Check Off Your Bucket List
There’s more of the unexpected waiting for you on Windstar Cruise Tours, combining the best of the land and the sea to check off those bucket list experiences. Go in-land and explore more of the culture and natural beauty to compliment your ports of call. Explore breathtaking Denali National Park with its frenzy of untamed wilderness and witness calving glaciers alive with a millennia of history all on the same itinerary. Take in up-close and personal experiences that you’ll tell stories about for years to come.
With Windstar Cruise Tours, we’ll handle all of the logistics on-land with tickets to attractions, hotel accommodations, select meals, every detail will be looked after. And because it’s Windstar, rest assured you’ll have an experience that awakens your sense of adventure and fills you with wonder.
Vancouver to Fairbanks - 16 Days
Awaken and inspire your sense of adventure as you sail north through Canada’s Inside Passage to Alaska along the same waterway frequented by prospectors and fortune-seekers more than a century ago. Your first stop is Ketchikan, a former last-stop mining supply outpost to Skagway-bound adventurers. Wander among the world’s largest totem pole collection and ponder contemporary dilemmas, like whether you want your Chinook salmon served sizzling on an aromatic cedar plank or cured next to an open alder wood fire. Whatever you decide, pair it with a side of sourdough bread and raise a glass of microbrew to the memory of the Klondike stampede. Admire the glaciated slopes and ice floes of Alaska’s Misty Fjords, Tracy and Endicott Arms and Kenai Fjords, but keep a weather eye on the horizon for the telltale spray and black fins of orca pods. Disembark in Seward and ride inland to Fairbanks and scenic Denali National Park. Caribou, foxes and Dall sheep observations are nearly certain, but even the locals grow excited about grizzly and wolf pack sightings. A detailed float along the Chena River provides additional opportunities for ursine encounters prior to your transfer to Fairbanks Airport and your reentry into the predictabilities of a less-adventurous modern civilization.
Fairbanks to Vancouver - 18 Days
Alaska has always been a home for adventure. Pioneers and optimistic prospectors might have settled the scenic Tanana River Valley near Fairbanks, but recent archeological evidence suggests that humans roamed this basin for more than 11,000 years eventually inhabiting the rest of North America. As you search for caribou, Dall sheep, roaming wolf packs and elusive grizzly bears in Denali National Park, consider the humble but adventurous group of miners and missionaries who made the first successful summit attempt of Mount McKinley in 1913. In Seward you’ll board Star Legend and set sail for the calving glaciers and frozen floes in the Kenai, Misty Fjords, and the Tracy and Endicott Arms. Observe firsthand the importance of fishing and canneries in tiny coastal communities like Haines, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Metlakatia. Snack on poutine in Prince Rupert—fries topped with a mixture of cheese curds and brown gravy—paired perfectly with a pint-glass of Canadian Caesar cocktail. Cruise among the evergreen forests and rocky coastlines of British Columbia’s Inside Passage until you slip beneath the towering Lions Gate Bridge and into the shining city streets of Vancouver. There’s still time for whale watching or even a waterfront kayak tour, but one of the best ways to see the city requires a gondola ride to Grouse Mountain’s ski slopes. When you’re ready to share memories, sit back and sample the exceptional international cuisine available from high-profile chefs who have established restaurants throughout Gastown and Downtown.
Fairbanks to Tokyo - 20 Days
Moose mingle in the forest and tall underbrush throughout Alaska’s Denali National Park, but locals will tell you that spotting wolves and bears is the crowning achievement during any park excursion. Keep an eye on the riverbanks as you glide along the Chena River and you might glimpse brown, grizzly or black bears foraging for tart berries. The Alaskan interior is a majestic setting where 4-legged wildlife encounters are frequent and memorable. Sail from Seward and explore remote fishing villages few outsiders experience beyond travel documentaries. Hike to the grassy crest of Pillar Mountain above Kodiak and watch air taxis and commercial floatplanes slip into berths, depositing game hunters and backcountry thrill seekers from all over the world. Wander between stacked crab pots, concrete bunkers and Dutch Harbor’s countless rusting artifacts left by thousands of enlisted men after World War II. Cross the International Date Line and merge with streams of shoppers and vendors in Kushiro’s thriving Fisherman’s Wharf. Watch ivory-winged endangered cranes pick among the reeds in Hokkaido’s wetlands. The pulsating street noise and neon of Tokyo await, enticing you with countless curios and tiny shops, performances featuring whirling dancers and thumping drums, and deliciously distinct dishes destined to challenge the most adventurous epicureans.
Yokohama (Tokyo) to Fairbanks - 17 Days
Yokohama’s Landmark Tower is so high that on a clear day you won’t need binoculars to trace the urban grid of steel and glass canyons all the way to Mt. Fuji’s green foothills and glistening white slopes. Save your field glasses for viewing endangered cranes and distinct Kushiro wetland wildlife on the island of Hokkaido. Sample fresh seafood near the star-shaped stone walls of Goryokaku fortress, and marvel at the ongoing reconstruction in Miyako, a town once devastated by a 125-foot-high tsunami wave in 2011. After crossing the International Date Line you’ll arrive in Seward, Alaska, where you’ll trade the sea’s briny aroma for the fragrance of hemlock, cedar and spruce permeating Denali National Park. Float down the Chena River, where pike, salmon, burbot and artic grayling run thick enough to make it the most popular sport-fishing destination in Alaska’s interior. Catch a glimpse of bear, elk, caribou and Dall sheep. If you didn’t stow away those binoculars, you could spot dozens of the more than 160 species of birds that flit, flutter and soar above this unspoiled wilderness on the edge of the Yukon. When you’re hungry, sample grilled reindeer dogs paired with local amber ales, or track down a delectable dish of grilled black cod soaked in a tangy marinade of soy sauce and citrus juice. It’s delicious proof that travel envelops your senses as much as it stimulates your curiosity, and no matter which excursions you choose, this adventure remains rich in art, culture and natural beauty.