WW 2006 Alaskan Tour/Cruise
Destinations and Excursions
(Don't forget to bring your PASSPORT!)

 

1-2 June - Fairbanks & Environs
 

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 Riverboat Cruise
down the Chena and Tanana Rivers.  Evening is free at our leisure.

3 June - Denali National Park
 


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 McKinley
National Park in 1917, re-designated in 1980.  The park encompasses a scenic region
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 Lodge
 


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 to Whittier
 

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 Fjord
 

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 their 1899
discovery by the Harriman Expedition.  They are: Amherst, Baby, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Crescent,
Dartmouth, Downer, Harvard, Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellsley, Williams and Yale.

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 Captain George
Vancouver sailed by its mouth, the bay was a solid sheet of nearly a mile of ice.
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 lush mature
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 false-fronted buildings
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 perched
 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 Skagway Excursions
 

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 prospector
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 1959.
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 Excursions

 

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 and out
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 catered to
gentlemen seeking the company of "sporting women." The museum at Dolly's House gives
you a glimpse into the bawdy ways of frontier life, though Ketchikan's red-light district
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 Ketchikan Excursions
 

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 Vancouver
 


Easing into Vancouver from the Inside Passage at

the end of a wonderful, memory-filled adventure!!
Arrival at 7:30 AM

 

 

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