Day 1: New Zealand – – Vancouver
Depart New Zealand bound for stunning Vancouver. On arrival, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 2: Vancouver (B)
Embark on a city tour of Vancouver this morning. Wander around the green fields of Stanley Park, take a visit to the Public Market, and see the sights of historic Gastown. The rest of the afternoon is yours at leisure.
Day 3: Vancouver – Inside Passage Cruise (B, D)
Spend the morning visiting those last minute attractions in Vancouver, before heading to the cruise terminal ready to set sail on-board the award-winning Celebrity Millennium. The perfect home away from home, this state-of-the-art ship is equipped with all your culinary and entertainment needs as you cruise the Alaskan Inside Passage across the next 7 nights.
Day 4: At Sea (B, L, D)
The day is spent at sea as Celebrity Millennium begins its passage to the protected Alaska Inside Passage. This complex labyrinth of fjords, bays, and lush green islands is home to an abundance of wildlife, including orca, mountain goats, bald eagles, bears, puffins, sea otters and much more. During the summer months, the long hours of daylight allow for ample opportunities for nature photos on your Inside Passage Cruise. You’ll never forget the sight of 40-ton whales hurling themselves into the air, almost completely escaping the water. If you’re especially lucky, you could see them swimming together to create a bubble net, trapping and eating fish by the giant mouthful.
Day 5: Ketchikan (B, L, D)
Your first port is Ketchikan, the city with the reputation as being home to some of the best salmon in the world. Learn more about the city’s Tlingit people and see the carved totem poles, or meander along Creek Street to see its overwater wooden buildings. Pay a visit to the museum at Dolly’s House to take a step back into the ways of frontier life or take up one of the outdoor activities available in the area such as kayaking in Misty Fjords or hiking Deer Mountain. There are shops and boutiques for those that prefer retail therapy. If you’re up for an adventure, take a canoe and nature trail excursion through the rain forest or a wilderness exploration followed by a sumptuous crab feast you’ll long remember.
Day 6: Icy Strait Point (B, L, D)
Next stop is Icy Strait Point. For thousands of years, the Tlingit Indians have called this place home. Located just outside Hoonah, and steeped in cultural and historical importance, not only is the area one of the ancestral homes of the Tlingit Indians, and there is also a historic cannery on-site to offer visitors insight into local traditions. Passengers will also find good wildlife-watching opportunities and monuments commemorating surrounding fishing heritage.
Day 7: Juneau (B, L, D)
Explore Alaska’s capital city today. Juneau is unique in the sense that it isn’t connected to the outside world by road; in fact, there are no roads leading in or out of the city. Head to the neighbouring Mendenhall Glacier on a float trip excursion or take up an activity such as whale-watching, zip-lining or touring the Capitol and Alaskan Brewing Co. buildings. You may even choose to embark on a glacial dogsled adventure.
Day 8: Skagway (B, L, D)
The great Klondike Gold Rush lives on in Skagway’s charming downtown of restored 19th-century buildings and its historic railway. Located on the edge of the wilderness, this small town saw its fair share of gold rush, get rich dreamers pass through. Today, it’s residents are more than welcome to share the stories of its untamed past. And there’s so much fascinating history to uncover on a Skagway cruise. Head to Klondike Gold Rush National Park Museum for an in-depth look at Klondike and the two routes out of Skagway – Chilkoot Pass and White Pass. From the vintage train, admire the mountains and see the 1898 trail that fortune seekers traveled on foot. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad runs the vintage locomotives through the famously steep Chilkoot Trail and offers sweeping mountain views during its climb toward Canada.
Day 9: Hubbard Glacier (B, L, D)
The Hubbard Glacier is located about 30 miles north off the coast of Yakutat and is by far one of Alaska’s most exciting natural treasures. On your cruise to Hubbard Glacier, enjoy incredible picture-perfect views of this glorious mount of ice from about every angle on your ship. Named after Gardiner Hubbard, the founder and president of the National Geographic Society, Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier in the world. Dramatically massive at about 7-miles wide, 76-miles long and as tall as a 30-story building above the waterline, it’s the largest river of ice in North America. How this magnificent block came to form begins about 400 years ago from the snowfalls on the slopes of Mount Logan. While most of the world’s glaciers are retreating, the Hubbard Glacier has continued to thicken over the years and on rare occasion will partially block Russell Fjord, temporarily damning its passage.
Cruise Hubbard Glacier and experience the wilds of Alaska as your ship makes its way through icy waters turning from Yakutat Bay into the narrow Disenchantment Bay to come face-to-face with the towering Hubbard Glacier. The strong currents and riptides that flow between Gilbert Point and the face of the glacier cause calving to occur on daily basis, sending massive chunks of ice crashing into Disenchantment Bay. Witness this awe-inspiring phenomenon onboard a Hubbard Glacier cruise through the misty, chilled air of the Gulf of Alaska. Our dedicated onboard naturalist narrates the experience and keeps an eye out for the whales, harbor seals, and otters that hunt and play in the waters of Yakutat Bay. It’s an adventure of a lifetime.
Day 10: Seward (B)
Disembark the cruise this morning. You’ll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel, where the rest of the day is yours at leisure.
Day 11: Seward – Anchorage (B)
Depart Seward for Anchorage in the morning where your first stop will be at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre. At the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre, the mission is to preserve Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, research, education and quality animal care. The centre also educates visitors about Alaska’s wildlife. Coyotes peer out from behind the brush while a bald eagle swoops in on the salmon remains left by a grizzly bear. Wood Bison plod through 65 acres of tidal flat terrain, as part of a program that will one day restore the species to the Alaskan wilderness. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the centre.
Our next stop will be at Alyeska Resort. You will have some free time for lunch on your own and a ride on the Alyeska Aerial Tram, a three-to-seven minute scenic ride from the Hotel Alyeska to 2,300 ft in elevation and the top of Mt. Alyeska. From the Tram, you can see miles in all directions – including views of the Turnagain Arm, up to seven “hanging” glaciers and endless peaks deep into the Chugach Mountain range. Don’t forget to look down! In the summer months, moose and bear sightings are common, too. Continue to Anchorage in the late afternoon and enjoy a city tour of the floatplane harbour and earthquake park.
Day 12: Anchorage – – Denali (B, L)
Today you’ll board Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star. Featuring glass-dome ceilings and an upper-level outdoor viewing platform, you’ll have the best view in the house as you pass through Palmer, Wasilla and Talkeetna bound for stunning Denali. Crowned by Denali, the tallest mountain on the continent, the spectacular Alaska Range dominates the horizon.
Day 13: Denali (B)
This morning enjoy a tour of Denali Park. The National Park is 168,448 hectares and includes North Americas highest mountain – Denali (6,164 metres). The Denali Wildlife Tour is a 7 hour bus tour to a view point of Denali. You will be given a bit of time to walk around. Along the way there is the possibility of seeing all different types of animals including Grizzly Bears, Elk, Moose and other smaller animals. (The only time allowed for walking is at the halfway point and you would have approximately 30min).
Day 14: Denali – – Fairbanks (B, D)
Today you will have some time at leisure and mid-afternoon transfer back to the train station for your scenic transfer to Fairbanks. Dinner is included and served on-board the train.
Day 15: Fairbanks (B)
This morning depart for local sightseeing including the Riverboat Discovery Cruise. The 3.5 hour cruise stops en route at an Athabaskan Indian Village for a short visit. In the afternoon, free time or optional visit the University of Alaska Museum which displays the natural and cultural history of Alaska.
Day 16: Fairbanks – Valdez (B)
Depart from Fairbanks on the Alaska Highway to Tok, which, with several large kennels is known as the “dog sled capital”. Turn south on the Glenn Highway and enjoy spectacular views of the towering Wrangell Mountains. Pass Copper Centre, an historic town that was a main trading post for miners and Athabaskan natives in the 1900’s. Cross over Thompson Pass, one of the best places to view the Worthington Glacier up close, before reaching the scenic coastal port of Valdez for overnight.
Day 17: Valdez – Anchorage (B)
Today we make the journey back to Anchorage.
Day 18: Anchorage – New Zealand (B)
Free time in Anchorage before the departure transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 19: In flight
Day 20: New Zealand
Arrive home today.