The Rockies features on most peoples bucket lists. The showstopping scenery and the chance of seeing wild bears are just some of the things that attract people to this part of the world. The Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train that winds through the mountains, where you can sit back in your reclining leather seat watching the ever-changing scenery pass by from the glass-domed roof of the GoldLeaf carriage. As you travel past incredible feats of nature, you will dine on an a la carte breakfast and lunch served in the downstairs dining room. You will have the full attention of your train hosts who will provide beverages and snacks throughout your journey, and they will be sure to point out any photo opportunities along the way. One big misconception of the Rocky Mountaineer is that you sleep on the train. In fact, you are taken to a GoldLeaf standard hotel for the night, where your luggage will be waiting for you.
You will then board Ruby Princess, for your seven-night Alaska cruise where the natural beauty will take your breath away. Each port offers something different, but the stunning scenery and incredible wildlife will astound throughout.
Inside from £4,199pp
Outside from £4,499pp
Balcony from £4,599pp
Fly from the UK to Calgary.
On arrival, take your transfer to the four-star Canadian Lodge in Banff for a one-night stay.
Make your way to the station and embark Rocky Mountaineer in GoldLeaf for your scenic journey to Kamloops
On arrival in Kamloops, disembark Rocky Mountaineer and take your transfer to your hotel for a one-night stay.
Re-embark Rocky Mountaineer in Kamloops for your scenic journey to Vancouver.
Disembark Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver and take your transfer to the four-star Georgian Court Hotel for a one-night stay.
Take your private transfer to the port and embark Ruby Princess for your seven-night Alaska cruise. Depart Vancouver.
Icy Strait Point
Nearby Alaska’s largest Tlingit village exists a uniquely Alaskan place – lcy Strait Point.
Hoonah, meaning “village by the cliff,” is home to the Huna Tlingit who have occupied this area for thousands of years. Local legend tells how they were forced from their ancestral home in Glacier Bay by advancing glaciers, resulting in their relocation to and settlement of Hoonah.
In 1912, the Hoonah Packing Co. built a large cannery one mile north of town. After only five years of operation, the cannery at Icy Strait Point turned out 152,505 cases of one-pound cans of salmon, the largest pack ever achieved in Alaska.
Today, Hoonah is home to nearly 750 residents. Visitors will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, opportunities to see wildlife and the vast wilderness that surrounds this unique village. Icy Strait’s waters have yielded record-breaking halibut and salmon catches and provide summer-long access to all five species of salmon. Chichagof Island, on which Icy Strait Point is located, supports one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world and sightings are common.
A canoe slipped into the mouth of the Chilkat Inlet in November 1879, carrying Presbyterian missionary S. Hall Young and his friend, John Muir. Young told the Chilkat Indians that he wanted to build a Christian town. He chose space between two waterways, the Chilkat River and the Lynn Canal, and the town of Haines was born.
During the 1900s, a permanent army post was built and named Fort William H. Seward. The post was abandoned in 1946 and sold to a group of veterans who re-established it as Port Chilkoot. In 1970, the area became part of the City of Haines and when the fort became a national historic site in 1972, the name was changed back to Fort William H. Seward.
Haines is the home of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where as many as 4,000 bald eagles gather each fall to feast on spawning salmon along the Chilkat River. Naturalists and photographers come from all over the world to witness one of the most unusual and impressive sights in nature’s kingdom. As many as 80 have been seen perched in a single tree and more than a hundred may be captured within the frame of a single photograph.
This narrow fjord is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Juneau and is part of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area. Breathtaking Endicott Arm extends over 30 miles long, with nearly one-fifth of its area covered in ice. At the head of the fjord, tidewater glaciers, such as the Dawes Glacier, regularly expel enormous chunks of ice into the waters below in a magnificent process known as calving. During the summer when Princess ships visit, icebergs float along the surface of the glistening water in an array of sizes, from just a few inches up to three stories wide.
Protected within the Tongass National Forest, Endicott Arm is a haven for wildlife. Black and brown bears, deer, wolves, harbor seals, mountain goats and a variety of seabirds have been spotted in the area.
As you glide through the pristine fjord, you’ll first pass by a lush forest where a number of beautiful waterfalls cascade down, and then you’ll be treated to views of snowcapped mountains and blue-tinged glaciers more spectacular than you could ever imagine.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City” because it’s the first major community travelers 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 Center. The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city’s colorful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sportfishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Disembark in Vancouver and take your private transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK.