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A Trip of a Lifetime: How to Experience Alaska

Alaska mountains and lake

From its soaring mountain views and awe-inspiring glaciers through the wonders of its wildlife and native cultures, Alaska offers something for every traveler – and something different each time you visit.

In 2022, we’re planning the ultimate, off-the-beaten-path, up-close-and-personal, one-of-a-kind Alaska experience. It’s one of our exclusive Trips of a Lifetime, thoughtfully designed and hosted by Kim Gibbons.

Here’s a preview of what we’ve got planned for our 12-night Alaska adventure that will begin on May 30, 2022, with the option to add a post-cruise, 4-night Denali National Park land tour. (Spoiler alert: Start to finish, this Trip of a Lifetime delivers on everything – and then some – you’ve dreamed about for your first (or next) trip to Alaska!)

Away we go

The adventure begins in Vancouver, with a one-night stay at the luxurious Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, where you’ll have just enough time to enjoy the unobstructed mountain and harbor views and explore a bit of the city before boarding Windstar Cruise’s newly renovated, elegant Star Breeze. As your home for the next 11 days, you’ll be more than comfortable on this intimate, all-suites vessel that’s small enough to sail into small harbors and hidden coves – and big enough to provide all the amenities you want including a spa, infinity pool, and fitness area.

The first day at sea will be all about relaxing – and taking in the spectacular scenic views of British Columbia via the Inside Passage. You’ll see it all – from mountains and forests to remote fishing villages and beaches. Plus, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the local wildlife, including bears, eagles, and whales.

Group of people kyacking in Ketchikan Alaska

Alaska is ready for its close-up

At the southern tip of the Inside Passage, we’ll arrive in Ketchikan, best known for its native cultures and salmon fishing. Whether you choose to fish, zipline, or tour the historic and colorful town, Ketchikan is the ideal beginning to a memorable Alaska trip. Make sure to take the opportunity to learn from the locals about the beautiful totem poles you’ll see everywhere and the stories they tell.

Next up, you’ll experience a rare and wondrous treat. Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument – millions of acres of wilderness within the Tongass National Forest – is only accessible by small ships and floatplanes. It’s a misty and magical experience that delivers a little bit of everything – blue fjords, snow-capped peaks, cascading waterfalls, and a dense rain forest. You’ll also have the option of indulging in signature kayak and Zodiac excursions to further explore the protected coves.

Over the next few days, you’ll visit Wrangell, a charming small town only accessible by small ships and home to Anan Wildlife Observatory, as well as the bustling state capital of Juneau, where ice is a central focus. When it comes to getting a prime view of the Juneau ice field and the Mendenhall Glacier, you can choose a floatplane flyover, a helicopter on-glacier landing, or put on crampons for hiking or dogsledding options.

Couple hiking in Alaska

Authentically Alaska

As day eight dawns, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Alaska. The town of Haines is beautifully nestled between mountains and the sea and offers plenty of unique sightseeing opportunities. Visit nearby Skagway for a peek into the area’s gold rush past at the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park, embark on a rafting adventure through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, or toast your fellow travelers with the award-winning gin at the Port Chilkoot Distillery.

Back on the ship, the views will continue to mesmerize as you cruise around icebergs and glaciers surrounded by mountains and wilderness. Fingers crossed, you’ll experience white thunder, which is what the locals call the breathtaking sight of a glacier shedding ice into the sea.

Next up is a stop in the fishing town of Sitka. It’s the ideal spot for a walkabout to explore the area’s Russian influences in both architecture and the arts. Or opt for a hike through Sitka’s National Historical Park, where you’ll enjoy discovering distinctive totem poles all along the trail.

Kenai Fjords

For the cruise’s grand finale, the ship will sail through Resurrection Bay, a fjord on the Kenai Peninsula. The small ship will take you deep into the Kenai Fjords National Park, serving up majestic views of tidewater glaciers and local wildlife like sea otters, porpoises, and sea lions. You’ll also have the option to get even closer to the action with kayak or Zodiac excursions through the ice floes.

Our memory-making cruise wraps up in Seward, or you can opt to keep your trip of a lifetime going by adding on our four-night land tour, which will take you to the heart of Denali National Park!

If you’ve been dreaming of an immersive, one-of-a-kind Alaskan adventure, this trip is designed for you. Reserve your spot now for this Trip of a Lifetime, May 30 - June 11, 2022. For more information and answers to any questions, call us at (877) 999-4533 or email us at today.

Waves to you and smooth sailings ahead!

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