day 1 Vancouver, BC, Canada
This gem of a Canadian city is where the Pacific Ocean shares its views with distant snow-covered peaks. The green-space pride of the city is Stanley Park, largest urban park in Canada with 1,000 acres of rose gardens, Native totem poles, and wooded rainforest trails. Ride a bike or walk along the waterfront to the park’s beaches.Time your stay to include dim sum in one of North America’s largest and oldest Chinatowns. While in the historic neighborhood, escape to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, with its exquisite architecture, plantings, and koi ponds.Visit the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada it is renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, in particular works by First Nation band governments of the Pacific Northwest. MOA houses 38,000 ethnographic objects as well as 535,000 archaeological objects in its building alone.
6:38 AM TO 11:59 PM
Canadian Inside Passage
day 2 Scenic Cruising Canadian Inside Passage
Your cruise will explore parts of the Inside Passage, which is not just in Alaska – it runs from Washington state into Canada. The protected Canadian portion of the famous archipelago is between Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert Sound, near the Alaska border. Your Windstar cruise takes you through the Inside Passage past the rugged, spectacular scenery of coastal British Columbia. Views include towering snow-capped mountains, tall waterfalls, and deep green forest. Your ship maneuvers through a maze of channels, impressively narrow at times. You’ll want to be on deck to take in remote fishing villages and beaches where grizzly bears may linger – keep your binoculars at the ready! Look up to spot eagles and a variety of seabirds, and watch, too, for orca and humpback whales.
2:00 PM TO 10:00 PM
Ketchikan, at the southern tip of Alaska’s Inside Passage, claims status as a capital of salmon fishing. Guests who want to try their hand will find fishing and outdoor dining excursions as well as historic walking tours, zipline expeditions and much more. And reserve time to take a photo of the colorful buildings built on pilings on Creek Street – once the town’s red-light district – located along a creek where salmon swim upstream in spawning season. Ketchikan is a strong center of the Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida cultures and one of the best places in the world to learn about totem poles. These carved beauties hang out everywhere, in parks, building lobbies, and on the town’s streets. Totem poles are best viewed with an interpreter who can read the stories they tell. Some may surprise you. In nearby Saxman Native Village, young people lead tours of the village’s collection. Ketchikan, at the southern tip of Alaska’s Inside Passage, claims status as a capital of salmon fishing. Guests who want to try their hand will find fishing and outdoor dining excursions as well as historic walking tours, zipline expeditions and much more.
6:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
day 4 Misty Fjords, Alaska - Optional Expedition Day
On your Windstar Alaska cruise you have the rare treat of experiencing Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument, 2.1 million acres of wilderness within the Tongass National Forest and only accessible by small ships, boats, and floatplanes. The name is appropriate to the climate. A mist often lingers, providing an eerie envelope to blue fjords topped by towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and a dense temperate rainforest. You may further immerse yourself into the environment of protected coves on Signature kayak and Zodiac excursions. Keep your eye out for the resident killer whales, Dall’s porpoises and brown and black bears, plus all five types of Pacific salmon.
8:00 AM TO 3:00 PM
Accessible only by small ship, Wrangell is a charming small town and one of the oldest communities in Alaska. Conversion comes easy, whether you are wandering the one main street, admiring the totem poles around town, or walking down to Petroglyph Beach to see the largest collection of ancient primitive rock carvings in Alaska. Pristine wilderness is right next door. Wrangell is at the mouth of the wild, glacier-fed Stikine River, the fastest-flowing navigable river in North America – it runs from British Columbia and empties into a rainforest delta outside of Wrangell. Jet boat tours explore wilderness with thundering waterfalls, glaciers and even hot springs. About 30 miles away, and also accessible by boat, is Anan Wildlife Observatory, one of the best places in Alaska to observe black and brown (grizzly) bears.
10:00 AM TO 9:00 PM
Juneau is the only state capital you can’t drive to. While the city is not on an island, it is cut off from the rest of Alaska, and Canada to the east, by impenetrable forest and the enormous Juneau Icefield. Ice is a major attraction, whether you head out to see the Mendenhall Glacier, only a dozen miles from town, fly over glaciers on a floatplane, or land on the ice via helicopter for such experiences as putting on crampons and hiking or dogsledding with a team of huskies. In town, check out the state capitol building or make a beeline to Tracy’s King Crab Shack, where the giant boiled crab legs and crab bisque have gained such fame the restaurant was featured on the TV show “Top Chef.” Food and brewery tours hit local hotspots. For exercise with views take the Mount Roberts Trail (two miles up to the timberline) and then head back down on the harbor-view Goldbelt Tram.
6:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
With its gorgeous location between mountains and sea and its small-town vibe, Haines may remind you of the old TV show “Northern Exposure,” complete with quirky characters – how else to explain a museum dedicated to hammers? Haines has modern-day gold seekers too, as featured on the reality show “Gold Rush Alaska.” Some tours from here head to Skagway to see the restored period buildings of the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park or to take a ride on the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route train alongside the treacherous route that stampeders took to the Yukon. Stick to Haines to partake in adventure experiences such as hiking, jet boat adventures or rafting in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where you have a very good chance of seeing aerial wildlife. Or walk around the parade grounds and restored buildings of Fort Seward (also known as the Chilkoot Barracks), decommissioned after World War II and 42 years of service. Take a respite at the Port Chilkoot Distillery, known for its award-winning gin.
6:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Tracy Arm / Endicott Arm
day 8 Scenic Cruising Tracy Arm / Endicott Arm, Alaska
A cruise to the Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm fjord brings views of tree-covered wilderness, snow-covered mountains, and, once you enter the fjord, sheer granite cliffs as high as 4,000 feet with cascading waterfalls. The big treat is that each arm has a glacier at its head – where you will experience what’s known as “white thunder” when the glacier sheds ice into the sea. Your Windstar captain will gently guide the ship around dozens of icebergs, some of which may be dotted with seals and their pups, halting in front of the massive Sawyer Glacier and South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Fjord or the Dawes Glacier in Endicott. A Signature Windstar kayaking or Zodiac experience lets you get as close as is safely possible to the tidewater glaciers.
7:00 AM TO 8:00 PM
Kenai Fjords National Park
day 11 Kenai Fjords, Alaska - Optional Expedition Day
Most ships are too large to linger in the park’s wilderness, which includes the Harding Icefield, one of the largest icefields in the U.S. and source of more than three dozen glaciers. Your Windstar ship goes through Resurrection Bay and deep into the park to deliver extraordinary views of ice-carved landscape and tidewater glaciers. In the icy waters, you may spot Dall’s porpoises, sea otters, Stellar sea lions, and harbor seals. Black bears may be hanging out on shore, bald eagles flying overhead. Windstar Signature Expeditions by kayak and Zodiac deliver the quiet and intimate thrill of going through ice floes, an experience akin to being in a giant bunch bowl dodging ice cubes, as you get close to the ethereal blue glaciers.
7:00 AM TO
day 12 Seward (Anchorage), Alaska
Your sailing will begin or end in Seward, an Anchorage cruise port about 125 miles from the city. Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest communities with a history that goes back to 1793 when Russian fur trader Alexander Baranof first visited. In town, stop by the Alaska SeaLife Center, a marine research facility, to check out the aquarium and observe sea otters frolicking among other cold-water creatures. The town, sandwiched between the Kenai Mountains and Kenai Fjords National Park, is a delight to visit, but the great outdoors is the big draw. Boat tours, with commentary by National Park Service rangers, visit Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords National Park, with its ice-carved landscape and more than three dozen tidewater glaciers. Or explore by dogsledding, either from a local Iditarod training kennel or farther afield, on top of a glacier (you get there via helicopter).
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 12 Seward (Anchorage) Alaska to Talkeetna
Incredible views of Turnagain Arm and the Kenai Mountains help soothe your sadness over leaving your small ship. Explore native cultures at the Anchorage Museum before proceeding to tiny Talkeetna for a Welcome Reception and informative talk about the town’s colorful past.
(Includes overnight at Talkeetna Hotel and Reception)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 13 Talkeetna to Denali National Park
Stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery from your deluxe domed railcar as your train makes its way to Denali. Tonight, get your bearings with a Welcome to Denali Talk, followed by an all-you-can-eat salmon and barbecue ribs dinner and a show at Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater.
(Includes overnight at Denali Lodge, Breakfast, Cbin Nite Dinner)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 14 Denali National Park
Your full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour takes you 63 miles into the park for the best opportunities to see both Denali’s famous wildlife and the iconic mountain. Back at the lodge, there’s time for an optional tour, or just relax and enjoy the lodge and scenery.
(Includes overnight at Denali Lodge, Breakfast, Bag Lunch and Snack)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 15 Denali to Fairbanks
Head north to the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks, a city shaped by gold and oil. Board the Riverboat Discovery for a cruise on the Chena River, sampling frontier life at an Athabascan village and meeting some powerful Iditarod huskies. Recount your favorite experiences with friends over a delicious Farewell Dinner.
(Includes overnight at Fairbanks Hotel, Breakfast and Dinner)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 16 Fairbanks and Departure
Today is yours to explore as you will. Various attractions let you pan for gold, or browse a goldmine of history at the Museum of the North before your flight home.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.