Monumental scenery surrounds you in this remote corner of the world, where glaciers calve and whales cruise through inky waters, before an immense mountain backdrop. Almost totally submerged by the colossal landscapes around it, Seward – and the wonders of Kenai Fjords National Park – offer some of astonishing Alaska’s most thrilling scenery. Located in a deep gash in the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is a place to immerse yourself in nature’s majesty. Fjords carve into the landscape, while the Harding Icefield – which caps Kenai Fjords National Park – reaches out its icy fingers, with glaciers spilling down between mountain peaks. Head to Holgate Glacier, to come face to face with a breathtaking stack of intense blue and white ice. Get up close in a kayak or boat ride, to slalom through the discarded confetti of ice chunks, and perhaps even witness the powerful spectacle of an ice ledge creaking and groaning, before plunging to the waters below. The city of Anchorage is easily within reach from here, offering an incongruous contrast to the wild wonders of Alaska. A place where deep-sea fishermen bump shoulders with businesspeople on the 9-5, it’s a fascinating, remote city. Home to almost half of the Alaskan population, Anchorage and its humble skyline is dwarfed by the snowy peaks of the wilderness beyond. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique culture, traditions and heritage of the First Nation people of these lands too.
Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.
Extraordinary adventures amid nature’s wildest staging await at Juneau. The majestic Mendenhall Glacier sprawls down from Juneau Icefield, which provides an icy cap to the area’s rip-roaring scenery. State capitals simply don’t get more dramatic than this isolated, remote city lost amid the Alaskan wilds. Even the roads eventually peter out, absorbed by forests and viewpoints, firmly underlining the isolated location, hidden behind an impenetrable wall of rigid mountains. Rise up to Mount Roberts Tramway’s viewpoint, to see the city swallowed by this most colossal backdrop. This is glacier country, and no fewer than 38 ice flows branch off from the main Juneau Icefield, slowly carving out valleys in their wakes. Taku Glacier cuts deep into the mountain, forming a colossal sculpture that is one of the world’s thickest – almost a mile deep. Mendenhall Glacier cascades down, just 12 miles away from downtown, terminating in its own lake and visitor centre. With 1,500 square miles of ice field to explore, one of the best ways to take in the magnitude and majesty of this epic ice sculpture is to hold on tight on as the propeller whirs, and you soar into the skies on an exhilarating sightseeing flight. Cruising up above the icy world that fills in these serrated mountain peaks is a once in a lifetime experience. The animals that inhabit the Southeast Alaskan wilds are just as inspiring as the landscapes – families of bears patrol the riverbanks, bald eagles survey the surroundings watchfully, and Pacific humpbacks migrate from Hawaii’s waters to feast on the krill rich, icy waters. Fish for huge catches, power across the ice in a snow-sledge, or kayak just below glaciers. However you choose to immerse yourself in it, Juneau’s incredible outdoor adventures never disappoint.
Feel the same rush of excitement as the gold rush chasers did, when they first arrived in Skagway, intent on finding their fortune. While the gold may now be gone, a treasure trove of natural glory waits to be discovered here. The adrenaline of America’s legendary gold rush still pulses along Skagway’s streets, especially in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and the historic downtown area – which sprang up during the heady heights of the 1890’s goldrush. The jagged mountain ridges – with peaks of white snow above a treeline of soaring pine forests – provide a reward for the ages. Recapture the evocative sense of adventure, as you ride one of the world’s most spectacular railroads. Your engine will puff steam below the precipitous, colossal scenery, while the vintage carriages curve around the White Pass & Yukon Route, alongside tumbling waterfalls and spanning deeply-etched gorges. Wander historic trails like the Chilkoot Trail Hike, to walk in the well-trodden footsteps of the gold seekers. Set on the northern tip of the Inside Passage, Skagway luxuriates in a remarkably beautiful and dramatic landscape. Explore mighty rivers teeming with thick salmon leaping over rapids and see brown bears edging from the shelter of the trees. Endless forests spread as far as the eye can see, while bald eagles perch on treetops, surveying the surroundings from above. Whales roam offshore, and glaciers creak and calve nearby, in this magical natural kingdom.
A distant land of bears, wild landscapes and icy adventures, sail between glorious islands and witness the diverse wildlife of the Inside Passage. Eagles watch over the scenery overhead, while whales and sea lions add glorious weight to the animal life that thrives and thrashes in these icy seas. With a quintet of Pacific salmon species filling the rich rivers and waterways with life, settle back to enjoy the show, as Sitka’s immense setpieces play out before you. You might notice the onion-shaped dome atop St. Michael’s Church – a relic of the area’s Russian history. Sitka formed a part of the Russian Empire until a deal was struck in 1867, and the territory was sold to the United States, with the handover ceremony taking place here in Sitka. The native Tlingit culture is an important presence, and elaborate totem poles rocket up in Sitka National Historical Park. They mark the battleground of 1804, when the indigenous people clashed fiercely with the Russians. The snow-capped peak of the dormant volcano, Mount Edgecumbe, draws understandable comparisons with Mount Fuji’s symmetrical cone. Climb to thrilling heights, as you arrive on Kruzof Island, and enjoy richly spellbinding views of the scattered Pacific islands, while hiking. Whether you want to spend your time flying above snow-dusted mountain ridges, fishing for colossal King salmon, or savouring Northwest frontier cuisine in waterfront restaurants, there’s no shortage of ways to experience Sitka’s natural wonders.
The Salmon Capital of the World is a thrilling introduction to wild and wonderful Alaska, sitting at the southern gateway to the Inside Passage’s famed route of larger than life scenery. Cruise through the waters, or soar just above in a sightseeing plane, to take in the full majesty of the magnificent Misty Fjords National Monument. Home to grizzly and black bears – as well as cruising whales and swimming seals – the wildlife spotting opportunities in this majestic corner of the world are nothing short of spectacular. Towered over by steep banks and valley walls, Ketchikan’s ocean inlet is peppered with granite stacks, looming from the waters. Surrounded by glorious landscapes, head to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, which is alive with bald eagles, black bears and remarkable, thick, yellow banana slugs – the squeamish are advised to keep well clear. Visit Ketchikan’s Heritage Centre, where a collection of intricately carved totem poles rise up, preserving the heritage of the indigenous Tlingit and Haida people of these lands. Ketchikan has the world’s largest collection, and some of the oldest and most precious totems in existence. This frontier city hasn’t always been so wholesome, however. See the colourful historic street that is built on crooked stilts over Ketchikan Creek, which has a crude history as the main red-light district in the city. The brothels closed in the 1950s, but you can explore this legendarily seedy past at Dolly’s House – a brothel turned museum. See the Married Man trail, a historical route used to enter Creek Street away from prying eyes.
Navigate through the intricate outlays of some of Alaska’s most staggering winter scenery, threading a needle between craggy, snow-dusted islands, and slipping glacial giants. To cruise this 500-mile stretch of Alaskan beauty is to sail through a living work of natural art – with perfectly sculpted mountains soaring from the shoreline, and clutches of islands scattered across the dark waters with delicate attention to detail. A common sailing route due to its calm sheltered waters, gorgeous natural set pieces constantly play out here – whether it’s killer whales accompanying you through the breathtaking icy passages, harbour seals catching a break on floating hunks of ice, or wisps of cloud clinging to distant mountain peaks. Witness Mother Nature at her most dramatic and elaborate along this Alaskan coastline, where glaciers groan and creak melodramatically, before finally releasing colossal shelves of ice, allowing them to free fall into the waters below, and explode with angry booms and thunderous splashes. While fundamental displays of nature’s power always awe and amaze, it’s the tranquil beauty of this passage – amid still waters, splitting only to reveal the smooth backs of breaching humpback whales – that is relentlessly moving. A journey of glaciers, remote hidden villages, and carved fjords – the Inside Passage is a breathtaking voyage through the intricate mesh of Alaska’s fractured, raw and spectacular coastal landscapes.
Boasting mountains, sea, culture, art and so much more, many cities claim to have it all, but few can back it up like Vancouver. Famously livable, just visiting this highrise city – surrounded by staggering natural beauty – is a thrill. Offering all of the creature comforts of an ultra-modern, worldly metropolis – even downtown has a hint of mountain-freshness to its air – and part of Vancouver’s appeal is how easily you can swap the skyscrapers for whale-filled oceans and mountain-punctured skies. Head up to the Vancouver Lookout Tower for the ultimate 360-degree views of the city glistening, amid the beautiful embrace of the beckoning wilderness beyond. But what to see first? Art lovers might choose the Vancouver Art Gallery or the Contemporary Art Gallery. Nature lovers might rush for the ferry to visit Vancouver Island – where they can encounter grizzly bears, whales and orcas. Culture vultures, on the other hand, will probably head for the sights and sounds of Canada’s biggest Chinatown. From steaming dim sum for lunch to Chinese apothecaries offering herbs to soothe any illness, it’s all here thanks to the migrant workers of the 19th century. The one-of-a-kind treasure of Stanley Park brings wild wonder and natural beauty to this cosmopolitan city’s doorstep, and the pine-tree clad park offers isolated trails and amazing views. Wander the Seawall that encircles it – a 20-mile coastal path, full of joggers, whizzing skaters and wandering couples. Grab a bike and cycle between Coal Harbour and Kitsilano Beach. You can top up your tan on the shore, as you soak in the glorious views of the mountains and cityscape from the sands.
|Date||Price Per Person|
|26th May 2021 - 3rd June 2021||£3,397|
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