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MS Roald Amundsen

Alaska And British Columbia: Nome-Vancouver

This cruise brings you along Alaska’s rugged coastline and around the remote Aleutian Islands to Nome. Visit historic ports and enjoy bear watching in Katmai National Park.

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    HIGHLIGHTS

    Inside Passage from Canada
    We’ll sail north from Vancouver Island, past fjords, into the Johnstone Strait and then through the Hecate Strait. Steep mountains and waterfalls await you at our first site in Alaska, aptly named the Misty Fjords. Look for Tlingit totem poles and petroglyphs on the beach in Wrangell at the foot of Mount Dewey.

    Then visit Sitka, the former capital of Alaska when it belonged to Russia, which is home to the Russian Orthodox St. Michael’s Cathedral. Next comes Icy Bay, where icebergs often float. Our goal here is to explore the Guyot Glacier, and we’ll hope to see some harbor seals relaxing on the icebergs along the way.

    Around the Aleutian Islands
    The Emerald Isle of Kodiak features the Alutiiq Museum and Baranov Museum, chronicling the city’s heritage. There are three possible sites for our next visit in the Katmai National Park, which is known for its population of bears. The ship then goes to the small fishing village of Chignik on the Alaskan Peninsula and then to the abandoned island settlement at Unga.

    Dutch Harbor is one of the most important fishing ports in the US, famous for appearing on the TV show ‘The Deadliest Catch’. St. Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands, an important bird area that is home to as many as 500,000 fur seals. You’ll then visit deserted St. Matthew Island, the most isolated place in Alaska, before disembarking in the famous Gold-Rush–era town of Nome for your flight back to Vancouver.

    DATES / RATES

    Rates are listed per person
    Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
    Aug 02, 2023Aug 20, 20238,490 8,808
    Rates are listed per person
    Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
    Aug 02, 2023Aug 20, 20238,490 8,808


    ITINERARY

    Day 1 - Vancouver, Canada
    Day 2 - Vancouver, Canada
    Day 3 - At sea
    Day 4 - Misty Fjords National Monument
    Day 5 - Wrangell, Alaska
    Day 5 - Sitka, Alaska
    Day 7 - Icy Bay
    Day 8 - At Sea
    Day 9 - Kodiak, Alaska
    Day 10 - Geographic Harbor / Kukak Bay / Kinak Bay
    Day 11 - Chignik
    Day 12 - Unga Village, Alaska
    Day 13 - Dutch Harbor / Unalaska
    Day 14 - At Sea
    Day 15 - St. Paul, Alaska
    Day 16 - St. Matthew Island, Alaska
    Day 17 - At sea – Bering Sea
    Day 18 - Nome, Alaska
    Day 19 - Vancouver, Canada

    Day 1 British Columbia’s Vibrant Port City
    Your exploration starts in Vancouver. Set amid gorgeous mountain scenery and along the waters of English Bay, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and cosmopolitan city. Arrive a few days ahead of your cruise and find out why people rave about British Colombia’s largest city.

    Its neighborhoods buzz with world-class farm-to-table cuisine. Chinatown and Punjabi Market have arguably the best Asian food in North America, while Commercial Drive is the home of Little Italy.

    Don’t miss Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood! Gastown’s Victorian buildings house some of the city’s hottest restaurants and its over 500-foot-high Vancouver Lookout also offers a great view of the city.

    Take in the neon lights and nightlife along Granville Street strip or just relax on one of the beaches in West End. The latter is also the gateway to the towering red cedars of Stanley Park, filled with wide-open spaces to explore.

    Enjoy your first night in Vancouver in a nice, centrally located hotel.

    After your long journey, relax and enjoy the amenities the hotel has to offer. The day is at your leisure, with dinner on your own.

    Why not extend your stay in this lovely scenery with our unique Pre-Program and take a trip aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies? The scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

    Day 2 Start of the Expedition
    After an enjoyable breakfast at your hotel, we will take you on a city tour of the main highlights of fabulous Vancouver.

    The excursion will end at the pier where the MS Roald Amundsen is waiting for you to take you on an unforgettable journey.

    Day 3 Cruising the Canadian Inside Passage
    As we cross north into the open ocean, we’ll make our way toward the narrow channels of Canada’s Inside Passage. Feel the thrill of a great adventure as we navigate through the thousands of islands of the Pacific Northwest.

    The great North American Pacific Fjordland is a protected stretch of water almost 933 miles long, known for its relatively calm waters and few ocean swells.

    As our journey begins, consider joining the Expedition Team at the onboard Science Center for fascinating lectures. Spend time getting to know your fellow travelers and head on deck to look for dolphins, porpoises, orcas, and humpback whales.

    Our expedition ship is small enough to pass through the Inside Passage and make close approaches to interesting and scenic channels. Don’t forget your binoculars!

    Day 4 Unspoiled Wilderness
    The first area you’ll explore on your expedition cruise is none other than the spectacular Misty Fjords National Monument. It forms part of the two-million-acre Tongass National Forest, a pristine coastal wilderness of evergreen trees, deep fjords, and majestic snow-capped peaks.

    This region receives more than 150 inches of rain per year, which feeds lakes and rivers that run into waterfalls and tumble from the dark granite cliffs. These mountains, covered in cedar, spruce, hemlock, and moss, rise almost vertically from the fjords to heights of more than 3,000 feet.

    The influential Scottish-American mountaineer John Muir, known as the ‘Father of the National Parks’, famously called the Misty Fjords one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen. As we explore the area, we hope you’ll feel the same. Weather permitting, you’ll tour the area aboard small boats (RIBs) or by kayak on an optional excursion.

    Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, brown bears, black bears, and moose along the shores, the ridges, or slopes. All five species of Pacific salmon swim in the waters, along with river otters, sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, orcas, and Dall porpoises. Keep your binoculars ready for the hummingbirds, Trumpeter Swans, herons, and the greatest American icon: the majestic Bald Eagle.

    Day 5 Petroglyph Beach
    Feel like you’re truly stepping back in time at Wrangell, one of Alaska’s oldest and most historic island towns. After a short 15-minute walk, you’ll start to see the ancient petroglyph carvings that dot the beach here. There are about 50 in total—see how many you can spot.

    Afterward, pay a visit to the Wrangell Museum. It’s packed full of interesting artifacts and information about the town’s history. Wrangell is now part of the U.S., but was previously governed by Great Britain, Russia, and the Tlingit people, as far back as 8,000 years ago.

    Don’t miss the moss-covered totem poles at the Chief Shakes Tribal House, which tell the story of the local Tlingit people. The beautiful Tribal House, constructed from cedar wood, is only a short walk from the town center, over the wooden bridge to Shakes Island.

    Reconnecting with nature is easy on one of the local trails to the edge of the rainforest, surrounded by alluring scenery at the mouth of Stikine River and at the foot of Mount Dewey.


    Day 7 Trio of tidal glaciers
    Discover Icy Bay, near Prince William Sound—a place that really lives up to its name. Three prominent glaciers—Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall—feed vast chunks of floating ice into the bay’s waters.

    This area was once a giant tidewater glacier that ran directly into the Gulf of Alaska. Icy Bay has only been accessible to ships for the last 100 years or so.

    This was also the site of the 2015 megatsunami, when 180 million tons of mountain rock and forest collapsed into the fjord. The resulting wave is thought to be one of the tallest in the past century. Thankfully, the megatsunami dissipated without doing any damage.

    Our aim will be to visit the Guyot Glacier, measuring 34 miles long and 8 miles wide, but that depends on ice we encounter along the way and on local weather conditions. We’ll land as close to the glacier as safely possible and explore the waters by kayak as part of an optional excursion.

    Like always, we’ll be on the lookout for the awesome wildlife that abounds in the Gulf of Alaska, including humpback whales, orcas, Stellar sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, and many others.

    Photo ops will abound throughout the day in this rough and rugged area steeped in natural beauty. The harbor seals, in particular, love to loaf around on the floating ice.

    Day 8 Serenity at sea
    This day at sea gives you time to rest, relax, take stock of what you’ve experienced so far, and build excitement for your adventure ahead. Make the most of the onboard facilities like the infinity pool, hot tubs, sauna, indoor gym, outdoor running track, and spa.

    The Expedition Team will also give informative lectures in the Science Center. Each topic, which can range from wildlife to tectonic activity, glaciology, or local history and culture, is designed to help you better appreciate the areas we sail through and inform your upcoming landings.

    Or spend time getting to know the crew, the Expedition Team members, and your fellow explorers. Aside from a passion for adventure, you may find you have similar interests and experiences. Why not share some drinks at the bar and build camaraderie with your new shipmates?

    You may see North Pacific Albatross while sailing through the Gulf of Alaska. Try to spot all three species: Laysan Albatross and Black-footed Albatross are common in the Gulf of Alaska, while the Short-tailed Albatross is a much rarer sight.

    Day 9 Emerald Isle
    Alaska’s largest fishing port is bustling in Kodiak, which sits on the eastern shores of Kodiak Island. The surrounding spruce forest and grassland inspired its nickname, the ‘Emerald Isle.’ This is Alaska’s largest island, at over 3,500 square miles and over 100 miles in length. It is the second-largest island in the U.S. after Hawaii.

    The Alutiiq people lived here for over 7,000 years before the Russian crown claimed the island as its earliest capital in Alaska. Admire thousands of artifacts and photos at the Alutiiq Museum. Also visit the 1808 Baranov Museum, the oldest standing building in the state, which was a former Russian fur pelt storehouse.

    In World War II, Kodiak became an important launching point for U.S. naval operations in the North Pacific. You can visit Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park to see the 1939 fort and a number of coastal bunkers. The fort itself now serves as the base for the largest Coast Guard in the country.

    The best-known park here, however, is the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which covers two-thirds of the island. Its wide range of habitats, from mountains to meadows, plays home to the island’s most famous residents: around 3,500 Kodiak brown bears.

    Day 10 Searching for brown bears
    Welcome to Katmai National Park. Katmai National Park measures over four million acres and features more than a dozen active volcanoes and the dramatic Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes—the site of one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions ever recorded.

    Today, we’ll cruise around looking for bears from the deck or from our small boats (RIBs) at one of three possible sites in the park, each one known for its brown bear community. Katmai National Park is almost synonymous with excellent bear watching. It has the largest population of protected grizzly bears, numbering more than 2,000.

    Our three options include Geographic Harbor at the top of Amalik Bay, a lagoon fringed by moss-covered rocks and rolling hills, famous for its brown bear population. Or we may visit the secluded Kinak Bay and uncover its hidden yet beautiful beaches. The last option is Kukak Bay, where a wide estuary provides a steady stream of salmon for hungry bears.

    Current weather conditions in the area will dictate which point we’ll visit. This is at the captain’s discretion, in collaboration with the Expedition Team. If time allows, we may even try to see more than one site. Rest assured that we’ll visit the best available choice, taking into account a wide range of factors.

    Accompanied by an experienced bear guard, you’ll hopefully be able to observe brown bears from a safe distance, getting close but never too close. The bears will likely be so busy foraging for berries along the shore, diving for clams, or fishing in the mountain rivers that they won’t pay us much attention.

    Aside from bear watching, you’ll also have great opportunities to see amazing sea otters. The Shelikof Strait is also notable for humpback whales. Don’t forget to also admire the splendid snow-capped mountains and verdant forest, along with plenty of seabirds.

    Day 11 Where the Aleutian Mountains meet the Gulf of Alaska
    The small village of Chignik Bay is a prime example of a typical Alaskan fishing settlement. Red salmon fishing has been the core of the community’s economy for over a century. Stop in at the fish processing plant, meet the welcoming locals, or step into the scenic surroundings to explore the salmon streams. The shores are home to more than 20-or-so waterfowl species and the sky is full of bald eagles.

    Day 12 Alaskan Ghost Town
    The abandoned Unga Village is picturesque, located on the southern end of the uninhabited Unga Island in the remote Aleutian Islands. Settled by Aleuts in 1833, subsistence fishing proved insufficient to support the community, who had almost completely moved out by 1969. Today, only a few wooden buildings remain, surrounded by a carpet of pink louseworts and fireweed.

    Day 13 Largest Fishing Port in the U.S.
    Dutch Harbor lies on the southern shores of Amaknak Island, part of the Fox Islands group of the Aleutians. Our approach may provide views of Mount Makushin, a steaming volcano almost 6,000 feet high. The city here is officially called Unalaska, but most of the region’s residents just refer to it as ‘Dutch’, after the harbor.

    The city thrives on commercial fishing. In terms of sheer volume of seafood caught, Dutch Harbor has been the U.S.’s number one port for 20 years straight. You might recognize it from ‘The Deadliest Catch’, the TV show that follows local fishing crews who battle the elements to harvest Alaskan king crabs.

    Stop in at the Museum of the Aleutians to explore the rich culture and history of the indigenous Unungan people, who have lived in harmony with nature around Dutch Harbor for some 10,000 years.

    Russia colonized Unalaska in the 1700s and turned it into an outpost for fur traders. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of Christ dates to 1896. With its unique domes, it’s the oldest cruciform-style Orthodox church in North America.

    To the north of Amaknak Island is the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area, littered with barracks, concrete bunkers, and ruins of gun batteries. 1942 saw the Battle of Dutch Harbor when it was hit by Japanese bombers. This, along with Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, was one of only a few places in the U.S. directly attacked during World War II.

    Keep your eyes peeled for the bald eagles around town, whose numbers are more than 600 strong, along with 40–50 million seabirds such puffins, cormorants, and kittiwakes.

    The shores have foxes, squirrels, lemmings, and even a herd of wild horses at Summer Bay. Marine life tends to be a mix of humpbacks, orcas, sperm whales, gray whales, sea otters, sea lions, and harbor porpoises.

    Day 14 Enjoying the moment
    An important part of any expedition cruise is knowing how to enjoy the moment. Remember to take time to reconnect with nature and the world around you.

    So take a seat in the panoramic Explorer Lounge or soak in one of the hot tubs out on deck. Sit back and feast your eyes on the serene scenery as untouched isles and green mountains quietly roll by.

    You can also join the Expedition Team in the Science Center, where they’ll share information on the local geography, climate, and birdlife.

    There’s also an opportunity to see seabirds such as the endemic and rare Red-legged Kittiwake, puffins, auklets, and murrelets, especially when we are closer to the coast.

    Day 15 Birdwatching haven
    The windswept island of St. Paul is the largest of the Pribilof Islands. The only inhabitants reside in the village of St. Paul, with a population of only 480 residents. Close to 90% are indigenous Aleuts, representing the largest Aleut community in the U.S.

    The strong Aleut heritage here includes historical sites showcasing the remains of barabaras, traditional semi-subterranean Aleut houses made from soil. The unique design allowed for the abode to be less exposed to the strong winds of the Bering Sea and for the ground to act as natural insulation to keep in the heat.

    Designated as an Important Bird Area, St. Paul Island is the ideal resting point for more than 300 species of migrating birds. Try spotting a Horned or Tufted Puffin or a Pribilof Sandpiper during your visit. The big draw for birders and ornithologists, though, is the endemic Red-legged Kittiwake, who nests on the island.

    The isle is also home to the northern fur seal, with about half the species’ global population living around the Pribilof islands. Watch these active creatures waddling along the shore and splashing in the water. In the early summer months, you may even see seal pups playing on the beach.

    Day 16 Deserted Island in the Bering Sea
    St. Matthew Island lies halfway across the Bering Sea, between Russia and the U.S. Coming ashore on its black-sand beaches, we’ll be the only humans on the isle.

    Separated from the nearest village by more than 200 miles, this is probably the single most isolated place in Alaska. Given this state’s sparse population, that’s saying something!

    Many pioneers have attempted to settle this island over the centuries, but none have ever stayed long, due to the frequent fog, storms, and tough winters. Even the thousands of hardy reindeer that were introduced here dwindled and disappeared.

    Traces of human life still remain on the island though, with abandoned dwellings half buried in the wildflower-speckled tundra. Lichen-covered bones and fishing debris may be found strewn across some of the beaches, washed up in sea storms.

    This island is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Only nesting seabirds like murres, puffins, and cormorants call it home, as well as foxes, who pilfer eggs from their nests.

    Listen for the native Singing Voles, named after their distinctive warning cry. Have your camera ready in case you spot the rare McKay's Bunting, which breeds almost exclusively on St. Matthew Island.

    Day 17 Crossing the International Date Line
    On your last day at sea, keep an eye out for humpback whales. As we sail through the Bering Strait, look to the sky to spot a range of seabirds. You’ll have Russia to the west and the U.S. to the east. This is the International Date Line, where ‘tomorrow’ rests to your left and ‘today’ to the right.

    It’s the perfect time to wind down and reflect on your experiences in Alaska. Pamper yourself in the Wellness Spa with a soothing treatment. Spend a few hours in the bar with your new friends, chatting about your memories from the trip.

    The Expedition Team will be in a similar mood, as they recap the expedition in the Science Center. Here, you can proudly compare your best photographs and swap stories of the different adventures and excursions.

    Day 18 There’s No Place Like Nome
    Situated on the Seward Peninsula, Nome’s name went down in Alaskan history the day that ‘Three Lucky Swedes’ discovered gold in Anvil Creek in 1898. Prospectors soon flocked from the Yukon and from San Francisco by steamboat. Even the famous sheriff Wyatt Earp followed the call of gold and opened a saloon here.

    Leftovers from Gold Rush era are everywhere, from abandoned dredges to turn-of-the-century steam engines and old railroad tracks. Cries of “Gold! Gold!” can still be heard today by those foraging on the banks of the Snake River and elsewhere in the area.

    The town also marked the end point of three of Roald Amundsen’s great expeditions: the Northwest Passage in 1906, the Northeast Passage in 1921, and an attempt to reach the North Pole by aircraft in 1926.

    It’s only fitting for you to end your modern-day adventure along the Alaskan coast here, having sailed aboard an expedition ship bearing the Norwegian explorer’s name. Bid the captain, crew, and the ship goodbye as we take you to the airport for your flight to Vancouver for an overnight stay.

    MS Roald Amundsen

    Named after the first man to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole, MS Roald Amundsen leads the way towards an even more sustainable way of traveling. The ship is specially constructed for voyages in polar waters. It serves as a comfortable base camp at sea - bringing adventurers from all over the world to the most spectacular destinations in the most sustainable way.

    (Click image to view Ship details)

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    Included in Your Expedition
    Flights
    • Flight in economy class from Nome to Vancouver at the end of the expedition cruise
    Hotel
    • One pre-night in Vancouver, including breakfast before the cruise starts.
    • One night of hotel in Vancouver after the expedition cruise, including breakfast
    Transfers
    • Transfer from the hotel to the pier in Vancouver incl. city tour excursion.
    • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Nome
    • Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Vancouver after the expedition cruise

    Expedition Cruise
    • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
    • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
    • Fine-dining in À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
    • Complimentary tea and coffee
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
    • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
    • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
    • Range of included excursions
    Onboard activities
    • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
    • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
    • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
    • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
    • The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
    • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
    Landing activities
    • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
    • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
    • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
    • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings
    Not Included In Your Expedition
    • International flights
    • Travel protection
    • Baggage handling
    • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
    • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
    • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
    Notes
    • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
    • Excursions and activities are subject to change
    • Please check visa requirements for the U.S. and Canada
    • No gratuities are expected

     
    
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    DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person and subject to change.