The Best of Alaska
VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND
Enjoy a full-day Sightseeing Tour of Vancouver Island including Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Brilliant flower gardens and shrubbery abound. Admission is included to the world famous Butchart Gardens . Heritage homes and 1800's architecture are preserved in Victoria's 'old towne' and residential areas. Many of these 19th century buildings house shops offering fine china, chocolates, native art, crafts and souvenirs. Stroll past antique street lamps with beautiful flower baskets. Visit antique row, shops in the nooks and crannies of Fan Tan Alley or have refreshments in Bastion Square overlooking the Inner Harbor. Victoria's unique character is deeply rooted in its 150-year British colonial history, a history full of colorful people and fascinating tales. Conde Nast Traveler magazine placed Victoria in the top 10 places to visit in the world.
You will enjoy a fabulous Sightseeing Tour exploring one of North America's most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities, including the Olympic sites. Enjoy the contrasts of Vancouver's modern downtown and the historic "Gastown" district, complete with a restored steam-powered clock. You will visit the world-class gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park and this continent's largest Chinatown. Stanley Park, with its deep forest, totem poles and a breathtaking vista of Lion's Gate Bridge, guards the beginning of the 1,100 mile Inside Passage. Your tour will end at Canada Place where you will embark on your 5-Star ship to the happy sounds of live music and a spectacular buffet lunch. Your luggage will be delivered directly to your stateroom.
THE INSIDE PASSAGE
The Inside Passage may well be the most unusual cruise you have ever experienced. Land is close by on both sides, giving you excellent opportunities to watch for wildlife and enjoy the rugged scenery. Because of the land's protection, you will find it hard to believe you're on the water. You will see an abundance of wildlife both in the water and at its edge against the backdrop of majestic and awesome virgin wilderness. All meals are included and you will enjoy gourmet dining at least 4 times daily. Breakfast and lunch are served at the buffet or in the main restaurant (you can do both - all food is included, even room service). Enjoy fast dining at the buffet or elegant dining in the main dining room. Dinners are nothing short of spectacular! During the days there are organized activities which you will read about in the ship's daily newspaper. Each evening you will be treated to lavish, live stage entertainment.
Known as the salmon capital of the world and surrounded by waterfalls, fjords, glaciers and rain forest. You will enjoy exploring this Ketchikan city built on trestles, pilings and docks. A stroll along Creek Street is reminiscent of the old gold-rush days. Your included Sightseeing Tour takes you to enchanting Totem Bight State Park where you visit a former native campsite filled with ancient totem poles and an authentic Indian Ceremonial Clan House.
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
Skagway is a step back in time with its false-fronted buildings and wooden boardwalks, perfectly preserved as the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and gateway to the Trail of '98, which you may explore by vintage railcar. In Skagway, find time to visit the Red Onion Saloon with its costumed bar maids and honkie tonk piano. The old time theater gives the history of Soapy Smith, Alaska's most colorful outlaw. Our included Sightseeing Tour will take you through the streets and alleys where "women of the
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
A Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals living in concert with ever-changing glacial landscape. Your Holland America cruise ship will be your visitor center for this unforgettable day. What is it like when a monumental chunk of ice splits off a glacier and crashes into the sea? The sound is like thunder. The impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. You hold your breath as you catch the moment on film. Then you wait for it to all to happen again. And it does. Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than any place else in the world. Holland America visits this restricted wonderland more than any other cruise line. Cruise from the Reid and Lampluh glaciers to the mighty Johns Hopkins - surrounded by rugged peaks and sheltering a seal pupping ground. Then linger for a full hour at Grand Pacific and Margerie glaciers for the grandest spectacle of them all. Margerie is an ice Age giant a mile wide and 25 stories high. Here you will marvel at nature's unrelenting power as you witness the birth of one massive iceberg after another.
The region occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. The nearby Whittier Glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name.
On arrival in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, you will have lunch and city tour of Anchorage including the Anchorage Museum. After the tour you will transfer to your hotel.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK
Transfer to the rail depot for a ride on the world famous Alaska Railroad Domed railcar from Anchorage to Denali with breakfast and lunch on board the train. Keep an eye out for views of Mt. McKinley and wildlife, such as moose and bear. The railcar has an open air platform which is great for taking photos. After checking into your hotel, enjoy the Music of Denali dinner theater, kick back and laugh after a full day of sightseeing by joining in on this evening-long jaunt to a family-style roadhouse to see a sidesplitting musical comedy about the first men to reach the summit of Mt. McKinley. The evening begins with a family style dinner featuring Alaskan salmon, smokehouse BBQ, hearty mashed potatoes and house baked apple crisps for dessert. Come hungry because this delicious spread is all-you-can-eat. While feasting on this savory meal, enjoy wonderful performances by a talented group of musicians and singers who hit all the right notes with lively songs and heartfelt sounds. In the morning, travel into Denali National Park on the 4 hour Denali Natural History bus tour to learn about this incredible park.Look for moose, caribou, sheep, wolves and the elusive brown bear. For an additional $129 per person, you can choose the optional 7-8 hour Tundra Wilderness Tour which goes much farther into the park for more opportunities to observe wildlife. After lunch you will take the Domed Train to Fairbanks. You will enjoy dinner onboard. Overnight at the Fairbanks Westmark hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, learn how the gold rush affected Alaska's interior on a brief morning Fairbanks city tour including a visit to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Next, visit the Gold Dredge #8. After a short demonstration try your hand at panning for gold. After lunch, transfer to the Riverboat Discovery for a cruise on the Chena & Tanana Rivers, watch a sled dog demonstration, and visit a replica of an Athabasca Indian Camp where native interpreters explain the native Indian culture. Tonight enjoy dinner at the Alaskan Salmon Bake at Pioneer Park with freshly cooked fish and prime rib over an open wood-burning grill with a wonderful buffet of additional foods to enjoy. After dinner enjoy the theater show for a wild and rowdy time.
Alaska's capital and site of the first gold find is surrounded by glaciers. You can only reach Juneau by water or air. Being completely surrounded by steep mountains, no highways connect Juneau with the rest of Alaska. Your included "Extra Value" Sightseeing Tour gives you a tour of the city, then takes you on a scenic drive through the countryside. You will enjoy the breathtaking views then visit Mendenhall Glacier, a river of ice with rugged crevasses and a distinctive blue color. You can see and photograph the world's only "drive-up" glacier from the U.S. Forest Service observation center. It measures 1 1/2 miles wide, 200 feet tall, and 2,000 feet long. On your return, you will tour a working salmon hatchery. Afterwards you can shop for gold nugget jewelry, jade or native crafts. Or, wet your whistle at the rowdy Red Dog Saloon.