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Endless forests overlooked by snow-covered mountains, deep bays in which the most magnificent marine mammals frolic, local communities gracefully perpetuating their millennial traditions: set off to discover Alaska with PONANT. Board Le Soléal for a 11-day expedition cruise.
In the heart of this extraordinary and grandiose nature, the history of the populations of Alaska is written in the present tense. In Elfin Cove, only accessible by sea or air, you will immerse yourself in the local life, which is intrinsically linked to fishing. Hidden within the boreal forest, the island’s small village, perfumed with a scent of cedar wood, will guarantee you a unique experience. In Petersburg, fishing is also at the heart of local life and this former Norwegian colony treasures the story of its origins. A mosaic of peoples and history, Alaska also allows you to encounter the Kwakwaka'wakw and Tlingit indigenous communities, in Alert Bay and Kake. This is an opportunity to learn more about these fascinating cultures, especially famous for their totem poles.
The various landscapes will unfold, and change, throughout your journey. The high summits blend with immense coniferous forests, deep bays follow on from the hemmed-in fjords, and, everywhere, power merges with fragile beauty. In the Inside Passage, a series of labyrinths made of islands and straits, the nuances of the water, at times emerald, at times turquoise, hide rich marine life. In British Colombia, explore the sublime Pearse Islands whose currents attract many birds as well as marine mammals.
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 : SV104 - SO280724
An expedition cruise to take the time to discover the Alaska of vast spaces and forests stretching as far as the eye can see: this region at the origin of adventures that have fired the imagination of several...
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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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30% Ponant Bonus
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Prestige Deck 4
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Prestige Deck 5
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Prestige Deck 6
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Prestige Deck 5 Suite
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Prestige Deck 6 Suite
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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: travel by sea - The eTA is not required for US, Australian and British citizens. Other nationalities: a Visa may be required, please contact Canada consulate website for details. http://www.canada.ca/en/index.html
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 28/07/2024 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 29/07/2024 at 14:00
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the western coast of Annette Island, the small settlement of Metlakatla will welcome you for a timeless experience. Founded in 1887 by a group of Tsimshians, from British Columbia, the Annette Island Reserve is today the only federal reservation for the indigenous peoples of Alaska. You will have the opportunity to discover their culture, between local arts and crafts, artistic performance and discovering the famous totem poles. A walking tour is also on the agenda for this port of call, in the heart of Alaskan culture.
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.
Right near the north coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, hides the small wooded island of Cormorant. Surrounded by pebble beaches, it offers wonderful opportunities for hikes and for whale watching. The surrounding waters are also home to harbour seals, orcas, Steller sea lions, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds. When your ship calls at Alert Bay, a small sheltered fishing port located in the island’s south, set off to discover the indigenous culture and its traditions. The ‘Namgis community, which is part of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, lives here in harmony with the other village inhabitants.
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.
Arrival 07/08/2024 early morning
Disembarkation 07/08/2024 at 08:00
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.
For your serenity, PONANT selects flight and organises transfer between the airport and the port. This package is included in your cruise fare.
Embarkation Day - Seattle/Sitka
Flight Seattle/Sitka selected by PONANT.
Approximate flight duration: 3h00.
We highly recommend you arrive in Seattle the day before this flight.
We suggest you to be at the check-in counter 2 hours before departure.
Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
According to the arrival time at Sitka, PONANT adapt its services or activities before your transfer to the pier for embarkation.
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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.
No single supplement
FREE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT *
*The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.