Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound)

Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound)

Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound)

Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound)

Travel information 14 days MS Roald Amundsen
Departures
20 May 2022
13 June 2022
Price from
5138 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
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Journey from Vancouver to Seward and Anchorage to discover Alaska’s many fjords, Gold-Rush-era history, glistening glaciers, rare wildlife, primeval rainforest, and rich indigenous and Russian culture.

Southeast Inside Passage

Sailing past the islands and fjords of the Johnston Strait north of Vancouver Island, we’ll emerge into open sea, continuing up into the Hecate Strait. As your introduction to Alaska, it doesn’t get much better than the magnificent Misty Fjords wilderness. Next stop is the historic town of Wrangell where you can look for petroglyphs strewn along the beach.

Get your first glimpse of glaciers in either the Tracy or Endicott fjords, discover a ‘Little Norway’ in Petersburg, and admire art at the many galleries in Haines. William Henry Bay is the site of old-growth forest – and possibly gold to be found – while Point Adolphus is known for superb whale watching. You’ll also visit Sitka, the former capital of Alaska when it belonged to Russia.

Southcentral Alaska

Icy Bay is as it sounds, featuring icebergs that have calved off three glaciers further into the bay. In the small salmon fishing town of Cordova, you’ll find friendly frontier charm at its finest. We’ll then go on to College Fjord, a spectacular stretch of water fringed by snow-dusted mountains and numerous glaciers. One spot in particular offers views of as many as eight glaciers at once.

You’ll disembark in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula beneath Mount Marathon and enjoy a bus ride to Anchorage. You might spot Dall sheep along the route, and even see bison, bears, musk oxen, and elk during our stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Your thrilling expedition comes to an end in the modern city of Anchorage, the largest in the state.

Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound) Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture (Northbound)
  • Day 1
    Vancouver, Canada

    Start of the Expedition

    Estimated time of departure is 6:00 PM

    Your expedition cruise starts in Vancouver. Set amidst beautiful mountain scenery and the waters of English Bay, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and a cosmopolitan city. If you arrange to arrive a few days ahead of your cruise, you’ll soon find out just why people rave about British Colombia’s largest city.  

    Its various neighbourhoods buzz with world-class, farm-to-table cuisine. Chinatown and Punjabi Market have arguably the best Asian food in North America while Commercial Drive is the home of Little Italy.  

    Don’t miss Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood either. Gastown’s Victorian buildings house some of the hottest restaurants and its 167-metre-high Vancouver Lookout also offers a perfect panorama over the city. 

    You can take in the neon lights and nightlife along the Granville Street strip or just go and chill on one of the beaches in West End. The latter is also the gateway to explore the wide-open spaces and towering red cedars of Stanley Park.  

    For an easy way to take in Vancouver’s highlights, we have a half-day Vancouver Sightseeing Tour as a Pre-Programme. It even includes a trip to the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge that hangs 70 metres high over the Capilano River. 

    To venture even further afield, what could be better than a Pre-Programme trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies? The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. 

    Day 1
    Vancouver, Canada

    Start of the Expedition

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Cruising through British Columbia

    Sailing north into the open ocean, we make our way towards the narrow channels of Canada’s Inside Passage. You’ll feel the thrill of setting out on a great adventure as we navigate through the thousands of islands of the Pacific Northwest.

    The great North American Pacific Fjordland is a protected stretch of water almost 1,500km long and known for its relatively calm waters and lack of ocean swells.

    As our journey gets underway you may want to join our Expedition Team at the onboard Science Center and attend a fascinating lecture, spend time getting to know your fellow travellers, or go out on deck to look out for dolphins, porpoises, orcas and humpback whales.

    Our expedition ship is small enough to pass through and get close to the many interesting and scenic channels of the Inside Passage. Don’t forget your binoculars!

    Day 2
    At sea

    Cruising through British Columbia

  • Day 3
    Misty Fjords National Monument

    Unspoiled wilderness

    The first area you’ll explore on your expedition is none other than the spectacular Misty Fjords National Monument. Part of the two million acres of Tongass National Forest, this is a pristine coastal wilderness of evergreen trees, deep fjords, and majestic snow-capped peaks.

    The region receives more than 150 inches (380 cm) of rain a year, feeding rivers and lakes that run into waterfalls that tumble from the dark granite cliffs. The mountains rise almost vertically from the fjords to heights of 3,000 feet (1,000 m) or more, covered in cedar, spruce, hemlock, and moss.

    Influential Scottish-American mountaineer John Muir, also known as ‘Father of the National Parks’, famously declared the Misty Fjords as one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen. We hope you’ll be similarly inspired as we explore the area. If the weather allows, you’ll tour the area aboard our small explorer boats or while kayaking on an optional excursion.

    Keep your eyes peeled to possibly spot mountain goat, brown bear, black bear, and moose, whether along the shores, the ridges, or slopes. In the waters, all five species of Pacific salmon swim, along with river otters, sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, orcas and Dall porpoises. Have your binoculars at the ready for the likes of hummingbirds, trumpeter swans, herons, and that great icon of America: the bald eagle.

    Day 3
    Misty Fjords National Monument

    Unspoiled wilderness

  • Day 4
    Wrangell, Alaska

    Petroglyph Beach

    You’ll really feel like you’re stepping back in time at Wrangell, one of Alaska’s oldest and most historic island towns. Ancient petroglyph carvings dot the beach here, and it’s only a 15-minute walk to where you can start noticing them. There are about 50 in total, so see how many you can find.

    Afterwards, why not pay a visit to the Wrangell Museum, which is packed full of interesting artefacts and information about the history of the town. While Wrangell is now part of America, it was previously governed by Great Britain, Russia, and the Tlingit people as far back as 8,000 years ago.

    Then there’s the moss-covered totem poles at the Chief Shakes Tribal House which tell the story of the local Tlingit people. You’ll find the Tribal House, which is beautifully constructed from cedar wood, a short walk from the town centre over the wooden bridge to Shakes Island.

    Being surrounded by such alluring scenery at the mouth of Stikine River and at the foot of Mount Dewey, it’ll be easy to get back to nature on one of the local trails to the edge of the rainforest.

    Day 4
    Wrangell, Alaska

    Petroglyph Beach

  • Day 5
    Tracy / Endicott Arm Fjords, Alaska

    Glaciers in all their glory

    Crossing Holkham Bay, we’ll have a choice of exploring either Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm. These fjords are among the lesser-known gems of Alaska due to their relative inaccessibility for larger vessels, and when you see them, you’ll appreciate just how special they are.

    The waters are often so calm they look like a mirror reflecting the sky and the mountains around them. At the end of each fjord is a calving glacier, pushing beautiful fresh icebergs out into the tranquil waters, some as tall as buildings.

    Tracy Arm is the home of the combined North and South Sawyer Glaciers while Endicott has the Dawes Glacier. Both arms promise rugged and radiant blue-ice glaciers and icebergs against a stunning backdrop of Alaskan forests and towering cliffs.

    Endicott Arm is one of the largest breeding grounds for harbor seals and they can often be seen lazing on the floating ice, as if posing for photographs.

    Also look out for whales, bears, mountain goats, moose and other wildlife either from on deck or – if conditions are right – from our small expedition boats or by kayaks on an optional excursion.

    Day 5
    Tracy / Endicott Arm Fjords, Alaska

    Glaciers in all their glory

  • Day 6
    Petersburg, Alaska

    Little Norway

    This little fishing town is located at the north end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meets Frederick Sound. You might see icebergs in the sound, descending from LeConte Glacier on the opposite shore. The waters here are also usually important summer feeding ground for humpback whales.

    Petersburg boasts the largest home-based halibut fleet in Alaska, supporting a number of canneries. The harbour therefore brims with various ships and seaplanes, but isn’t deep enough to receive larger cruise ships.

    From the waterfront, you’ll have enviable views across Frederick Sound to a sharp skyline of snowy summits. The most prominent of these peaks is the Devil’s Thumb, site of the biggest rockface in North America.

    Founded by a Norwegian named Peter Buschmann in the 1800s, the 3,000 residents of this ‘Little Norway’ are very proud of their Scandinavian heritage. With Hurtigruten being from their ancestral homeland, we’re likely to get a warm welcome from the locals.

    Strolling quiet streets like Sing Lee Alley will reveal wooden houses decorated with traditional Norwegian rosemaling. You can learn all about the town’s Nordic history at the Sons of Norway hall, a large white building constructed in 1912. There’s even a locally constructed replica Viking ship, the Valhalla to check out.

    Day 6
    Petersburg, Alaska

    Little Norway

  • Day 7
    Haines, Alaska

    Art on the wild side

    Discover the rugged frontier Alaskan town with a heart for art. Situated in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, Haines sits beside the Lynn Canal deepwater fjord and is the epitome of picturesque.

    Before the gold rush days, Haines was the home of the Chilkat Tlingit people, who are well-known for weaving mountain goat fur and yellow cedar bark into intricate designs. Visit the Haines Sheldon Museum to see authentic Chilkat blankets on display.

    The creative spirit lives on in Haines through its flourishing art scene. There are more artists per capita here than any other town in the Southeast, which explains the diverse art collections in the local galleries and workshops. Totem carving, silverwork, sculpture and photography are just some of the art forms you can see here.

    Haines is also ideal for adventurers seeking hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities. Known as the ‘Valley of the Eagles’, Haines attracts numerous bald eagles, and the varied ecosystems also support bears and moose.

    If the offbeat and quirky appeals to you, check out the Hammer Museum – it’s easy to spot, just look out for the giant hammer!

    Day 7
    Haines, Alaska

    Art on the wild side

  • Day 8
    William Henry Bay, Alaska

    Explore the wilderness

    William Henry Bay lies south of Haines, at the edge of the Chilkat mountain range. We’ll drop anchor and explore the shores lined with old-growth forest together with local guides. Keep your eyes open for brown and black bears, black-tailed deer, as well as moose.

    The area here was the site of copper mining and later gold in 1921. With the Cold War and nuclear arms proliferation of the 1950s, the US government spurred on a ‘uranium rush’ around William Henry Bay, but failed to find any significant deposits. Recent surveys seem to suggest that there still be gold in these hills…

    In the evening, we’ll pass by Point Adolphus, located on the northern tip of Chichagof Island across from Glacier Bay National Park. The nutrient rich waters here are famous for attracting large numbers of humpback whales, as well as other marine life. You’ll hopefully see why Point Adolphus is known to be one of the best places for whale sightings in North America.

    Day 8
    William Henry Bay, Alaska

    Explore the wilderness

  • Day 9
    Sitka, Alaska

    A history of cultures

    Situated on Baranof Island on the outer coast of the Inside Passage, Sitka can only be reached by sea or by air. It’s also surrounded by Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world. Sailing here, you’ll be able to enjoy views of the Sisters Mountains and of Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano reminiscent of Japan’s Mount Fuji.

    Originally inhabited by the Tlingit people over 10,000 years ago, it was conquered by Russia in 1804 and renamed ‘New Archangel’. By 1808, the city was the largest in the region and was designated the capital of Alaska. Today, you’ll find Sitka to be a place of blended culture. Tlingit traditions remain strong, existing side by side with Russian and American influences.

    With Russia reeling from the Crimean War, it sold Alaska to the US to keep it out of the hands of the British. The location of the transfer ceremony in 1867 was none other than New Archangel which was promptly renamed as ‘Sitka’. At the meagre price of $7.2 million for the entire region, it was a steal at just two cents per acre!

    There are historic sites aplenty in Sitka, such as the Russian Bishop’s House which is the oldest intact building here, dating back to 1842. Or you can visit the Russian Orthodox St. Michael’s Cathedral which still features its original chandelier, religious art, and a range of other artefacts.

    A highlight for most visitors to Sitka is the 107-acre Sitka National Historic Park. There is a fascinating museum here with a range of exhibits. You can then follow a trail that leads you by the ocean through a peaceful forest. Along the way, you’ll also discover beautiful examples of ornate Haida and Tlingit totem poles.

    Day 9
    Sitka, Alaska

    A history of cultures

  • Day 10
    Icy Bay

    A trio of tidal glaciers

    Discover Icy Bay near Prince William Sound – a place that really lives up to its name. Three prominent glaciers of Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall feed vast chunks of floating ice into the waters of the bay.

    The area here was once a giant tidewater glacier that ran directly into the Gulf of Alaska. The bay has only become accessible to ships in the past 100 years or so.

    This was also the site of a mega-tsunami in 2015 when 180 million tonnes of mountain rock and forest collapsed into the fjord. The resulting wave is thought to have been one of the highest in the past century. Thankfully, the tsunami dissipated without doing any damage.

    Our aim will be to visit the 55-km-long and 13-km-wide Guyot Glacier, depending on the amount of ice along the way and the local weather conditions. You’ll hopefully be able to go ashore as near to the glacier as is safe or explore the waters on kayaks as part of an optional excursion.

    As ever, we’ll be on the lookout for all the awesome wildlife that abounds in the Gulf of Alaska, including humpback whales, orcas, Stellar sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals and many others.

    This tough and rugged area is only matched by its natural beauty and there will be ample photographic opportunities throughout the day. The harbor seals, in particular, love to laze on floating ice.

    Day 10
    Icy Bay

    A trio of tidal glaciers

  • Day 11
    Cordova

    Alaska’s Little Secret

    Cordova is an authentic Alaskan salmon fishing town surrounded by the vast Chugach National Forest. With it being only accessible by boat or plane, it’s a select number of visitors each year who get to admire the town’s spectacular setting between Orca Inlet, Hawkins Island, Mount Eccles, Eyak Lake and the Copper River Delta.

    Thanks to this remoteness, Cordova has preserved its small-town, traditional vibe more than many other communities in Alaska. You’ll likely enjoy the friendly atmosphere and feel free to chat to the welcoming locals about their lives.

    Head down to the Ilanka Cultural Center to see a collection of tribal artefacts and artwork, including a fully reconstructed orca skeleton in the lobby. You can also check out the museum on Main Street for a snapshot of Cordova’s history.

    Some might know of Cordova due to the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 when the tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef northwest of the town. Major efforts helped to clean up the coastline, and while there are some after-effects, the region’s wildlife of sea otters, eagles, tundra swans, beavers, moose, and bears has largely recovered.

    Day 11
    Cordova

    Alaska’s Little Secret

  • Day 12
    College Fjord

    Ivy League Glaciers

    This area in the northern reaches of Prince William Sound is home to five magnificent tidewater glaciers, five large valley glaciers, and a dozen smaller ones. From afar, the glaciers appear as frozen waterfalls, tumbling slowly down the black rock of the Chugach Mountains into the blue seas below.

    Glaciers like Vassar, Smith, Yale, and Harvard were named after the Ivy League East Coast alma maters of their discoverers during the 1899 Harriman Expedition. Princeton is notably missing, a deliberate snub that the discoverers are said to have taken great delight in!

    Harvard Glacier is the largest among the glaciers to be seen here. Its face is 200-feet-thick and over a mile wide. We’ll get as close as we safely can to these natural wonders, provided wind and waves are favourable.

    At the same time, we’ll be on the lookout for wildlife, including humpback whales, bald eagles, otters and sea lions which are often spotted in this remote area. There is also a possibility of small boat cruising on the fjord, or even kayaking as an optional excursion.

    Day 12
    College Fjord

    Ivy League Glaciers

  • Day 13
    Seward

    Heading inland

    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    Sitting on the Kenai Peninsula at the head of Resurrection Bay and beneath Mount Marathon, Seward boasts incredible natural scenery. It’s the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, a vast mountainous area which contains one of the largest ice fields in Alaska.

    Founded in 1903, Seward is the only deepwater, ice-free port that also connects to Alaska’s interior via plane, train, and highway. It is named after William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who negotiated the USA’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

    When we arrive at the lively harbour here, you’ll bid farewell to the ship and enjoy a scenic drive through some spectacular backcountry towards Anchorage for an overnight stay. The route between Anchorage and Seward is also known for sightings of the impressively horned Dall sheep.

    We’ll make a point to stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center too. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, this sanctuary in Portage Valley is dedicated to rehabilitating Alaska’s orphaned or injured animals. You may be able to view bears, bison, moose, caribou, elk, eagles, owls, musk oxen and a variety of birds.

    Day 13
    Seward

    Heading inland

  • Day 14
    Anchorage

    ‘Big Apple of the North’

    Your expedition ends in Alaska’s largest city, home to almost 40% of the state’s population – a statistic only beaten by New York state and its famous city. In fact, Anchorage sits almost exactly midway between the Big Apple and Tokyo in Japan, but further north than Oslo, Norway, and Saint Petersburg, Russia.

    As you’d expect, Anchorage comes packed with many of the restaurants, galleries, events, and baseball matches of a modern American metropolis. It is also near to Denali National Park which you can visit as part of our Post-Programme.

    If you’ve time, the collections of artwork and artefacts at the Anchorage Museum are a must-see. There is also a variety of cultures represented at the Native Heritage Center together with traditional dance performances.

    You’ll find flowers in full boom in Town Square Park and locals will be making the most of the long summer days to fish for salmon in Ship Creek downtown. Moose are commonly seen roaming certain neighbourhoods, and brown and black bears are also known to wander into parts of the city.

    Day 14
    Anchorage

    ‘Big Apple of the North’

Departures

2022

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
May:
20.
June:
13.

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Book with Confidence

    Our popular Book with Confidence policy is back, giving you the peace of mind you want for your next adventure exploring the world with us.
    The benefits of the policy apply to any new bookings made between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, for expedition cruises departing on or before 30 June 2022.
    See Special Offer

What's included

Included in your voyage

Hotel  

  • One night in Anchorage, including breakfast at the end of your voyage    

Transfer

  • Transfer from pier in Seward to hotel in Anchorage with a stop at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center including admission fee, English-speaking guide, and a packed lunch

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area

Notes

MS Roald Amundsen
Science Center
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
A small boat in a large body of water
Your ship

MS Roald Amundsen

Year built 2019
Shipyard Kleven Yards
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots
MS Roald Amundsen

In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.

Read more about MS Roald Amundsen

Aune Restaurant, MS Roald Amundsen
Photo: Espen Mills
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