2020 WINDSTAR ALASKA
SEWARD - VANCOUVER
This is the Alaska you came to see: Frontier towns filled with Gold Rush history and Tlingit totem poles. Glaciers calving into majestic fjords. Brown bears, bald eagles, and whales feasting on salmon under the summer sun. On your 14-day Alaska cruise you also feast on adventures from dogsledding to flightseeing, and more ports and scenic cruising than most other Alaska cruises. And while guests on larger ships transfer to tour boats to cruise Misty Fjords and Kenai Fjords, you enjoy a front-row seat with all the comforts of your elegant all-suite ship.
* Seward (Anchorage)
* Kenai Fjords National Park
* Icy Strait Point (Hoonah)
* Tracy Arm / Endicott Arm
(Gritch: no Petersburg / dancers)
* Misty Fjords
* Prince Rupert
* Grenville Channel
* Canadian Inside Passage
• Look for wildlife during scenic cruising of the beautiful Inside Passage between Anchorage and Vancouver
• See the First Nations totems of Ketchikan, Petroglyph Beach in Wrangell and the jaw-dropping beauty of Tracy Arm
• Include the journey to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau
• Take the biggest zipline in the U.S. or flightsee over Misty Fjords
• Learn about the rich Russian heritage of Sitka and visit St. Michael's Cathedral
• Ask questions and hear insights and information from the Expedition Team on board the entire cruise
• Discover the only settlement of indigenous Tsimshians on Annette Island
• Find the largest collection of totems in Ketchikan
Get closer with WINDSTAR’S SIGNATURE EXPEDITIONS as a team of onboard experts sails with the ship for the entirety of the cruise and leads guided Zodiac and kayak tours in the fjords.
Windstar does offer a pre-cruise land extension to visit Fairbanks and Denali but it is just the basic area repeat with nothing special. So pass on this one.
Book the 2-night pre-package below to fly to Anchorage and get out to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center and then be ready for the transfer the next day down to Seward to catch the boat. That makes it a 17 day trip.
DAY 1 - ANCHORAGE
Book the 2-night pre-package. Fly up two days early both to visit the Native Heritage and to be on time for embarking. Today is just the flight and check into the hotel.
ANCHORAGE HILTON- 2 Night Anchorage Pre Package Standard Room
Located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, this modern Hilton is near popular attractions, including the excellent shopping and dining in the Anchorage Convention District with only an 8-minute walk to the Anchorage Museum. Beautiful room views and Alaskan art in the lobby. Includes breakfast.
DAY 2 - ANCHORAGE
Extra day. I’m here for a full day visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum. Taxi from/to hotel, and lunch at the ANHC.
THE NEXT 2 DAYS ARE ESSENTIALLY BRAND NEW.
DAY 3/1 - SEWARD (ANCHORAGE) – 8PM
Transfer from Anchorage to Seward and embark on the cattle barge. Seward, (Anchorage’s gateway) is sandwiched between the Kenai Mountains and the Kenai Fjords National Park. It is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities, with Mount Marathon rising majestically behind the town. Even though Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, it is also home to 1,500 moose, surrounded by national parks full of wildlife.
DAY 4/2 - SCENIC CRUISING KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK – (7AM-5:30PM)
Today is a day of wonder as you cruise the Kenai Fjords, Alaska’s smallest national park. Carved by glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield to the sea, Kenai Fjords has a rugged arctic landscape and is a rich habitat for marine animals and other wildlife. Most cruise lines can’t go here so enjoy this unique opportunity. As with all Alaska, what you’ll be able to see is subject to weather and ice conditions.
Kenai Fjords, Windstar Signature Expedition – Kenai Zodiac Tour 1 hour, $150
Windstar Signature Expeditions are operated by Windstar Cruises directly from the ship. Windstar Cruises has partnered with Expert Expedition Voyage who will operate the Zodiac boats while also providing insight, education and commentary on the stunning scenery of the Alaskan Wilderness. On your Zodiac tour around Kenai Fjords National Park area you will ride by tidewater glaciers that flow from the Harding Ice Field, possibly seeing a glacier calving and riding among ice that has calved. Taking in the spectacular scenery of the area you may see harbor seals, black bears on the beach, bald eagles and puffins.
Please note: You can conveniently change in your suite. Dress according to the prevailing weather conditions; you will be provided with a life jacket. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed and tour operation is weather dependent. Expedition Voyage Consultants may include geologists, marine biologists, botanists, and glaciologists.
DAY 5/3 - AT SEA
Basically a full-day cruise across the Gulf of Alaska to the “top” of the Inside Passage.
DAY 6/4 - ICY STRAIT POINT, (HOONAH) – (9AM-8PM)
Privately owned Icy Strait Point is a tourist destination and the only privately owned cruise destination in Alaska. It is the property of 1,350 Alaskan natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Visitors here enjoy an educational experience learning about Alaska's native cultures, and the natural history of the region. There is much to do here including a brown bear search, tram excursion, flightseeing over Glacier Bay and the biggest zipline in the United States. Rather than do the excursion below – maybe just go into town myself and look around.
(NEW) Icy Strait Point, Forest Tram & Tribal Dance 2 ¾ hours $75
Delight in coastal scenery and learn about Icy Strait Point's Native Tlingit people while traveling in a covered tram before watching the tribal dance show. Set out on a 2-mile ride through the dense rainforests with views of dazzling Icy Strait waters, and learn the ecology of local flora and fauna. Wander around the rocky beach independently and then see live Hoonah, Tlingit performers, donning traditional story garb, singing and dancing in an interactive tribal celebration.
DAY 7/5 - HAINES – (6AM-6PM)
Haines is one of the most popular Alaska cruise ports and one of the best places for hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing, especially bald eagles. Within the Haines city limits Fort William H. Seward is a nationally recognized historic landmark, with some of its structures open to the public. Other cultural offerings in Haines include the Alaska Indian Arts Center where traditional craftsmen offer demonstrations of their work, the Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center where local Tlingit people are featured, the Hammer Museum, dedicated to the history of the hammer and the Tsirku Canning Company Museum with memories of Haines’ salmon canneries.
1st choice: Haines, Guides Choice Photography Discovery 4 hours $159
(NEW) Photograph the stunning scenery of the Chilkat Valley. Cradled at the base of the Chilkat Peninsula, flanked by the Lynn Fjord and Chilkat River, Haines is filled with natural wonders. Your expert photography guide will assist you in capturing the best of the Chilkat Valley's unique attractions and will select his/her favorite locations and provide you with ample time to set up to get the best shots. Depending on the lighting and weather, different locations in the Chilkat Valley boast specific photographic highlights. May, June, and July feature wildflowers and bald eagles. Beginning in August, pink salmon begin their run up the Chilkoot River to spawn. This will be the best opportunity to see brown bears as they are often witnessed feeding along the banks of the river. When bears are present, every effort will be made to give you safe bear viewing and photography. The theme is flexibility, fun and learning rather than adherence to a rigid schedule. Even a simple point-and-shoot camera or iPhone will work. Bring all your photo gear, there will be room in the vehicle. Tripods will be supplied. The tour will include a deluxe picnic lunch so you can eat when you want to and focus on getting the shots that you desire.
Please note: This tour requires a minimal amount of walking; however, guests must be able to embark/disembark the vehicles via steps. It is not recommended for guests who utilize a wheelchair. Dress in layers, wear comfortable walking shoes, bring rain gear and your camera equipment. Observing bear and other wildlife is the goal but cannot be guaranteed. This tour includes a copy of Where Eagles Gather: The Story of The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Haines, Alaska.
Haines, Alaska River Wilderness Adventure 3 ¾ hours $139
(NEW) Enjoy the peace and quiet of the true Alaskan Wilderness as you travel about 25 miles of the Chilkat River System, exploring the different channels that this unique, braided river system offers. Watch for wildlife as they are frequently sighted during the river tour. The flat bottom river boats are designed specifically to traverse the narrow and sometimes shallow, channels, which is the only way to explore this road-less portion of the Bald Eagle Preserve. This tour is well known for moose and bear sightings, although not a guarantee, wildlife sightings are quite frequent. The tour will take off from private property, so all the amenities are available for you to feel comfortable and right at home while the friendly staff will prepare your meal. Eat inside the covered and heated lunch pavilion or sit around the crackling fire and enjoy the clean fresh air and beauty that surrounds you. You will come away with a greater appreciation of the wilderness and the people who call this "last frontier" their home. Your tour will begin at the pier where your ship is docked, with a 30-minute bus ride into the heart of the Bald Eagle Preserve on the Haines Scenic Byway. Where the road ends, your adventure begins.
Please note: Wear comfortable hiking shoes and layered clothing appropriate for the weather. Bring your camera and/or binoculars. Life jackets will be provided.
DAY 8/6 - SCENIC CRUISING TRACY ARM / ENDICOTT ARM – (5AM-9PM)
Stunningly beautiful Tracy Arm is a fjord 45 miles south of Juneau that actually consists of two deep and narrow fjords – Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. Both fjords are over 30 miles long. At the end of Tracy Arm are the impressive twin Sawyer Glaciers. Wildlife in the area includes black and brown bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals and a variety of birds. What you'll be able to see today and how far we can travel up Tracy Arm is weather and ice dependent.
Tracy Arm & Endicott Arm, Windstar Signature Expedition – Tracy Arm Zodiac Tour 1 hour $150
Windstar Signature Expeditions are operated by Windstar Cruises directly from the ship. Windstar has partnered with Expert Expedition Voyage Consultants who will operate the Zodiac boats while also providing insight, education and commentary on the stunning scenery of the Alaskan Wilderness. On your Zodiac expedition in the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness through Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm you will ride in front of the South Sawyer Glacier or Dawes Glacier. Both are tidewater glaciers that are actively calving. You may see harbor seals hauled out on the ice floes or mountain goats high on the cliffs above. The vertical granite cliffs rise as much as 4, 000 feet from the sea and have numerous waterfalls. John Muir referred to this area as “a wild, unfinished Yosemite.” NO - I'VE BEEN HERE SO MANY TIMES.
Please note: Dress according to the prevailing weather conditions; you will be provided with a life jacket. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed and tour operation is weather dependent. The decision to go to Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm will be decided the day of the excursion by the Captain and Expedition Leader, it will be made based on the prevailing ice conditions, weather and other cruise ship traffic in the area. Both locations allow for similar sightseeing opportunities.
DAY 9/7 - JUNEAU – (7AM-3PM)
Located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, Juneau sits at sea level below steep mountains between 3,500-4,000 feet high. Atop these mountains is the Juneau Icefield, a large ice mass from which about 30 glaciers flow, and two of them – Mendenhall Glacier and Lemon Creek Glacier are visible from the local road. A unique feature of Juneau is that it is the only U.S. capital that has no roads connecting it to the rest of the state.
Juneau, Discover Alaska Whales 3 ¾ hours $175
(~NEW) Have you ever envisioned living the life of a Research Scientist? Or looking for the thrill of encountering one of the earth’s largest creatures? Well, now’s your chance! Alaska’s waters hold one of the largest concentrations of humpback whales and along with your contribution to ongoing research during this exhilarating excursion you are guaranteed to see a whale! Not only is this a one-of-a-kind whale watching experience, but you’ll will have the opportunity to participate in various science activities aboard a permitted research vessel while on the open water. From the pier you’ll travel north to meet your vessel in Auke Bay. Meet your experienced captain and board your wildlife viewing vessel. Have your camera handy as you cruise through the island-studded waters of Stephens Passage, a wonderland of snow-capped peaks and ice-blue glaciers. While you cruise, you’re sure to spot humpbacks, orcas, sea lions, harbor seals, and porpoises. Once a whale is spotted, the Captain will slow down for exceptional viewing and photo opportunities. Given the right behavior and weather conditions, you may hear the haunting, moaning call of the humpback. Luckily, the vessel is equipped with a hydrophone when the opportunity arises, to listen to the underwater sounds of whales while an onboard naturalist explains the habits and habitats of the creatures you may encounter. When conditions permit during your cruise, you’ll explore the foundation of the food chain by drawing plankton samples, take a look at live sea animals in a touch tank and even use a GPS camera to aid in identifying specific whales while recording their varied behaviors.
Please note: There is a variable sloped ramp leading to the safari vessel dock which changes with the tide. Whale sightings are frequent. All guests must sign a waiver attesting to their physical and medical conditions to participate. Dress warmly in layers, as the tour operates in all weather conditions. Bottled water and a snack pack are included. Bring a camera with plenty of film or memory and batteries. Participants are eligible to enter to win cash prizes in the tour operator's Capture Juneau Photo Contest.
DAY 10/8 - SITKA – (10AM-6PM)
Sitka is one of the oldest and most culturally significant communities in Alaska, filled with rich Tlingit, Russian, and early American settler history. Sitka is famous for its spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, the copper-domed St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Pioneer Home and the Russian Bishop’s House. It contains 22 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is where the contract of sale was signed transferring Alaska from Russia to the United States.
Sitka, Best of Sitka: Fortress of the Bears, Raptor Center, National Park 3 ½ hours $89
This unique Alaska excursion explores the historical highlights of this former "Russian" capital city and includes a wildlife tour through the Alaska Raptor Center. The Bald Eagle Center operates with bird care professionals assisted by volunteers to rescue birds, provide them with rehabilitative care and hopefully release them back into the wild. After your introduction to the center, a presentation with one of the Center's educational birds will take place. Time will be available to view the flight center, clinic window, outside deck habitat areas and gift shop.
Next, you'll visit the Sitka National Historical Park, where the 1804 "Battle of Alaska," was fought. The park hosts totem-lined trails, cultural exhibits and carving rooms where native Alaskan artisans demonstrate their totemic art form. Walk the nature trail, view cultural exhibits and video presentations, or talk with local native artists about their cultural art form. The final stop will be visiting the Fortress of the Bears, which will allow you to get within 25 feet of Alaska’s brown and black bears in a naturalized setting. You will enjoy observing the bears from a covered viewing platform and interact with an experienced naturalist.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing and bring a light rain jacket, ID, and your camera. The order of sites visited may be reversed.
DARN IT – WE DON”T VISIT PETERSBURG AND GET TO SEE THE LEIKARRING DANCERS. MULTI-GRITCH.
DAY 11/9 - WRANGELL – (9AM-5PM)
One of the oldest towns in Alaska, Wrangell is located near the mouth of the Stikine River. Much of its history can be seen in the impressive collection of totems scattered throughout the town. Highlights here are the amazing Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park where you can find primitive rock carvings and just 30 miles away is the Anan Wildlife Observatory with the largest pink salmon runs in the Inside Passage, and a platform from which you can look for eagles, harbor seals and black bears.
Wrangell, Stikine River & Glacier by Jet Boat 4 hours $309
(NEW) HIGHLIGHT. The Stikine River is considered one of the last truly wild rivers in North America, running directly through the nearly ½ million acre Stikine LeConte’ Wilderness area. Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of the world's largest temperate rainforest that is home to a variety of wildlife species and though elusive, you may have a chance of sighting. Add the excitement of an exhilarating jet-boat ride, gold rush history, world renowned scenery, and the most experienced energetic captains, and you have a great excursion. On the pier, you will meet your captain and interpretive guide and embark on the custom-built, heated and covered, jet boat to begin your adventure. Traverse the ever changing river delta, meander through side sloughs and explore the banks of the river. Seek out views of distant mountain peaks, spy on spawning salmon and listen to thundering waterfalls. Your journey will culminate at Shakes Lake with its sparkling blue, crystal clear icebergs. If accessible, you will venture in farther for a view of Shakes Glacier and the ancient ice from which it was created. If conditions allow, come ashore at a wilderness location on the banks of the Stikine and experience the wilderness up close.
Please note: The tour routing and sights may change due to weather, nature and water conditions. Due to the nature of boating in the wilderness on the Stikine River, which sometimes requires travel in shallow water, you may experience quick or sudden stops, starts and turns while underway. Guests should be in good physical health with a full range of motion to get into/out of the vessel and have no motion-related ailments or any other health issues. This tour is not wheelchair or handicapped accessible. This tour departs and returns from the Wrangell city dock, which is a short walking distance (300 ft) from the ship. At certain tidal conditions the access ramp to the vessels can be very steep. Facilities are basic in the wilderness location and consist primarily of USFS outhouses. Although wildlife is seen on many outings, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
DAY 12/10 - SCENIC CRUISING MISTY FJORDS – (7AM-9PM)
Misty Fjords, with its gorgeous views of natural formations is a national monument and wilderness area with steep valleys formed by glaciers and lava flows. It is part of the Tongass National Forest and is about 40 miles east of Ketchikan along the Inside Passage. With its icy blue lakes, waterfalls, snowcapped peaks and glacial valleys literally everywhere you point your camera you will get a postcard picture, depending on the weather of course.
Misty Fjords, Windstar Signature Expedition – Misty Fjords Zodiac Tour 1 hour $150
Windstar Signature Expeditions are operated by Windstar Cruises directly from the ship. Windstar has partnered with Expert Expedition Voyage Consultants who will operate the Zodiac boats while also providing insight, education and commentary on the stunning scenery of the Alaskan Wilderness. On your Zodiac expedition through Misty Fjords National Monument you will see 3,000-foot glacier-sculpted cliffs with numerous waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, wildlife like bald eagles, and perhaps brown and/or black bears and mountain goats. Throughout the forest you will find western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar.
Please note: Dress according to the prevailing weather condition; you will be provided with a life jacket. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed and tour operation is weather dependent. NO - I'VE BEEN HERE SO MANY TIMES.
DAY 13/11 - KETCHIKAN – (8AM-8PM)
Dubbed the Salmon Capital of the World, Ketchikan is the southeastern-most town in Alaska and is home to the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles that are found throughout the city and at four major locations: Saxman Totem Park, Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, and the Totem Heritage Center. Other attractions of Ketchikan are Creek Street, a boardwalk road built on pilings over Ketchikan Creek and the Waterfront Promenade that skirts the bustling shoreline with inviting whale-tail benches to take in the view.
Ketchikan, Joe Williams City Walk & Narration 2 hrs $59
Joe Williams is the Ketchikan speaker that worked with Cruise West – fun but some authenticity is questioned. Gain a unique understanding of Ketchikan and its Tlingit culture on this guided walking tour of Alaska’s “First City.” Your guide will be of Tlingit descent and will share personal knowledge of the many changes Ketchikan has experienced over the years. The significance of totem poles within Native culture will be explained as you encounter them on your journey. You will walk up infamous Creek Street, the former red light district, and learn of its important economic roll in Ketchikan’s early history. See the historic “Married Man’s Trail” and hear how it received its name. Discover the amazing journey salmon must endure as they head to their spawning ground when you visit a salmon ladder. Trees, shrubbery and flowers are plentiful along the route and your guide will share their importance to the Tlingit’s food gathering practices. Your guide will return you to the downtown shopping area near the cruise ship pier after this easy walk of approximately nine blocks. Questions are encouraged, as your hosts want you to leave Ketchikan with a better understanding of the community and its Native culture.
ALTERNATIVE: Just go ashore and look around. Excursions are too strenuous (levels 4 and 5), or have a major seafood inclusion.
DAY 14/12 - METLAKATLA – (7AM-5PM)
Located on Annette Island, 15 miles southwest of Ketchikan, and midway in the Inside Passage 600 miles from Seattle, Washington and 600 miles from Skagway, Alaska, Metlakatla is the only settlement of the indigenous Tsimshian people in the U.S. Membership in this community is by lineage, primarily Tsimshian people, but may also include other Alaska Native tribes who wish to join. Visitors to the community can take in the dance and song shows in the longhouse performed by local dancers dressed in full Tsimshian regalia.
Metlakatla, Tsimshian Cultural Exploration 2 ½ hours $89
Explore the coastline filled with eagles, seals, porpoise, and other species of wildlife that are often sighted as you make your way to Alaska’s only Federally Recognized Reserve on Annette Island. The village of Metlakatla is the only settlement of Tsimshian people in the United States. Upon arrival in Metlakatla, you will board a modern motor coach accompanied by a local Tsimshian Cultural Guide.
Along the ride, you will gain a rare and intimate insight into a rustic working village. You will discover the heritage and history of the Metlakatla Tsimshian People with a visit to the Historical Duncan Cottage Museum, where artifacts from their journey from British Columbia are preserved in the only historical display written in the Tsimshian Native Language, Smalgyax. Then you will be introduced to the unique Tsimshian art form called Formline Art by traveling along their Totem Journey. Each of the 12 Totem Poles featured on the Totem Journey tells a different story about Metlakatla’s history, art, cultural resurgence, and clan lineage. At the Long House, you will enjoy a traditional Tsimshian Dance Performance exclusive to Metlakatla. A local Tsimshian Dance Group will demonstrate the nearly extinct Native Language of the Tsimshian, Clan Dances, and Oral History, all while robed in traditional, authentic Tsimshian Regalia.
The final stop on your Tsimshian Cultural Exploration is the Metlakatla Artist Village, where a collective of Tsimshian Artisans will have authentic Metlakatla Arts, Crafts, and Merchandise available for purchase. Please note: Bring your camera and cash and wear comfortable walking shoes.
DAY 15/13 - PRINCE RUPERT, BC – (6AM-2PM)
Day 15/13 part 1 – shore excursion. Picturesque Prince Rupert, located on Kaien Island, just north of the mouth of the Skeena River is rich in culture and heritage. Prince Rupert was founded in 1910 on a site that has been inhabited by First Nations people for over 10,000 years. The area is rich with wildlife like whales, eagles, salmon and grizzly bears. The Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary features one of the densest remaining bear populations in North America.
Prince Rupert, Mysteries & Traditions 4 ½ hours $65
(moderate to STRENUOUS so VERY UNLIKELY) Explore the important role of the Feast and performance art in the Northwest Coast culture in this unique tour, combining a museum visit and a real life Feast experience. First learn about the significance of the Feast in a tour of the museum’s galleries with knowledgeable museum guides. Discover ceremonial regalia, beautifully carved headdresses, and the famous Raven rattles used only by the chiefs. Then enjoy a change of pace with a narrated slide show in the Museum’s media room. View exquisite images of the coastal landscape - from rainforest to alpine meadow to offshore islands - and the plants, wildlife, and sea life that populate these ecosystems. At the same time, learn about the intimate relationship between Northwest Coast peoples and their environment. They used everything in a sustainable way: puffin beaks (shed every spring) for dance apron tinklers, mountain goat wool, spun with twined cedar bark to make their magnificent ceremonial robes, and the rich seafoods of the coast, and salmon of the Skeena River, that were the mainstay of their diet.
Finally see everything you have discovered come to life when you take a short walk to the Wiiwaabm Ts’msyeen, the Tsimshian Longhouse. Here you will be greeted as a guest in time-honored Northwest Coast tradition and formally seated. The Gwis’amiilgigohl Dancers in full ceremonial regalia will entertain and delight as they dramatize ancient stories with songs and mask dancing. After a parting gift and song, there will be an opportunity for questions and photos.
Please note: Bring local currency for gift shop and other items available at the museum. Bring your camera for photography of the exhibits.
Again, tours either too strenuous or too expensive. And I've been here 3 or 4 times.
DAY 15B/13B - SCENIC CRUISING GRENVILLE CHANNEL – (4PM-7PM)
Day 15/13 part 2 – continue the cruise. Mountains of 1,500 to 3,500 feet surround Grenville Channel, the most spectacular channel along the Inside Passage located between Pitt Island and the mainland south of Prince Rupert. The narrowest portion is a mere 1,400 feet wide, but depths of up to 1,620 feet allow vessels to travel close to the shore. Relax and enjoy the scenic 43 miles of this waterway, and be on the lookout for the wildlife living here.
DAY 16/14 - SCENIC CRUISING CANADIAN INSIDE PASSAGE
Today we cruise the fjords of Canada’s Inside Passage boasting centuries-old coastal rainforests, beaches, waterfalls and mountains. Over 25,000 miles of rugged coastline lie in Canada’s Inside Passage, joining Alaska’s 15,000 miles of inside waters and provides a safe and sheltered West Coast waterway transit. In this isolated wilderness look for coastal First Nations longhouses fronted with proud totems and a variety of marine life, from orcas and porpoises to some of the largest populations of bald eagles in the world.
DAY 17/15 - VANCOUVER, BC – (8AM)
Vancouver’s location at the mouth of the Fraser River and on the waterways of the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and all their tributaries makes this busy seaport an easy place for meeting. Visit the interesting neighborhoods of Gastown, Granville Island and Chinatown. Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and stroll through Stanley Park. There is an amazing variety of things to see and do here. But I’ve been here before so just catch my plane home.
Kenai Fjords, Windstar Signature Expedition – Kenai Zodiac Tour 1 hour, $150
Icy Strait Point, Forest Tram & Tribal Dance 2 ¾ hours $75
and/or Hoonah – see if I can just go into town and look around --
Haines, Guides Choice Photography Discovery 4 hours, $159
Tracy Arm & Endicott Arm – Tracy Arm Zodiac Tour 1 hour, $150 - NO
Juneau, Discover Alaska Whales 3 ¾ hours, $175
Sitka, Best of Sitka: Fortress of the Bears, Raptor Center, Nat.Park 3 ½ hours, $ 89
Wrangell, Stikine River & Glacier by Jet Boat 4 hours, $309
Ketchikan, Joe Williams City Walk & Narration 2 hrs $59
OR Ketchikan – go ashore and do-it-myself.
Misty Fjords, Windstar Signature Expedition – Misty Fjords Zodiac Tour 1 hour, $150 - NO
Metlakatla, Tsimshian Cultural Exploration 2 ½ hours, $ 89
Prince Rupert, Mysteries & Traditions 4 ½ hours $65 (strenuous / very unlikely)
BARGE: STAR LEGEND All Suite Yacht
With only 212 guests, a Star Legend cruise will make you feel like you're on board your own private yacht almost as soon as you step aboard. The sitting area of your spacious (277 sq ft) Ocean View Suite gives you an expansive ocean view — making it a welcome retreat, and of course, you are always welcome to visit the Bridge to examine navigation charts with the Captain. Star Legend is large enough to pamper and entertain you, yet small enough to tuck into delightful tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can’t reach.
CAPACITY: 212 guests
SUITES: 106 suites, all outside with ocean views
OCEAN VIEW SUITES: 64, with picture windows
DECKS: 6 guest decks
CREW: 153 international staff
LENGTH: 440 feet
BEAM: 63 feet
SPEED: Cruising speed 15 knots
Cabin: Ocean View Suite 1 (about the least expensive)
Web search info: Besides the main dining room, supposedly there is also:
Veranda (Deck 7, aft): Buffet breakfast and lunch are served at Veranda, which features open-air seating both aft and directly in front of the restaurant in a covered area of Deck 7 (between the staircase and the restaurant). There is also indoor seating next to the buffet area, which can get crowded at peak dining times or in the event of unpleasant weather.
Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. For the first meal of the day, expect to find fruits and yogurt, a variety of breads and pastries, cheese and cold cuts, cold cereals, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, roasted potatoes and a cooked-to-order egg station. We particularly appreciated the fresh orange juice, squeezed daily. Table menus inform passengers they can order items such as waffles, banana-chocolate pancakes and breakfast burritos from their waiter. We liked that items that often suffer on the buffet line (glued-together pancakes, anyone?) were offered to-order. But if you're a grab-and-go type, this may frustrate you. We suspect that many passengers opted to order room-service breakfast, so we never found a last-minute mob scene here on port mornings.
The lunch buffet, usually open from noon to 2 p.m., offers a number of prepared salads, antipasti, a salad bar with more than a dozen components, three hot dishes and three sides; a chef-manned station for carving meat or making items like fajitas and stir-fries, cold cuts and charcuterie; and a selection of cheeses, fruits and desserts. There's also a tabletop menu to order fish of the day, burgers, hot dogs and other hot sandwiches. Examples of salads included pasta salads, Caesar salad with beef or chicken, corn and pecan salad. Hot buffet dishes ranged from beef stroganoff to minute steak and grilled chicken. Dessert included cookies, two flavors of ice cream, a pie, cheesecake or fruit tart, and a warm offering, such as bread pudding.
I may try to get along with just two meals per day since for dinner meals, we’re stuck with the main dining room. However, the Medical Facility is adjacent to the main dining room just in case of food poisoning.
SOMEHOW, this cruise is quite a bit less expensive than either the Alaskan Dreams Cruise, or the ACL cruise.