ALASKA GLACIERS & PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND

From $ 4,499 pp
departure date

Alaska Glaciers & Prince William Sound

From $ 4,499* pp

Seward (Anchorage) to Vancouver

Alaska Glaciers & Prince William Sound
Set sail on an Alaskan adventure of a lifetime. This 11-day cruise departs from Seward, and explores natural and remote settings throughout Prince William Sound inaccessible to larger cruise ships. It’s a journey optimized for small ship cruising, with stops in quaint and uncrowded small harbors like Valdez and Wrangell, along with isolated coastlines rich in waterfalls, lofty peaks, and roaming wildlife. Board a helicopter for coastal or inland flightseeing around Valdez. Cast a line for Chinook or sockeye salmon in the legendary Copper River. Master your ‘Gee’ and ‘Haw’ calls as you guide a dogsled team across the Mendelhall Glacier near Juneau. This journey explores Point Adolphus near Glacier Bay, one of the most highly regarded whale watching destinations on the planet, where you’ll observe humpback whales engaging in bubble-net feeding, a learned group behavior in which whales work as a team to hunt and trap schools of fish near the surface.  In British Columbia’s Inside Passage, there will be countless opportunities to spot seals, whales, seabirds, and roving shoreline moose and bears before your memorable journey concludes at Vancouver’s cosmopolitan waterfront. Browse specialty shops and galleries in Gastown, take a walk along the breakwater trail surrounding Stanley Park, or if you’re not ready to return to your urban surroundings, escape on a gondola to the scenic alpine expanses surrounding nearby Grouse Mountain.
"The smell of the glaciers, the beauty of the blue ice … you just feel so blessed to see it firsthand."
Our Storyteller: Michele Hanson
Product Manager
My background: “I have spent more than 20 years in the travel industry, focusing on itinerary planning and development.” What I do: “You might say I’m a destination scout, always on the lookout for the most unique and authentic ways to immerse our guests in the local cultures.” Regions covered: Alaska, Caribbean, Northern Europe, Iceland, Canada and New England, West Coast. Daily mantra: “I get to help create unforgettable travel experiences that enrich people’s lives. Doesn’t get any better than that.”
One of Michele Hanson’s favorite ways to experience the “true Alaska” is kayaking Endicott Arm: “The smell of the glaciers, the beauty of the blue ice … you just feel so blessed to see it firsthand.” Such intimate encounters are only possible on a small ship like Star Breeze, and one of the many reasons why Michele ranks this Windstar cruise among the best in the Great Land. Sure, she may be a little biased (okay, more than a little), but just consider that guests get to experience a variety of glaciers — College Fjord, Hubbard, and Tracy — as well as seldom-visited Prince William Sound, all on one itinerary. Another benefit: Windstar is able to tweak it in real time — so if, say, a pod of humpbacks is spotted bubble feeding in Point Adolphus, the captain can maneuver the ship for prime viewing.
Windstar’s Signature Expeditions staff is tops in the field, and the cruise line goes out of its way to expose guests to authentic Alaskan culture in tiny communities like Wrangell as well as onboard interactions with local speakers and performers. Some of Michele’s all-time favorite travel memories are from calls on this journey: dog-sledding on Mendenhall Glacier, hiking Dewey Mountain, and of course, kayaking Endicott and Tracy Arm. During her last paddle there, she says, “I couldn’t get the smile off my face watching guests beam with happiness … (T)his is what small ship cruising is all about.”
IF I WERE THERE...
  • Hop a helicopter for flightseeing over dozens of glaciers within the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field — Michele calls the Pilots Choice tour, which features two landings for glacier hikes, “a pinnacle travel experience”
  • Grab a jacket and join Windstar’s Signature Expeditions team on deck while cruising College Fjord and Hubbard Glacier — “You’ll get great insights and photo opportunities”
  • Board a jet boat in Wrangell for a ride along the Stikine River (“unbelievable fun and absolutely beautiful”) or excursion to the Anan Wildlife Observatory — “Anan Creek has the largest pink salmon run in southeastern Alaska, so the bear viewing is excellent”
  • Watch for whales while cruising Point Adolphus, “one of the best places in Alaska to see migrating humpbacks”
  • Explore Prince Rupert’s remote wilderness in a seaplane, which sets down to float next to a stunning glacial waterfall — “Truly one of those ‘wow’ moments!”

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