Activities and Attractions
Benvenuto, Italian for ‘welcome’, is the name the Butcharts used for their original estate, now a National Historic Site of Canada, and still privately owned by family descendants. The Butchart Gardens offers 55 acres of wonderful floral displays, located in Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Stanley Park is a 1,001 acre urban park bordering downtown Vancouver. It opened in 1888. It is more than 10% larger than New York City’s Central Park and almost half the size of London’s Richmond Park.
In the early 1900’s, Natives moved to communities where work was available. The villages and totem poles they left behind were soon overgrown by forests and eroded by weather. In 1938 the U.S. Forest Service began a program aimed at salvaging and reconstructing these large cedar monuments.
The glacier is part of the Chugach National Forest, located south of Portage Lake. This lake is being formed by the melting of the glacier which has been retreating substantially for the past fifty years. Visitors can enjoy Portage Glacier by cruises on Portage Lake to view the glacier aboard the mv Ptarmigan. You’ll stand just 300 yards from a relic of the Ice Age and watch for fractures of ice breaking off the glacier and crashing into the water below.
mv Ptarmigan Highlights:
- mv Ptarmigan is the only boat operating on Portage Lake
- fully narrated by an on-board representative of the U.S. Forest Service
- fully enclosed, heated cabin
- expansive windows for enhanced viewing
topside view deck offers a great vantage point for watching the glacier “calve,” and for visitors to enjoy the fresh air
- Holds up to 144 passengers
- 80-foot vessel was built on site at Portage Lake to U.S. Coast Guard specifications
- 6.5-foot draft for minimal environmental impact
- The mv Ptarmigan’s sound system cannot be heard from the shore, ensuring preservation of this naturally peaceful setting for wildlife and for other visitors
- Hull designed for safety in ice-filled waters
Downtown Juneau sits snugly between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts and Gastineau Channel, and is a maze of narrow streets running past a mix of
new structures, old store fronts and quaint houses featuring early 19th century architecture left over from the town’s early gold mining days. The waterfront bustles with cruise ships, fishing boats and floatplanes zipping in and out. With no road access to Juneau, it is the only state capital in the United States that can only be reached by airplane or boat.
McKinley Explorer rail cars seat 86 to 88 passengers in the upper level dome. Each passenger has a reserved seat and the large curved glass dome windows run the full length of the car, offering superb 360 degree views. Seating is comfortable, with foot rests and fold down tray tables. Each car has its own host guide who provides tour commentary, answers questions and offers gift shop items. Full bar service is available upstairs for purchase. Both levels of the McKinley Explorer are wheelchair accessible. On the lower level you will find restrooms, an outdoor viewing platform and the dining area.
Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. Located at the head of the Passage Canal, about 60 miles southeast
Denali National Park is Alaska’s most popular land attraction and with good reason. Denali National Park is comprised of over 6 million acres of richly diverse terrain and is best known for North America’s highest mountain – Mount McKinley. Large mammals – Wolves, Moose, Caribou, Dall Sheep and Grizzly Bears – roam freely within the park.
Skagway was inhabited by the Tlingit people from prehistoric times. They fished and hunted in the local waters. Preserved as the Klondike gold rush national historic park
Among the northern most cities on earth, Anchorage is a place with big-city amenities: fine restaurants, museums, theaters and an excellent music scene. Creating the backdrop are the 5,000-footplus peaks of Chugach State Parks. Anchorage’s Lake Hood is the worlds busiest Floatplane base.
Alaska’s second largest city, Hub of the Interior, Gateway to the Bush, the Golden Heart City – call it what you will, Fairbanks is as diverse and distinct as any place in Alaska.
The marine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes
tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, ocean coastlines, deep fjords, and freshwater rivers and lakes. This diverse land and seascape hosts a mosaic of plant communities and a variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife.
Enjoy a leisurely day highlighted by evening cruising through picturesque College Fjord. There is a spot in College Fjord where you can see eight glaciers at once. The fjord pokes into the Chugach Mountains at the north end of Prince William Sound and it’s the only place in Alaska that surrounds you on three sides with glaciers, five of which terminate at the water. The Harriman Expedition that explored College Fjord in 1899 was funded by Ivy League colleges, and all of the glaciers were named for the various schools in their honor. As you travel into the Fjord, the glaciers on the left are named for women’s colleges and those on the right are named for men’s colleges. Harvard Glacier is the biggest – its face is over a mile long.