Discover Southeast Alaska

Join alumni and friends from July 20 – 27, 2018 for an expedition through some of nature’s more secluded landscapes as we discover the remote inner reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Alaska

Join alumni and friends from July 20 – 27, 2018 for an expedition through some of nature’s more secluded landscapes as we discover the remote inner reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage aboard the 66-passenger Admiralty Dream. Enjoy the agility and flexibility of small-ship travel, up-close encounters with wildlife, stunning scenery, cultural experiences, and the guidance of two expert naturalists. Capture the sight of whales breaching next to your boat, bears fishing along the shoreline, and eagles looking down from their nests—all part of nature’s amazing show.

This program also offers an optional pre-extension to Denali National Park. Explore this vast and stunningly beautiful wilderness —home to Mt. Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Ride the Alaska Railroad, stay in a hilltop lodge with panoramic views located inside the park, and learn how this magnificent area became one of our nation’s most breathtaking conservation areas. Friends and family are welcome to join you on this great American adventure.

Shared with participants from cosponsoring associations, space is sure to fill quickly. Please contact the Alumni Travel Study Program Office at 866-325-8664 or email to travelstudy@columbia.edu for more info and to reserve your place today.

Dates & Prices

Trip Dates: July 20 - 27, 2018

Prices: from $3,495 to $6,995 per person based upon double occupancy

Single space is extremely limited. If available, single occupancy accommodations are offered at a rate of $5,495 per person.

 Itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrive in Sitka – Embarkation
Today, travel to Sitka from your home city, or from Anchorage if you visited Denali National Park on the optional  Pre-Tour. After arriving, immerse yourself in the Tlingit culture at a Sheet’ka Kwaán Naa Kahídi (which roughly translates to “The clan house for all the people of Sitka”) dance show.

Afterward, visit the Alaska Raptor Center—Alaska’s foremost bald eagle hospital and educational center—with a local guide. Then venture to Sitka National Historical Park where you’ll learn the history of the area that served as the battle site between Russian traders and the indigenous Tlingit. Stand in awe before the massive totem poles lining the park’s coastal trail, and gain insight into their powerful symbols.

Later, transfer to the Admiralty Dream for embarkation. Enjoy your first dinner on board as you get to know your Expedition Leader, crew, and travel companions.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (D)

Day 2: Icy Strait / Chichagof Island
Relax on deck with your binoculars and a hot cup of cocoa as you sail through Icy Strait in search of wildlife, including orca (killer whales), Steller sea lions, seal, porpoise, and the magnificent humpback whales. Along the shore, perhaps catch sight of bald eagles in the treetops. Choose from activities like kayaking, skiff rides, and hiking.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 3: Glacier Bay National Park
Arrive in Glacier Bay National Park, where scientists have found exposed rock that’s believed to be more than 200 million years old. While at Bartlett Cove, visit the park lodge and visitor center or participate in a guided forest hike. Meet a National Park Service Ranger and a Native Huna Tlingit Cultural Heritage Guide who will come aboard and accompany you during your time in Glacier Bay National Park. Watch for puffins, sea lions, mountain goats, bears, and eagles, and take in some of the most spectacular scenery in Alaska.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 4: Eastern Baranof Island / Lake Eva
Spend the morning cruising through the Peril Strait to Hanus Bay. In the afternoon, enjoy a kayak, skiff or hiking excursion. Hike through old-growth forest to Lake Eva, home to a variety of salmon and trout.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 5: Hidden Falls
Experience a rare tour of the Hidden Falls Hatchery where you will learn about the release of Chinook and Coho salmon fry and smolts, and the vital role fishing has held in Alaska for centuries. In the evening, share the day’s adventures with your fellow travelers over dinner.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 6: Petersburg / Frederick Sound
Arrive early at the charming fishing village of Petersburg, founded by a Norwegian fisherman in the late 1800s. Tour the town with a local guide and see the local youth perform a spirited dance celebrating their Norwegian heritage. Explore the town on your own, then return to the Admiralty Dream for lunch. Afterward, take a skiff excursion for a beautiful hike at Petersburg Creek across Wrangell Narrows. Depart Petersburg in the late afternoon and sail through Frederick Sound in search of whales.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 7: Tracy Arm Fjord
Today experience Tracy Arm, a narrow fjord that winds through towering mountains and massive glaciers. Witness the “calving” of glaciers as gigantic chunks of ice break and crash into the water. Watch for harbor seals that often dot the floating platforms and mountain goats on nearby perches. In the afternoon and conditions permitting, glide through and discover coves or bays by kayak or skiff, soaking in the splendor of some of the most untouched wilderness in the world. Recount your trip highlights with fellow travelers tonight during a Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Overnight: Admiralty Dream (B,L,D)

Day 8: Auke Bay / Juneau – Disembarkation
Disembark this morning after breakfast and take your complimentary shuttle to the airport for your flight home, or to your accommodation if you reserved a post-night in Juneau. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

 

Activity Level: Easy 


This program offers a variety of activities: skiff rides, walking, hiking, and kayaking. Activities are not strenuous for guests with average mobility. Walks and hikes are leisurely in pace to allow guests the opportunity to see and learn as much as possible about the region. Skiffs provide the mode for much of the exploration on this program and sure-footed guests can enter/exit them with little trouble. The Admiralty Dream crew is diligent in assisting guests while boarding and exiting the ship and small craft. Guests with no previous experience can easily handle the double kayaks. We expect that guests on this program can walk with good balance and go up and down stairs easily without assistance, as the ship does not have an elevator.

Program Highlights:

  • See the spray of whales only yards away and venture into secluded inlets as you get up close to nature, whether from the decks of the Admiralty Dream, or aboard its skiffs and kayaks.
  • Accompanied by two expert naturalists including an Expedition Leader, learn surprising details about animal behavior, glacier activity, and the wealth of natural spectacles along these protected waters.
  • Learn about Alaska’s culture and living history during a Native dance performance at a Tlingit Clan House and from a Native Huna Tlingit Cultural Heritage Guide at Glacier Bay National Park.
  • Visit a salmon hatchery, the Alaska Raptor Center, and Sitka National Historical Park, and take a guided tour of the Norwegian fishing community of Petersburg.
  • Joined by a Park Ranger, cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to see the sanctuary’s deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, and snow-capped mountain ranges.

Optional pre-tour extension: Denali National Park
Journey into the scenic wilds of America’s most northern state aboard the historic Alaska Railroad. With superior viewing from your upgraded GoldStar glass-dome seat, watch Alaska’s rugged forests and wildlife fill the ever-changing panorama of your window. Your destination: the magnificent, six-million-acre Denali National Park and Reserve. Familiarize yourself with the Park, walking its trails with a guide, and choose from optional excursions to personalize your adventure. Keep binoculars close at hand: this dazzling and vast wilderness is home to Dall sheep, eagles, wolves, migrating caribou, and grizzly bears—and catching sight of them is a thrill not soon forgotten.

What’s included:

  • 7 nights accommodations aboard the Admiralty Dream;
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners; beverages including complimentary beer and wine with dinner;
  • all excursions and presentations;
  • luggage porterage; and airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times.

What’s not included:
Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance;  baggage charges on aircraft;  airfare, transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of the program brochure.

 Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.