22225
Alaska
Passport to Southeast Alaska: By Hiking Boot, Kayak & Boat
Alaska is one-fifth the size of all Lower 48 states combined but has a population smaller than Rhode Island. Come hike, kayak, learn about and explore this idyllic place.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22225RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,199
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10 days
9 nights
24 meals
9 B 6 L 9 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Sitka, AK
D
Westmark Hotel Sitka

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the hotel's meeting space, enjoy a buffet including entrées, vegetable, salad and dessert, plus coffee, tea, or water.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. This program will be led by the Group Leader and local experts unless specified otherwise. Transportation will vary each day between taxis, vans, small buses, or converted school buses. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Kayak Sitka Sound, Walk Downtown Sitka Field Trip
Sitka, AK
B,L,D
Westmark Hotel Sitka

Activity note: Kayaking at a leisurely pace for approximately 2-1/2 hours in two person kayaks; walking for approximately 1 hour on dirt/sand/gravel paths. Walking up to 2-1/2 miles in the afternoon. Sturdy, waterproof boots and rain gear are highly recommended for kayaking excursion. We also recommend bringing synthetic gloves, rain hat, and waterproof bag to store valuables and camera gear. Walking poles will be supplied if needed during the kayak excursion.

Breakfast: In our hotel meeting space with a buffet to include choices such as egg dishes, cereals, toast, yogurt, fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: We will walk to the center of town and meet our kayak outfitter, Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures who will start with an orientation to the equipment. We'll then head out on our kayaking adventure in the sound. With our expert, we will paddle near fishermen, tug boats, and other vessels before heading out of the harbor to explore island shores and kelp forests keeping an eye out for wildlife. Our kayaking experts will choose the landing site depending on water conditions and land first, assisting participants to get in/out. We'll then head to Fort Rousseau where we will explore on foot with our experts.

Lunch: Enjoy an early picnic lunch on the beach including smoked salmon, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, gourmet crackers and hummus plus an assortment of large homemade cookies and bottled water.

Afternoon: We'll return to the hotel to freshen up and prepare for our walks to the Russian Bishop's House and Sheldon Jackson Museum. The Russian Bishop's House is one of four original Russian Colonial era buildings in North America, and the best preserved. At the Sheldon Jackson museum, we will explore the oldest museum in Alaska, founded in 1897 and learn about Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson’s collection and artifacts. One of Alaska's most charming communities, Sitka has a complex history. Kiksadi Tlingit people have lived in the area for 8,000 years or more. The protected harbor and rich natural resources made it attractive to European explorers. Serious Russian interest began in 1725 when Tsar Peter the Great sent Vitus Bering to explore the Pacific coast of North America. A Russian trading enterprise called the Russian American Company was eventually formed. After much fighting between Russian forces and the native Tlingit people, Sitka became the administrative center and remained so until the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867. The name “Alaska” is a Russified version of an Aleut word meaning “great land.”

Dinner: Back at the hotel, we'll celebrate Sitka with another buffet meal in our hotel meeting space, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Science Center, Hike in Sitka, Totem Park, Flight to Juneau
Juneau, AK
B,D
Prospector Hotel

Activity note: Walk to science center is 3/4 of a mile. Hike will be approximately 5 miles in length.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel meeting space.

Morning: This morning we will check-out and store our luggage at the hotel. We'll walk to the Sitka Sound Science Center for a discussion of tidal sea life in the sound along with a chance to enjoy the touch tanks with many different types of sea creatures. We'll also get a chance to learn about the salmon hatchery they operate. The Center raises and produces 250,000 coho, 3 million pink, and 12 million chum each year! Following our visit we will enjoy the sights and sounds of Sitka with a hike through forested terrain watching for birds and wildlife such as deer. Large Sitka spruce, Alaska yellow cedar and western hemlock line the trail.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like on a late lunch in town.

Afternoon: After a leisurely lunch, we'll meet at a pre-arranged location and time to visit the National Historic Park. We'll walk through Totem Park to learn about the totems and the symbols within them. Afterwards, we'll return to the hotel to shuttle to the airport for our short flight to Juneau.

Dinner: After checking into our hotel, enjoy a late dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Mendenhall Glacier, Free Time, Flight to Gustavus
Gustavus, AK
B,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Hike up to 4 miles on uneven terrain with moderate elevation gain.

Breakfast: In our hotel meeting space with a buffet to include choices such as fruit, muffins, pastries, bagels, scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, plus coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: We'll head to the Mendenhall Glacier to explore the area around the glacier’s base. Known as Sitaantaagu, meaning “the Glacier Behind the Town,” it is only 12 miles from downtown Juneau allowing easy access to the 13 mile long glacier. Mendenhall Lake was created by melting ice and runoff from the glacier, flowing out through the 6 mile long Mendenhall River. Following our field trip, we will return to Juneau.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in downtown Juneau. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. In mid-afternoon, we'll reconvene at the hotel to transfer to the airport for a short flight to Gustavus. We'll transfer to the lodge and check in for three nights.

Dinner: At the lodge we'll have a plated meal to include an entrée, side dish, salad, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: A park ranger will lead an educational lecture on Glacier Bay for all guests of the lodge to enjoy. Or, choose to spend the evening relaxing, or taking advantage of long daylight hours by strolling the peaceful beach.

DAY
5
Glacier Bay National Park Boat Trip
Gustavus, AK
B,L,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Our boat trip into the bay will be on a 150-passenger, high-speed Catamaran with covered areas. Boat trip will take approximately 8 hours.

Breakfast: At the lodge, enjoy an early buffet breakfast including a chef's specialty dish, eggs, meats, biscuits, potatoes, oatmeals, cereals, pastries, fruits, plus coffee and juice.

Morning: We'll board a heated, high-speed catamaran with a National Park Ranger to spend the day on the waters of Glacier Bay to view tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountains, whales, stellar sea lions, seabirds, seals, eagles, and possibly some bears along the shore. We'll travel to the face of the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers, two of the many tidewater glaciers found in the National Park.

Lunch: Aboard the catamaran including a sandwich, fruit, cookie, plus coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water.

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration through the bay watching for calving glaciers, floating ice, and wildlife. Isn't that what Alaska is all about?!

Dinner: Plated meal at the lodge.

Evening: We'll get to know our guides for tomorrow's kayak excursion as they'll stop by this evening to give us a short orientation on our adventures tomorrow.

DAY
6
To Point Adolphus, Kayak Field Trip
Gustavus, AK
B,L,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Kayaking for 2-1/2 hours at a time. We will have a boat with us for those who want to rest and relax. We will likely split into two groups for our kayak adventure. One group will have free time in Glacier Bay while the other group kayaks.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: We will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to a water taxi to Point Adolphus for our kayak adventure. Once on shore, your experts will provide the essentials to paddle safely and efficiently. We'll paddle out and watch for whales and other wildlife with plenty of time to take photographs, and to enjoy the true Alaskan wilderness.

Lunch: After a great morning of paddling, we'll head back on the water taxi to Gustavus, enjoying sandwiches en-route.

Afternoon: If you kayaked in the morning, enjoy some time on your own to do the activities of your choice. If you still have some energy, join a ranger-led hike, explore by bicycle, or catch an educational film at the lodge. Or, simply enjoy your surroundings with a good book - the choice is up to you! Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Plated meal at the lodge.

Evening: There will be another opportunity to attend a ranger-led lecture about Glacier Bay. Enjoy a relaxing final evening around beautiful Glacier Bay National Park.

DAY
7
Hike, Transfer to Juneau
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
Prospector Hotel

Activity note: Hike up to 3 miles over varied terrain.

Breakfast: Buffet at the lodge.

Morning: After our last few days full of adventure, take some time for rest and relaxation with a morning at leisure. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions for independent exploration around the lodge. We'll check out of the lodge this morning and store our luggage for our transfer in the afternoon.

Lunch: At the lodge enjoy a plated meal.

Afternoon: We'll get moving again with a beautiful hike led by our group leader before transferring to the airport for our late afternoon return flight to Juneau.

Dinner: After checking in, enjoy a buffet dinner in the hotel's meeting space.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
AMHS to Haines, Alaska Indian Arts, Free Time in Haines
Haines, AK
B,L,D
Halsingland Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles along even terrain.

Breakfast: Since we have an early transfer this morning on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry, we'll enjoy breakfast onboard.

Morning: We'll check out of the hotel and transfer to the Alaska Marine Highway ferry and head up the Lynn Canal. Our staff will introduce us to the area from the deck of the ferry. North America’s longest and deepest glacial fjord, the Lynn Canal is surrounded by majestic mountains and abounds with wildlife. As we pass between hanging glaciers, keep an eye out for seabirds and eagles. We'll arrive in Haines and check into our hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel, enjoy a plated meal in the lounge.

Afternoon: Following lunch we'll explore the area at Fort William H. Seward with a local expert to learn about the history of the fort which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978. It was authorized by President William McKinley in December 1898 to house infantry until it was closed in 1945. Currently the fort houses an art colony and we will continue our exploration with a visit to Alaska Indian Arts, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and continuation of traditional native craft and culture of the Northwest Coast Native Tribes, to see totem poles and a carving studio. This will be followed by free time to explore the town. Our group leader will offer some suggestions.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated meal featuring creative and unique entrées prepared from locally caught and grown ingredients, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure to rest and relax or take a walk through town.

DAY
9
Bald Eagle Preserve, Klukwan Village, Afternoon Hike
Haines, AK
B,L,D
Halsingland Hotel

Activity note: Getting in/out of rafts. Hiking up to 4 miles on mostly flat, groomed paths.

Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy an early plated breakfast at the hotel including eggs, breakfast meats, english muffin, fruit, plus coffee and juice.

Morning: Our expert naturalists and guides for today's adventure will meet us at the hotel and lead us on a hike through the rainforest, over boardwalks, bridges and creeks to Battery Point. Full of wildflowers in the early summer, it is bordered by the Chilkat River with views of the snowcapped mountains and Lynn Canal.

Lunch: Returning to the hotel, we will have boxed lunches with a pre-selected sandwich.

Afternoon: Our guides will give a safety briefing before boarding our 16 foot oar rafts and heading out on the Chilkat River. The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created by the State of Alaska in June of 1982 to protect the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles and their critical habitat. The Preserve consists of 48,000 acres of river bottom land formed by the intersection of three rivers and is home to Klukwan, the mother village of the Tlingit Nation. After our float we will pull out at the site of a Klukwan village where elders will provide a presentation for our group.

Dinner: Back at our hotel, we'll enjoy a plated meal.

Evening: After dinner, we'll depart for an evening scenic drive with an expert naturalist. We'll experience the incredible natural beauty and wildlife along the river, then return to the hotel with lasting memories and stories to share of our adventures in wondrous Alaska!

DAY
10
Fast Ferry to Juneau, Program Concludes
Haines, AK
B

Breakfast: After a light breakfast at the hotel, we'll check out and depart for transfer on our fast ferry to Juneau. Once on the ferry, additional breakfast snacks will be provided.

Morning: When we arrive in Juneau, we will transfer to the airport. Those who wish to stay in town will have the option to be dropped off in downtown Juneau. This concludes our 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!






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