Discover Southeast Alaska
Spend eight days navigating in luxury the waterways of the Inside passage aboard 66-passenger Admiralty Dream and witness wildlife up close from its kayaks and skiffs.July 27, 2013 to August 3, 2013
Spend eight days navigating in luxury the waterways of the Inside passage aboard 66-passenger Admiralty Dream and witness wildlife up close from its kayaks and skiffs.
The inexorable forces of nature are on full display in Alaska — mountains eroded by the crushing force of massive glaciers, icebergs crowding cold, aquamarine seas, the cycles of plants and animals compressed into the scant weeks of an arctic summer.
Spend eight days navigating in luxury the waterways of the Inside passage aboard 66-passenger Admiralty Dream and witness wildlife up close from its kayaks and skiffs. Learn about Alaska’s culture and industry by exploring the Alaska State Museum, visiting a salmon hatchery, and participating in a crab population study. With skilled naturalists by your side, encounter its abundant wildlife, magnificent peaks and fjords, and ice-blue glaciers of unfathomable proportions — while learning about the traditions of Alaska’s ancient cultures.
Dates & Prices:
Trip Dates: July 27 - August 3, 2013
Prices: from $2,495 per person based upon double occupancy
Day 1 – Arrive in Sitka / Embark Admiralty Dream
Once you arrive, you will have the chance to begin your expedition with cultural immersion at a Sheet’ka Kwaán Naa Kahídi (which roughly translates to “The clan house for all the people of Sitka”) dance show, an authentic Tlingit performance. After the show, take a complimentary transfer to the Admiralty Dream for an afternoon embarkation. (D)
Day 2 – Hidden Falls / Red Bluff Bay/ Gambier Bay
Relax on deck with your binoculars and a hot cup of cocoa as you sail through the Peril Straits and the Eastern Baranof Islands. Tour the Hidden Falls Hatchery to learn about chum, Chinook, and Coho salmon. Cruise around Red Bluff Bay, stopping for some possible kayaking and skiff rides. Tonight, anchor in Gambier Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Gambier Bay / Tracy Arm
Depart Gambier Bay for Tracy Arm, a narrow fjord that winds through towering mountains and massive glaciers. Witness the “calving” of icebergs as gigantic chunks of ice break and crash into the water. Watch for harbor seals that often dot the floating platforms, mountain goats on nearby perches, curious whales, and bears hunting for fish on the nearby banks. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Juneau
Arrive at Auke Bay and depart early for a tour through Juneau and a visit to the Alaska State Museum, which offers a unique opportunity to learn about the native cultures of the region. Return to the ship in the late morning to watch for porpoises, brown bears, Sitka black-tailed deer, and a variety of marine birds. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Glacier Bay National Park
This morning, dock at Bartlett Cove for a versatile experience in this beautiful landscape. Gain insight into Tlingit tradition from a Huna Totem Interpreter, and take a nature walk alongside an enthusiastic National Park Service Ranger. Look out for puffins, sea lions, mountain goats, bears, eagles, and some of the most spectacular scenery in Alaska. Tonight we anchor at Dundas Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 6 – Dundas Bay / Idaho Inlet
After breakfast, enjoy kayaking and skiff excursions in Dundas Bay and experience some of the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Enjoy the freedom to explore this untouched wilderness at a leisurely pace and to observe the marine mammals in their natural habitat. Your onboard naturalists will be available to provide information about local history, geology, and wildlife. After departing Dundas Bay in the early afternoon, view wildlife from the Idaho Inlet with the possibility of some evening kayaking. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Lemesurier Island / Point Adolphus
Near Lemesurier Island, the second-largest island in the Icy Strait, search for more wildlife with stops for kayaking and skiff rides. Move east to Point Adolphus, a prime feeding ground for humpback and orca whales. Enjoy commentary by your onboard naturalists about the whale feeding behaviors. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Sitka / Disembark
Disembark this morning after breakfast and meet your complimentary shuttle for a ride to the airport to catch your flight home. (B)
Optional Program Extension: Denali National Park
Experience an historic Alaska Railroad journey into the scenic wilds of Alaska's Denali National Park and Reserve. With superior viewing from your upgraded Goldstar Dome seat, watch Alaska's rugged forests, coastline, and wildlife fill the ever-changing panorama of your window. Your destination: the magnificent, six-million-acre Denali National Park and Reserve. Familiarize yourself with the Park, walking its trails with a certified naturalist, and choose from optional excursions to personalize your adventure. Keep binoculars close at hand: this 6-million-acre wilderness is home to Dall sheep, eagles, wolves, migrating caribou, and grizzly bears — and catching sight of them is a thrill not soon forgotten.
• 7 nights aboard the deluxe Admiralty Dream
• Wildlife spotting that may include the humpback whale, orca, brown bear, Steller sea lion, harbor seal, sea otter, arctic tern, and bald eagle, among others
• Onboard lecture program and educational guidance of onboard naturalists, your Expedition Leader, as well as a park ranger and Huna Totem interpreter during our visit to Glacier Bay National Park
• Guided kayaking, hiking, walking, and skiff excursions
• All onboard hand-crafted meals – 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners served with wine and beer – including a special Captain’s Farewell Dinner
• Transfers between the Sitka airport (SIT) and the dock and gratuities to airport drivers and porters for guests arriving/departing on program dates on suggested group flights, gratuities to airport drivers and porters on arrival/departure days
• All port fees and entry fees to parks, preserves, museums, and other attractions as described in the itinerary
Airfare, passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry, internet access, email and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the "Included Features" section of our brochure.
Provincial French Countryside
Experience the essence of France - its rich culture, beautiful countryside, and stirring history - as you travel from Toulouse to Paris. Our journey encompasses the breadth of France, from the lovely Loire Valley and the remote Dordogne to historic Normandy and the fashionable streets of Paris.October 18, 2013 to November 1, 2013
Experience the essence of France - its rich culture, beautiful countryside, and stirring history - as you travel from Toulouse to Paris. Our journey encompasses the breadth of France, from the lovely Loire Valley and the remote Dordogne to historic Normandy and the fashionable streets of Paris.
In the south, discover medieval Carcassonne, the market town of Albi and the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. Continue into the breathtaking Dordogne, known for its rugged, unspoiled countryside and lovely villages. Here, you'll enter the famous caves at Lascaux II and tour the pilgrimage site of Rocamadour.
After touring the impressive Chateau de Chenonceaux in the fabled Loire Valley, you'll visit the dramatic Gothic abbey of Mont St. Michel, tour the famous D-Day landing beaches and explore the medieval town of Bayeux in Normandy. Further north, walk amid Monet's gardens where he was inspired to create his Impressionist masterpieces. Finally, enjoy a walking tour of Paris, including the world-renowned Louvre museum, before bidding au revoir to France. Continue your self-exploration of Paris with an optional "on your own" 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Toulouse, France
Day 2: Arrive Toulouse
After arriving in Toulouse today, our time is at leisure until we meet our tour director this evening for a welcome dinner and a briefing about the journey ahead. D
Day 3: Toulouse/Carcassonne
Today we tour nearby Carcassonne, the quintessential medieval town with the longest city walls in Europe. Sitting atop a hill overlooking vast green plains that stretch all the way to the Pyrénées, Carcassonne boasts battlements and ramparts dating to the 1st-century Romans. We return to Toulouse mid-afternoon. B
Day 4: Toulouse/Albi/Sarlat
We travel today to the historic market town of Albi in the Midi-Pyrénées. Hometown of Belle Epoque artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi was built with rose-colored bricks that cast a warm glow over the city’s medieval streets and ramparts. Our city tour here includes the Palais de la Berbie, an ancient fortress housing a museum devoted to the works of Toulouse-Lautrec; and the huge 13th-century Cathédrale Ste-Cécile. Leaving Albi, we continue to the rugged unspoiled countryside of the Perigord region and the Dordogne Valley. We travel on to Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of France’s prettiest villages and one of Europe’s best preserved medieval gems, with more registered historic sites than anywhere else on the continent. We’re in the land of the truffle and foie gras, so bon appétit! B,D
Day 5: Sarlat/Lascaux II
This morning we tour the Caves at Lascaux II, the reproductions of the original pre-historic cave paintings found nearby. After lunch at a charming local inn, we spend the afternoon on a leisurely cruise along the Dordogne River, life-blood of this fertile region and redolent with history. As we pass cliff-top castles and fortified medieval towns, the historical region of Aquitaine comes to life – this is where beloved Eleanor of Aquitaine reigned in the 12th century. We return to Sarlat where we enjoy a walking tour. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L
Day 6: Sarlat/Rocamadour
This morning is at leisure to visit Sarlat’s popular morning market on our own. Vendors line the streets selling such local delicacies as truffles, products of walnuts and pork, wines, brandies, breads, pastries, cheeses, and more. After lunch on our own (perhaps a picnic of fare from the market?), our explorations continue in Rocamadour, a revered pilgrimage site and medieval village whose three tiers cling almost impossibly to a sheer limestone cliff. We take a guided walking tour then enjoy some free time before we return to Sarlat mid-afternoon. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. B,D
Day 7: Sarlat/Le Dorat/Saumur
This morning we depart for the Loire Valley, stopping in the small market town of Le Dorat for a typical country lunch at a local restaurant. From here we travel on to picturesque Saumur and our hotel, a converted 18th-century mansion on the banks of the Loire River. B,L
Day 8: Saumur
Today is at leisure to enjoy this town of half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets as we wish. Options include exploring the town’s old quarter; visiting the Cavalry Museum; or tasting the renowned locally made sparkling wine – methode champenoise – at Maison du Vin. B,D
Day 9: Saumur/Chenonceaux
We’re in chateaux country, where England battled for control of France; where Joan of Arc triumphed; and where a great opulence reigned during the 16th century. Originally built as fortresses to keep intruders out, the Loire Valley’s grand chateaux now welcome visitors from around the world. We tour a most impressive one today: Chenonceau, the Renaissance masterpiece considered the most romantic chateau of all. Lunch today is at La Cave in Montlouis. B,L
Day 10: Saumur/Mont-St-Michel/Crépon
Traveling north this morning, we stop at Mont-St-Michel, Normandy’s famed Gothic abbey that sits atop a 264-foot high rock formation at the edge of the sea and was constructed between 1017-1521 of granite hauled stone by stone from Brittany. After a guided tour and some free time for lunch and to explore on our own, we continue on to our lodgings in Crépon: a restored but rustic 35-room farmhouse dating to the 13th century. B,D
Day 11: Crépon/Bayeux/Caen
Miraculously spared wartime bombing, and the first town to be liberated during the Battle of Normandy, medieval Bayeux is our first stop today. Here we visit the Tapestry Museum, home of the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry depicting the exploits of William the Conqueror. This afternoon we commemorate World War II at the British Cemetery, then continue on to Caen to visit the Memorial Museum devoted to “history for peace.” Time permitting, we may visit Arromanches late this afternoon. B,D
Day 12: D-Day Landing Beaches
A poignant, inspiring day is ahead as we travel to the very places where Allied forces overcame overwhelming odds to alter the course of World War II. We visit Pointe du Hoc, where American Rangers scaled towering cliffs to establish a beachhead; Utah Beach; and Ste-Mère-Eglise, where the 82nd Airborne Division successfully parachuted on June 5, 1944. We end the day at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach in Colleville. It’s a particularly moving site; row upon endless row of white marble crosses and Stars of David honor the nearly 10,000 soldiers buried here. B,L,D
Day 13: Crépon/Honfleur/Giverny/Paris
This morning we visit the lovely, picturesque port of Honfleur before continuing on to the village of Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Here we see the familiar lily pond and Japanese footbridge of Monet’s paintings, as well as his home, now restored to its original design. From here we travel to Paris, reaching our hotel late afternoon. This evening is at leisure. B
Day 14: Paris
Today we get acquainted with one of the world’s great cities, including an inside visit to the Louvre, one of the world’s great museums. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; tonight we gather for a farewell dinner. B,D
Day 15: Depart for U.S.
A morning departure for the airport and our connecting flights to the U.S.A. B
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.
B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included
What is included:
• Round-trip air transportation from select US cities
• 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class, First Class, and unrated hotels
• 25 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
• Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
• Services of a Professional Tour Director
• Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
• Luggage handling for one bag per person
• Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only tour package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airline baggage fees; airport transfers when purchasing a land only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities $10 - $15 per day per traveler); travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline prior to departure.