22645
Alaska
The Great Alaskan Frontier: Glaciers, Fjords & Waterfalls by Ship
The wild landscapes of Alaska are rugged and revered. Explore the mighty glaciers and fjords of Alaska with seasoned naturalists and National Park Rangers to experience them up-close.
Rating (4.25)
Program No. 22645RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
5,995
Special Offer
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10 days
9 nights
26 meals
9 B 8 L 9 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Ketchikan, AK
D
Cape Fox Lodge

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

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 before dinner aboard the ship, we’ll have a social hour to recap the day’s activities, preview what will happen tomorrow, get to know our fellow participants better 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
Ketchikan
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: You will need to be packed and have luggage outside your door by 8:00 a.m. for pick-up and transfer to the ship. Walking up to ½ mile.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a plated breakfast cooked to order from a select menu featuring choices of pancakes, hot and cold cereals, eggs, meats, potatoes, juice, coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world. Some of the oldest totem poles in existence are held in climate-controlled cases at the Totem Heritage Center, which has one of the world's largest collections of unrestored 19th century totem poles and lies a short motorcoach ride from the hotel. We will discover the stories of these totem poles on our field trip to the center led by expert staff. We'll then follow with a self-guided visit to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center where we'll learn about the natural and cultural history of the Tongass National Forest. Exhibits include re-creations of a rainforest, and a native fishing village.

Lunch: At the Alaskan Dream Cruises hospitality room, we’ll have sandwiches or wraps, fruit, chips, cookies and water or soda.

Afternoon: We will then board our vessel for our embarkation from Ketchikan. After boarding, we will meet the Captain and crew and have an orientation session outlining safety procedures as we get underway. 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: In the pleasant dining room, enjoy plated and served meals prepared by professionally trained chefs using fresh, organic, and locally produced foods. Menus change daily, usually including a seafood or meat entrée plus coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: On some evenings, there will be a presentation for the group after dinner. It might be a narrated slide presentation, a talk, an opportunity for questions and answers, a good story, or perhaps a movie. 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
3
Misty Fjord, Metlakatla
Metlakatla, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After Breakfast our ship will glide beneath the 3,000-foot glacier-sculpted cliffs of Misty Fiords. Discover the fjord's natural history, listen to the calls of a myriad of seabirds, feel the mist from glistening waterfalls, and see famous New Eddystone Rock, a stunning volcanic core.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll board our motorcoach for a short ride to the native community of Metlakatla, whose name comes from Maxlakxaala, a Tsimshian word meaning "Salt Water Passage." In ancient times it was a Tlingit hunting ground known as "Taquan". Here we'll learn about the Tsimshian Indian culture through a field trip led by local staff to Father Duncan's cottage (a museum) and a visit to a long house for a dance performance. Near the longhouse is the Artist's Village where local artists display their crafts.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

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

DAY
4
Kasaan, Thorne Bay
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Our exploration in Thorne Bay will utilize 22-foot skiffs and kayaks both requiring the ability to climb in and out of the boats. Before each event, crew will give operating, paddling, and safety instructions. Each group that goes out has two guides to provide assistance as needed; weather dependent.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Cruising into Kassan we will have the opportunity to walk an enchanted forest path laden with intricately carved totem poles to the Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House, the only remaining traditional Haida longhouse in the United States. Inside stand four original house posts, or "Gáats," that were most likely carved at Old Kasaan in about 1880 and then installed at Naay I'waans Whale House. The tallest interior post, the "Head House Totem,' dates to an even earlier time and was brought here from its original location in Old Kasaan, about 7 miles away.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll continue our field trip in Thorne Bay, exploring the remote coves, bays and inlets. With opportunities to visit a small community that was once the largest logging camp in the world.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: We'll recap the day’s events and follow with a talk by our leaders or maybe a movie!

DAY
5
Wrangell
Wrangall, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Wrangell is the Gateway to the Stikine River, or Stik-Heen, which means 'Great River' in Tlingit. A photographer's dream, the river is home to migrating birds, and thousands of sea birds. We'll take a thrilling ride via Jet boat up the Stikine River with views of old-growth rainforest and wildlife such as seals, bear and possibly moose. We'll enjoy glorious mountain views and views of blue glacial ice.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Wrangell is the only town in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three different flags, and ruled by four nations - the Tlingit, Russia, England, 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, followed by a visit to Petroglyph Beach, which contains the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

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

DAY
6
Tracy Arm Fjord, Frederick Sound
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Tracy Arm may be Alaska’s most scenic fjord as well as a photographer’s paradise. A fjord 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. While our focus here will primarily be on geology, wildlife will also be present. Seals come to this area to avoid killer whales and they can often be seen floating on the ice while mountain goats may be seen on the shore’s cliffs. Bald eagles and other birds fly above. As you observe from the decks, commentary given by staff along the way will tell the geologic story and point out highlights.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: The afternoon will be spent searching for diverse wildlife in the rich marine environment of Frederick Sound from our ship. A large number of humpback whales spend summer and early fall dining on the krill and herring found in its waters. We'll watch for these magnificent creatures as they dive into the waters of the sound. A social hour will be held prior to dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: The ship staff will share stories most evenings about life in Alaska.

DAY
7
Juneau, Orca Point Lodge
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

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 provide information and answer questions as we explore independently.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: 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 back 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. .

Dinner: As a special treat, we have an exclusive stop at Orca Point Lodge on Colt Island to enjoy a wonderful meal of Alaskan salmon and all-you-can-eat king crab. You can also get “up close and personal” with Alaskan sea life at the lodge's touch tank and, if weather permits, stroll on the private beach.

Evening: We'll stroll on the beach and sit by a bonfire as we discuss the day’s highlights.

DAY
8
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Entering Glacier Bay in the early morning, we will be joined onboard 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 here in Glacier Bay 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 continue to explore the crown jewel of Southeast Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park. Rated the No. 1 national park in the USA by Consumer Reports Magazine, 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Evening program with ship staff and Group Leader.

DAY
9
Chicangof Island ,Icy Strait
Northern Southeast Alaska - Inside Passage
B,L,D
Baranof Dream

Activity note: Our exploration in Icy Strait will utilize 22-foot skiffs and kayaks both requiring the ability to climb in and out of the boats. Before each event, crew will give operating, paddling, and safety instructions. Each group that goes out has two guides to provide assistance as needed; weather dependent.

Breakfast: Aboard Ship

Morning: Adventure awaits as we explore the scenic area known as Icy Strait, along northern Chichagof Island. This area is rich in marine life with opportunities to view humpback whales, sea otters and bears. 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. There we will be able to access kayaking, walking and DIB tours.

Lunch: Aboard Ship

Afternoon: We'll continue or quest for wildlife sightings along this beautiful coastline with commentary by our on board experts.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, we'll enjoy a delicious farewell plated meal with standard beverages in the company of the captain. Toast to a successful program and share your favorite memories with your Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. As we head back to Sitka overnight, prepare for departure in the morning and get a good night’s sleep.

DAY
10
Sitka, Program Concludes
Sitka, AK
B

Activity note: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Sitka at approximately 7:30 a.m. Disembarkation from the ship will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. A hospitality room will be available for holding luggage and as a place to relax, if you are departing on flights later in the day.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We arrive in Sitka early and we will disembark. The cruise line will provide free shuttle service from the ship to the airport or a hotel if you are staying on. 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!






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