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

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

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

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

Travel information 14 days MS Roald Amundsen
Departures
May 31, 2022
June 24, 2022
Price from $ 7,292
$ 6,624
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Explore the vast wilderness of Alaska as you journey from Anchorage to Vancouver. Historic towns and wild landscapes await you in the Last Frontier.

Southcentral Alaska

Your adventure begins with a scenic drive from Anchorage (Alaska’s largest city) to Seward, where you can view rehabiliting wildlife at the conservation center. From there, we’ll sail into Prince William Sound, exploring College Fjord and Icy Bay, where you’ll see spectacular glaciers and have the chance to spot wildlife like humpback whales, Bald Eagles, and otters.

We’ll drop anchor at William Henry Bay, an old copper and gold mining site. Look out for deer while hiking through the forest with local guides. Next up is the creative hub of Haines. Learn about the town’s Chilkat Tlingit roots in the museum and browse the many galleries and boutiques.

Southeast Inside Passage

Crossing Holkham Bay, take in the magnificent views of either the Tracy or Endicott Arm, two pristine fjords with waters so calm they look like mirrors. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you may be able to explore the fjords in a kayak as part of an optional excursion.

Your journey continues in Sitka, a town with a blended culture of both Russian and Tlingit influence. From there, learn about ‘Little Norway’ in Petersburg and marvel at the impressive totem poles in Wrangell and Alert Bay. The bustling city of Vancouver marks the end of your cruise.

Alaska and British Columbia - Wilderness, Glaciers, and Culture (Southbound)
  • Day 1
    Anchorage

    Alaska’s Largest City

    Your expedition cruise begins in Alaska’s largest city, home to almost 40% of the state’s population—a proportion beaten only by New York state and its famous city. In fact, Anchorage sits almost exactly midway between New York City and Tokyo, Japan; but it’s even farther north than Oslo, Norway, and Saint Petersburg, Russia.

    Anchorage is packed with the restaurants, galleries, events, and baseball games; you’re sure to enjoy this modern American metropolis. It’s also near Denali National Park, which you can explore as part of our Pre-Program.

    If you have time, the Anchorage Museum’s artwork and artifacts collections is worth a visit. The Native Heritage Center also showcases a variety of indigenous cultures and traditional dance performances.

    Flowers will be in full boom in Town Square Park, while locals will be fishing for salmon in Ship Creek, downtown, making the most of the long summer days. Moose are commonly seen roaming certain neighborhoods, with brown and black bears also known to wander into parts of the city.

    Day 1
    Anchorage

    Alaska’s Largest City

  • Day 2
    Seward, Alaska

    Alaska Scenery and Wildlife. Start of the Expedition

    Estimated time of departure is 8:00 PM

    From Anchorage, we arrive at Seward after a scenic drive through spectacular backcountry. The route between Anchorage and Seward is also well known for sightings of the horned Dall sheep.

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

    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 U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

    We’ll also make a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center along the way. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, this sanctuary in Portage Valley cares for orphaned and injured Alaskan animals. Here, you might see bears, bison, moose, caribou, elk, eagles, owls, musk oxen, and a variety of birds.

    Day 2
    Seward, Alaska

    Alaska Scenery and Wildlife. Start of the Expedition

  • Day 3
    College Fjord

    Ivy League Glaciers

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

    Glaciers such as Vassar, Smith, Yale, and Harvard were named after their discoverers’ Ivy League alma maters during the 1899 Harriman Expedition. Princeton is notably missing—the discoverers are said to have taken great delight in this deliberate snub!

    Harvard Glacier is the largest among these glaciers. 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 that the wind, waves, and conditions are favorable.

    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 (RIB) cruising on the fjord, or even kayaking as an optional excursion.

    Day 3
    College Fjord

    Ivy League Glaciers

  • Day 4
    Icy Bay

    Tidal Glaciers

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

    This area was once a giant tidewater glacier that ran directly into the Gulf of Alaska. The bay has only been accessible to ships for the last 100 years or so.

    This was also the site of the 2015 megatsunami, when 180 million tons of mountain rock and forest collapsed into the fjord. The resulting wave is thought to be one of the tallest in the past century. Thankfully, the megatsunami dissipated without doing any damage.

    Our aim will be to visit the Guyot Glacier, measuring 34 miles long and 8 miles wide, but that depends on ice we encounter along the way and on local weather conditions. We’ll land as close to the glacier as safely possible and explore the waters by kayak as part of an optional excursion.

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

    Photo ops will abound throughout the day in this rough and rugged area steeped in natural beauty. The harbor seals, in particular, love to loaf around on the floating ice.

    Day 4
    Icy Bay

    Tidal Glaciers

  • Day 5
    William Henry Bay, Alaska

    Wilderness Exploration

    In the morning, we’ll pass by Point Adolphus, located on the northern tip of Chichagof Island, across from Glacier Bay National Park. These nutrient-rich waters are famous for attracting large numbers of humpback whales and other marine life. See why Point Adolphus is known as one of the best whale-sighting spots in North America.

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

    Day 5
    William Henry Bay, Alaska

    Wilderness Exploration

  • Day 6
    Haines, Alaska

    Art in the Wilderness

    Discover this rugged frontier Alaskan town with a heart for art. Haines is postcard perfect, located in the northern part of the Alaskan Panhandle beside the Lynn Canal deepwater fjord.

    Before the Gold Rush, Haines was the home to the Chilkat Tlingit people. who are well-known for weaving intricate designs with mountain goat fur and yellow cedar bark. 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 Southeast Alaska, explaining the diverse art collections in the local galleries and workshops. Totem carving, silverwork, sculpture, and photography are just some of the art forms on display here.

    Haines is also ideal for adventurers seeking hiking and wildlife-spotting opportunities. Known as the ‘Valley of the Eagles’, Haines is a Bald Eagle magnet. Its varied ecosystems also support bears and moose.

    If you’re a fan of the offbeat and quirky, check out the Hammer Museum. It’s not hard to spot—just look out for the giant hammer.

    Day 6
    Haines, Alaska

    Art in the Wilderness

  • Day 7
    Tracy / Endicott Arm Fjords, Alaska

    Rainforests to Glaciers

    Crossing Holkham Bay, we can choose between exploring Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm. These fjords are lesser-known gems of Alaska, due to their relative inaccessibility for larger vessels. You’ll appreciate just how special they are when you see them.

    The water is often so calm here it seems like a mirror reflecting the sky and the mountains around it. Calving glaciers lie at the end of each fjord, releasing 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 the Dawes Glacier lies in the Endicott Arm. Both arms are home to rugged and radiant blue-ice glaciers and icebergs, set against a stunning backdrop of Alaskan forests and towering cliffs.

    Endicott Arm is one of the world’s largest breeding grounds for harbor seals, which are often seen loafing on the floating ice.

    Keep your eyes peeled for whales, bears, mountain goats, moose, and other wildlife. If conditions are right you might catch a closer view from our small boats (RIBs) or by kayaks on an optional excursion.

    Day 7
    Tracy / Endicott Arm Fjords, Alaska

    Rainforests to Glaciers

  • Day 8
    Sitka, Alaska

    Sitka, Blended 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. While you sail, 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, Sikta 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, Sitka is home to a blend of cultures. Tlingit traditions remain strong, existing alongside Russian and American influences.

    With Russia reeling from the Crimean War, it sold Alaska to the U.S. 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 meager price of $7.2 million for the entire region, it was a steal at just two cents per acre!

    Historic sites abound in Sitka, like its oldest intact building, the Russian Bishop’s House, 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 artifacts.

    A highlight for many visitors to Sitka is the over–100-acre Sitka National Historical Park. A fascinating museum here offers 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 see beautiful examples of ornate Haida and Tlingit totem poles.

    Day 8
    Sitka, Alaska

    Sitka, Blended Cultures

  • Day 9
    Petersburg, Alaska

    Little Norway in Alaska

    This little fishing town is located at the north end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meets Frederick Sound. Here, you might see icebergs in the sound, calved from LeConte Glacier on the opposite shore. In the summer, these waters are usually important feeding grounds for humpback whales.

    Petersburg boasts the largest home-based halibut fleet in Alaska, which supports a number of canneries. The harbor is brimming with ships and seaplanes, but isn’t deep enough to receive larger cruise ships.

    From the waterfront, you’ll have enviable views of the snowy summits across Frederick Sound. The most prominent of these peaks is the Devil’s Thumb, the 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.

    Enjoy the quaint wooden houses decorated with traditional Norwegian rosemaling as you stroll quiet streets like Sing Lee Alley. Learn all about the town’s Nordic history at the Sons of Norway hall, a large white building built in 1912. You’ll even find a locally constructed replica of a Viking ship, the Valhalla, which was constructed nearby.

    Day 9
    Petersburg, Alaska

    Little Norway in Alaska

  • Day 10
    Wrangell, Alaska

    Soul of Alaska

    Feel like you’re truly stepping back in time in Wrangell, one of Alaska’s oldest and most historic island towns. After a short 15-minute walk, you’ll start to see the ancient petroglyph carvings that dot the beach here. There are about 50 in total—see how many you can spot.

    Afterward, pay a visit to the Wrangell Museum. It’s packed full of interesting artifacts and information about the town’s history. Wrangell is now part of the U.S., but was previously governed by Great Britain, Russia, and the Tlingit people, as far back as 8,000 years ago.

    Don’t miss the moss-covered totem poles at the Chief Shakes Tribal House, which tell the story of the local Tlingit people. The beautiful Tribal House, constructed from cedar wood, is a short walk from the town center, over the wooden bridge to Shakes Island.

    Reconnecting with nature is easy on one of the local trails to the edge of the rainforest, surrounded by alluring scenery at the mouth of Stikine River and at the foot of Mount Dewey.

    Day 10
    Wrangell, Alaska

    Soul of Alaska

  • Day 11
    Misty Fjords National Monument

    Unspoiled Wilderness

    Misty Fjords belongs to the two million acres of Tongass National Forest. This pristine coastal wilderness showcases evergreen trees, deep fjords, and majestic snow-capped peaks.

    This region receives more than 150 inches of rain per year, which feeds lakes and rivers that run into waterfalls and tumble from the dark granite cliffs. These mountains, covered in cedar, spruce, hemlock, and moss, rise almost vertically from the fjords to heights of more than 3,000 feet.

    The influential Scottish-American mountaineer John Muir, known as the ‘Father of the National Parks’, famously called the Misty Fjords one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen. As we explore the area, we hope you’ll feel the same. Weather permitting, you’ll tour the area aboard small boats (RIBs) or by kayak on an optional excursion.

    Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, brown bears, black bears, and moose along the shores, the ridges, and slopes. All five species of Pacific salmon swim in the waters, along with river otters, sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, orcas, and Dall porpoises. Keep your binoculars ready for the hummingbirds, Trumpeter Swans, herons, and the greatest American icon: the majestic Bald Eagle.

    Day 11
    Misty Fjords National Monument

    Unspoiled Wilderness

  • Day 12
    B.C. Inside Passage

    Cruising the Canadian Inside Passage

    The great North American Pacific Fjordland is a protected stretch of water over 930 miles long, known for its relatively calm waters and few ocean swells. Unlike other cruise ships that normally pass through the area at night, you’ll see this sublime summer scenery during the day.

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

    Day 12
    B.C. Inside Passage

    Cruising the Canadian Inside Passage

  • Day 13
    Alert Bay, British Colombia

    First Nations, Keepers of the Inside Passage

    Alert Bay´s Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations community is based in this scenic village on Cormorant Island, just off the northern coast of Vancouver Island. Local mythology tells of ancestral animals that transformed into humans after discovering the land long ago, becoming the Kwakwaka’wakw people.

    Experience the rich history of this indigenous community at the U'mista Cultural Centre, where you can see elaborate totem poles, paintings, carvings, and ceremonial masks on display. Come see the world’s tallest totem pole, standing over 170 feet tall, depicting many figures from the Kwakwaka’wakw people’s mythology.

    This area and the nearby islands are home to diverse wildlife. You may see orcas and humpback whales gracing the shores and keep an eye out for the distinctive speckled back of the Yellow-billed Loon.

    Day 13
    Alert Bay, British Colombia

    First Nations, Keepers of the Inside Passage

  • Day 14
    Vancouver

    Vibrant Vancouver

    Estimated time of arrival is 8:00 AM

    Our voyage ends in vibrant Vancouver. Set amid beautiful mountain scenery and the waters of English Bay, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and a cosmopolitan city. It boasts waterfront parks and numerous cafés, shops, galleries, and museums, along with a variety of cultural neighborhoods to explore. Add an optional extra night and join us on a full-day excursion to Whistler.

    Vancouver’s neighborhoods 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 neighborhood! Gastown’s Victorian buildings house some of the city’s hottest restaurants and its over 500-foot-high Vancouver Lookout also offers a great view of the city.

    Take in the neon lights and nightlife along Granville Street strip or just relax on one of the beaches in West End. The latter is also the gateway to the towering red cedars of Stanley Park, filled with wide-open spaces to explore.

    Day 14
    Vancouver

    Vibrant Vancouver

Departures

  • 2022
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May 31, 2022
June 24, 2022

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Hotel

  • One night in Anchorage, including breakfast at the start of your cruise

Transfer

  • Transfer from the hotel to Seward with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Includes 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
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is 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 fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage 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 530 (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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