Wild Alaska Cruise
July 6, 2017

Overview:

Embark on a Wild Alaska Cruise aboard a luxury expedition ship. Photograph a variety of wildlife including several species of whales, northern fur seals, otters, Arctic foxes, and brown bears digging for clams in Geographic Harbor. Visit remote Bering Sea and Pribilof Island communities, including a Chukchi village on Kodiak Island. View Alaska’s iconic landscapes—mountains, fjords, waterfalls, forests, and tundra—during numerous Zodiac excursions. Search for a variety of seabirds, including horned and tufted puffins, common murres, parakeet auklets, and red-legged kittiwakes. Attend a fascinating cultural performance in Provideniya, Russia. Aboard 120-guest Silver Discoverer.

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: Home / Anchorage, Alaska
Day 2: Anchorage / Nome / Embark Silver Discoverer
Day 3: King Island / Arctic Circle
Day 4: Day Lost Crossing International Date Line
Day 5: Provideniya, Russia
Day 6: Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Day 7: Hall & St. Matthew Islands
Day 8: St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands
Day 9: St. George Island
Day 10: Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island / Baby Islands
Day 11: Otter Cover, Unimak Island / High Island
Day 12: Unga Island, Shumagin Islands
Day 13: Semidi Islands
Day 14: Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park and Preserve
Day 15: Kodiak, Kodiak Island
Day 16: Seward / Disembark / Anchorage / Home

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

Wild Alaska Cruise
July 6, 2017

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Home / Anchorage, Alaska
Independent arrival in Anchorage and check-in at our hotel. In the evening join us for a welcome dinner and briefing.

Day 2: Anchorage / Nome / Embark Silver Discoverer
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Nome. With the discovery of gold in 1898, this boomtown’s population swelled to nearly 20,000 miners, furiously panning along 15 miles of beaches that fringe Norton Sound. Today’s town of 5,000 offers a peaceful contrast in the lively legacy reflected in the colorful local saloons and museum displays. We embark the Silver Discoverer late this afternoon and set sail in the evening.

Day 3: King Island / Arctic Circle
In true expedition style we board Zodiacs and explore the craggy ledges of King Island where we view thousands of least and crested auklets as they make their way from nests to the sea. We also take the opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N right on the International Date Line—a feat few adventurers can claim.

Day 4: Day Lost Crossing International Date Line

Day 5: Provideniya, Russia
This morning spend time on deck watching for marine life that thrives in these nutrient rich waters as well as seabirds such as short-tailed shearwaters, northern fulmars, Laysan albatross, and fork-tailed storm petrels. When the weather is clear, the views across the Bering Strait reach to Russia and Alaska. Alternatively enjoy lectures from our staff as they introduce us to the many historic and natural facets of this fascinating region.

We go ashore in Provideniya, located at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack, and the commercial port of this sparsely populated region. During our time here we may tour the regional museum and sail by Plover Bay, the Russian landing site of the Harriman Expedition. When we return to US waters this evening, we gain a day by crossing the International Date Line.

Day 6: Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
A Siberian Yupik community hosts our visit to St. Lawrence. The hardy locals living on this windswept pebbly spit subsist on the bounty of the sea. As we walk through the village, we see walrus hides stretched on drying racks, later to be fashioned into skin boats, or umiaks. During a performance of traditional dances, note that the accompanying drums are made of stretched walrus stomach skin. Birders enjoy a brisk hike to seek the red-necked phalarope, long-tailed duck, yellow and white wagtail, and, possibly, the rare emperor goose.

Day 7: Hall & St. Matthew Islands
Harriman Expedition participant Louis Fuertes collected bird specimens at Hall Island, which he found to be an ornithologist’s paradise. Walrus have occasionally been spotted here, and we keep a lookout during Zodiac excursions, passing by arches, waterfalls, and sea stacks packed with birds.

Fascinating geological formations trademark the deserted island of St. Matthew, a result of cooling igneous volcanic rock. Countless numbers of thick-billed murres, black- legged kittiwakes, fulmars, and puffins call the cliffs and columns their seasonal home. Enjoy a walk through meadows of blooming pink and yellow louseworts and blue Jacob’s ladder. We may spot the rare McKay’s bunting, which breeds here; Arctic foxes scurrying along the hillsides; and endemic St. Matthew singing voles scampering among the rocks.

Day 8: St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands
Due south in the Bering Sea lies the tiny archipelago comprising the five Pribilof Islands. They were discovered in 1786 by the Russian explorer Gerassim Pribilof who successfully located what he was hoping to find: fur seals by the thousands, which the Russians later harvested nearly to extinction. Today, the northern fur seal is protected and cannot be hunted commercially. The Pribilof breeding population now numbers more than 700,000. Bird colonies abound, with some 225 species recorded in the islands.

St. Paul is home to 800 Aleuts, the largest such community in the world. Enjoy a stroll through town, then walk among a profusion of tundra wildflowers, watching for Arctic foxes often spotted here. Zodiac excursions and walks to the edge of the cliffs reveal birds by the thousands—horned and tufted puffins; red-legged kittiwakes; red-faced cormorants; and crested, least, and parakeet auklets.

Day 9: St. George Island
We explore the small town of St. George whose residents include about 150 people of Aleut and Russian descent. A picturesque Russian Orthodox church commands a vista of the Bering Sea, and a cliff-top blind provides a remarkable view of a fur seal rookery. More parakeet auklets breed on St. George than anywhere else, and the nearly quarter million nesting red-legged kittiwakes make up 98 percent of the world’s population.

Day 10: Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island / Baby Islands
Dutch Harbor was originally used by the North American Commercial Company to process fur seal pelts. Today, it is the busiest fishing and processing port in Alaska. Deck hands on purse seiners mend their nets, factory trawlers offload tons of king crab and pollock. We stroll among WWII relics of the US Army, visit the Museum of the Aleutians and the WWII Historic Center, and view the oldest onion-domed Russian church in Alaska.

In the afternoon we sail among the Fox Islands group of the Aleutians, watching for minke whales, the smallest baleen whale in the northern Pacific. The five tiny, volcanic Baby Islands, our day’s final destination, teem with puffins and whiskered auklets.

Day 11: Otter Cover, Unimak Island / High Island
After breakfast we board Zodiacs and head for the largest Aleutian island, Unimak, which is ringed by sandy beaches, carpeted in flowering tundra, and crowned by the Shishaldin Volcano. This is the only island in the Aleutians with a population of brown bears. Enjoy one of several walks offered today, from beach explorations to a tundra hill walk with stupendous views. As we cruise the coast of High Island this afternoon, watch for the thousands of horned and tufted puffins along its cliffs.

Day 12: Unga Island, Shumagin Islands
We anchor at Unga Island today; its multiple bays offer excellent Zodiac opportunities to spot sea otters and birds, including peregrine falcons. Ashore, we enjoy botanizing amid fields of wildflowers and spongy tundra. Scattered pieces of multicolored petrified wood are remnants of an ancient meta-sequoia forest, evidence that the region once enjoyed a warmer climate. In the evening search for whales in these waters famed for seasonal migrations as we head toward the Semidi Islands.

Day 13: Semidi Islands
We sail the length of the Alaska Peninsula today, a stunning, nearly-uninhabited wilderness, stopping to investigate islands and coves. The Semidi Islands are home to two and a-half million birds. We make a Zodiac landing to walk on a small, sandy beach covered in driftwood sea-carved into intriguing silvery shapes. Also by Zodiac, we trace the shores of Aghiyuk Island, home to huge colonies of seabirds: northern fulmars, common murres, and black-legged kittiwakes.

Day 14: Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park and Preserve
Nearly hidden at the far reaches of Amalik Bay, Geographic Harbor is surrounded by magnificent volcanic scenery (access through the narrow entrance of the harbor is tidal dependent). We cruise the area by Zodiac, watching for brown bears that dig for clams along the beaches at low tide.

Day 15: Kodiak, Kodiak Island
We dock at the town of Kodiak, a bustling port settled by Russian fur traders in 1784. By 1792, Alexander Baranof established the town as the first capital of Russia’s North American colonies. We visit the 1794 Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox church, with its prominent blue onion domes, and Erskine House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1809 and now housing the Kodiak Baranof Museum. Exhibits in the Alutiiq Museum detail the history and culture of these native people who lived here millennia before the Europeans arrived.

We cruise toward Seward this afternoon. As we pass islands with steep cliffsides, watch for nesting puffins and cormorants and scan the waters for acrobatic humpback whales and pods of hunting orca, as well as fin and sei whales.

Day 16: Seward / Disembark / Anchorage / Home
We disembark the Silver Discoverer in Seward and board motorcoaches bound for Anchorage and the airport where we connect with independent homeward flights.

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

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Wild Alaska Cruise
July 6, 2017

Rates:

July 6, 2017
Category 1: $14,980 per person
Category 2: $15,980 per person
Category 3: $16,880 per person
Category 4: $18,380 per person
Category 5: $22,180 per person
Category 6: $26,780 per person
Suite: $32,280 per person

*Above rates are per person, based on double occupancy.
*Single Supplement: There is no single supplement on this expedition.

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Included:

– Please contact Expedition Easy for complete list of included details on this expedition.

Not Included:

– Please contact Expedition Easy for complete list of not included details on this expedition.

Deposit & Payments

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

Reservations

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

July 6, 2017