1 Anchorage, the City of Lights and Flowers.
Welcome to Alaska, an adventurous land of wildlife, mountains, forests and open spaces. Upon arrival at Anchorage International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at MUSE, located in the Anchorage Museum, a venue dedicated to studying and exploring the land, people, art and history of Alaska. (DW) Stay: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa.
2 Anchorage Sightseeing to Talkeetna.
Get acquainted with Anchorage with an included city tour. Enjoy an exclusive Agutak (Eskimo Ice Cream) making demonstration by Alaska's first people during a visit to the renowned Alaska Native Heritage Center. Learn how this culinary treat establishes a link to the past, inspires a sense of pride and spurs a dialogue about an ancient people's remarkable ability to survive. In the afternoon, depart Anchorage for the quaint community of Talkeetna, nestled at the base of Mount Denali, North America's tallest peak. Upon arrival, meet a bush pilot who will share fascinating stories about the joys and hazards of flying in rural Alaska. The evening is yours at leisure, so ask your Travel Director for suggestions on where is best to head for a bite to eat. (B) Stay: Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.
3 Journey Along the Alaskan Railroad.
This morning is yours to explore more of Talkeetna. Later in the morning board the world-famous Alaskan Railroad train for a spectacular journey over swift-rushing streams, towards Denali National Park and Preserve. View the majestic surroundings from the comfort of your glass-domed railcar before meeting a local climber who will tell stories about what it's like to brave a climb up the tallest land-based mountain in the world. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner hosted by Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater. This theatrical dinner mixes old-time Alaska with storytelling, music and humour as you join a cast of characters in a tale of adventure in 1900s Alaska. The menu includes hearty Alaskan classics such as salmon, barbeque ribs and corn. (B/DW) Stay Two Nights: Grande Denali Lodge.
4 Denali National Park, the Crown Jewel of the Alaskan Wilderness.
With the Denali National Park and Preserve just a short drive away from your hotel, you'll find a number of ways to enjoy the Alaskan wilderness on your own, or spend the day partaking in one of our optional activities. From an exciting rafting trip down the Nenana River(8) to a helicopter flightseeing tour or a Denali Wilderness walking tour, the choice is yours – just don't forget your camera! End the day back at your lodge and enjoy panoramic views of your surroundings at night. (B)
5 Girdwood and Mount Alyeska.
Enjoy a scenic journey on the George Parks Highway. After lunch, meet the champion dog team of four-time Iditarod winner, Martin Buser and learn about the challenges of competing in the 1,049-mile (1,688 km) dogsled race. Journey on the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm with its dramatic views, before arriving in the town of Girdwood, home of the Alyeska Resort and ski area. Ride the aerial gondola for sweeping views of the mountains and sea. The evening is free for you to enjoy. You'll get some shut eye at the luxurious Hotel Alyeska, which is nestled in a lush valley surrounded by mountain peaks, hanging glaciers and spectacular ocean views. (B/L) Stay Two Nights: The Hotel Alyeska.
6 Prince William Sound Cruise.
Today is devoted to the 26-Glacier Cruise through Prince William Sound and College Fjord, where you will come up close and personal with the glaciers. Visit with the Captain in the Wheelhouse and enjoy an included lunch. In the evening, join your Travel Director for a wonderful Celebration Dinner, featuring a variety of local seafood specialties, complete with wine and good cheer. (B/L/DW)
7 Seward to Join Your Glacier Discovery Cruise.
Visit the aquariums of the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward and enjoy an exclusive presentation about their marine research and rehabilitation programme. Have lunch and explore downtown at your own pace. Your Travel Director will be on hand to give you a few recommendations. You will be transferred to the Port of Seward to board the MS Westerdam or MS Noordam, where you will enjoy dinner and set sail in the evening. While on board, the cruise line will provide you with options and activities for the day, so whether you want to stay on the ship or explore more on land, the choice is yours. You'll also have a wide range of meal options to choose from throughout your journey. Information about these will be given by the cruise line once on board. (B/D) Stay Seven Nights: Holland America's MS Noordam or MS Westerdam.
8 Cruising – Day at Sea.
Enjoy the facilities on board the ship during this day at sea. You will find plenty of options for entertainment, dining or shopping or simply sit back and relax. (B/L/D)
9 Scenic Cruising – Glacier Bay National Park.
Today you'll catch Glacier Bay National Park's immense glaciers, towering peaks and icy rivers and imagine what Alaska was like before the first humans arrived. (B/L/D)
10 Cruising – Haines.
Haines—home to autumn's famous Alaska Bald Eagle Festival—lies alongside the longest fjord in America. Visit galleries offering traditional Tlingit art in the quaint downtown. (B/L/D)
11 Cruising – Juneau.
Stroll Juneau's picturesque streets, stopping in eclectic shops and saloons from the Gold Rush era. Perhaps embark on an optional trip on the Mount Roberts Tramway for exhilarating views of the harbour and nearby mountains. (B/L/D)
12 Cruising – Ketchikan.
Check out the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, intricately carved with native designs. Perhaps take an optional guided tour through town or a floatplane flightseeing trip. (B/L/D)
13 Scenic Cruising – Inside Passage.
Revel in the scenery as you slowly glide past a maze of bays, glacier-carved fjords and waterways protected from the open sea by rugged, isolated islands. (B/L/D)
14 Depart Vancouver.
Sail into the iconic Vancouver Harbour early this morning. After disembarking, take your transfer to Vancouver International Airport or to the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver if you wish to extend your stay and explore more of this diverse city. Airport arrival will be at approximately 09:30. (B)