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Adak Island of the Aleutian Islands

In the Wake of Pioneers

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Cruise along the east coast of Alaska, whose Inside Passage was crafted by the staggering force of massive glaciers millions of years ago, resulting in vertiginous fjords and lush shorelines. On this exclusive 15-day cruise, discover coniferous forests and myriad islands and islets where the soft light of the midnight sun lights the horizon. This expedition introduces wild and unspoiled nature including hikes and daily outings in zodiac landing craft. Do not miss the magnificent landscapes from wide spaces to gigantic glaciers, steep mountains, infinite tundra, and glittering lakes. Alaska invites you to follow in the footsteps of trappers and gold miners. During your trip, discover unique wildlife at some of the sites that have marked the history of Alaska and its environs.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Nome | Embark
Day 2 : Ukivok Shoal
Day 3 : St. Matthew Island (Pribilofs)
Day 4 : St. George Island (Pribilofs)
Day 5 : Dutch Harbor
Day 6 : Delarof Harbor
Day 7 : Geographic Harbor
Day 8 : At Sea - Alaska Gulf Crossing
Day 9 : At Sea - Sailing North Pacific Ocean
Day 10 : Sitka
Day 11 : Hoggatt Bay
Day 12 : Prince Rupert
Day 13 : At Sea
Day 14 : Alert Bay | Seymour Narrows
Day 15 : Vancouver | Disembark


  • Hike the tundra to explore this terrain and view seabirds & wildflowers
  • Discover some of the unique sites that have marked the history of Alaska
  • See St. George's rich biodiversity including humpback whales and orcas
  • Visit the small town of Unalaska, founded in the 18th century



Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Adak Island of the Aleutian Islands Spirit (kermode) bear, Gribbell Island, British Columbia Alaskan totem poles A Bald Eagle catches a fish. Traveler on a glacier tour of Alaska.

Day 1 Nome | Embark

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of a magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly colored houses, discover the pioneering legacy that is still prevalent in local traditions: fishing, reindeer herding, sled-racing to name a few. Experience the local communities that live from the land and thrive on manual labor. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Day 2 Ukivok Shoal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 3 St. Matthew Island (Pribilofs)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Part of the earth’s history was written between Alaska and Russia. Aboard your ship, discover the origins of the world, a unique environment that seems to stretch out to infinity. Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands, find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts, and crater lakes, offering travelers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals.

Day 4 St. George Island (Pribilofs)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the middle of the Bering sea, Saint-George Island is the second largest island of the Pribilof archipelago. A special atmosphere emanates from this landscape of volcanic craters and tundra - wild lands surrounded by a sumptuous coastline of majestic cliffs. As you hike, spot varied species of migratory birds that come and settle here all year round and enjoy the flora and fauna of this forested island. Also look for World War II relics. This a perfect place for observing fur seals, also called Pribilof seals. Fur seals have made St. George Island their home with its rich biodiversity. Mammal sightings may include: sea lions, humpback whales, and perhaps a pod of orca. Birders delight in the opportunity to view eagles, gulls, and murres.

Day 5 Dutch Harbor

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Clinging to the southwestern tip of Alaska, between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, the port of Dutch Harbor offers a stopover at the heart of the Aleutian Islands archipelago. A single bridge connects the port to the small town of Unalaska, founded in the 18th century by pioneering Russian fur trappers. Rich in history, Unalaska is home to ancient indigenous cultures and remains from WWII can be seen and tales told. During your visit hope to meet the locals for such tales and perhaps be treated to a folkloric performance from the local community. With gentle valleys nestling between volcanic peaks, Dutch Harbor reveals a primitive natural beauty which you must explore as you hike with a team of naturalists.

Day 6 Delarof Harbor

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a short Zodiac journey between the rocks in the company of your naturalist-guides, land in this former village of which many vestiges remain. Originally called Ougnagok by the Aleuts, this small hamlet, which was home to some 100 inhabitants in the 19th century, was renamed Delarof, after Evstratii Ivanovich Delarov. While working for the Shelikhov-Golikov Company, he was the first Greek mariner to discover the Aleutian Islands. These days, this small ghost-village now overrun by willowherb is called Unga. When your cruise calls here, you have the opportunity to visit the Aleutian Islands’ forest and perhaps explore the former gold mine.

Day 7 Geographic Harbor

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Here you are in the heart of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Here, the rocky cliffs are punctuated with white marks. These are the remains of ash deposits that accumulated following a volcanic eruption in the past. Board your Zodiac and, a little further south, explore every part of Geographic Harbor and its tall cliffs covered in vegetation and plunging into the sea. Along the sandy beach, grizzly bears improvise hunting sessions, in search of fish and clams. In the thickets, these omnivores eat berries, roots, and grasses. Brown bears are at home here and the presence of humans doesn’t seem to disturb them. This makes for a fascinating and unforgettable show.

Day 8 At Sea - Alaska Gulf Crossing

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 9 At Sea - Sailing North Pacific Ocean

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 10 Sitka

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Formerly a Russian colony located on Baranof Island, to the west of the Alexander archipelago, Sitka is brimming with history. The historical national park of Sitka shelters totems carved out of red cedar, a tree that is abundant in this region. These totems are testimonials of the former presence of the Tlingit Indians. Hike the Totem Trail in the park or other nature trails or take in the Raptor Rehabilitation Center for a closer look at Alaska’s birds. This place is full of natural wonders. Admire the mountain range around the port. In the distance, the snow-peaked volcano stands majestic. Numerous islands scattered around Sitka stretch out in a vision of idyllic Alaska.

Day 11 Hoggatt Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated on Baranof Island, Hoggatt Bay’s landscapes are exactly what most people expect to see on a picture-postcard of Alaska. Surrounded by mountains, it is home to very dense forests where the vegetation is subject to the evapotranspiration phenomenon (emission of water vapor resulting from evaporation and plant transpiration). In this enchanting setting, some grizzly bears feast on seaweed, shellfish and even grass that they find along the beaches, while others prefer simply to fish for salmon in the river.

Day 12 Prince Rupert

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today discover the port city of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, situated on an island at the basin of the Skeena River, just 40 miles south of the Alaska border and 65 miles south of Ketchikan. Be out on deck to view the ship’s arrival into port, which is breathtaking. Marvel as L'Austral skirts hundreds of islands and navigates through a narrow, mist-shrouded passageway to this town of only 13,000 residents. Prince Rupert is one of the oldest continuously occupied regions in the world, with a First Nations culture that dates back over 10,000 years. Learn more as you take in the Tsimshian Nation's site and archaeological artifacts as made available to visitors. Enjoy the museum which is dedicated to the First Nations peoples. Prince Rupert is also home to an abundance of wildlife. Highlights include: Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary, the highest concentration of humpbacked whales in North America, white kermode bears, and soaring eagles.

Day 13 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 14 Alert Bay | Seymour Narrows

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be out on deck to view your approach to Alert Bay—sightings may include a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins. Explore this wonderful bay and small community while studying the totem poles that adorn the cemetery as well as taking a tour of the U’Mista Museum Cultural Centre. Today learn more about the Tsimshian culture. The community typically invites visitors to a rich cultural performance of dance, singing, and drumming with performers in colorful full costume. As you sail down Johnstone Strait in search of wildlife, enjoy plenty of opportunities to view seabirds including storm petrel, auklets, and perhaps peregrine. Other sightings from deck may include: porpoises and groupings of Pacific white-sided dolphins. A keen eye may also sight black bear ashore searching for their dinner — salmon!

Your ship sails along Discovery Passage, between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island. As the channel tapers, arrive at Seymour Narrows, a narrow, 5-km-long passage which, in the past, posed a significant challenge for sailors. Between 1850 and 1950, some one hundred ships hit the rocks hidden under the water, and the outcome was often fatal. At the time, due to the strong currents that run through Seymour Narrows, it was considered to be one of the most dangerous waterways in British Columbia. But in 1955, the decision was made to blow up Ripple Rock, two submerged rocks responsible for most of the shipwrecks. This historic explosion made access to this passage much safer.

Day 15 Vancouver | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Cosmopolitan Vancouver is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities. Located in British Columbia on Canada's west coast, Vancouver is surrounded by mountains and outdoor activities are popular. In the city, you can immerse yourself in the Asian atmosphere of bustling Chinatown, shop for pashminas and silk saris at the Punjabi Market Indian district, and explore the historic area of Gastown. Say farewell to your fellow passengers and L'Austral crew and start your journey back home. 


Per person starting at
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone


Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

Children welcome:
- Flexible, or connecting staterooms
- Baby-sitting service on request
- Children's menus, fun tea parties, games, piano lessons and a host of other activities
- Special kids' rates

*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
  • “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
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
 Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Flight Seattle/Nome in economy class, on European airlines
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfer to the ship and other services before and after the cruise according to detailed programs available upon request 10 months prior departure
* Flights are being studied and are subject to change until the flight plan is confirmed up to 3 months prior to each cruise.
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Pre- or post-cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and zodiacs. Rates: 70 € per standard dive; 80€ per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, 80€ for a “discover scuba dive” course. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1 year old and their up to date dive book.
  • 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)
Please Note:
Please do not forget to bring your medical certificates when it is required to participate in an expedition cruise. 
These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.
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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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