Experience Vancouver and sail through the spectacular Alaskan wilderness
You'll sail down part of the Northwest Passage, marvel at mighty landscapes and marine life at Misty Fjords National Monument, visit the Metlakatla Indian Reserve, spot sea eagles, salmon and bears in Tongass National Forest, walk in the world's largest temperate rainforest and enjoy Zodiac boat trips to see whales, sea lions and glaciers.
You'll do all this on a new Aurora Expeditions small ship, Sylvia Earle. Named after the marine biologist, it houses 132 passengers in 71 cabins and can access places big ships can't. It offers a choice of shore excursions (all included) and is at the cutting edge of ship eco-credentials; a streamlined bow means smoother sailing and lower fuel consumption. It also features a gym and wellness centre, open-air pool, lecture lounge, Jacuzzis, observation areas, restaurants and boat launching platforms.
Readers will enjoy a Balcony Stateroom and, to mark GH's centenary, $250pp for on-board spending. You'll also enjoy a three-night break in Vancouver, where a 48-hour sightseeing pass is included so you can make the most of this stunning coastal city.
Reasons to book
Native American culture
Awesome boat trips
Best of Vancouver
Luxury expedition ship
- All transfers; all shore excursions; educational lectures and guiding services from the expedition team; a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; and gratuities for the ship's crew.
- Enjoy $250pp credit to spend on board (exclusive for GH readers).
- Stay in Vancouver with a 48-hour hop-on/hop-off sightseeing pass.
- Spend three nights in hotel accommodation (breakfast included).
- Go on a Vancouver sightseeing tour.
- Stay aboard the Sylvia Earle ship, with daily cabin services included.
- Enjoy all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during your voyage, plus beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
- Have access to an on-board expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult).
Arrive at Vancouver International Airport and take your included private transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay. The rest of the day is at leisure to further explore this oceanside city. To get the most value out of your 48-hour hop-on/hop-off ticket, you may choose to start using it today.
Day2Sightseeing in VancouverVancouver, Canada
You have included the convenient 48-hour hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing pass, a great way to explore and get around the city. This flexible pass offers all the highlights of downtown Vancouver, including major attractions, and scenic points of interest. Choose to hop-off at any of the 28 stops, and hop-on again to continue the tour. Be sure to enjoy the incredible views from the top of the Harbour Centre Tower (admission to tower included). Highlights include English Bay, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Yaletown, Gastown, Chinatown, Robson Street, and the Entertainment District. Other tour options in Vancouver or day trips outside Vancouver are available, contact your Reservations Consultant for options.
Day3Explore VancouverVancouver, Canada
Today is free at leisure for you to explore Vancouver. Consider hiring a bike and exploring the Acquarium, or trying delicious cuisine downtown.
Day4Embark Sylvia EarleVancouver, Canada
Today we transfer to the pier for embarkation. After boarding, there's time to settle into your cabin before learning important safety briefings. This evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain's Welcome Dinner.
Days5-6British Columbia’s Inside PassageInside Passage, United States
Sail the southern stretches of British Columbia's Inside Passage, navigating through narrow straits and channels that are inhabited by vast pods of orca, while admiring views of cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, temperate forests and the abundant marine life.
Day7Metlakatla, Misty Fjords National MonumentMisty Fjords, United States
On Annette Island, experience the extraordinary history, art, and cultural traditions of the Tsimshian tribe of Metlakatla Indian Community, the only Indian Reserve in Alaska. You have a choice of excursions today.
Day8Wrangell, Thomas Bay, Baird GlacierWrangell, United States
Disembark in historic Wrangell, an important town that was founded by Russians in 1834, and which once thrived on fur and gold trading. Enjoy Wrangell's main highlights, including a visit to Petroglyph Beach to see ancient rock carvings, and a visit to the city museum to learn about Wrangell's colourful history. In the afternoon, anchor in Thomas Bay, a wilderness location shrouded in the mysterious local legends, for an exploration around Baird Glacier. You have a choice of excursions today.
Day9Frederick Sound, Endicott Arm, Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness AreaTracy Arm Fjord, United States
As we glide through Endicott Arm, enjoy views of snow-covered mountains and spot seals resting on 'bergy bits' that have calved from Dawes Glacier. Tides permitting, explore the narrow passage of Ford's Terror. Later, as we enter into Frederick Sound keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready for orca, feeding Steller's sea lions and humpback whales, famous for their acrobatic behaviour such as tail lobbing, pectoral slapping, breaching, and picturesque dives that showcase their massive flukes.
Day10Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness AreaTracy Arm Fjord, United States
Day11HainesHaines, United States
Nestled between two river valleys and beneath the craggy mountain peaks of the Chilkat Range lies Haines, the adventure capital of Southeast Alaska, and one of the best places in Alaska to hike, view wildlife and investigate the gold rush era history at Fort William H. Seward. You have a choice of excursions today.
Day12Expedition daysIcy Strait Point, United States
Enjoy the next two days exploring the narrow straits and small islands around Chichagof Island, searching for wildlife and admiring the superb scenery from hiking trails. The islands along Icy Strait, such as Inian Island, Point Adolphus, Elfin Cove and George Island, offer some of the best opportunities for Zodiac-cruising and kayaking experiences. Home to an abundance of all-star Alaskan wildlife, keep a look out for whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbour seals, bald eagles and brown bears. We attempt to navigate Peril Strait, which leads us from Chatham Strait to Sitka on the North Pacific coast, a navigation that if successful, rewards us with stunning scenery and genuine adventure.
Day13Sitka Sound, Saint Lazaria National Wildlife RefugeSitka, United States
Along the Gulf of Alaska, explore around Kruzof Island where brown bears are abundant and Mount Edgecumbe volcano looms in the horizon. Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge is home to 500,000 nesting seabirds and is excellent for Zodiac-cruising and kayaking when the weather is favourable. Alternatively, protected Sitka Sound offers abundant marine wildlife viewing opportunities.
Day14Disembark in Sitka and travel homeSitka, United States
Disembark in Sitka and transfer to the airport to continue your journey.