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Seward (Anchorage, Alaska) to San Diego (California)

22 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 Seward (Anchorage), Alaska
It is hard to believe that a place as beautiful as Seward exists. Surrounded on all sides by Kenai Fjords National Park, Chugach National Forest, and Resurrection Bay, Seward offers all the quaint realities of a small railroad town with the bonus of jaw-dropping scenery. This little town of about 2,750 citizens was founded in 1903, when survey crews arrived at the ice-free port and began planning a railroad to the Interior. Since its inception, Seward has relied heavily on tourism and commercial fishing.
 
Day 2 Cape St.Elias, Kayak Island, Alaska - Icy Bay
Cape St Elias is the southwest end of Kayak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. It is separated from the mainland by a channel 4 miles wide. The island, named by Lt. Sarichef of the Russian Navy in 1826 because its outline resembles the shape of an Eskimo skin canoe, is 20 miles long and only 2 miles wide and covered in dense rainforest. The cape itself was named by Russian explorer Vitus Bering on July 20, 1741 in honour of St. Elias, whose saint's day is July 20. The lighthouse, located at the southernmost tip, is a National Historic Landmark. It was built in 1916, and has been automated since 1974. It has been, and continues to be, an indispensable navigational aid along the shipping lanes from the contiguous American states and South-eastern Alaska to Cordova, Valdez, Seward, and Anchorage.
 
Icy Bay, located on the south eastern edge of the Gulf of Alaska, is a relatively new geographical feature that has formed within the past 100 years. As recently as the early 1900’s, the glacier front reached all the way to the Gulf of Alaska. However, the rapid retreat of the three major glaciers in the area (the Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall Glaciers) has resulted in the present-day bay, which is over 30 miles long. The surrounding scenery is stunning, with Mount Elias (at over 18,000 feet) towering high on the horizon. A long, sand spit protrudes into the bay at the entrance and there is beach on either side.
 
Day 3 Cruise Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.
 
Day 4 Elfin Covea, Alaska - Cruise Point Adolphus
Elfin Cove sits snugly on the southern shore of Cross Sound, which leads in eastwards to the Inside Passage. Northwards and across the Sound from the small community lies Glacier Bay National Park and the Fairweather Mountain range. Elfin Cove is a quaint little harbor clustered with attractive timber houses built into the wooded hillsides on stilts. The population swells to about 200 during the summer months, from a rather meager 6 or so during the snowy and isolated winters. Its commercial hub consists of a Post Office, mini-Museum, a General Store, the Coho Bar and numerous sports fishing businesses. In the summer months Rufous-backed Hummingbirds visit feeders scattered around the community.
 
During the evening Silver Explorer will be near Point Adolphus, a well-known area for whale watching. Enjoy an aperitif while you are on the outer decks, looking for humpback whales as well as orcas, or simply enjoying the landscape.
 
Day 5 Sitka, Alaska
It's hard not to like Sitka, with its eclectic blend of Alaska Native, Russian, and American history and its dramatic and beautiful open-ocean setting. This is one of the best Inside Passage towns to explore on foot, with such sights as St. Michael's Cathedral, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Castle Hill, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Alaska Raptor Center topping the town's must-see list. Sitka was home to the Kiksádi clan of the Tlingit people for centuries prior to the 18th-century arrival of the Russians under the direction of territorial governor Alexander Baranof, who believed the region was ideal for the fur trade. The governor also coveted the Sitka site for its beauty, mild climate, and economic potential; in the island's massive timber forests he saw raw materials for shipbuilding. Its location offered trading routes as far west as Asia and as far south as California and Hawaii. In 1799 Baranof built St. Michael Archangel—a wooden fort and trading post 6 miles north of the present town. Strong disagreements arose shortly after the settlement. The Tlingits attacked the settlers and burned their buildings in 1802. Baranof, however, was away in Kodiak at the time. He returned in 1804 with a formidable force—including shipboard cannons—and attacked the Tlingits at their fort near Indian River, site of the present-day 105-acre Sitka National Historical Park, forcing many of them north to Chichagof Island. By 1821 the Tlingits had reached an accord with the Russians, who were happy to benefit from the tribe's hunting skills. Under Baranof and succeeding managers, the Russian-American Company and the town prospered, becoming known as the Paris of the Pacific. The community built a major shipbuilding and repair facility, sawmills, and forges, and even initiated an ice industry, shipping blocks of ice from nearby Swan Lake to the booming San Francisco market. The settlement that was the site of the 1802 conflict is now called Old Sitka. It is a state park and listed as a National Historic Landmark. The town declined after its 1867 transfer from Russia to the United States, but it became prosperous again during World War II, when it served as a base for the U.S. effort to drive the Japanese from the Aleutian Islands. Today its most important industries are fishing, government, and tourism.
 
Day 6 Wrangel, Alaska
A small, unassuming timber and fishing community, Wrangell sits on the northern tip of Wrangell Island, near the mouth of the fast-flowing Stikine River—North America's largest undammed river. The Stikine plays a large role in the life of many Wrangell residents, including those who grew up homesteading on the islands that pepper the area. Trips on the river with local guides are highly recommended as they provide, basically, an insider's guide to the Stikine and a very Alaskan way of life. Like much of Southeast, Wrangell has suffered in recent years from a declining resource-based economy. But locals are working to build tourism in the town. Bearfest, which started in 2010, celebrates Wrangell's proximity to Anan Creek, where you can get a close-up view of both brown and black bears. Wrangell has flown three different national flags in its time. Russia established Redoubt St. Dionysius here in 1834. Read more
 
Day 7 Behm Canal, Alaska - Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords)
Separating Revillagigedo Island from the Alaskan mainland, the roughly 100 miles long Behm Canal is located within the Tongass National Forest. Already charted in 1793 by George Vancouver, the Behm Canal is the western border of Misty Fjords National Monument. Tongass National Forest extends over 16.9 million acres and is the largest wilderness area in Alaska’s forests and the second largest forest in the nation. It has been described as an almost untouched coastal ecosystem with outstanding geological features, and Misty Fiords National Monument is sometimes called “The Yosemite of the North”.
 
Rudyerd Bay is one of the highlights of the Misty Fiords, 40 miles east of Ketchikan, along the Inside Passage. This fjord cuts through steep-sided mountainous terrain and extends far into the mainland. The scenery is stunning, with dramatic thousand-foot waterfalls plunging down rainforest covered cliffs to the water below.
 
Day 8 Metlakatla, Alaska
Since the late 19th century, Metlakatla has been the major settlement of the Metlakatla Indian Community of the federally recognized Annette Islands Reserve, the only remaining reservation in Alaska. It is located on Annette Island, and in 2010 had 1,405 residents. Membership in the community is primarily by lineage and is comprised primarily of Tsimshian people. Metlakatla comes from a Tsimshian word meaning "Salt Water Passage." In 1886, William Duncan, an English tannery employee and lay member of the Church Missionary Society, along with a devoted group of Tsimshian followers, decided to leave his home village in British Colombia. Duncan went to Washington, D.C., asked the U.S. government to give his group land in Alaska. The U.S. gave them Annette Island after a Tsimshian search committee in seagoing canoes discovered its calm bay, accessible beaches and abundant fish. The group arrived in 1887 and built a settlement laid out in a grid pattern like a European town. They named the town New Metlakatla, after the town they had left behind, but later dropped the "New."
 
Day 9 Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Canada
Just 40 mi (66 km) south of the Alaskan border, Prince Rupert is the largest community on British Columbia's north coast. Set on Kaien Island at the mouth of the Skeena River and surrounded by deep green fjords and coastal rain forest, Prince Rupert is rich in the culture of the Tsimshian, people who have been in the area for thousands of years. As the western terminus of Canada's second transcontinental railroad and blessed with a deep natural harbor, Prince Rupert was, at the time of its incorporation in 1910, poised to rival Vancouver as a center for trans-Pacific trade. This didn't happen, partly because the main visionary behind the scheme, Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad president Charles Hays, went down with the Titanic on his way back from a financing trip to England. Prince Rupert turned instead to fishing and forestry. A port of call for both BC and Alaska ferries, but relatively new to cruise ships, this community of 15,000 retains a laid-back, small-town air.
 
Day 10 Klemtu (British Columbia), Canada
 
Day 11 Alert Bay (British Columbia) - Seymour Narrows (British Columbia), Canada
Alert Bay is a small village on Cormorant Island, with approximately 1,300 residents. More than half are First Nations people. The settlement was named in 1860 in honour of the Royal Navy ship HMS Alert, which conducted survey operations in the area. The traditional Kwakwaka’wakw people of Alert Bay have endured a difficult history of devastating foreign diseases and failed government policies of assimilation. Today there is a revival of their traditions. One of the most well-known features in Alert Bay is the 173 foot wooden carved totem pole, claimed by some to be the tallest totem pole in the world.
 
Sailing through the Seymour Narrows is an exciting adventure. This five kilometer long passage is notorious for strong, turbulent tidal currents that can reach speeds of 15 knots and have dangerous conditions such as whirlpools and overfalls. For most of its length, the channel is only about 750 m wide. Captain George Vancouver, an English officer of the Royal Navy who explored this region of the northwestern North America Pacific Coast during his 1791–95 expedition, described the Seymour Narrows as "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world." 
 
Day 12 Nanaimo (British Columbia), Canada
Nanaimo is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, about 70.2 miles (113 kilometres) northwest of Victoria and 34.1 miles (55 kilometres) west of Vancouver. The 'Harbour City' of Nanaimo is separated by the Strait of Georgia, and linked to Vancouver via the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries terminal in West Vancouver. As the site of the main ferry terminal, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the northern part of the island, such as Tofino, Comox Valley, Parksville, Campbell River, Port Alberni, and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Offshore islands accessible via Nanaimo include Newcastle Island, Protection Island, Gabriola Island, Valdes Island, and many other Gulf Islands. Nanaimo is also the headquarters of the Regional District of Nanaimo.
 
Day 13 Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is a delicious juxtaposition of urban sophistication and on-your-doorstep wilderness adventure. The mountains and seascape make the city an outdoor playground for hiking, skiing, kayaking, cycling, and sailing—and so much more—while the cuisine and arts scenes are equally diverse, reflecting the makeup of Vancouver's ethnic (predominantly Asian) mosaic. Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, and it's easy for visitors to see why. It's beautiful, it's outdoorsy, and there's a laidback West Coast vibe. On the one hand, there's easy access to a variety of outdoor activities, a fabulous variety of beaches, and amazing parks. At the same time, the city has a multicultural vitality and cosmopolitan flair. The attraction is as much in the range of food choices—the fresh seafood and local produce are some of North America's best—as it is in the museums, shopping, and nightlife. Vancouver's landscaping also adds to the city's walking appeal. In spring, flowerbeds spill over with tulips and daffodils while sea breezes scatter scented cherry blossoms throughout Downtown; in summer office workers take to the beaches, parks, and urban courtyards for picnic lunches and laptop meetings. More than 8 million visitors each year come to Vancouver, Canada's third-largest metropolitan area. Because of its peninsula location, traffic flow is a contentious issue. Thankfully, Vancouver is wonderfully walkable, especially in the downtown core. The North Shore is a scoot across the harbor, and the rapid-transit system to Richmond and the airport means that staying in the more affordable ’burbs doesn't have to be synonymous with sacrificing convenience. The mild climate, exquisite natural scenery, and relaxed outdoor lifestyle keep attracting residents, and the number of visitors is increasing for the same reasons. People often get their first glimpse of Vancouver when catching an Alaskan cruise, and many return at some point to spend more time here.
 
Day 14 Victoria (British Colombia), Canada
Victoria, the capital of a province whose license plates brazenly label it "The Best Place on Earth," is a walkable, livable seaside city of fragrant gardens, waterfront paths, engaging museums, and beautifully restored 19th-century architecture. In summer, the Inner Harbour—Victoria's social and cultural center—buzzes with visiting yachts, horse-and-carriage rides, street entertainers, and excursion boats heading out to visit pods of friendly local whales. Yes, it might be a bit touristy, but Victoria's good looks, gracious pace, and manageable size are instantly beguiling, especially if you stand back to admire the mountains and ocean beyond. At the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria dips slightly below the 49th parallel. That puts it farther south than most of Canada, giving it the mildest climate in the country, with virtually no snow and less than half the rain of Vancouver. The city's geography, or at least its place names, can cause confusion. Just to clarify: the city of Victoria is on Vancouver Island (not Victoria Island). The city of Vancouver is on the British Columbia mainland, not on Vancouver Island. At any rate, that upstart city of Vancouver didn't even exist in 1843 when Victoria, then called Fort Victoria, was founded as the westernmost trading post of the British-owned Hudson's Bay Company. Victoria was the first European settlement on Vancouver Island, and in 1868 it became the capital of British Columbia. The British weren't here alone, of course. The local First Nations people—the Songhees, the Saanich, and the Sooke—had already lived in the areas for thousands of years before anyone else arrived. Their art and culture are visible throughout southern Vancouver Island. You can see this in private and public galleries, in the totems at Thunderbird Park, in the striking collections at the Royal British Columbia Museum, and at the Quw'utsun'Cultural and Conference Centre in nearby Duncan. Spanish explorers were the first foreigners to explore the area, although they left little more than place names (Galiano Island and Cordova Bay, for example). The thousands of Chinese immigrants drawn by the gold rushes of the late 19th century had a much greater impact, founding Canada's oldest Chinatown and adding an Asian influence that's still quite pronounced in Victoria's multicultural mix. Despite its role as the provincial capital, Victoria was largely eclipsed, economically, by Vancouver throughout the 20th century. This, as it turns out, was all to the good, helping to preserve Victoria's historic downtown and keeping the city largely free of skyscrapers and highways. For much of the 20th century, Victoria was marketed to tourists as "The Most British City in Canada," and it still has more than its share of Anglo-themed pubs, tea shops, and double-decker buses. These days, however, Victorians prefer to celebrate their combined indigenous, Asian, and European heritage, and the city's stunning wilderness backdrop. Locals do often venture out for afternoon tea, but they're just as likely to nosh on dim sum or tapas. Decades-old shops sell imported linens and tweeds, but newer upstarts offer local designs in hemp and organic cotton. And let's not forget that fabric prevalent among locals: Gore-Tex. The outdoors is ever present here. You can hike, bike, kayak, sail, or whale-watch straight from the city center, and forests, beaches, offshore islands, and wilderness parklands lie just minutes away. A little farther afield, there's surfing near Sooke, wine touring in the Cowichan Valley, and kayaking among the Gulf Islands.
 
Day 15 Seattle, Washington
Seattle is a scenic seaport city in western Washington, situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east. It is the largest city in Washington. Five pioneer families from Illinois first settled the area in 1851, and named the town after a friendly Suquamish Indian chief. It was incorporated as a city in 1869, and grew quickly after the Great Northern Railway arrived in 1893, especially during the Alaska Gold Rush of 1897. When the Panama Canal opened in 1914, Seattle became a major Pacific port of entry, and today it is the region's commercial and transportation hub and the centre of manufacturing, trade, and finance, with an estimated 684,451 residents as of 2015.
 
Day 16 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
Day 17 Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon’s largest city is located at the merging of the Williamette and Columbia Rivers. Two groups of indigenous Chinook peoples inhabited this area long before American pioneers started arriving in the 1800’s. Once the Oregon Trail, a 2,170 mile historic east–west, large-wheeled wagon route connecting Oregon to the Missouri River, opened in the 1830’s, large numbers of settlers started arriving. Portland’s original name was "Stumptown" because so many trees had been cut down to allow for development. Two men owned the land - Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts and Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. They decided to rename it, but disagreed about the new name. They wanted to name it after their respective hometowns, so they settled this disagreement with a coin toss, which Pettygrove won. Today, Portland is ranked the 26th most populous city in the United States, and is especially known for all its bridges, many of which are historic landmarks.
 
Day 18 Longview, Washington
 
Day 19 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
Day 20 San Francisco, California
With its myriad hills and spectacular bay, San Francisco beguiles with natural beauty, vibrant neighborhoods, and contagious energy. From the hipster Mission District to the sassy Castro, from bustling Union Square to enduring Chinatown, this dynamic town thrives on variety. The city makes it wonderfully easy to tap into the good life, too: between San Francisco's hot arts scene, tempting boutiques, parks perfect for jogging or biking, and all those stellar locavore restaurants and cocktail bars, it's the ultimate destination for relaxed self-indulgence.
 
Day 21 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
Day 22 San Diego, California
San Diego is a vacationer's paradise, complete with idyllic year-round temperatures and 70 miles of pristine coastline. Recognized as one of the nation's leading family destinations, with SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and the San Diego Zoo, San Diego is equally attractive to those in search of art, culture, world-class shopping, and culinary exploration. San Diego's many neighborhoods offer diverse adventures: from the tony boutiques in La Jolla to the culinary delights in the northern suburb of Del Mar; from the authentic European charm of Little Italy to the nouveau-chic of the downtown Gaslamp Quarter, each community adds flavor and flair to San Diego's personality. California's entire coastline enchants, but the state's southernmost region stands apart when it comes to sand, surf, and sea. Step out of the car and onto the beach to immediately savor its allure: smell the fresh salty air, feel the plush sand at your feet, hear waves breaking enticingly from the shore, and take in the breathtaking vistas. San Diego's sandstone bluffs offer spectacular views of the Pacific as a palette of blues and greens: there are distant indigo depths, emerald coves closer to shore, and finally, the mint-green swirls of the foamy surf. On land, the beach is silvery brown, etched with wisps of darker, charcoal-color sand and flecked with fool's gold. San Diego's beaches have a different vibe from their northern counterparts in neighboring Orange County and glitzy Los Angeles farther up the coast. San Diego is more laid-back and less of a scene. Cyclists on cruiser bikes whiz by as surfers saunter toward the waves and sunbathers bronze under the sun, be it July or November. Whether you're seeking a safe place to take the kids or a hot spot to work on your tan, you'll find a beach that's just right for you. La Jolla Shores and Mission Bay both have gentle waves and shallow waters that provide safer swimming for kids; whereas the high swells at Black's and Tourmaline attract surfers worldwide. If you're looking for dramatic ocean views, Torrey Pines State Beach and Sunset Cliffs provide a desertlike chaparral backdrop, with craggy cliffs overlooking the ocean below. Beaches farther south in Coronado and Silver Strand have longer stretches of sand that are perfect for a contemplative stroll or a brisk jog. Then there are those secluded, sandy enclaves that you may happen upon on a scenic drive down Highway 101.
Map
All This Included
Shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers, Alaska’s Inside Passage boasts wildlife-filled fjords and lush island scenery. Join the ranks of the truly well-travelled and visit historic fishing villages, and meet the Tsimshian - the native people of Metlakatla. Then we travel south to the Willamette Valley, home to over 500 vineyards. Finally, take a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge and leave your heart in San Francisco.
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Spacious suites
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard gratuities
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Cloud
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available. 
  • Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.