Explore a world of fjords, humpback whales and ancient glaciers in this journey along the wild coast of North America, from Seattle to Alaska.
The ship pass easily along mountains with heights up to 4575 meters above sea level, and their snowy peaks reflected in the mirror of the fjord. The bald eagle flies over the moutains, and the waterfalls spill on the mountain slopes. The trip begins in Seattle or Vancouver, go to the north by the 1,600 miles of the Inside Passage, a network of shipping channels between British Columbia and the strip of southeastern Alaska and the islands of its vicinity. On deck, you will be absorbed by the spectacle of the coastline. Near Ketchikan, in the southern end of the strip, the clouds gather on the rocks of 915 meters, rising from the sea dark and cold fjords. On the two sides of the Passage, the Tongass National Forest, an ancient conifer and hardwood forest, maintained by a very wet climate of the region, is forming one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. Farther north, go through Glacier Bay, where 16 glaciers meet the sea, when they break the sound is deafening, and blocks of ice for thousands of years, big as a house, sinking in golf. The boat passes around coastal cities, hidden in the foothills of the ports, each revealing a variety of influences: Indian totem pole of Tsimshain, Tlingit and Haida; red, orange and green buildings in Scandinavian style; relics of the Klondike Gold Rush and the domes of the Russian Orthodox cathedral.
The best time to travel is in May and September, the cruises are less crowded at the beginning and end of the season. The weather is very pleasant in early September. The cruise takes between 7 and 14 days, but choose carefully the itinerary. Longer trips can be outside or inside the Inside Passage. The shorter cruises can bypass much of the Inside Passage and devote more time to the far north of Alaska.
Booking with a year before to choose the best itinerary. The small cruise, 50-100 passenger, provides more privacy and nature experience. Take clothes for warm weather, bright also for cold and rainy. Do not forget your hat and waterproof clothes, sunglasses and a good pair of binoculars.
A journey through the large forest of Queen Charlotte Islands can offer you the opportunity to see the white Kermode bear (or Spirit), a rare species.
Ketchikan, meaning thundering wings of the eagle, in Tlingit language, has the largest collection of totem poles in the world.
Admire the grizzly bears, big and furry, fishing in the Gulf of Frederick. Eagles, herons and hawks hovering in the sky; killer whales and humpback whales, which dive into the waters rich in food.
Take a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, capital of Alaska. Russian influence is evident in Sitka, a town on the shores of the Pacific and dominated by orthodox cathedral, Russian cemetery and the museums of Isabel Miller and Sheldon Jackson. Trail of 98 Museum and the cemetery of Gold Rush in Skagway, carry you on the past of the Klondike region.