Sitka to Vancouver - 14 Days

Includes The Inside Passage

Sitka to Vancouver Cruise Summary

Experience the stunning Waterfall Coast of Alaska aboard our state-of-the-art exploration ship, Ocean Victory, on this epic voyage through the untouched archipelagos of the Alaska Panhandle, between Sitka and Vancouver.

Led by our onboard expedition experts and researchers from the California Polytechnic State University Centre for Coastal & Marine Sciences, you will be able to gain a unique level of understanding and behind-the-scenes access to the most innovative scientific outposts in North America.

Explore the majestic Stikine River, where Tlingit totems stand silent sentry over the waters. Take a jet boat ride through the dramatic ice fields surrounding the LeConte Glacier. Look out for whales, orcas, sea lions, bears, wolves, moose and hundreds of species of sea and shorebirds in the company of our expert marine biologists.

When evening comes, relax and sip a cocktail as you take in the scenery from the observation lounge of our sleek, modern ship, Ocean Victory, where the wraparound windows and 360-degree swivel chairs are carefully designed to capture the best views from every angle.

 

Highlights

  • Access to unique hydrophone technology to listen out for the sounds of humpback whales engaging in bubble-net feeding
  • Visit the Sons of Norway Hall in downtown Petersburg to experience the culture and cuisine of Alaska’s Little Norway
  • Enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the Sitka Sound Science Centre

 

 

2024 All-inclusive fares from £9,599 pp

sitka to vancouver map

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day-by-day itinerary

 

Day 1: Hotel Stay in Sitka

Arrive in Sitka for your 2-night pre-cruise hotel stay.

 

Day 2: Hotel Stay in Sitka

Enjoy your time in Sitka at your leisure.

Day 3: Embark in Sitka

Sitka is a picturesque seaport sitting opposite snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe on the west coast of Alaska’s Baranof Island. It is 185 miles northwest of Ketchikan. Sitka’s original inhabitants were the Tlingits tribe, who called the village “Shee Atika.” Sitka is a contraction of the Tlingit name, which translates to “People on the outside of Baranof Island.” Sitka is a place of many traditions. You’ll immediately recognise the distinctive Russian domes of the churches, but the downtown area was settled by the Tlingit people more than 10,000 years ago.

Included Shore Excursions

Best of Sitka Experience

This unique excursion explores the best of Sitka, the former “Russian” capital city of Alaska. It includes a wildlife tour through the Alaska Raptor Center and a visit to the Sitka National Historical Park. The Raptor Center operates with bird care professionals assisted by volunteers to rescue birds, provide them with rehabilitative care and hopefully release them back into the wild. Next, you’ll visit the Sitka National Historical Park which hosts totem lined trails, cultural exhibits and carving rooms where Native Alaskan artisans demonstrate their totemic art form.

 

Day 4: Kake & Frederick Sound, Alaska

Immerse yourself in the Last Frontier with a journey to Kake and Frederick Sound. These two remote destinations offer the raw and hard-to-reach Alaska that those on an expedition voyage are yearning for. In Kake, Alaska, hop on land to a warm welcome in the form of carved structures and totem poles, each representing a piece of Alaskan history and culture. Keep your eyes open for bears as you head to the small town’s Community Hall, where a carving and weaving demonstration takes place. Watch local dancers perform in sync with traditional songs. Then stretch your legs and prepare to join them on the dance floor.

 

 

Day 5: Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness

The Tracy Arm Ford’s Terror Wilderness Area is only 50 miles south of Juneau but it feels like you have left the present world and gone back in time when the Little Ice Age was covering the land with ice. The TAFT Wilderness is comprised of two glacially carved fjords: Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. While the Endicott Arm is not quite as narrow as the Tracy fjord Tracy Arm and has fewer twists and turns, it extends both extend over 30 miles long. At the end of Endicott Arm is the spectacular Dawes Glacier and at the end of Tracy Arm is the South Sawyer Glacier. Alaska expeditions are full of adjectives like awe-inspiring, majestic, awesome, and incredible for good reason. The combination of the azure waters with sub-alpine vegetation, stunning rock formations, plunging waterfalls, and the drifting blue ice is thrilling and, at times, breathtaking! Cliffs soaring over 3,000 feet high above the Inland Passage is an experience to treasure.

 

 

Day 6: Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness 

Nature will dictate our route here, as we spend the day exploring another incredible part of this wilderness area.  Tracy Arm spans 30 miles in length, with a fifth of its area covered in ice all year long. During the warmer months, floating ice can range from the size of a hand to three-story sized ice boulders! Tracy Arm fjord Wilderness Area is host to distinct marine environments that we’ll explore with experts via a Zodiac. 

 

 

Day 7: Petersburg, Alaska

Large cruise ships cannot come into the shallow, protected harbor of Petersburg, home to Alaska’s largest home-based halibut fleet. American Queen Voyages guests are among the privileged few to be in this authentic Alaskan village for a full day of exploration. The charming town was incorporated April 20, 1910. These abundant waters and an endless supply of ice from nearby LeConte Glacier led Norwegian fisherman Peter Buschmann to build the region’s first cannery and invite his fishing countrymen to join him. Hence the town’s name and strong Norwegian culture. Aspects of both Norwegian and Tlingit cultures still figure prominently in community activities. The population has remained stable with fishing still the main source of income.

About 3,100 people live here year-round, with seasonal variation due to summertime cannery workers, deckhands, and fishermen. The commercial fishing industry is the largest employer, with others in retail business, borough, state and federal agencies, visitor industry and logging. Our included tour offers a taste of the local Norwegian culture and cuisine at Sons of Norway Hall, on National Register of Historic Places. Choose from three optional premium excursions: 1) Aboard a jet boat, glide through LeConte Bay to LeConte Glacier for an up-close look at the southernmost tidewater glacier. 2) Enjoy a day fishing in hopes of reeling in Alaska’s famous Salmon, Rock Cod, or Halibut. 3) Head to United States Forest Service land to dig and break apart rocks as you mine for ruby red garnet, a tradition for many local families.

 

Day 8: Chatham Strait, Alaska

Chatham Strait, is a narrow passage of the Alexander Archipelago in the southeastern region of Alaska. It is 150 miles and extends southward from the junction of Icy Strait and Lynn Canal to the open sea. The strait is deep and only 3 to 10 miles wide, making humpback whale spotting from the outer decks a fun activity. It separates Baranof and Kuiu Islands, both wildly beautiful and remote wilderness areas. If the conditions allow, our cruising area might be along Baranof Island’s eastern coast which is also known as the “Waterfall Coast” due to the large number of waterfalls cascading down from the high mountain peaks. Or, it could be along Kuiu Island’s remote shoreline where sea otters and black bears are abundant. 

Expedition is the order of the day. You can select from both indoor and on-deck observation perspectives aboard Ocean Victory, or if you prefer to be up-close, at the water level, you can jump in a kayak or aboard a Zodiac. We will find a well sheltered bay where its waters are fed by freshwater streams. In all instances, you will never be far from the learned narration of our Expedition Team. Keep your eyes trained along the lush temperate rain forest of the coast as it could reveal its secret treasures at any moment. Potential wildlife on our expedition day could include river and sea otters, deer, moose mink, and bald eagles.  

 

 

Day 9: Wrangell, AK

Spend a full day in picturesque Wrangell as you are welcomed by Alaskans whose ancestors have lived on this island for thousands of years. On your included tour, discover the history and how the Tlingit culture continues to thrive here. Enter the Chief Shakes Tribal House, where you are invited guests. Here, each wooden plank was carved by traditional Tlingit methods. Then, at the Wrangell Museum, learn the events that led to the late 19th century boom at the onset of the Gold Rush. Uncover mysteries at the 8,000-year-old site of Petroglyph Beach, home to more than 40 ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings). Take home your own petroglyph to remember your time combing through the sand. Wrangell is the perfect spot for an optional jet boat excursion to explore the dramatic Stikine River – what the Tlingit people call “the Great River.” The picturesque town of Wrangell is the gateway to the river, perched at the very tip of rugged Wrangell Island. You are most welcome here, as native Alaskans whose ancestors have lived on this island for thousands of years open their tribal home, their culture, and their magnificent river for your exploration. Take home your own petroglyph rubbing to remember your time among more than 40 ancient petroglyphs on the 8,000-year-old site of Petroglyph Beach.

Included Shore Excursions

Wrangell Included Island Heritage Discovery Tour
Discover the history of Wrangell through the lens of the first nation people, the Tlingit. On this journey through time, you will see how the Tlingit culture continues to thrive in Wrangell. Begin your adventure through Wrangell as a guest at Chief Shakes Tribal House. Enter the tribal house, where each wooden plank was carved by traditional Tlingit methods. Enter the house and celebrate the rich heritage of the Tlingit Nation as your guide shares legends that have been passed down for generations. Then, step into the gold rush era at the Wrangell Museum. Through guided interpretation and informative exhibits, you will learn about the events that led to the modern establishment of the town in the late 19th century. While Wrangell began to boom at the onset of the Gold Rush, it is the third oldest city in Alaska. At Petroglyph Beach, uncover the mysteries of ancient petroglyphs — ancient rock carvings — as you comb through the sand.

 

Day 10: Misty Fjords National Monument

Bigger isn’t always better. The large cruise ships that visit Alaska typically offer this as an extra-cost Tongass National Forest excursion from the port of Ketchikan, two hours each way by small boat. Your experience will be markedly different as Ocean Victory can deftly navigate the Revillagigedo Channel, transporting you directly to Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness in great comfort. Thank you, Mr. President; in 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed over 2,200,000 acres as the Misty Fjords National Monument. In 1980, this acreage got reduced slightly to 2,142,243 acres but was now congressionally designated as Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness and still remains the largest wilderness area of the Tongass National Forest.

Misty Fjords National Monument takes its name from the precipitation characteristic of the area. The soaring granite cliffs that greet you are 50 to 70 million years old. Yes, million. Ancient glaciers scrubbed deep troughs through this wilderness, leaving a scenic geological wonder. Today you will also see New Eddystone Rock – a basalt pillar rising from the sea – which is a remnant of long-ago volcanic activity that left the immense spire as a testament to the power of this place. Be on deck to experience the glistening waterfalls while gliding quietly beneath the glacier-sculpted granite fjords of Rudyerd Bay that jut 3,000 feet out of the ocean. You’ll learn what a “deglaciated” fjord is from our team of dedicated naturalists who will accompany you ashore along the shoreline in Zodiacs and kayaks while in search of humpback whales, orcas, harbour seals, bears and other species of sea and shore birds.

 

 

Day 11: Ketchikan, Alaska

Start the day surrounded by the beauty of Ketchikan, Alaska. Stroll through the southernmost city of Alaska’s downtown and explore totem row, where the Klinkett and Tlingit culture is alive and well. Embark on a city tour where you will see colourful landmarks in Ward Cove as your guide tells you age-old tales about the city. Indulge in fresh and native Dungeness crab at a crab brunch feast complete with smoked salmon dip, fresh fruit, cheese, and delicious mimosas. Then head back to the ship for your next adventure to the Native American tribal village of Metlakatla, Alaska.

 

 

Day 12: Canadian Inside Passage

The Inside Passage is one of the world’s most beautiful cruising routes featuring a perfect combination of coastal mountains and remote islands. This incredible stretch of coastline creates a rich marine environment, with marine life from humpback, fin and killer whales to dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and all five species of salmon. The salmon rich waters provide nutrients to the lush coastal rainforest which is habitat for the coastal brown bear, the black bear and if we are lucky enough to spot one, the spirit or Kermode bear.

 

 

Day 13: Canadian Inside Passage

With over 2 million visitors a year, tourism contributes significantly to local communities that dot the Canadian Inside Passage route. With constant influx of visitors (be it by air, sea or land), the Inside Passage features a perfect combination of coastal mountains and remote islands. These support a multitude of wildlife and activities for adventure-seekers such as kayaking, camping, hiking and boating. Explore and you may be awarded with wildlife sightings  from brown bear sighting to whale watching and so much more.

 

 

Day 14: Disembark in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This vibrant city is a kaleidoscope of colour, culture, and pacesetting urban design. From the shopping delights of Robson Street to the lively energy of Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver brings a unique European flair to Canada’s western coast. Its setting alone will take your breath away, especially from the 450-foot Vancouver Lookout atop Harbour Centre – a 360-degree view from ocean to mountains. The landmark white sails of Canada Place welcome you to your point of disembarkation.

 

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the fun of travelling. Programs and schedules may change due to weather, tides, local circumstances and venue changes. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage.

always all-inclusive

Return scheduled flights from London

2-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay+

Premium City Highlights Tour (Embarkation Day)+

Transfers

Unlimited Included Guided Tours

Acclaimed Cuisine in Multiple Venues

In-room Dining Available

Unlimited WiFi

Bicycles* and Hiking Sticks

Live, Daily Onboard
Entertainment & Enrichment

Pre-Paid Gratuities

Open Bars & Lounges

Port Taxes & Fees

Unlimited Beverages

*River Cruises Only

+1-night on Minneapolis -New Orleans and Snake & Columbia itineraries/No City Highlights Tour

 

sitka to vancouver

2024  

12 May

02, 23 June

14 July

04, 25 Aug

15 Sept

 

sailing aboard

Terms and Conditions

Lead in fares shown are to be used as a guide only, based on the lowest cabin category for two people sharing. Pricing may be subject to change based on flight pricing & availability. Other cabin categories are available. Single cabin grades are available on selected vessels and cabins for sole occupancy are available at a single supplement. All itineraries can be tailor-made to your specification with cruise only, additional hotel nights, flight upgrades and UK regional airport departures (subject to availability).  Additional pre-voyage and post-voyage city stay packages (2 nights) may be purchased for an additional charge. Guests are required to present a credit card upon hotel check-in to cover their incidental charges. In lieu of an included pre-voyage hotel night on any voyage, a $50 per person onboard credit is available upon request and dependent upon voyage date. On a back-to-back voyage, two included hotel nights or a combination of one included hotel night plus a $50 per person onboard credit will be granted in lieu of taking a second included hotel night. All fares, itineraries, hotels, entertainment, shore excursions and other voyage attributes are subject to change, and we are not responsible for errors or omissions therein. American Queen Voyages is represented in the UK & Europe by Light Blue Travel (ABTA D6183 & V9324 ATOL 5489). Full Booking Conditions.

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