Call now 01246 819 819 to book
Inside from £587pp
Balcony from £970pp
Suite from £1,175pp
Show sea days
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.
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.
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 snowcapped 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.
In 1799, the Russian explorer Alexander Baranof founded New Archangel next to the Tlingit village of Sitka.
This was the beginning of permanent Russian settlement in North America. But New Archangel was destroyed three years later by the Tlingit Indians in an attempt to reclaim their ancestral home. Their brief victory ended in 1804, when Baranof returned with warships and retook Sitka in the Battle of Alaska. Sitka was now the captial of Russian America.
In 1867, the Imperial Russian flag was replaced by the Stars and Stripes when the United States purchased Alaska. With the discovery of gold, and the rapid population growth that followed, Alaska’s capital was moved north to Juneau in 1906.
Today, picturesque Sitka, sitting opposite snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe, is known for its fishing, its annual summer classical-music festival and, of course, its many historic visitor attractions.
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.
Seattle is a young city with a rich history. Settlers first landed at Alki Point in 1851 and named the area after Sealth, the Suquamish Indian chief who befriended them. Rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889, “The Emerald City” has a legacy of vision and strength. Seattle has hosted two World’s Fairs (1909 and 1962) and is the birthplace of two modern marvels, Boeing and Microsoft.
Known for its rainy climate, Seattle actually averages less annual rainfall than many East Coast cities. The mild weather, spectacular natural surroundings and rich cultural diversity attract visitors from around the world.
Seattle tours are available to passengers with afternoon flights or an overnight stay in Seattle after their cruise.
Searching for the latest prices…
Click the live chat icon to speak with an agent today
Let us call you back at a time to suit you. » Request a callback now.
Search 1000s of cruises for your next holiday. » Search for a cruise.