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The “great land” or the “mainland” in Aleut is very aptly named. An immense territory and a mythical region, land of trappers and the origin of the greatest adventures, Alaska welcomes you to discover its changing, yet always grandiose, landscapes. During an 12-day expedition cruise aboard Le Soléal, enter the kingdom of nature and explore incredible Alaska during a journey discovering all its mysteries.
The largest State of the United States also has the most diverse landscapes. From temperate rainforests forests to the icy scenery of the Arctic, the relief fluctuates between majestic fjords and snow-covered mountains. The legendary Mount Saint Elias is stunning, standing 5,489 metres (18,000 feet) tall, near the head of the Icy Bay. Inside the bay, you will also travel through the Tsaa Fjord, surrounded by hanging glaciers and dizzying waterfalls. Among the jewels you will have the chance of exploring, Prince William Sound is a sight like no other. Imagine a painting: it features coniferous forests, which hide, in the background, mountains that are bleached by the eternal snow. The glaciers moving towards the sea, dressed in their finest colours, provide another opportunity to contemplate and learn more about this unique ecosystem.
In the heart of this wild and majestic nature, you will set off to discover Alaskan life and customs, accompanied by our guides and naturalists, who are experts in the region. With local arts and crafts, the history of the emblematic totems and traditional shows, you are promised a real immersion into the local life of the communities. You cruise will also be an opportunity to go back in time to the 19th century and to the famous gold rush, so well told by Jack London in his novel The Call of the Wild.
Here, humans must share the vastness with the animal kingdom. At sea, have fun spotting the humpback whales as they blow on the horizon. On land, black bears and grizzly bears are the focus of most attention and observations, while the majestic bald eagle, the symbol of the Unites States, soars above in the sky. The crucial notions of this cruise involve searching and keeping an eye out; the unexpected and the uncertainty are what make these singular encounters even more spectacular.
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. The itinerary, landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible.
Ref : VS155 - SO290824
An expedition cruise discovering Alaska in all its forms, featuring sumptuous scenery, from temperate rainforests to majestic glaciers, encounters with local communities and observation of abundant wildlife. A...
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For more peace of mind, PONANT organizes your trip before or after the cruise. This package is included in the price of your cruise.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Canada: Entry (or transit) by air - The ETA is required for Australian and British citizens, US citizens are exempt. Other nationalities, please contact Canada consulate website for details. http://www.canada.ca/en/index.html. A copy of your visa or ETA must be sent to PONANT at the very latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. In case the ETA is sufficient to enter Canada, we also ask you to keep a copy of your ETA with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.
USA: Depending on your nationality, an ESTA or Visa may be required. Please contact USA consulate website for details. A copy of your visa or ESTA must be sent to PONANT at the very latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. In case the ESTA is sufficient to enter the USA, we also ask you to keep a copy of your ESTA with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Expedition programmes include activities such as landings in tender or local boats (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
For all cruises longer than 8 nights, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
INSULATED BASE LAYER:
WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER:
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
Embarkation 29/08/2024 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 29/08/2024 at 18:00
Verdant and cosmopolitan, Vancouver is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities. Located in British Columbia on Canada's west coast, it's surrounded by mountains and outdoor activities are popular. In the city, you can immerse yourself in the Asian atmosphere of bustling Chinatown, shop for pashminas and silk saris at the Punjabi Market Indian district and explore the historic area of ﾠGastown. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses important First Nations collections. Granville Island Jetty is a fascinating revitalised industrial area that hosts galleries, restaurants and a huge produce market.
Along the north-east coast of Vancouver Island, Johnstone Strait is a 100 km-long channel formed by an old glacier bed, dotted with a string of lush islands. Sailing amid this wilderness offers fantastic opportunities to observe the wildlife. Humpback whales and resident orcas can be found in the cool and sheltered waters of the strait, and you can try to spot some from your ship’s deck.
During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Sheltered from the ocean currents of the Gulf of Alaska, this maritime route that weaves a path around the islands and islets of Southeast Alaska will offer you wonderful sailing experience. Conifer forests stretch on forever, interspersed with numerous coves, bays, huge valleys and deep fjords formed by ancient glavial valleys. Accessible only by sea, the fishing villages are surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glaciers that plunge into the waters of this veritable wildlife sanctuary. From your ship’s deck, you can try spotting humpback whales or the famous bald eagle, emblem of the region.
Rain forest, hypnotic blue lakes, snowy peaks, glacier valleys, waterfalls... You will behold a heavenly vision. This United States monument covering some 8,600 square kilometres is a designated Wilderness Area. This awesome countryside rolls out its majestic carpet of cedars, fir spruces and hemlocks. Here, you can feel Nature’s throbbing heartbeat. You may be lucky enough to spot some of the many animal inhabitants, such as sea otters, sea lions and grizzlies.
Discover the small Tlingit village of Kake, around 60 kilometres west of Petersburg. Located on Kupreanof Island, it houses a community of over 500 inhabitants. Kake is paradise for salmon, which spawn in the Gunnuk River near the village. Bald eagles often make an appearance, as do black bears, which come to enjoy the fish. Another singularity of these parts: the presence, on a hill, of a totem pole standing over 60 metres tall, considered the highest in the world.
Picture this: all around you, translucent waters. In the distance - snow-capped mountains. This is the vision that greets you on disembarking in Petersburg, one of Alaska’s largest commercial fishing towns. The heart of the Tongass National forest is for people who yearn for a lungful of the great outdoors. There is some fauna here including no less than 240 species of birds, seals, sea lions, humpback whales. Another special feature of this very lively town is its penchant for art. On its pavements and facades you can admire several murals, totems and sculptures.
In the heart of the Alexander Archipelago, Endicott Arm fjord is a short inlet on the southern coast of Alaska that boasts spectacular views of virgin wilderness. The azure-blue waters, snow-capped mountains and lush forest are incredible but the main attraction is the Dawes glacier, whose vast, bluish back snakes down the mountain’s flank. Weather permitting, you can observe how icebergs are formed by getting a closer look at the white cliff where glacier meets water, or just enjoy watching the resident harbour seals frolicking in the icy waters.
Hidden in the heart of this spectacular wilderness, between jagged peaks and a sapphire ocean, the legendary small port of Haines lays out all the richness of its traditions. Founded by the Tlingit Indians, peopled by the pioneers of the famous gold rush, the village is now a rallying point for modern day adventurers. You can visit its streets trimmed with colourful houses, soak up local history at Fort Seward or visit the Indian art museums, before a possible excursion into the nearby wilderness. The very beautiful Chilkatriver is especially worth a visit and it is possible to see grizzly bears coming to feed.
Adolphus Point is located opposite the magnificent Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This dreamlike site is world famous for watching humpback whales. In the summer season, these majestic mammals come to feed in the nutrient-rich waters. They sometimes even come a few dozen feet from the shoreline, close to the houses and marinas. Orcas, sea lions,... maybe you’ll happen upon other marine species in these landscapes of fjords and ice fields. One thing is sure; here are the most beautiful Alaskan waters.
At the tip of an island in the Alexander Archipelago, not far from the Canadian border, peaceful Elfin Cove shelters a fishing community that’s only linked to the rest of the world by the sea. There is just a dozen wooden houses, a long wooden pontoon and a tiny port surrounded by crystalline waters… It doesn’t get any quainter than this. Choose from a network of hiking paths that weave through a pristine forest, to lead you to secret beaches where silence reigns. The wonders of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, accessible by a short boat trip, are many.
Formerly a Russian colony located on Baranof island, to the west of the Alexander archipelago, Sitka is brimming with history. The historical national park of Sitka shelters totems carved out of red cedar, a tree that is omnipresent in the region. These totems are testimonials of the former presence of Tlingit Indians. This place is full of natural wonders too. You just have to look up to admire the mountain range around the port. In the distance, the snow-peaked Edgecumbe volcano stands majestic. Numerous islands scattered around Sitka stretch out before you in a vision of preserved Alaska.
Formed by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers over the past 100 years, Icy Bay is one of those timeless places where silence reigns supreme. Let yourself be enthralled by landscapes of breathtaking beauty, enhanced by magnificent views over the Saint Elias Mountains, visible in the background. The bay, several kilometres wide, is often scattered with icebergs sliding on clear and deep waters. It will let you access several sounds, among which are the Tsaa fjord, very close to the Guyot glacier. Many marine mammals and sea birds have chosen to live on this territory with very few visitors in the south of Alaska.
On the eastern coast of Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound unfolds its majestic beauty. You will sail in this labyrinth of islets, icebergs, narrow fjords, surrounded by the Sitka spruce and western hemlock that make up the incredible decor of the Chugach National Forest. If you are lucky, you may spot some of the otters, orcas, grizzlies, bald eagles, sea lions and humpback whales that live here. There are still traces of the 1964 earthquake, one of the most powerful episodes ever recorded on Earth, at a magnitude of 9.2 on the Richter scale. Sailing in Prince William Sound is also an opportunity to contemplate the imposing Harvard and Mawr glaciers as they form on the horizon.
A secret inlet in a hewn-out bay on the southern coast of Alaska, College Fjord features outstandingly rich glacier scenery. Come and admire the five tidewater glaciers and high-altitude glaciers. These glaciers were named after the prestigious US East Coast schools attended by the professors who first laid eyes on them at the end of the 19th century. The setting is awe-inspiring, but don’t forget to listen out for the thunderous crack as great pillars of ice break off from the glaciers…
Arrival 09/09/2024 early morning
Disembarkation 09/09/2024 at 08:00
Seward is located on the Kenai peninsula, south of Anchorage. This bustling port, built for the fishing and shipbuilding industries, will show you just how vibrant it is, with its shops and galleries. The entrance gate for the sublime Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward nestles in the heart of very beautiful scenery, between glaciers, mountains and very rich marine life (whales, sea otters, orcas, seals…).
Travel with peace of mind as PONANT organises your transfer between your port of disembarkation and the airport.
Disembarkation Day – Seward/Anchorage
Meet and greet at the port (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Anchorage airport (approximate duration: 3 hours), in time for check-in for the PONANT selected flight or any other flight leaving before 3.00p.m.
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Programme is subject to change.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.
Realise your dream of adventure in the polar regions ! Discover the icy vastness and the fauna of Antarctica (humpback whales, seals, penguins and more) or the Arctic's fjords, glaciers and icebergs in shifting colours, not to mention the polar bears, the variety of wildlife and the special moments shared with the locals. Our team of naturalist guides share their knowledge with you during varied lectures about the fauna, the flora, the history of great explorations, geology and climatology. Thanks to its conscientiousness and to the responsible approach that is its hallmark, PONANT has been a leader and expert in cruises to these destinations for more than 20 years.