Friday, August 13 - VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The humble beginnings of the City of Vancouver, in the settlement of Gastown on Burrard Inlet, rose out of the old-growth forests and the sawdust of the old Hastings Mill. Its location between the Pacific Ocean and the snow-capped coastal mountains creates one of the most idyllic settings of any city in the world. As a world-class city, it has the best of both worlds, intermingling urban sophistication with a sense of wilderness and outdoor adventure. Whether you are exploring Vancouver's diverse downtown core, strolling through the gain trees of Stanley Park or raking in the 20 miles (30 km) of uninterrupted waterfront trails along the seawall, you are bound to fall in love with Canada's third-largest metropolitan center, which is consistently ranked as one of most livable cities on earth.
Saturday, August 14 - AT SEA
Sunday, August 15 - KETCHIKAN, ALASKA
Ketchikan is a picturesque coastal town with a colorful frontier history, standing at the southern entrance to Alaska's famed Inside Passage. It began as a salmon cannery in 1885, built by company employee Mike Martin at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. Once dubbed the 'Canned Salmon Capital of the World,' today government, commercial fishing, and tourism are its main industries. The renowned Creek Street, perched on stilts along with the mouth of the creek, would bring lasting infamy to the area for the red-light district that burgeoned there during the Gold Rush.
The town's site first served as a camp for Tlingit people, and for thousands of years, this has been their home. Their rich culture is being preserved to this day. A visit to Ketchikan is not complete without visiting one or all of Native American sites such as Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, Saxman Native Village, and the Totem Heritage Center. Together, these locations comprise the world's largest collection of standing Native American totem poles.
Monday, August 16 - SITKA, ALASKA
A stroll through the streets and National Historic Park of Sitka is a glimpse into its unique and colorful past. A blend of Tlingit and Russian cultures defines this first capital of Alaska. Although fish canning and gold mining were the initial catalysts for growth in Sitka, the construction of an airbase during World War II truly paves the way for Sitka to come into its own. One of Sitka's most intriguing structures is the Cathedral of Saint Michael, built-in 1848 to honor a Russian Orthodox bishop.
Sitka's history begins thousands of years ago with the Tlingit people and their use of the land for sustenance and spirituality. Old Sitka, located just north of the present-day settlement, was founded by Russian-American Company trader Alexander Baranov in 1799. Originally named Novo-Arkhangelsk (New Archangel) under Russian rule, its name was changed to Sitka after Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867. Sitka is a Tlingit word meaning 'by the sea.'
Tuesday, August 17 - AT SEA
Wednesday, August 18 - ICY STRAIT POINT, ALASKA
Icy Strait Point is a unique community on Chichagof Island near the entry to Glacier Bay National Park. It was created and is owned by a corporation of over 1300 Native Americans of various local Tlingit tribes, fro the purpose of offering visitors an enjoy able, educational experience of Alaska's native cultures, as well as the human and natural history of the region. Your tender will dock at the historic 1912 salmon canning facility, which today is a museum. The surrounding grounds offer cultural performances. Native American-owned shops and galleries, restaurants and a variety of tours and exdursions for every interest from sport fishing to whale watching, guided nature walks and excursions to view bears and other wildlife. ATV tours and even a qipline adventure that is said to be the logest (over a mile) and highest (over 1330 feet of drop) in North America. The small village of Hoonah is just over a mile away, and can be reached either by walking or on a shuttle. It also has shops and eateries, as well as a totem-carving enterprise run by the corporation. The Huna Totem Corporation maintains complete control of the content and access to the community, which has won a number of prestigious awards for its sustainable approach to exploiting the natural and historical heritage of Alaska and its native peoples for their benefit.
Thursday, August 19 - HAINES, ALASKA
Tucked in along the shores of the longest fjord in North America and surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Haines is an authentic Alaskan experience. It is an eclectic community and a true hidden gem. Its rich culture shines brightly during the annual state fair that draws people from all over Alaska.
Haines is home to the largest concentration of bald eagles on earth, and grizzly bears gorge themselves on spawning salmon in its rivers. It was originally named Dteshuh, which means 'end of the trail' in the language of the Chilkat natives, who used to portage across the peninsula to Chilkat Inlet as a shortcut to their trade route to the interior.
The first Europeans arrived in 1879 to build a school and a Presbyterian mission. In time, the mission was renamed Haines in honor of Francina E. Haines, the chairwoman of the committee that raised funds for its construction. Haines grew dramatically during the 1899 Klondike gold rush in the Yukon, supplying prospectors with food and equipment.
Friday, August 20 - JUNEAU, ALASKA
Juneau, Alaska's capital, is accessible only by air and sea, due to the rugged mountain terrain that surrounds the city. It has been a world-class travel destination since the early 1900s. The city has plenty to offer the outdoor adventurer. You may choose to explore on foot along the Perseverance Trail or around Mendenhall Glacier, or board one of the many local whale-watching boats, or view the mountains and extensive glaciers of the Juneau Icefield from a helicopter.
Although founded by Alaskan pioneers, this area was in use for thousands of years by the Tlingit people and was originally settled by the Auke tribe, taking advantage of the abundant food and natural resources provided by the land and sea. Their descendants continue to gather clams, gumboot chitons, grass, and sea urchins to this day.