|Arrive in Anchorage and make your way to your hotel. This afternoon, you are free to explore the 'Last Frontier' on your own.
|Denali National Park
|This morning, board the world-famous Alaska Railroad for a memorable train journey to Talkeetna, the jumping-off point for climbers attempting to summit Denali Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. Enjoy strolling along the shops in downtown or take a walk to the river. Early this afternoon, journey to Denali National Park for a 2-night stay.
|Denali National Park
|Denali National Park and Preserve, majestically dominates the park's six million acres. Enjoy a free day for independent activities; a hike along the many wilderness trails might be of interest. Also take advantage of several optional outings, including a wildlife tour to seek out grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep; a raft trip down the Nenana River; or a helicopter ride over the park. Your Tour Director will have plenty of suggestions.
|Relish one last look at the outstanding scenery and wildlife of Denali, before traveling across the Denali Highway. This seldom-traveled road was the first road to allow access to Denali National Park-a true wilderness with frequent wildlife sightings and amazing views of the Alaska Range. Next, climb over the top of Thompson Pass, well-known for the annual snowfall in the winter months, the pass offers summer guests unforgettable views. End today's journey in the town of Valdez, nestled between the waterfront and mountains, giving it the nickname, Alaska's Little Switzerland.
|Board a boat and travel across magnificent Prince William Sound. Explore the 3-mile face of the mighty Meares Glacier and hear tales of the region as told by the Alaskan crew. Keep your eyes open and cameras ready for marine wildlife such as otters, seals, and whales while viewing spectacular glaciers. Return to Anchorage, Alaska's largest city.
|This morning, a city sightseeing tour of Anchorage, with a visit to the Anchorage Museum, where you will see a fascinating display of artifacts of the native people of Alaska. After Anchorage sightseeing, return to Whittier to board Holland America's MS Noordam or MS Nieuw Amsterdam for an unforgettable Inside Passage cruise. The remote village of Whittier is nestled along breathtaking Prince William Sound, home to a stunning array of wildlife, including bald eagles, sea otters and killer whales, so have your camera ready. (D)
|Hubbard is the longest tidewater glacier (meaning it ends at the ocean) in North America. However, unlike nearly every other tidewater glacier on the continent, Hubbard is advancing, not retreating; it is forever pushing a little further into the bay. Chunks of ice that break off become floaties for seals. (B,L,D)
|A relaxing day at sea provides time to explore the ship's many amenities. With the serene majesty of snow-flecked and forested mountains defining its shores, Glacier Bay National Park offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Keep your binoculars and camera on hand as you cruise Glacier Bay to the mile-wide Margerie Glacier, where you may have a chance to witness ice calving. Wildlife abounds in Glacier Bay, so stay ready-you never know when you will see the fluke of a humpback rise out of the water or spot a lone brown bear wandering a wind-swept beach. (B,L,D)
|In winter, the sidewalks are all but rolled up in Skagway, so you can imagine the frightful conditions endured by gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon. Take your time and poke your head into every little shop, from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy's Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie, and other historic characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of '98 Museum. (B,L,D)
|Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on Gastineau Channel, Alaska's capital city of Juneau has massive Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Icefield at its back door. Visit the rustic shops in town-or get out and kayak, raft, hike, whale watch, flightsee, or fish. There is no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours. (B,L,D)
|Alaska's 'First City' of Ketchikan is so named because it is the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain. An important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries- visitors can try their luck on a sport-fishing excursion or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. It is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. (B,L,D)
|Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska's most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline. (B,L,D)
|Your vacation ends this morning. Please schedule homebound flights after Noon. (B)