A leisurely start to the day today as we make our way down to Melbourne airport for our flight to Brisbane on Qantas airways. Once arrived in Brisbane be transferred to your hotel and settle in for the evening.
Today be transferred from the hotel to the international airport in Brisbane for your flight to ALASKA!
Depart Brisbane 10:40am on Air Canada
Arrive Anchorage 2:27pm via Vancouver
Arrive in Anchorage and get settled in your hotel for an overnight stay. You might enjoy getting out to see the shops, restaurants and cultural attractions of this surprisingly metropolitan city. Meet your Tour Director and fellow traveling companions.
After breakfast, board a motor coach for your journey to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. You may catch your first views of incredible Denali along the way. Once you arrive at the Lodge, the mountain is visible from nearly anywhere on the property. Take in those sensational views with a glass of wine in the Great Room or on the expansive deck. Dinner is included at the North Fork Restaurant this evening.
A full day at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge means you'll have ample time to both relax and explore. Walking the nature trails around the grounds is a pleasant way to get a sense of the place or the staff can help you choose from a generous offering of outdoor activities.
Enjoy a scenic motor coach drive to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, located just outside the national park entrance. Why not get to know this scenic park with one of a variety of activities including a husky homestead tour, fly fishing or a glacier landing via helicopter (these tours are at own expense). This evening, you'll be treated to dinner at the King Salmon Restaurant.
Start your morning with a quick stop at the Music of Denali Theatre for a hearty buffet breakfast. Explore Denali National Park on a Tundra Wilderness Tour, watching for glimpses of Denali as well as moose, caribou and Dall sheep. This evening, enjoy the Music of Denali Dinner Theatre.
Enjoy the scenic rail journey through some of the best wilderness in the Great Land on the Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service. Once in Whittier, you'll step onto your ship for the beginning of your unforgettable cruise.
Nicknamed the "Galloping Glacier," this east Alaskan glacier is rapidly advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska into a pristine area known as Disenchantment Bay. In fact, its movement temporarily formed a natural dam that twice closed off nearby Russell Fjord from the bay, but the intense water pressure building within the fjord-turned-lake has thus far been enough to explode through the wall of ice.
The largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier measures 76 miles long and plunges 1,200 feet into the depths of the bay. Its immense beauty and phenomenal blue hues are enchanting, even from afar. But it's when your cruise ship draws closer that its towering surface really impresses, dwarfing even the uppermost deck on your ship at a whopping 40 stories high. There, with the snow-capped mountains serving as a glorious backdrop, you'll have a prime viewing spot from which to witness the glacier calving, as it often expels icebergs the size of 10-story buildings-imagine the splash!
The area around Hubbard Glacier is also renowned for its wildlife, where whales, harbor seals and otters swim, brown bears, moose and black-tailed deer roam ashore, and a wide variety of seabirds soar gracefully across the sky.
Princess is one of a select few cruise lines permitted to cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, the highlight of our 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. Just west of Juneau, this breathtaking national park and preserve boasts some of the world's most spectacular tidewater glaciers, such as Margerie Glacier, which often drops colossal chunks of ice into the sea. Not surprisingly, Glacier Bay National Park and its epic ice giants are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising Alaska's magnificent park system.
During your scenic cruise, friendly Park Rangers will join the ship to share their knowledge of this amazing place and host a fun Junior Ranger program for kids. They may even be able to help you identify Glacier Bay's abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and large colonies of seabirds.
Take in the awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy an unforgettable day of sailing through this dazzling park, where you'll glide along emerald waters and past calving icebergs, and can breathe in the crisp, fresh air to your heart's content.
Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. Skagway may have boasted the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn't the easiest.
Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.
The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome.
Today, Skagway has less than 1,000 residents. It still retains the flavour of the gold rush era.
In 1880, it was slow going for Joe Juneau and Richard Harris as they searched for gold with the help of Native guides. After climbing mountains, forging streams and facing countless difficulties, they found nuggets "as large as beans."
From their discovery came three of the largest gold mines in the world. By the end of World War II, more than $150 million in gold had been mined. Eventually the mines closed, but the town Joe Juneau founded became the capital
of Alaska and the business of gold was replaced by the business of government.
Some 30,000 people live in Juneau. Its total area makes it one of the biggest towns, in size, in the world. Only Kiruna, Sweden, and Sitka, Alaska, exceed Juneau's 3,248 square miles.
Today Juneau is famous not only for gold and government but also for its breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and stunning views of both water and mountains.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska's "First City" because it's the first major community travellers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit phrase that means "eagle with spread-out wings," a reference to a waterfall near town.
In the early 1900s, when gold was Alaska's claim to fame, fishing and timber industries were established in Ketchikan. The growth of these industries helped make this Inside Passage port Alaska's fourth-largest city.
Visitors to Ketchikan will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, which includes the world's oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Heritage Centre. The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city's colourful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sport fishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Today, enjoy a day at sea to relax and enjoy the onboard activities.
It seems unlikely that a character named "Gassy Jack" Deighton would be responsible for one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. But that's history for you.During the gold rush, Gassy Jack saw a chance to make money from the hordes of miners on their way to the Yukon. The saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gastown. From that ragtag group of shacks, modern Vancouver was born. The provincial government persuaded settlers to change the name of the town to Vancouver, after Captain George Vancouver, who sailed the region's waters in 1792.
Canada's third-largest city, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan place with a European feel and a personality all its own. It's a community with a rich ethnic mix - including the second-largest Chinatown in North America - and stunningly beautiful parks.
Disembark the ship this morning and make your way to the airport for the return flight home to Australia or continue your journey with optional touring in Canada.
Depart Vancouver 11:55pm on Air Canada
Arrive Brisbane 07:25am
Be transferred from International to Domestic for your Qantas flight back to Melbourne on arrival Cardwells will transfer you from the airport to your home towns.
From $9,350.00 per person twin share