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A humpback whale breaches from Alaskan waters

Alaska and Its Fur Traders

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Sail along the Bering Strait, before heading south to reach Saint Paul in the Pribilof Islands. In a Zodiac dinghy, then land on the lush shores of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, where you have the option of participating in organized hikes. After sailing in the magnificent Icy Bay to discover a fjord surrounded by hanging glaciers and vertiginous waterfalls, succumb to the charms of Alaska’s forests and discover the Tlingit village of Kake, where you might be lucky enough to spot some black bears. Then, set off to meet the whales and other marine mammals in Alert Bay, in British Columbia, before making your way to Vancouver, your disembarkation port.
Traveler on a glacier tour of Alaska.famous lighthouse in Sitka AlaskaView groups of caribou as you explore the northFamily hiking on a tour of AlaskaA humpback whale breaches from Alaskan waters
Highlights
  • Visit traditional villages & encounter the indigenous peoples of the Far North
  • Observe for brown bears, grizzlies, Arctic terns, whales and orcas
  • Explore St Matthew, named a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States
  • Watch out for more than 240 different species of seabirds in Saint Paul
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Flight from Seattle | Nome, Alaska | Embark

Fly from Seattle and arrive at Nome, Alaska. 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 magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly colored houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sled-racing, people here live from their manual labor. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

In the afternoon, embark on the L'Austral to begin your exciting cruise.

Day 2: At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call can also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3: St. Matthew Island

Saint Matthew Island is right in the middle of the Bering Sea, between Siberia and Alaska. Classified as a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States, this island covered in wet tundra corresponds to the northern boundary of the polar bear’s range during winter. It is home to many birds, including the McKay's bunting, an endemic species whose population is estimated at 6,000 individuals. Find Arctic foxes there. Although populated by the Aleut during prehistoric times Saint Matthew Island is uninhabited today.

Day 4: Saint Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Part of the Earth’s History was written between Alaska and Russia. Discover 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 of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will 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. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds, especially on Saint Paul, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff.

Day 5: Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deepwater port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, but it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.

Day 6: Unga Island, Alaska

After a short Zodiac journey between the rocks in the company of your naturalist-guides, land in a former village of which many vestiges remain: run-down wooden houses scattered around a flowery meadow, a church with crumbling walls but a roof that still stands, a cemetery… 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.

Day 7: Chankliut Island, Alaska

Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighboring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendor of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious head catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…

Day 8: At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 9: Tsaa Fjord, Icy Bay, Alaska

Formed by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers over the past 100 years, Icy Bay is one of those timeless places where silence reigns supreme. Let yourself be enthralled by landscapes of breathtaking beauty, enhanced by magnificent views over the Saint Elias Mountains, visible in the background. The bay, several kilometers wide, is often scattered with icebergs sliding on clear and deep waters. It lets you access several sounds, among which are the Tsaa fjord, very close to the Guyot glacier.  Many marine mammals and seabirds have chosen to live on this territory with very few visitors in the south of Alaska, where one can sometimes see bear paw prints on the sand.

Day 10: Sitka, Alaska

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 omnipresent in the region. These totems are testimonials of the former presence of Tlingit Indians. This place is full of natural wonders too. You just have to look up to admire the mountain range around the port. In the distance, the snow-peaked Edgecumbe volcano stands majestic. Numerous islands scattered around Sitka stretch out before you in a vision of preserved Alaska.

Optional excursions such as dry suit snorkel, wildlife cruise around St. Lazaria, wildlife quest and Fin Island Lodge, and Tongass rainforest hike are available for additional fees.

Day 11: Kake, Alaska

Discover the small Tlingit village of Kake, around 60 kilometers west of Petersburg. Located on Kupreanof Island, it houses a community of over 500 inhabitants. During your visit, the children from the school and the inhabitants are delighted to put on a show of traditional song and dance. Kake is a paradise for salmon, which spawn in the Gunnuk River near the village. Bald eagles often make an appearance, as do black bears, which come to enjoy the fish. Another singularity of these parts: the presence, on a hill, of a totem pole standing over 60 meters tall, considered the highest in the world.

Day 12: Prince Rupert

Wild and extraordinary, Prince Rupert is a dynamic town where the open spaces are “larger than nature”. Located on the remote Kaien Island, off the coast of British Columbia, this little town founded in 1910 witnessed the history of the North West Pacific with the birth of American Indian nations, such as the Haida and Gitksan. During this port of call, make a point of admiring its grandiose landscapes where more than 300 pairs of bald eagles have made a home here; its picturesque residential districts where the sea mist often lingers; and its famous Museum of Northern British Columbia, home to a large collection of ancient totems. 

Day 13: At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 14: Alert Bay

Right near the north coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, hides the small wooded island of Cormorant. Surrounded by pebble beaches, it offers wonderful opportunities for hikes and for whale watching. The surrounding waters are also home to harbor seals, orcas, Steller sea lions, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds. When your ship calls at Alert Bay, a small sheltered fishing port located in the island’s south, set off to discover the indigenous culture and its traditions. The ‘Namgis community, which is part of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, lives here in harmony with the other village inhabitants.

Day 15: Vancouver | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Verdant and cosmopolitan, Vancouver is one of Canadaメs most multi-cultural cities. Located in British Columbia on Canadaメs west coast, itメs 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. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses important First Nations collections. Granville Island Jetty is a fascinating revitalized industrial area that hosts galleries, restaurants, and a huge produce market.

Following your breakfast on board, disembark at Vancouver for your continued journey home.

Ship/Hotel

L'Austral

Enjoy a gourmet meal at the Gastronomic Restaurant.
Stunning views from the bar and lounge
Relax on the sun deck.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
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

Notes

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.
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • 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. 
  • Complimentary Parka - available only for the duration of the voyage.
  • Complimentary Boot Rental 
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Internal Flight: Seattle - Nome in Economy Class
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses
  • 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, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. 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. 

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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.
Gale Cantor

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