to explore downtown Juneau on your own.

DAY
6
Icy Strait Point & Whale Watch Expedition
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: Ship is at Icy Strait Point from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Dress warmly so you can spend lots of time out on decks when we are on the whale grounds. The dock is about a half mile to the Cannery and there are several very nice trails in the area so wear comfortable walking shoes if you will be hiking on your own

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast on your own in the Lido Cafe or Dining Room. Have breakfast early as we depart at 6:30 AM.

Morning: We walk about a half mile to the Cannery along a lovely beach on a boardwalk trail. This morning we board a high speed catamaran tour vessel 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 decks as much as possible. The tour company provides binoculars to enhance your wildlife viewing experience. A local guide narrates the tour

Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room. It takes time to go back to the ship to eat, you could find something on your own at the restored cannery site at Icy Strait Point. That way you would have more time in the early afternoon to continue investigating the historic cannery area, the small shops and trails in the vicinity.

Afternoon: You'll enjoy free time to visit the refurbished Icy Strait Point cannery, walk the interpretive trails, or visit the Native Tlingit village of Hoonah. Feeling adventuresome? Icy Strait Point features the longest, fastest ZIP line in the Pacific Northwest!

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

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
7
Enroute to Anchorage
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We will present several educational programs today.

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

Morning: This morning we continue with our educational programming in the Hudson Room.

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

Afternoon: We continue our educational programming in the Hudson Room and also preview our day tomorrow in Anchorage and the following days in Homer and Kodiak. There will be some free time this afternoon to enjoy ship's activities on your own.

Dinner: Join the group for dinner in the Dining Room.

Evening: Free time tonight to enjoy ship's activities.

DAY
8
Anchorage,Anchorage / Rasmussen Museum
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are in port from 8:00 AM this morning until 11:00 PM tonight. Visits to Anchorage Museum are on your own but admission is included. There will be ample free time to explore Anchorage on your own. 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 at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room.

Morning: We disembark the vessel and board the ship shuttle to the Convention Center. A short walk takes us to the Anchorage / Rasmussen Museum. The Anchorage / Rasmussen Museum is outstanding with exhibits featuring Alaska history and culture and the magnificent Smithsonian Exhibit celebrating all the Native / First Nations cultures of the Pacific Rim. Explore the Museum at your own pace. Enjoy a delicious included lunch at the Museum Cafe.

Lunch: Included lunch at the Museum.

Afternoon: Spend more time at the museum or explore downtown Anchorage.

Dinner: You may return to the ship and enjoy dinner with fellow Road Scholar participants at the Dining Room or have dinner downtown at one of Anchorage's many excellent restaurants.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own or continue your exploration of Anchorage.

DAY
9
Homer, Gull Island & Kachemak Bay Wildlife Preserve
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are in port from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. There is free time to visit the Homer Spit on your own. Only minimal walking required today, but 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 5 mile long, 1/2 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 to the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room, or have lunch in town on your own.

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

Dinner: Join your Road Scholar friends for dinner at the Dining Room.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
10
Kodiak, Fish and Wildlife Center & Baranoff Museum
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are in port from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes as we will walk into town from the pier (about a mile on a paved surface). There is a shuttle available for those who don't wish to walk and little walking is required. There is free time to explore Kodiak on your own

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

Morning: Disembark and walk or catch the ship shuttle to the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and explore on your own. The Visitor Center features exhibits detailing the Kodiak Game Refuge that is home to the Kodiak Brown Bear, the largest land mammal in North America. You may visit the Baranoff Museum (a small museum that highlights the Russian era in Kodiak which you will have tickets to) and explore the downtown area on your own. Use a walking tour map to see sights that interest you. You might enjoy a visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, one of the first in Alaska, or stroll around the busy working harbor home to one of Alaska's largest fishing fleets.

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

Afternoon: Continue exploring Kodiak on your own.

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

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
11
Gulf of Alaska, Yakutat Bay & Hubbard Glacier
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We continue educational programming today. Dress warmly and spend time on outside decks or the bow for the best look at this amazing glacier.

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

Morning: We'll continue educational programming this morning in the Hudson Room and preview our visit to Hubbard Glacier

Lunch: Lunch on your own at 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 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: Enjoy dinner in the Dining Room with fellow Road Scholar participants.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
12
Sitka National Park, Raptor Center, Native Dances
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are docked about 6 miles from downtown Sitka. We utilize a ship shuttle tro travel between the dock and Sitka. Dress for the weather for our excursions. There is ample free time to explore Sitka on your own. Walking is minimal today.

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

Morning: We utilize a ship shuttle to travel between the dock and downtown Sitka/ Sitka was the Capital and heart of Russian America and much Russian culture and history is still prevelant here. Visit the Bishop's House with its stunning Russian antiques and artifacts, stroll up to Capital Hill, where the original Russian Governor's Mansion once existed and was the site of the official tranfer ceremony when the USA took posession of Alaska from Russia in 1867, or check out the Russian blockhouse and cemetery. Visit the St Michaels Russian Cathedral. Sitka is also home to the best bookstore in Alaska!

Lunch: You may return to the ship for lunch at the Lido Cafe or Dining Room, or you may wish to eat a one of the local restaurants in town to save time.

Afternoon: We motorcoach to the Na Ka Hidi Clan House where we enjoy an authentic Native Dance performance by the renowned Na Ka Hidi Dancers. Following the preformance, the dancers answer questions and offer picture taking opportunities. Following the dance performance we board a bus for a short town tour followed by a narrated walk in the rainforest at Sitka National Historical Park and have some time to puruse the Visitor Center. Our Native Tlingit tour guides discuss their 8,000 year history here in Sitka as well as their culture. We also visit the award winning Sitka Raptor Center, a private rehabilitation center principally for injured bald eagles but other raptors as well. One of the trainers presents an "on the arm" eagle presentation, and there is time to observe the many injured animals in their enclosures as well as check out the "touching" displays.

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

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
13
Sailing Coast of British Columbia & Vancouver Island
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We will offer several Road Scholar presentations today and there is free time to enjoy ship's activities.

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

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

Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Lido Cafe or Dining 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. As we are in Victoria tomorrow evening, many folks will probably not return to the ship for dinner so this will be our last dinner together as a full group.

Evening: Enjoy ship's activities on your own.

DAY
14
Victoria Port Call, Secret Gardens
ms Amsterdam
B,L,D
ms Amsterdam

Activity note: We are in port from 1:00 PM until 11:00 PM. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes for our visit to Buchart Gardens. There will be ample free time to explore Victoria on your own.

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

Morning: Join the group in the Hudson Room for a final wrap up, some final thoughts, some information on disembarkation, and an introduction to our day in Victoria. This is the last time we will meet as a group so all are asked to attend.

Lunch: Eat lunch early as we will disembark as a group shortly after arrival for a motorcoach transfer to the world famous Buchart Gardens.

Afternoon: We'll board a motor coach to the Buchart Gardens, perhaps the most famous garden in North America. Set in an old quarry they are spectacular. You stroll the Gardens on your own until departure time. Following the visit to the Gardens we enjoy a narrated motorcoach tour of greater Victoria. Upon our return, you have until 11:00 PM tonight to explore Victoria on your own. Visit the remarkable British Columbia Museum, stroll in Beacon Hill Park, visit the magnificent British Columbia Parliament Building, have tea at the famous Empress Hotel, or simply stroll the Promenade around the inner harbor and enjoy the arts and crafts and street performers

Dinner: You may return to the ship for dinner tonight or stay in town and dine on your own.

Evening: Explore Victoria on your own or enjoy last night ship's activities.

DAY
15
Program Concludes at Pier 91 Seattle
Your next destination
B

Activity note: Disembark and head to your next destination.

Breakfast: Breakfast on your own at the Lido Cafe.






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