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Epic Coastal Alaska

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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This 15-day expedition starts in Vancouver, British Columbia, and sails to Seward, Alaska. Cruise among the temperate rainforests and wildlife-rich waters of coastal British Columbia and explore the fjords, villages, and wildlife of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Drive to Yakutat and Disenchantment Bays, and walk along the shores of Hubbard Glacier, seven miles long and up to four miles wide. Visit Prince William Sound, famous for its dramatic mountains and enormous tidewater glaciers. Keep track of seabirds and marine mammals as you explore nature by Zodiac, kayak, or stand-up paddle-board among islands whose diverse ecosystems are home to a diverse range of wildlife aboard National Geographic Orion.
Skookumchuck Tidal RapidsA walrus sunbathes on the iceRemarkable ice formationA mother polar bear and her cub relax on the iceA polar bear embraces the sunshineVancouver - GibsonsSunshine Coast - Horseshoe Bay
Highlights
  • Witness nature’s frozen sculpture garden on a Zodiac cruise through LeConte Glacier.
  • Discover the Inside Passage’s hidden gems such as Pinta Bay and Slocum Arm.
  • Learn about the rich indigenous culture in the coastal village of Sitka.
  • Encounter the stunning variety of marine and wildlife in the Inside Passage.
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Vancouver | Embark

Arrive in Vancouver this afternoon and embark National Geographic Orion.

Day 2-3: Inside Passage of British Columbia, Canada

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Navigate northward along the pristine coastline in search of whales, dolphins, bear, deer, and other wildlife.

Day 4: Misty Fjords National Monument

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up this morning to catch the sunrise over the stunning cliffs rising more than 2,000 feet above the deep blue waters of the fjord. Watch wisps of clouds drift down the winding waterway and drape over green peaks as we sail through the mists that give this extraordinary landscape its name. Set out by Zodiac and kayak to get close to the forested banks and the dramatic waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs.

Day 5: Totem Bay | Cruising

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the rocky coastline by kayak or Zodiac, and go ashore to beach comb and discover the fascinating inter-tidal zone with our naturalists. Set sail on the Sumner Strait, keeping watch for humpback whales and pods of killer whales gliding through the clear water around our ship. Fix your binoculars on the banks of Kuiu Island to spot moose and Sitka black-tailed deer, as well as black bears, wolves, and bald eagles that frequent the shoreline in search of plentiful salmon.

Day 6: LeConte Glacier & Petersburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, maneuver past the LeConte Glacier, one of the most active glaciers in Southeast Alaska. Icebergs regularly break off from the glacier face and get caught in this shallow moraine and along the shoreline. Take advantage of spectacular photo ops, practicing tricks and tips from our certified photo instructor. Our experienced captain will read the ice and bring us as close as possible to the glacier, where we’ll set out by Zodiac to navigate among these surreal floating sculptures. In the afternoon, visit the small Alaskan fishing town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, which still retains much of its Norwegian heritage. Stretch your legs with an optional bike ride around town or explore downtown on your own.

Day 7: Frederick Sound & Chatham Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It’s not uncommon to observe their fascinating behavior—breaching, tail-slapping, and variations on feeding—as we fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from our expert naturalists. If schedules allow, we will be joined by our conservation partners from the Alaska Whale Foundation who will come aboard and speak about the local whale population.

Day 8: Sitka

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, step ashore in Peril Straits in the morning where we follow bear trails and salmon streams. The still waters are excellent for kayaking. In the afternoon, explore the former 2022 Departure Dates: 12 Jun, 26 Jun Advance Payment: $2,500 Call us at 1.800.397.3348 or call your Travel Agent. In Australia, capital—Sitka, Southeast Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Visit the Raptor Rehabilitation Center and stroll the forested trails of the Sitka National Historical Park. Rich in history, the 113-acre park features roughly 20 majestic Haida and Tlingit totems scattered along the scenic coastal trail.

Day 9: West Chichagof-Yacobi Wilderness

Located on the outer coast of Chichagof Island, this wilderness offers a rugged, wave-pounded coastline open to the mighty Pacific Ocean as well as quiet, protected bays and inlets ideal for exploring by ship, kayak, and Zodiacs. Western hemlock and Sitka spruce trees blanket the area along with muskeg and river estuaries, creating a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Day 10: Icy Strait & the Inian Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend today searching for wildlife in nutrient-rich waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Inside Passage. Options include a Zodiac cruise among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions reside; kayaking in the calm outer waters of Glacier Bay; or hiking in the lush temperate rainforest where bald eagles dot the canopies.

Day 11: At Sea | Hubbard Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the morning in the Gulf of Alaska, transiting up the coast to Yakutat Bay. The scenery along the way is rugged and beautiful. Be on the lookout for a glimpse of Mt. Fairweather (over 15,000 ft.). Late in the day, we will enter the bay and head toward the face of Hubbard Glacier. This mammoth sheet of ice is more than six miles wide at its face and is contained within the boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Depending on ice and conditions, we may deploy our Zodiacs to explore.

Day 12: Kayak Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This uninhabited island is best known as the location where members of Bering’s Great Northern Expedition of 1741 set foot in Alaska. Here, naturalist Georg Steller found a jay now named for him and recorded over 150 plants new to science. Conditions permitting, we hope to make a landing to explore this small, jagged island and to cruise by Zodiac near Cape St. Elias and its lighthouse.

Day 13: Exploring Prince William Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day exploring majestic Prince William Sound which is filled with glaciers and ringed by the Chugach Mountains. Immerse yourself in the incredible beauty as we take advantage of the best conditions and opportunities that arise that day.

Day 14: Kenai Fjords National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in Kenai Fjords National Park, known as an iconic location in the region and, for many, a challenging place to visit. The day will be spent exploring the Kenai Fjords and Resurrection Bay by ship and Zodiac. Throughout the day, be on the lookout for horned and tufted puffins, marbled murrelets, black oyster catchers, Steller sea lions, sea otters, and fin, minke, and killer whales who make their summer home in the park.

Day 15: Seward | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Seward and transfer by motorcoach to Anchorage for your return flight home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Orion

Keep in shape in the exercise room aboard the National Geographic Orion
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
The lovely National Geographic Orion

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
Your  Category B Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 1 Single
Cat 1S #301, 322, 323. These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, except for #301 which has a double bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a roomy shower stall with a glass door.
A Category A Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 2
Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
A lovely category 3 suite on the National Geographic Oion
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Category 3
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities.
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor.
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a 'soaking tub with a view' in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Included
  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • The Guidance and Company of the Expedition Staff
  • Hotels Ashore as Indicated in the Itinerary
  • Sightseeing & Entrance Fees
  • Special Access Permits, Park Fees, Port Taxes
  • Zodiac & Kayak Explorations
  • Snorkeling, Including Wetsuits, Masks, Fins & Snorkel Where Relevant
  • Presentations and Guest Speakers in the Lounge
  • Gratuities to the Ship Crew
  • Complimentary Parka 
  • Alcohol (except premium brands) 
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Additional Hotel Nights 
  • Private Transfers
     
  • Expedition Extensions 
  • Laundry 
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Regional charter flight fees not included, pricing varies by departure

Map

When to Go

Jan
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Mar
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May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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