Immerse yourself in a world of Tlingit heritage with hints of Russia, where an outpost atmosphere prevails in charming, mountain-ringed seaside towns. As you cruise this pristine wilderness of misty fjords, lush forest and gleaming walls of ice, pan for gold like prospectors of old, meet local Tlingit who have fished these waters for centuries, and hear tales both tall and true of a region where a Wild West spirit still feels very much alive.
Embark your ship in Vancouver, British Columbia's cultural capital, in a scenic setting between mountains and sea. Settle in to your veranda stateroom, soon to be your front-row seat for some of the world's most scenic coastline.
Take in the natural splendor of one of Alaska's most scenic waterways, the famed Inside Passage. You will navigate the Strait of Georgia, the Seymour Narrows and the Grenville Channel, reveling in an endless canvas of beauty. Sail past rain forests spilling down steep cliffs to the shore. Keep a watchful eye for orcas, dolphins and whales. Overhead, a wide array of birds take wing, from bald eagles and cormorants to several species of gulls, all feeding on the plentiful bounty of fish in the waters below.
Discover Alaska's 'first city,' as it is known to travelers coming by ship from the south. Ketchikan was home to the Tlingit long before the arrival of white settlers, as you will see in the many old and new totem poles that grace the town. Learn about Alaska's native legacy and discover the legends behind their designs during your included tour. If you would like to venture beyond the town, perhaps visit the Misty Fjords National Monument or Tongass National Forest, where seaplanes and 4x4 vehicles take you beyond the beaten path.
Glimpse the Russian influence in Sitka, once the capital of Russian Alaska. Enjoy an enlightening panoramic tour of the city, learning more about the fur trade that first brought the Russians to its shores. Marvel at the beauty of Mt. Edgecumbe, a volcano that has lain dormant for millennia, and the verdant islands of Sitka Sound peppered prettily along the water. Admire Sitka's fascinating totem poles and immerse yourself in its heritage during your time in this scenic city.
Call on Alaska's capital of Juneau on the Gastineau Channel. Named for an early prospector, it is the only US capital inaccessible by road, and so all goods and visitors must arrive via sea or air. Marvel at its fjord-like, dramatic setting between mountains and sea as you take a drive to pan for gold in the spirit of the city's early days. If you wish, enjoy spectacular views of the Alaskan state capital from the Mount Roberts Tramway or embark a small boat to the Mendenhall Glacier, spotting porpoises and whales along the way.
Visit Skagway, named for a mythical woman who turned herself to stone at Skagway's bay. Gateway for prospectors arriving to reap the benefits of the Klondike gold rush in the Canadian Yukon, the town today evokes an Old West spirit. Enjoy a brief tour before taking a scenic drive up to White Pass like the gold diggers of old, pausing at the Canadian border for photos. You may choose instead to make the journey aboard the fabled White Pass Railroad, or visit a sled dog camp to learn about a generations-old tradition.
Discover the old canning station at Icy Strait Point today. Fully restored by the Native American Tlingit community from nearby Hoonah, it is an exquisite time capsule revealing how locals once earned a living from the rich fishing grounds. Celebrate the Tlingit culture during a cultural presentation by locals in traditional ceremonial dress. You might also join a whale-watching excursion to spot some of the many creatures that flock to these food-rich waters.
Today you will witness some of Alaska's most breathtaking and pristine scenery. Cruise into majestic Yakutat Bay to the point where it narrows to become Disenchantment Bay, so named by its Spanish discoverer who was hoping to find the fabled Northwest Passage and instead faced the imposing icy wall of Hubbard Glacier. Today, the spectacular glacier steadily advances into the water, blocking tributary fjords and slowly pushing ice and debris down from the St. Elias Mountains.
Call on charming Valdez today, taking in its beautiful setting along a deep fjord in Prince William Sound. Follow your own interests and learn more about this small fishing town during a self-guided exploration. Alternately, you may opt for an excursion to the magnificent Columbia Glacier, or perhaps take to the sky on a breathtaking helicopter tour of the Chugach Mountains.
Discover Seward today, a modest seaport named after Abraham Lincoln's secretary of state, who defied public opinion to pursue the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The small city is also renowned as the historic starting point of the world-famous Iditarod dogsled race. Explore the Alaska SeaLife Center, where you will learn about the marine world that thrives right off the coast. If you wish, venture farther afield to Katmai National Park to visit Exit Glacier or capture breathtaking aerial views from an optional helicopter excursion.
Disembark your ship this morning and transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or stay on in Seward to explore more of Alaska's pristine wilderness and charming cities.
Japan, Taipei and Hong Kong 15Gareth, NSW, Australia, Sep 2019
The quality of the Viking Orión was stunning. The food was excellent with good variety and choice. The crew were attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The shore excursions were generally informative and interesting. Time on the ship went quickly due to the wide choice of entertainment, talks and topical information provided.
Five Star in every respect. 14Peter & Anne Maree , VIC, Australia, Jul 2019
This cruise was wonderful. The scenery was spectacular. An included optional excursion was available at every port and the arrangements for these ran like clockwork. Additionally there were a number of optional trips for which there was a charge. The times for these could be booked online pre cruise and so your personal itinerary was created. The cruise ...read more catered for approximately 900 passengers and because the ship was extremely well designed with a variety of spaces you never ever felt "crowded".
We really enjoyed the high quality of the food and we especially liked being able to book into the fine dining "Chef's Table" or the Italian "Manfredi's restaurant" if we pleased (available to all at no extra charge). A real highlight for me was participating in a French cooking lesson with 11 others. It was run by one of the chefs on the cruise. We also appreciated the talks given by the resident historians and specialists on board.
We certainly would book another cruise with Viking - in fact we have already done so! Jemma at Global Journeys was excellent. She responded to any enquiries relating to the trip very promptly and ensured all paperwork was in place in a timely manner. Thank you Jemma.
Viking Orion Cruise, 34Bill & Jan, NSW, Australia, Aug 2018
Almost new ship, with very good Penthouse suite, plenty of storage, great bathroom. Destinations were the attraction to book, and very good also, but August September 2018 very hot, especially in Egypt and Jordan, the worry of heat leading to our non-appearance for the Petra excursion. August & September proved to be a bad time for such a cruise and ...read more its excursions. Excellent on-board lectures/lecturers. Food OK, but a little below our expectations. Evening entertainment limited. All staff terrific.
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