Alaska & Canada – Aleutian Islands, Bears and Inside Passage
Duration: 18 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
10 September 2019
Alaska & Canada – Aleutian Islands, Bears and Inside Passage
Duration: 18 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
10 September 2019
- Discover coastal Alaska at its most remote
- Explore the fascinating Aleutian Islands, home of the Deadliest Catch
- Good chance to see brown bears
- Experience the beauty of the tundra and forest landscapes in glorious autumn colours
This cruise has sailed! Don't worry, here are a few suggestions if you want to explore North America with Hurtigruten.
- Day 1 Vancouver, Canada
- Day 2 Nome, Alaska
- Day 3 At sea
- Day 4 St. Matthew Island
- Day 5 St. Paul
- Day 6 At sea
- Day 7 Dutch Harbour
- Day 8 Unga Village
- Day 9 At sea
- Day 10 Kinak Bay
- Day 11 Kodiak
- Day 12 At sea
- Day 13 Cruising the Hubbard Glacier
- Day 14 Icy Strait Point
- Day 15 Sitka
- Day 16 Ketchikan
- Day 17 At sea
- Day 18 Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is often rated at the top of lists for liveability and quality of life. The city grew from a humble tavern by a river, expanding upon the arrival of the railroad in 1884. Despite its large size today, this city retains the laid-back charm typical of Canada. Take your time to explore some of this young and energetic city’s cultural institutions. Enjoy an overnight here.
Early in the morning, we will transfer you after breakfast to Vancouver airport for your flight to Alaska. After arrival in Nome, we will transfer you for embarkation to the ship, MS Roald Amundsen.
Nome is a place of fascinating history. In 1898, three lucky Swedish men discovered gold in the nearby Anvil Creek, and within a year, 10,000 men had arrived desperate to repeat the feat. In the winter of 1925, Nome suffered an outbreak of diphtheria whilst cut off from the rest of the world by snow and sea ice. The only way to get the serum from Anchorage, 1,600 km away, was by a rely of dog sledges.
Enjoy a relaxing first day on board! MS Roald Amundsen sets course to the south through the Bering Sea, named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering who in 1728 became the first to explore this route to the Arctic Ocean. This sea area is biologically rich – more than half of the US seafood catch comes from this sea – so take time on deck to look out for the fin and humpback whales which also benefit from nature’s bounty. Onboard, the Expedition team will start the lecture programme covering history and the great explorers, marine biology, wildlife, oceanography and climate change.
As we step ashore on the black sand and gravel beaches of St. Matthew Island, you and your fellow explorers from MS Roald Amundsen will be the only humans on the isle.
St. Matthew has enjoyed status as a nature reserve since 1909, and is today home to countless nesting seabirds. The only mammals currently found on the island are the native St. Matthew island vole and the arctic fox.
A bird lovers’ paradise! One cannot help but be enchanted by the horned and tufted puffins found here. The rare red-legged kittiwake makes use of the cliffs as a breeding site. During the fall, migratory species can also be seen around the green, rolling hills or on the black basalt beaches.
Around 400 people live on St Paul, all descended from Aleut slaves forcibly moved to the island by Russian fur traders in 1780’s. Today, the fur seal population is thriving, around half the world’s northern fur seal population live in the waters around the island.
MS Roald Amundsen continues south through the Bering Sea, approaching the Aleutian Islands and our next stop of Dutch Harbor. The Expedition team will prepare you for our upcoming destinations and continue their lecture series.
Also known as "Unalaska", Dutch Harbor sits in the middle of the Aleutian Islands chain. As we sail towards the harbor, you will see the highest point on the island, Mount Makushin, a steaming volcano almost 6,000 feet high.
One unexpected product of the rich seas around Dutch Harbor is a well-known television programme, "Deadliest Catch", which features the crews from the area as they venture into the often-dangerous world of commercial fishing. We are looking forward to calm conditions for our visit.
Take a walk around the town, maybe call in at the Museum of the Aleutians to discover more about the history of this fascinating region where Native Americans met Russian fur traders. There is even a Russian Orthodox Church.
Visit the World War Two Center, where US code breakers intercepted messages warning of a Japanese attack but were unable to prevent the Battle of Dutch Harbor in June 1942. If you would like to escape the town, why not hike up Ballyhoo Mountain, 498 metres high, for a view over the green island and steep sea cliffs.
Unga is the largest of the dozen or so Shumagin Islands, 970 km southwest of Anchorage. Unga Village is an eerie ghost town with picturesque village ruins. Settled by Aleuts in 1833, the sparse mining and subsistence fishing were not enough to support the community which moved to the larger Sand Point settlement in 1969. Today, a collection of wooden buildings, including a church with the roof and floor are all that remain, surrounded by a carpet of pink louseworts.
Enjoy a day at sea as we sail east along the south side of the Alaskan Peninsula. Our Expedition team will present the plans for the upcoming days.
Katmai National Park is located where the Alaskan Peninsula joins the continent, and Kinak Bay lies within the park.
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes gives a clue to the dramatic volcanic nature of the landscape, and with mountains rising to almost 915 meters (3,000 feet) there is snow too. Here we hope to find brown bears as they forage along the shore for clams, and lunch on berries or fish in the clear running waters of the mountain streams.
Kodiak is a bustling fishing harbor with around 6,000 residents. It has two float plane harbors, testament to the opportunities to explore the expansive surrounding countryside from the air for another chance to find brown bears.
In the town, you can shop at souvenir and local handicraft and artwork stores. The Baranov Museum presents artifacts from the area’s Russian past, as does the stunning Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, with exhibitions on the local flora and fauna, includes a complete 36-foot skeleton of a male gray whale.
Take a walk to Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park where you can combine history with wildlife spotting. The historic ruins of a World War II coastal defense installation are coupled with the steep surf-pounded cliffs, deep spruce forests and meadows laden with wildflowers. Stop for a while on the cliff edge of Miller Point, and watch the sea for the chance to see fin or humpback whales.
You can also join one of our excursion options for the day, taking you to scout for bears in this scenic blend of tundra, deep fjords and mountains.
A day at sea means you can join the lectures by the Expedition team, spend time on deck or in the Panorama Lounge with fellow travellers as we sail towards Alaska’s Panhandle.
The ice you see today as we cruise the Hubbard Glacier fell as snow around 400-500 years ago and more than 100 km inland. A glacier is a flowing river of ice, albeit a slow-flowing river. In the last few decades, the Hubbard Glacier has surged forward and in 1986 completely blocked the fjord until a build-up of water burst through the ice. Bergs come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, so have your camera ready!
This waterway was named Disenchantment Bay by Spanish naval officer Alessandro Malaspina in 1792, when he was disappointed to discover it was not the Northwest Passage, as he had hoped. We trust that you will be enchanted, maybe even spellbound, by the beautiful ice scenery here.
Icy Strait Point is located on Chichagof Island and boasts attractions owned and managed by local Alaskan natives with aboriginal ties to the area. Expect to be greeted by local guides in traditional costumes. Experience Alaska's Wildest Kitchen, which shows visitors the importance of salmon and subsistence fishing in the Tlingit culture.
There is even a culinary instruction space where local residents demonstrate how to fillet fish such as halibut and salmon. We can visit a 1930s Hoonah Packing Company facility, now converted into a museum. If you feel this is all a little sedate, stimulate your adrenaline by tackling one of North America’s longest zip lines: 1,620 metres long!
Located on Baranof Island, Sitka faces the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska to the west and striking scenery with mountains and forest to the east. The majestic Mt Edgecumbe with its perfect volcanic cone looms above the horizon across the Sitka Sound.
Sitka is a town of about 9.000 people, brimming with history, natural wonders and fascinating sites for you to discover. Sitka National Historic park with tall trees and totems carved out of red cedar are testimonials of the Tlingit culture and Sitka’s first inhabitants. St. Michaels Cathedral is a picturesque remnant of the town’s Russian heritage. You may explore the town at your own pace or join one of the optional excursions.
Our southernmost Alaskan port call is Ketchikan, located on the southwest corner of Revillagigedo Island. The town of just more than 8,000 bills itself as the salmon capital of the world, and is known for both its commercial salmon fishing and sport fishing.
Ketchikan offers plenty of natural and cultural attractions. Enjoy a stroll around the town and visit some of the delightful shops, cafes and galleries. Explore the town’s indigenous heritage and visit the world’s largest collection of totem poles. Discover Ketchikan at your own pace or join one of the many excursions on offer here, taking you on fishing tours, scenic flights over the Misty Fjords or hiking through or zip lining above Alaskan rainforest.
Our last day on board is a chance to chat with new friends, read, or just relax and watch the world sail by.
Sailing into Canada’s third-largest city and busiest seaport may come as a bit of a shock after so many days exploring the wilderness and enjoying small settlements. But this green city´s foliage will be beginning to show their wonderful autumn colours, and local beaches are plentiful and close at hand. Our expedition ends where we started, in the beautiful city of Vancouver.
- Hurtigruten Expedition with cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- One overnight in Vancouver before the voyage including breakfast
- Economy flight from Vancouver to Nome
- Transfers before the voyage from hotel to airport in Vancouver and airport to ship in Nome
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanies landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
This cruise is not suitable for guests using wheelchairs due to the possibility of using tender boats during embarkation or disembarkation.
MS Roald Amundsen
|Passenger capacity||530 (500 in Antarctica)|
|Gross tonnage||20 889 T|
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.
Kodiak - Fort Abercrombie Nature Walk
Kodiak City Drive
Icy Strait Point - Back Country Jeep Adventure
Icy Strait Point - Hoonah Sightseeing & Tribal Dance
Icy Strait Point - Icy Strait Kayak Adventure
Icy Strait Point - Ocean Raft Adventure
Icy Strait Point - Ultimate Helicopter Tour: Wildlife, Wilderness, Tlingit Culture
Icy Strait Point - Scenic Mountain Ascent & World's Largest ZipRider
Icy Strait Point - Whales, Wildlife & Brown Bear Search
Icy Strait Point - Wilderness Hike
Sitka - Best of Sitka
Sitka - Sea Otter, Raptors & Bears
Sitka - Wildlife Quest and Fin Island Lodge
Sitka Cultural Discovery
Sitka Kayak Adventure
Ketchikan - Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary and Eagle Centre
Ketchikan - Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour
Ketchikan - Potlatch City Tour with Totem Bight State Park
Ketchikan - Saxman Native Cultural Experience
Ketchikan Historic Walking Tour
Extend your cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.