Sunday, July 9 - VANCOUVER, CANADA - EMBARKATION
Once a trading post and a rough-and-tumble sawmilling settlement, today, modern Vancouver, Canada, is many things. Cruise to Vancouver and visit this bustling seaport. This city is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking for active things to do in Vancouver, an ethnically diverse metropolis, and Holly wood of the North. Hemmed in by mountains and sea, Vancouver seduces visitors with its combination of urban sophistication and laid-back attitude against a backdrop of glass towers, modern sights, and plentiful green spaces.
Enjoy local attractions, fun-filled outdoor activities, and an innovative culinary scene on a Vancouver cruise excursion. Vancouver's culinary and cocktail scene is on the rise - and its excellent restaurants and hopping bars have a distinctively local stamp on them. They thrive in the city's many museum galleries and performance venues if you are looking for where to go in Vancouver for music, theater, and the arts. Beyond the downtown attractions in Vancouver, days of exploration and sightseeing await among the colorful suburbs, unspoiled islands, and the vast, rugged wilderness.
Monday, July 10 - SCENIC CRUISING THE INSIDE PASSAGE
Alaska's Inside Passage is a protected network of waterways that wind through glacier-cut fjords and lush temperate rain forests along the rugged coast of Southeast Alaska. Arguably one of the most significant cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to the famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve.
Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska's most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orcas plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead, and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline.
Numerous ports along the way recount Alaska's colorful history. In Sitka, an onion-domed church marks Russia's one-time foothold in the Americas; Ketchikan provides a glimpse of the Native Alaskan experience, with historic totem poles and native-arts galleries; and the legendary town center of Skagway bustles as it did at the turn of the 19th century when it served as the rowdy Wild West gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush.
Tuesday, July 11 - KETCHIKAN
Take an adventure to Ketchikan, Alaska Alaska's "First City," Ketchikan is so named because it's the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain.
Ketchikan has long been a significant hub of the salmon-fishing and packed industries. Visitors can try their luck on a sportfishing or merely savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants on a Ketchikan excursion. Ketchikan is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park, while the attractions of Saxman Village just outside of Ketchikan offers the chance to see Tlingit culture in action, with working carvers and a dance show in the clan house. On an Alaska cruise to Ketchikan, don't forget to leave time to explore the sights, in the town itself, including historic Creek Street, a boardwalk built over Ketchikan Creek, where you can shop for souvenirs, smoked salmon, and local art while exploring gold rush-era tourist attractions like Dolly's House Museum.
Wednesday, July 12 - JUNEAU
Cruise to Juneau, Alaska, and visit the most remote, most beautiful, and strangest state capital in the United States. Surrounded by water, forest, and mountain sights, visitors seeking things to do in Juneau indoors and outdoors can hike a glacier, eat fresh-caught fish on a seaside patio and tour a grand capitol building all in one day.
Juneau is known for its outdoor recreation, fresh seafood, and fine dining. The city itself is pleasant, but the real highlight of a visit to Juneau is tracking down some wildlife. You can hike up Mount Roberts to chance upon wild deer and bald eagles. Most sightseeing and whale-watching tours head north by Auke Bay - bring a good pair of binoculars to get the best view of these majestic and surprisingly graceful creatures. If you prefer land mammals, catch a floatplane to a nearby wildlife reserve such as Chichagof or Admiralty Island to spy some bears lolling around.
The sleepy, misty city of around 32,000 - mostly fishermen and small-business owners - has a frontier town vibe but welcomes more than a million visitors each summer to its natural attractions, cementing Juneau as Alaska's number-one tourist destination. Experience this breathtaking city.
Thursday, July 13 - SKAGWAY
Step back to the days of the last great gold rush - choose from exciting shore excursions and still have time to shop.
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, the port town of Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields and quickly grew into Alaska's largest settlement. I was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons, and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway - but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for a new kind of visitor: those looking to explore Alaska's colorful history, pristine wildlife, and unrivaled natural beauty.
Friday, July 14 - GLACIER BAY
Close your eyes and take in the sounds - the creaks and groans of "living" ice, the shrill cries of gulls and soaring eagles, and the splash of a breaching humpback whale. Frosted peaks towering over mossy forests, wide tidewater glaciers (there are seven in the park), and marine wildlife are givens on Glacier Bay cruises, but every experience in this changing biosphere is unique.
With the serene majesty of snow-flecked and forested mountains defining its shores, Glacier Bay National Park offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Keep your binoculars and camera on hand as you cruise Glacier Bay to the mile-wide Margerie Glacier, where you may witness ice calving. Wildlife abounds in Glacier Bay, so stay ready - you never know when you will see the fluke of a humpback rise out of the water or spot a lone brown bear wandering a wind-swept beach.
Saturday, July 15 - COLLEGE FjORD
An Alaska glacier cruise is the best way to see majestic, centuries-old rivers of ice cascading from the mountains to the sea. Glaciers have shaped many Alaska lakes, rivers, and valleys one slow centimeter at a time. They've fascinated scientists and inspired artists for a long time. Scenic cruising College Fjord will bring you close to many glaciers - there's even a spot where you can see eight at once. Your chances of watching ice thunder into the water are high, as the Prince William Sound is one of the most active areas for calving.
Out of all Alaska fjords, College Fjord is the most storied. The Harriman Expedition of 1899 with John Muir and other notable scientists traversed the College Fjord aboard the George W. Elder, funded by Ivy League colleges. All of the glaciers were named for various schools. As you travel into College Fjord, the glaciers on the left are named for women's colleges, and those on the right are named for men's colleges. The names are Amherst, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Harvard, Smith, Vassar, and Yale).
Harvard Glacier is the biggest - its face is a mile and a half across. In case you're wondering, it is rumored that the scientists snubbed Princeton.
Sunday, July 16 - WHITTIER - DISEMBARK
Disembark and fly home.