21352
Alaska
Magnificent Southeast Alaska
Discover pristine waters, soaring glaciers, unique wildlife and indigenous culture as you learn the fascinating story of Alaska and celebrate with a king crab feast!
Rating (5)
Program No. 21352RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
7,695
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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13 days
12 nights
35 meals
12 B 11 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival in Ketchikan, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Ketchikan, AK
D
Cape Fox Lodge

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. If you arrive before your room is ready, you may store your luggage at the hotel until check-in is available.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Ketchikan, we will be met at the airport by cruise staff, gather luggage and transfer to the hotel. Program Registration. 4:00 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 with an up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private meeting space at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet meal which will include an entrée, salad, starch, coffee, tea, and water; 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. Each afternoon aboard the ship, there will be a social hour before dinner as an opportunity to recap the day’s activities, preview what will happen tomorrow, get to know our fellow participants better, make new Road Scholar friends, and see amazing scenery. As a tasty treat, enjoy complimentary hors d‘oeuvres as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; other beverages available for purchase. Evenings aboard the ship will often include a presentation for the group, unless specified otherwise. It might be a narrated slide presentation, a talk, an opportunity for questions and answers, or just a good story. Durations of hikes will be dependent on the group pace and ability level, which can vary. Unless specified otherwise, transportation on land will be provided primarily by motorcoach, requiring the going up/down of a few steps when getting on/off. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Totem Heritage Center, 4th of July!
Ketchikan, AK
B,L,D
Cape Fox Lodge

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet will feature choices including eggs, breakfast potatoes and meats, oatmeal, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, milk, water.

Morning: Following breakfast we'll gather in the hotel lobby to meet our motorcoach at a pre-determined time to transfer the group to the Totem Heritage Center where we will meet an additional small Road Scholar group for a talk at the center. Docents will discuss the culture and crafts of the native people and take us behind-the-scenes to examine a collection of original 19th century totem poles up close. Along with this impressive collection of original poles – one of the largest in the world – we will also see some examples of other local native crafts. We’ll then board our motorcoach for transfer to the hotel.

Lunch: In our private meeting space at the hotel, we’ll have a buffet including sandwiches, wraps, chips, fruit, cookies or brownies, coffee, tea and water.

Afternoon: Free Time. Today is the 4th of July! Our hotel has a tram in the lobby that leads down into town, allowing you to join in whatever July 4th festivities intrigue you most. You may wish to enjoy a root beer float at the historical museum on Creek Street a short distance from the foot of the tram, see a small parade that will run through town around midday, or check out the rubber duck races that will begin in the mid-afternoon. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At the hotel, the buffet will include an entree, salads, starch, veggie, dessert, coffee, tea and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Take a stroll with your Road Scholar group leader or just rest and relax. For those who would like to watch the fireworks show, they will begin at 11:00 p.m. and appear in the sky above the lodge.

DAY
3
SE Discovery Center, Embark Ship, Metlakatla
Metlakatla, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Coaching time is minimal. Expect standing in museum of up to an hour. Visit to Metlakatla includes a walk of 1/4 mile with optional bus transfer. The dance performance lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet will feature choices including eggs, breakfast potatoes and meats, oatmeal, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, milk, water.

Morning: Following breakfast we'll gather in the hotel lobby to meet our motorcoach at a pre-determined time to transfer the group to the SE Discovery Center. Operated by the US Forest Service, this museum provides information on the natural and cultural history of the Tongass National Forest. This forest plays an important part in the lives of the areas residents and Alaska's Native peoples have lived under its forest canopy for over 1,000 years. Stroll through a lush rainforest, visit a re-created native fishing village and learn how the Tongass sustains Southeast Alaska communities today. There will be opportunities to visit with Forest Service rangers, or watch a film in the museum's theater.

Lunch: We will enjoy a light lunch at the Alaskan Dream Cruises hospitality room a short walk from the SE Discovery Center to include sandwiches, fruit, chips, cookies, water.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will depart Ketchikan as we embark the ship and set sail for the Metlakatla Indian Community on Annette Island. Heading out on foot after docking, we’ll immerse ourselves in the extraordinary history, art and cultural traditions of this unique community. Metlakatla, Alaska is a community of Tsimshian people who followed a missionary of the Anglican Church of England, Mr. William Duncan, from their previous home in British Columbia, Canada creating the Annette Islands Reserve, a federal Indian reservation. Today, it is the only reservation in the State of Alaska. Due to an abundance of natural and human resources, the community has flourished. Although the majority of its population is Tsimshian, Metlakatla also is home to may individuals with diverse tribal affiliations such as Tlingit, Haida, Aleut, Yupik and other Alaska Native peoples. Here we will visit a traditional Tsmishian longhouse, enjoy a ceremonial dance performance, and meet Native artists while being led by our ship staff. Afterwards, enjoy some time for independent exploration and to meet some of the local artists. We’ll then return to the ship. Each evening aboard ship, there will be a social hour before dinner as an opportunity to recap the day’s activities, preview what will happen tomorrow, get to know our fellow participants better, make new Road Scholar friends, and see amazing scenery. As a tasty treat, enjoy complimentary hors d‘oeuvres as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; other beverages available for purchase.

Dinner: Prior to dinner we will meet the Captain and crew and have an orientation session outlining safety procedures on the ship. In the pleasant dining room, enjoy plated meals prepared by professionally trained chefs using fresh, organic, and locally produced foods plus one complimentary glass of beer or wine with all dinners aboard the ship. Coffee, tea, milk, hot chocolate and water are included; other beverages available for purchase. Menus change daily, usually including a seafood or meat entrée.

Evening: 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.

DAY
4
Misty Fjords, New Eddystone Rock
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: This day will be at sea aboard the ship.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, we’ll have plated meals featuring fresh, organic, and locally produced foods including items like pancakes, cereals, egg dishes, and breakfast meats with coffee, tea, milk, hot chocolate, juice and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: This morning we will head into Misty Fjords. Our ship will glide beneath the 3,000 foot glacier-sculpted cliffs of Misty Fjords. View glistening waterfalls and see famous New Eddystone Rock, a stunning volcanic core. Ship and Road Scholar staff will be available to discuss the area and answer any questions.

Lunch: Aboard the ship, we’ll have plated meals featuring fresh, organic, and locally produced foods with coffee, tea and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our Road Scholar staff will discuss the natural history of the fjords as we listen to the calls of a myriad of seabirds. The fjords are in the Tongass National Forest whose amount of precipitation is characteristic of the area causes the to be covered with thick rainforests that grow on nearly vertical slopes. The waterfalls are fed by lakes and streams that absorb the rainfall of more than 150 inches annually.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Thorne Bay, Kasaan, Son-I-Hat Whale House
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles total throughout the day; ship ramp at low tide may have an incline; mostly flat city streets; wood chip paths.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll dock in Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world. It is now a small Alaskan town with a wonderful sense of community located on the east side of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, near the town of Ketchikan. We'll enjoy an expert-led walking field trip through town with the opportunity to see original logging equipment and meet local artisans at the library, the hub of the small community.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll depart via ship to Kasaan for a field trip led by ship staff to the Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House, the only traditional Haida longhouse in the United States. Originally built in 1880 near Kasaan Bay, it was rebuilt in 1938 by local Natives who were hired by the CCC. When rebuilt, the original basic timbers and interior roof support house posts were used. Native craftsmen rebuilt the other sections of the longhouse utilizing traditional tools and woodworking methods. We will then return to the ship with time to freshen up before social hour.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: We'll recap the day’s events and follow up with a talk by our leaders.

DAY
6
Wrangell, History Museum, Petroglyph Beach
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile throughout the day; city sidewalks; standing up to an hour in the museum. Getting on/off motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Home to a little over 2,000 permanent residents, Wrangell holds a unique status as the only Alaskan city to have been governed under four "flags." It was Tlingit territory and then came under the jurisdiction of Russia, Great Britain, and the United States. Led by ship and Road Scholar staff, we will learn about the history of this small town through a field trip to the Wrangell Museum. The museum’s collection includes four Tlingit houseposts which have been loaned to the museum from a local native cooperative and are thought to be the oldest known houseposts still in existence. Other items in the collection include: spruceroot and cedarbark baskets from the turn-of-the-century, Tlingit masks, and items relating to the Russian, English, Chinese and Japanese influences on the area. We’ll then return to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Next, traveling by motorcoach we’ll visit the intriguing State Historic Park and Petroglyph Beach, which contains the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska. Led by ship and Road Scholar staff we'll take the boardwalk to a deck overlooking Petroglyph Beach and the Stikine River with time to walk on the beach. During construction of the boardwalk interpretive facility, 2 new petroglyphs buried in the sand were unearthed. One of these petroglyphs was thought to be long lost and its rediscovery thrilled local Tlingit natives and Wrangell residents. We’ll then return to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Petersburg, Norwegian Folk Dance
Petersburg, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Minimal walking on city streets and sidewalks. Driving very short distances.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Petersburg is a town that still makes its living from the sea and is not a port of call for large cruise ships. We'll visit this thriving fishing village which was established by Norwegian fishermen in the late 1800's. Its strong Norwegian heritage is still evident and we'll see many fishermen working along the docks which harbor tugs, salmon trollers, seiners, longliners, and crabbers. At the Sons of Norway Hall, we’ll enjoy a Norwegian Folk Dance show performed by Petersburg's children. Then enjoy some free time to explore the town.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: After enjoying an expert-led field trip via motorcoach through town, take some time to explore the area on your own. Later, we'll gather at a predetermined time and location to walk back to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Relax onboard as we recap our day's adventures.

DAY
8
Tracy Arm Fjord, Waterfalls, Frederick Sound, Wildlife Watch
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Getting in/out of skiffs; assistance provided as needed.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Perhaps Alaska’s most scenic fjord, Tracy Arm, a photographer’s paradise, is a narrow inlet of ocean running between cliffs or steep slopes. Tracy Arm twists and turns for more than 30 miles through some of the most dramatically scenic landscapes anywhere, dotted with thousands of icebergs from twin glaciers -- North Sawyer and South Sawyer -- at the end of the fjord. Wildlife is seasonally prolific, with whales and sea lions, seals on floating ice, bears, deer, mountain goats, wolves, and smaller animals inhabiting surrounding forests, and bald eagles and other birds flying above. Along the way, our staff narrates and points out the highlights.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll wind our way back down the arm, pausing to view some of the spectacular waterfalls that spill out of the granite cliffs along the fjord. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we will also have the opportunity to ride the skiffs with our expert leaders to explore either the North or South Sawyer Glacier. As we depart from Tracy Arm, we will head into Frederick Sound to scout for humpback whales and other marine mammals in these world-renowned whale waters. We’ll enjoy our social hour before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: The Road Scholar staff will lead an evening presentation relating to the program theme.

DAY
9
Mendenhall Glacier, Auke Bay, Juneau, Orca Point Lodge
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Activity levels are dependent on participants’ personal preferences during independent exploration. Driving about 30 miles; approx. 1 hour.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: As we arrive in Auke Bay, 12 miles north of Juneau, we will leave the ship 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 Icefield 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. As we arrive in Juneau, we will stop for a self-directed exploration of the Alaska State Museum, which is the repository for the state's history, highlighting the distinct native cultures of Alaska.

Lunch: Aboard the motorcoach, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Free Time. 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 Mt. Roberts Tramway, Capitol building, or city museum. We’ll then meet at a predetermined time and place for transfer back to the ship to enjoy our social hour.

Dinner: As a special treat, we have an exclusive stop at a 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.

Evening: After our feast we'll end the evening as we get up close and personal with Alaskan sea life by visiting the lodge's touch tank and taking a stroll on the private beach with a summer solstice bonfire--the Alaskan way to celebrate! We’ll then return to the ship.

DAY
10
Skagway & Gold Rush, White Pass Summit Railway, Haines
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Getting on/off street cars. Minimal walking on sidewalks and city streets. Train ride is approx. 40 miles roundtrip; about 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Making our way up the spectacular Taiya Inlet, we’ll dock in Skagway. This famous gold rush town is also home to Klondike National Historic Park, which owns and has restored many of the buildings. We will take a narrated shuttle from the ship to the White Pass Railway depot, board the train, and take a narrated ride on rails up to the White Pass summit located in British Columbia, Canada, with spectacular views along the way. This narrow gauge railway route was built during the Klondike Gold Rush. Its proposed 110-mile journey through coastal mountains was considered impossible but became a reality in only 26 months of construction from 1898-1900. The railway operated as a business until 1982, then re-opened in 1988 for seasonal excursions. Following our train ride, you may take the shuttle back to the ship, or stay in town to explore, returning to the dock on foot.

Lunch: Aboard ship or at your own cost in town.

Afternoon: 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 visit the Klondike National Historic Park's museum, go on a walking field trip with our Group Leader, or explore the town of Skagway on your own. The park offers park ranger walks at regularly scheduled times from the visitor's center. The ship is scheduled to depart mid to late afternoon. We’ll head back down the scenic Lynn Canal with a stop in Haines, AK where we will disembark and take an expert-led walking field trip to the historic Fort Seward. We’ll then return to the ship to enjoy our social hour.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Staff onboard will offer a presentation on a topic relative to tomorrow's visit to Glacier Bay National Park.

DAY
11
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Full day aboard the ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Entering Glacier Bay early in the morning, we will be joined by a National Park Service (NPS) Ranger who will lead our programming for the day. The NPS citation reads, “Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site — one of the world’s largest international protected areas. From summit to sea, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration.” The National Park Service Naturalists are intimately acquainted with the mysteries of Glacier Bay, and will explain them in detail. The entrance to Glacier Bay teems with wildlife, particularly sea birds. This is also an area frequented by feeding humpback whales. Birders and wildlife watchers will want to be up early and out on decks as we enter Glacier Bay. The Huna Tlingit people once lived in Glacier Bay here and consider it their spiritual homeland. A Native Tlingit interpretive naturalist will join the National Park Service Ranger to discuss their traditional ties to this stunning Alaskan natural treasure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our study cruise exploration of Glacier Bay National Park, the crown jewel of Southeast Alaska considered by many to be the United States’ Number 1 national park. Glacier Bay boasts the largest number of tidewater glaciers in North America, the 15,000-foot Fairweather Mountain range, some of the most stunning scenery anywhere, and a prolific amount of wildlife including humpback whales, sea otters, puffins, mountain goats and much more. Watch for all these wonders from the deck of the ship (binoculars provided). The Ranger and naturalist will be on deck for commentary, to point out highlights, and answer questions. We’ll enjoy our social hour to reflect on the beauty of Glacier Bay.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Each evening will vary, but will include a re-cap of the day’s events and the schedule for the next day.

DAY
12
Baranof Island, Kayak & Skiff Exploration, Wildlife Watch
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Climbing in/out of 22-foot skiffs; assistance provided as needed. Before each event, the crew will give operating and safety instructions. Each group will have 2 expert leaders.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today’s destination, one of the unique bays along Baranof Island, is virtually unknown to many travelers. We will spend the morning cruising through this delightful and lovely, yet rarely visited, part of Alaska. View the old-growth rainforest, waterfalls, and pristine beaches from the comfort of the ship, scan the skies for birds and the shores for wildlife. We will also have the opportunity to view marine life up close via small watercraft with expert staff.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: We’ll continue cruising along the island scoping the shores for wildlife. Eastern Baranof Island is known as the waterfall coast with many cascading falls. If we're lucky, we may see brown bear, humpback whales, and/or Orcas. Our expert staff will offer commentary on our surroundings and wild neighbors as we float on. We’ll then enjoy our social hour before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for disembarkation tomorrow.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
Sitka, AK
B

Activity note: Disembark at 8:00 am. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: After disembarkation, cruise staff will provide transfers to the airport included for all participants. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!