Glacier National Park Chicago to Seattle & Alaska Cruise
Holiday Ref: 16222
Departing 24th August 2017 – 16 Nights – Other dates available, call for details.
This trip aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier National Park and on to Seattle is one you won't want to miss! Your tour kicks off in the Windy City, where you'll enjoy an architecture sightseeing cruise of the Chicago Harbor. Next up is Glacier National Park! Savor its breathtaking beauty and fresh mountain air while touring its most stunning spots, including the gorgeous Two Medicine Valley. Then it's on to Seattle, where more fun awaits. Explore the Emerald City with a multi-day hop-on / hop-off tour that covers all the city's hot spots, including the Space Needle and Puget Sound. You adventure continues with a 7 night Luxury Alaska Cruise onboard Ruby Princess. Sail up the famous Inside Passage, from the thundering roar of a calving glacier to the splash of a breaking whale. It’s the wonder that makes you feel alive. Get your camera ready to capture a monumental chunk of ice as it splits from the glacier and crashes into the sea with a thunderous sound.
Welcome to Chicago! Spend some free time exploring all this amazing city has to offer. Take a walk down the Magnificent Mile for world class shopping, dining, and attractions. Head to the architectural wonder Millennium Park. Scope out Navy Pier for tasty food and great views of the city. The Windy City is truly one of a kind. (Overnight in Chicago)
Enjoy a sightseeing architectural cruise of the Chicago harbor. Experienced and entertaining tour guides will recount the dramatic story of Chicago's rise from the Great Fire of 1871 and how the Windy City became the home of the skyscraper and the cradle of modern American architecture. Enjoy your included dinner this evening at a popular Chicago restaurant. (Overnight in Chicago) Dinner
Today, you will transfer on your own to Chicago's Union Station and board the Empire Builder®. Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers. (Overnight on board the train)
Welcome to Glacier National Park, home to two different mountain ranges, 130 lakes, 1,000 species of plants, and 16,000 square miles of protected land. Enjoy the mountain air during your short walk to the iconic Glacier Park Lodge, where you can settle in for a good night's rest. (Overnight in Glacier National Park)
Today, you'll explore the serene sights of Glacier National Park on a scenic boat cruise of Two Medicine Valley. Enjoy a relaxing cruise while listening to the Blackfoot Indian folklore surrounding this gorgeous area. The Two Medicine Valley boat cruise is available early June to early September. (Overnight in Glacier National Park)
Today, you will continue exploring Glacier National Park on a Big Sky Circle Tour. Drive over the breathtaking Maria's Pass. Enjoy the local wildlife at Goat Lick. Venture along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a windy-mountain thoroughfare that spans 50 miles through the park. After your tour, you'll return to Glacier Park Lodge for your final night's stay. The Big Sky Circle Tour is available mid June to mid September. (Overnight in Glacier National Park)
Enjoy a relaxing morning at the Glacier Park Lodge before transferring on your own to the West Glacier Station and boarding Amtrak to Seattle. (Overnight on board the train)
Welcome to Seattle! Get to know the “Emerald City” on a multi-day hop-on/hop-off tour. This fully-narrated excursion features famous landmarks, including Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Seattle's Great Wheel, the waterfront, and many more popular destinations. Feel free to hop on and off at any stop to further explore any of the sites at your own pace. (Overnight in Seattle)
Continue your hop-on/hop-off tour of Seattle and explore any of the famous landmarks you didn't get a chance to see yesterday. Today, also includes admission to the Space Needle Observation Deck and Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. The Space Needle is the most iconic structure in the city and from the 520-foot high observation deck, you'll get stunning views of Mt. Rainier, the lights of downtown Seattle, and Elliott Bay. (Overnight in Seattle)
In 1880, it was slow going for Joe Juneau and Richard Harris as they searched for gold with the help of Native guides. After climbing mountains, forging streams and facing countless difficulties, they found nuggets "as large as beans."
From their discovery came three of the largest gold mines in the world. By the end of World War II, more than $150 million in gold had been mined. Eventually the mines closed, but the town Joe Juneau founded became the capital
of Alaska and the business of gold was replaced by the business of government.
Some 30,000 people live in Juneau. Its total area makes it one of the biggest towns, in size, in the world. Only Kiruna, Sweden, and Sitka, Alaska, exceed Juneau's 3,248 square miles.
Today Juneau is famous not only for gold and government but also for its breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and stunning views of both water and mountains.
Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. Skagway may have boasted the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn't the easiest.
Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.
The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome.
Today, Skagway has less than 1,000 residents. It still retains the flavor of the gold rush era.
Princess is one of a select few cruise lines permitted to cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, the highlight of our 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. Just west of Juneau, this breathtaking national park and preserve boasts some of the world's most spectacular tidewater glaciers, such as Margerie Glacier, which often drops colossal chunks of ice into the sea. Not surprisingly, Glacier Bay National Park and its epic ice giants are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising Alaska's magnificent park system.
During your scenic cruise, friendly Park Rangers will join the ship to share their knowledge of this amazing place and host a fun Junior Ranger program for kids. They may even be able to help you identify Glacier Bay's abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and large colonies of seabirds.
Take in the awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy an unforgettable day of sailing through this dazzling park, where you'll glide along emerald waters and past calving icebergs, and can breathe in the crisp, fresh air to your heart's content.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska's "First City" because it's the first major community travelers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit phrase that means "eagle with spread-out wings," a reference to a waterfall near town.
In the early 1900s, when gold was Alaska's claim to fame, fishing and timber industries were established in Ketchikan. The growth of these industries helped make this Inside Passage port Alaska's fourth-largest city.
Visitors to Ketchikan will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, which includes the world's oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Heritage Center. The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city's colorful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sportfishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Victoria exudes old-world charm and fragrant and colorful flowers are everywhere. Founded in 1843 by James Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Company, the city was first known as Fort Victoria. By 1848, Vancouver Island was a British colony and Victoria was its capital.
In 1858, Victoria was a tent city and the base for some 25,000 prospectors on their way to the Frasier River gold fields. When Vancouver Island was incorporated with mainland British Columbia in 1868, Victoria became the capital of the entire province.
Although it's a port city, Victoria is not as industrially oriented as Vancouver. The harbors, especially Inner Harbour, are dotted with pleasure craft, ferries and floatplanes. The city is renowned for its beautiful gardens, charming houses and very British feel.
Disembark your cruise ship and make your own (independently) to the airport for your return flight back to the UK