|1-2 June - Fairbanks
Fairbanks lies in Fairbanks North Star Borough in
central Alaska, on the Chena River,
near its junction with the Tanana River. Fairbanks is the second largest
city in Alaska
and the commercial and administrative heart of the state's interior.
After an overnight, we will tour the El Dorado Gold Mine and then take a
down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Evening is free at our leisure.
|3 June - Denali
Sightsee by motorcoach to the Denali
Princess Wilderness Lodge. Upon arrival,
enjoy a Natural History Tour into the Denali National Park!
Denali National Park and Preserve, central Alaska, established as Mount
National Park in 1917, re-designated in 1980. The park encompasses a
of the Alaska Range and contains Mount McKinley, or Denali, the highest peak
in North America,
at 6,194 m (20,320 ft). Numerous active glaciers continue to shape a
landscape of broad,
U-shaped valleys and small kettle lakes. Most of the park lies above
the timberline, where vegetation
is mainly lichens, mosses, and sedges. The park's plentiful wildlife
includes caribou, moose,
brown bear, timber wolf, and the mountain-dwelling Dall sheep.
|4 June - Talkeetna/McKinley
Morning at our leisure, then board the Princess
Luxury Train to Talkeetna and
onto the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge for the night.
|5 June - Talkeetna
Return to Talkeetna by motorcoach and board the
McKinley Express Train
directly for our waiting ship, the Island Princess, at the port of Whittier.
Set sail at 9:30 PM
|6 June - College
College Fjord Scenic Cruising - 6:00
- 9:00 AM
College Fjord is tucked into the northwest corner of Prince Williams Sound.
This site is known
by Alaskans to have some of the best glacier viewing in the state.
College Fjord boasts 14 glaciers, many named after Ivy League Colleges upon
discovery by the Harriman Expedition. They are: Amherst, Baby, Barnard,
Bryn Mawr, Crescent,
Dartmouth, Downer, Harvard, Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellsley, Williams and
|7 June - Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising - 10:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Glacier Bay is a vast Y-shaped fjord on the Southeast coast of Alaska,
sheltered from the
ocean by the Fairweather range. Only two hundred years ago, when
Vancouver sailed by its mouth, the bay was a solid sheet of nearly a mile of
One century later, the glaciers had shrunk back 65 miles, the fastest
glacier retreat on record.
To travel up the bay is to retrace the path of glacial retreat, from the
spruce and hemlock rain forest near the visitor center at Bartlett cove,
to the more thinly vegetated areas more recently de-glaciated, and
eventually the glaciers
which calve icebergs into the water with a sound described by the Tlingit
Indians as "white thunder".
|8 June - Skagway
Utterly charming -- if a tad
precious -- the immensely walk-able Skagway has largely been
restored to its late 19th century Gold Rush roots, complete with
and wooden sidewalks. Skagway's history and spectacular natural setting
combine to create
unparalleled sightseeing and recreation opportunities. Poke around on your
own, or select
from a variety of commercial tours. Either way, you will be amply rewarded
with the sights
and activities in and around Skagway. Organized tours of Skagway may include
stops at the
Trail of '98 Museum, Gold Rush Cemetery and viewing Skagway from the lookout
on a mountainside above the city. Comfortable motorcoach tours are
available to the Yukon
community of Carcross. Visitors can view the region by air, sea, or land.
Check out the
|9 June - Juneau
Juneau is often described as
America's most charmingly situated state capital. It's wise to
note that the references refer to the surrounded-by-nature (mountains and
ocean) aspect of the city.
The only way in or out of town is by air or sea. No roads lead to Juneau.
Gold put Juneau on the
map in the 1880s, though the mining camp had several other names before
Joe Juneau got his to stick. Gold remained the mainstay until the mine was
shut down in 1944.
Juneau became the political center when Alaska became the 49th state in
Juneau offers a wide range of shore side activities, including the state's
most accessible glacier
-- Mendenhall, an immense 12-mile long river of ice.
Check out the Juneau
|10 June - Ketchikan
Misty Ketchikan, the rainiest town in southeast Alaska,
is known as the "Salmon Capital of
the World." The town offers the perfect blend of activities: spend the
morning kayaking in
Misty Fiords or hiking up Deer Mountain, then spend the afternoon poking in
of fantastic galleries and shops. You're bound to visit Creek Street, a row
of wooden buildings
perched over the water on pilings. Today's brightly painted boutiques once
gentlemen seeking the company of "sporting women." The museum at Dolly's
you a glimpse into the bawdy ways of frontier life, though Ketchikan's
wasn't shut down until 1953. Legends of a different sort are recorded
on totem poles. Boasting the
world's largest collection of Northwest totems, Ketchikan has plenty of
places to see these
fascinating works of art.
Check out the
|11 June - At
Sea - Inside Passage
Carved by glaciers and blanketed with majestic
hemlock and spruce, Alaska's Inside Passage
is a region of pristine water, snow capped mountains, deep fjords and
forested islands. With
its mild, maritime climate, this area is prime habitat for bald eagles, sea
lions, porpoise and whales.
Much of the southern panhandle is part of the Tongass National Forest, a
16.8 million acre rainforest.
Glacier Bay National park has 16 active tidewater glaciers and Misty Fiords
National Monument near
Ketchikan has 3,000-foot cliffs rising directly from pristine ocean
channels. The picturesque coastal
communities are rich in history. Russian influence is well preserved
in churches and other
historical structures. The Gold Rush era comes to life throughout the
Inside Passage and
offers fascinating opportunities to learn and explore the past. The
Native cultures of Tlingit,
Haida and Tsimshian Indians dominate this area. Ancient totem poles are
abundant in many
communities and the art of totem carving is preserved along with traditional
dance and music.
|12 June - Arrival in
Easing into Vancouver from the Inside Passage
end of a wonderful, memory-filled adventure!!
Arrival at 7:30 AM