Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Juneau. Arrive in Juneau by 3:00 PM. A transfer is included from Juneau International Airport to the Westmark Baranof Hotel, where a Tauck hospitality room awaits. At 3:30 guests will be transported from the Westmark Baranof Hotel to Le Soléal. Dinner is served onboard.
Gold rush Skagway & White Pass
Awaken in Skagway to a day steeped in Gold Rush lore. Exploring the National Landmark District of Skagway and White Pass, take an antique streetcar tour of the frontier city and a round-trip excursion by train and coach to White Pass Summit and on to Fraser, British Columbia. Following the original White Pass trail, hear stories of brave fortune-seekers pursuing their dreams in the wildest of the Wild West. All the while travel through an arresting terrain of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls so challenging that it's hard to imagine how any human being ever survived to reap a golden reward. Back in Skagway have lunch onboard, or independently in town, and, in the afternoon, experience the city on your own. A guided tour with a National Park Ranger and shopping are just two of the activities you might choose to enjoy. As you sail for Haines tonight, join your Captain for a welcome dinner onboard ship.
Eagle refuge & ancient Klukwan
Anchor in Haines, dress warmly, and pack extra socks for a day that starts with a drive along Haines Highway - a National Scenic Byway lined with deep green rainforest and snow-topped mountains - to the Chilkat River. There board a float* for a gentle ride through the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve - the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world; the river is filled with salmon, one of their favorite snacks. Dock in remote Klukwan for a visit to the ancient Chilkat Indian Village, where you'll take in a Tlingit tribal performance and gain insights into local culture and customs. Tour a traditional longhouse; a salmon smokehouse and drying house; and a shed where artists deftly wield a Stone Age tool called an adze to carve totems and canoes. Before your "floating hotel" cruises on to Tracy Arm, spend an afternoon pursuing your own interests in Haines; you might want to poke around the shops, visit the National Historic Landmark Fort Seward, or check out the Hammer Museum, "the world's first museum dedicated to preserving man's first tool, the hammer."
Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord
Hit the decks with your camera ready for one of the highlights of your Alaska cruise: a day in the Tracy Arm Fjord. The drama of the sheer cliffs and towering waterfalls is rivaled only by the massive chunks of ice scattered across the water, like so many ice sculptures. Calved from the glacier at the head of the fjord, they come in every shade of blue and white - even seemingly florescent. Don't be surprised to find families of seals sunning themselves on the ice - and noting your arrival with interest. Also keep an eye open for orcas and, on the rugged cliffs, mountain goats. Soaking it all in aboard the yacht, get an insider's view of this special corner of the wilderness from presentations by Tauck's onboard naturalist.
"Little Norway" - Petersburg
You might catch sight of a humpback whale in Frederick Sound on your way this morning to the port of Petersburg, nicknamed "Little Norway" because Petersburg's first European settlers were Norwegian fishermen. Tender ashore to the small-ships-only harbor (an advantage of cruising on your Tauck small ship is its ability to anchor here, while bigger ships simply can't). This picturesque community boasts a bustling waterfront lined with working fishing boats and faded boathouses. On a tour of old Petersburg, discover the well-kept homes and businesses along Sing Lee Alley, many of which are decorated with floral rosemaling - a Norwegian folk art. Much of the street is built on pilings over Hammer Slough - a great photo opp - including the 1912 Sons of Norway Lodge, on the National Register of Historic Places. There enjoy a dance performance and coffee and pastries before getting to know the local fishing industry on a guided waterfront walk. Use an underwater camera to view undersea harbor life - a Tauck exclusive; this afternoon the camera is reserved just for Tauck guests.
Totem Poles & Rainforest Sanctuary in Ketchikan
Welcome to Ketchikan, Alaska, nestled on the bluffs of the southwestern coast of Revillagigedo Island. Founded as a salmon cannery site and once known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," this lively port boasts historic Creek Street, lined with an engaging mix of galleries, restaurants, artisan shops, and bookstores. Drive to Saxman Native Village, home of what may be the world's largest collection of standing Native American totem poles - each a story unto itself. Get to know more about tribal traditions - and maybe learn a few dance steps - in the clan house. Take a short drive up the coast to rustic Herring Cove for a tour by a local naturalist at the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. Walking the trail through this dense forest of hemlock, spruce, and Alaska cedar, with its mossy floor, berries, and wild flowers, gives you a chance to spot the local residents, including flocks of singing birds. Then it's on to the historic Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill to meet a master totem carver, followed by a look at a salmon hatchery.
Cruising the Coast of British Columbia
Spend a full day aboard your handsome yacht heading south in Canada's Inside Passage. As you wend your way along the serpentine line of glacier-forged fjords at the foot of the mountains edging British Columbia, you'll pass the Great Bear Rainforest; miles of untouched wilderness; the 1918 ghost town of Butedale (weather permitting); and, if you're lucky, whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Today is also the perfect opportunity to enjoy the many comforts and amenities aboard your Tauck small ship. Spa anyone? All restaurant and bar drinks are complimentary, including wine, beer, and spirits. Cap off your last day at sea with the Captain's Farewell Dinner tonight.
Tour Ends: Vancouver. Disembark this morning in Vancouver. Tauck will provide transfers from your Tauck small ship to Vancouver International Airport or to your post-stay hotel, Fairmont Pacific Rim. Flights should not be booked earlier than 1:30 PM. Allow at least two hours for flight check-in.