Vancouver to the Last Frontier a Journey by Land and SeaReference CTS9853
Vancouver is blessed with more natural beauty than any major city in the world. The north shore mountains, English Bay, temperate rain forest with huge trees, wildlife on the water's edge and an active volcano…. this is where you will begin your journey.
If that’s not inspiring enough, the journey continues to Alaska. Sail the inside passage from Vancouver to Seward for 7 amazing nights on the Silver Muse, Silversea's newest ship; you will see some of the best the coast has to offer.
Then head in-land for your land tour. Visit the well-known Denali National Park and try dog-sledging before heading to the interior’s largest city, Fairbanks. A quick visit to the bustling, coffee-culture city of Seattle before you head home.
Upon arrival into Vancouver International Airport you will be met and transferred to your Vancouver downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today you will be picked up at your hotel and head for the picturesque West Coast fishing village of historic Steveston, your tour travels through the spectacular Gulf and San Juan Islands. Every summer well over 80 Orca whales visit the waters south of Vancouver. Sighting chances are 90-95 per cent. Other marine wildlife you are likely to encounter include Humpback whales, Dall’s Porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles. On rare occasions Minke whales and sea elephants have been encountered. You travel protected from the elements in covered, comfortable, high-speed boats equipped with washroom facilities. You will be dropped off at your Vancouver Hotel.
Today you will find out about Vancouver’s fascinating past and present and how it came together in this tour that traverses through urban cityscapes, seaside parks, and ancient rain forests. Begin with the highlights of downtown, including Canada Place, the Arts and financial Districts, and Robson Street. Enter the 1,000-acre urban rainforest, Stanley Park, where you visit the First Nations Totem Poles. Continue across the Lion’s Gate Bridge to Vancouver’s scenic North Shore, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Don’t miss the impressive collection of First Nations artwork and the historic Story Centre. From the spectacular Cliffwalk, gaze out over the Capilano River before you walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge to the other side where many unique experiences await. Return to downtown Vancouver and get ready to engage all your senses as you step out into Granville Island Market. This market is an artisan haven for all things local and hand-made, including delicious food, coffee, tea, eclectic artwork, and west coast music. Carry on through bustling Chinatown and continue to historic Gastown, the heart of Vancouver.
- Stanley Park
- Lions Gate Bridge
- Capilano Suspension bridge and Park
- Historic Gastown
- Robson Street Shopping District
- Granville Island
- Canada Place
Today you have a full day at leisure to explore more of this amazing city, or just have a relaxing day at your hotel in preparation for your exciting Alaska Cruise tomorrow!
After a leisurely breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer (included) to the port where you will board your cruise ship.
If it is drama that you are after, then you certainly need look no further that the dramatic beauty of the Inside Passage. With isolated communities nestling in shoreside villages, mountains rising from the tidal waters, seals basking on ice floes and massive glaciers calving with a thunderous snap in the distance, this stretch of water is quite unique. Named after early explorers who were looking for the Northwest Passage (found much further north), cruising the Inside Passage has become a must for any sailing aficionado.
Ketchikan is famous for its colourful totem poles, rainy skies, steep–as–San Francisco streets, and lush island setting. Some 13,500 people call the town home, and, in the summer, cruise ships crowd the shoreline, floatplanes depart noisily for Misty Fiords National Monument, and salmon-laden commercial fishing boats motor through Tongass Narrows. In the last decade Ketchikan's rowdy, blue-collar heritage of logging and fishing has been softened by the loss of many timber-industry jobs and the dramatic rise of cruise-ship tourism.
Juneau, Alaska's capital and third-largest city, is on the North American mainland but can't be reached by road. The city owes its origins to two colorful sourdoughs (Alaskan pioneers)—Joe Juneau and Richard Harris—and to a Tlingit chief named Kowee, who led the two men to rich reserves of gold at Snow Slide Gulch, the drainage of Gold Creek around which the town was eventually built. That was in 1880, and shortly thereafter a modest stampede resulted in the formation of a mining camp, which quickly grew to become the Alaska district government capital in 1906.
Located at the northern terminus of the Inside Passage, Skagway is a one-hour ferry ride from Haines. By road, however, the distance is 359 miles, as you have to take the Haines Highway up to Haines Junction, Yukon, then take the Alaska Highway 100 miles south to Whitehorse, and then drive a final 100 miles south on the Klondike Highway to Skagway. North-country folk call this sightseeing route the Golden Horseshoe or Golden Circle tour, because it passes a lot of gold-rush country in addition to spectacular lake, forest, and mountain scenery.
It's hard not to like Sitka, with its eclectic blend of Alaska Native, Russian, and American history and its dramatic and beautiful open-ocean setting. This is one of the best Inside Passage towns to explore on foot, with such sights as St. Michael's Cathedral, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Castle Hill, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Alaska Raptor Center topping the town's must-see list.
Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.
Disembark the ship and begin your adventure this morning with a stop at Exit Glacier. An eight mile drive off the main road reveals a spectacular vantage point; a short and easy walk provides an up-close and personal view of a magnificent glacier. Then tour north towards Anchorage; you will have the opportunity to enjoy spectacular scenery through Moose Pass and Turnagain Pass. This area is resplendent with alpine scenery and hanging glaciers. Next, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre which provides care and rehabilitation for injured and orphaned wildlife. Here you can safely get close, observe, and photograph some of Alaska’s largest land animals including: moose, bison, elk, deer, caribou, bears, muskox, small mammals, and birds of prey. After lunch, get ready for the aerial tram ride up the longest double black diamond ski slope in North America. From the top, you can view several glaciers and the northern-most temperate rainforest. At the base of the tram is your overnight accommodation at Alyeska Resort. (Lunch is included today)
This morning is at leisure to enjoy Alyeska Resort; in early afternoon transfer to the helipad for a helicopter ride, a glacier landing & dog sledding (on snow)! There is no better way to see Alaska than from the air, and there’s no better Alaskan activity than dog sledding! While on the glacier your luggage will be collected from the resort and meet you at the helipad for the transfer back to Anchorage.
Early this morning take the Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, in the Goldstar Railcar with service to Denali National Park. Watch for views of Mount McKinley and keep an eye out for wildlife. Arrive mid-afternoon; the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy an optional activity. (Breakfast & lunch is included onboard the train today)
This morning is open for optional activities such as: whitewater rafting down the Nenana River, helicopter flightseeing over the Park, landing on a glacier, or hiking. After lunch (not included), board a shuttle to Kantishna. The 148km/92mi, 6-hour journey to Kantishna along the restricted Park Road is called one of the grandest drives on earth, with chances to see Grizzlies, moose, caribou and Golden eagles along the way. The end of the road is Kantishna and the Denali Backcountry Lodge, your home for the next 2 nights. You will arrive in time for dinner at the Lodge. (Dinner at the lodge is included today)
Nestled in a snug valley, the Denali Backcountry Lodge is a true wilderness experience, with your own heated cabin. The lodge is located at the end of the restricted 148km/92mi Park Road with just a small bush airstrip and the vast interior of Alaska beyond. You can experience activities such as: day hikes (casual, moderate, or extreme), view and photograph Denali (Mount McKinley), gold panning, botany walks, shuttle to Wonder Lake and mountain biking. You can also visit Fannie Quigley’s Cabin, home of one of the original miners from early in the twentieth century. Meals are served in the main two-story lodge. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included today)
An early departure this morning gives you another opportunity to view the magnificent scenery along the route back to the Denali National Park Entrance. After lunch (not included) board the Denali Star Train to Fairbanks. Enjoy the late afternoon scenery as you travel north to Fairbanks where you spend the next 2 nights. (Dinner is included onboard the train today)
Today is yours to explore Fairbanks which is bursting with things to do. Find out about the history and storied and local way of life in the many unique museums and visitors centres. Check out the shopping where you will find a beautiful variety of unique made in Alaska and Alaska native gifts to take home and remind you of this wonderful trip. With the midnight summer sun shining nearly 24 hours a day and the northern lights dancing overhead this is a trip you will never forget.
This morning check out of your Fairbanks Hotel and transfer (not included) to the Airport for your onward flight to Seattle, Washington State. Upon arrival make your way independently to your Seattle downtown hotel where you will spend the next 2 nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Full day at leisure to explore. Make sure you check out these not to be missed attractions –
The Space Needle – The most famous structure in the city, the Space Needle is one of the top attractions. Travel to the top level observation deck to gaze out over the surrounding waters, downtown and nearby mountains including Mount Rainier in the distance. The SkyCity restaurant is perfect for lunch or dinner, and it rotates for fabulous 360 – degree views.
Chihuly Gardens & Glass – This stunning museum is definitely worth a visit before or after the Space Needle as they are located right next to each other. Designed by the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, you can admire colourful glass art inside the exhibition hall and the outdoor garden. You will be amazed with colours he uses in his sculptures.
Pike Place Market - This is another must do visit! Take a photo underneath the famous market sign before walking through the hundreds of stalls. Other attractions are the original Starbucks café, street performers, musicians, and the seafood stalls where workers throw fish through the air!
Today your amazing holiday comes to an end. Check out of your Seattle Hotel and make your way to the Airport for your flight home.