North Pacific Passage
|Operator:||Viking Ocean Cruises|
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Unravel the mysteries of Japan with local guides. Learn about life in a remote Russian city with one who calls it home. Cross the Bering Sea, tracing the legendary path of the first human migration to the Americas. In Alaska, cruise into glacier-strewn, mountain-ringed bays, stopping in former frontier towns to hear stories of trappers and lumberjacks. Overnight stays in Tokyo and Sapporo help you explore fully.
Day 1 Tokyo, Japan
Embark today and settle in for a fascinating journey that bridges the cultures of Asia and North America. Settle in to your veranda stateroom and explore your ship, perhaps browsing our onboard art collection. Later, head for dinner in our elegant main dining room, The Restaurant.
Day 2 Tokyo, Japan
Formerly known as Edo, todays Tokyo is the cultural and economic heart of Japan, residence of its emperor and a fascinating study in contrasts. Explore Tokyo on your own today. Perhaps you will explore Shinjuku Gyoen, a picturesque garden influenced by French, English and Japanese styles. Or ride the citys famous subway to the Ginza district, Tokyos glittering shopping district of neon lights, luxurious shops and bustling coffeehouses, anchored by the Wako store and its famous Hattori Clock Tower.
Day 3 Scenic Cruising: Tsugaru Strait
Cross the Tsugaru Strait today in northern Japan. More than a geographic boundary between Japans two largest islands, it was also declared a zoological border when English naturalist Thomas Blakiston observed animals related to northern Asian species on Hokkaid and others related to southern Asian species on Honsh. As you sail, enjoy Japanese-inspired cuisine at the World Caf and perhaps sip some sake, a Japanese rice wine, this evening.
Day 4 Sapporo (Otaru), Japan
Arrive in Sapporo for an overnight stay, allowing you ample time to immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of Japans northern island. An included city tour takes you to the Hokkaid Shrine, nestled in a deep forest, and to the Historical Village of Hokkaid. Step back in time as you explore this faithfully recreated 19th-century village and learn more about the citys days as a frontier town. Alternately, you may set out on a tour of Sapporos breweries or attend a special dinner with a geisha performance.
Day 5 Sapporo (Otaru), Japan
Spend the morning exploring more of Sapporo. Perhaps you will enjoy a breakfast of local delicacies at a nearby caf, or stroll through Odori Park with its beautiful fountains and flowers. Or you may choose to visit the Sapporo TV Tower, taking an elevator up to its 300-foot-high viewing platform to take in panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. Return on board for lunch and an afternoon departure.
Day 6-7 Cruise the Okhotsk Sea
Cruise the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk today. As you sail, perhaps you will enjoy a soothing spa treatment or learn about your next destination during a lecture. Mingle with new friends in The Living Room and later enjoy a cocktail over the strains of jazz at Torshavn.
Day 8 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
Cruise the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk today. As you sail, perhaps you will enjoy a soothing spa treatment or learn about your next destination during a lecture. Mingle with new friends in The Living Room and later enjoy a cocktail over the strains of jazz at Torshavn
Day 9 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
Explore Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky today, set amid picturesque hills. Take in views of Avacha Bay from a scenic overlook, and learn about the areas natural history and heritage at the cultural museum. Enjoy a panoramic drive, stopping to visit the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and concluding at Lenin Square, where you will have free time to explore. You might also venture into the rugged countryside to view the peninsulas soaring chain of volcanoes or visit a Koryak village to witness how native people have lived for centuries.
Day 10 Cruise the Bering Sea
Begin your crossing of the legendary Bering Sea today. Take in sweeping views in the Explorers Lounge, with its two-story panoramic windows. Or perhaps relax with a book in The Library, or share coffee or a drink with new friends in The Living Room.
Day 11 Cross the International Date Line
As you cross the International Date Line today, you will cruise into yesterday, gaining a day. Crossing this meridian is a time-honored travel milestone long marked by ceremony. You can raise a glass to the event, whether youre celebrating in the Explorers Lounge or on the Aquavit Terrace.
Day 12 Cruise the Bering Sea
Continue your Bering Sea crossing. This northern body is named for Danish explorer Vitus Bering, who under Russian service chartered these waters in 1728. Join an onboard lecture to learn about your upcoming Alaska ports today. This evening, listen to the strains of jazz over your favorite cocktail at Torshavn.
Day 13 Dutch Harbor, United States
Call in Dutch Harbor today, a charming town on the Unalaska Island of the Aleutians known to locals simply as Dutch. This was home to the Aleut people for millennia. The Russian fur trade reached its shores in the mid-18th century, and the United States set up military bases here during World War II. There will be time for you to go ashore and explore on your own, absorbing a rich island heritage in a picturesque island setting surrounded by snowcapped mountains.
Day 14 Scenic Cruising: Gulf of Alaska
Sail into the Gulf of Alaska today. You might enjoy a workout or yoga session in the Fitness Center or browse our onboard Viking Heritage exhibit as you cruise. Enjoy authentic Norwegian fare at Mamsens gourmet deli for lunch and freshly prepared regional dishes at The Restaurant for dinner.
Day 15 Kodiak, United States
Take in the magnificent setting of Kodiak, the major city on its namesake island. Inhabited by Alutiiq natives for seven millennia, it became the capital of Russian Alaska during the 18th century. Explore this historic city at your leisure today, perhaps visiting the Bear Town Market to shop for artisanal mementos. Alternately, you might join an exciting bear safari, perhaps spotting humpback whales during your flight to the Katmai coast.
Day 16 Seward, United States
Discover Seward today, a modest seaport named after Abraham Lincolns secretary of state, who defied public opinion to pursue the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The small city is also renowned as the starting point of the world-famous Iditarod National Historic Trail. Explore the Alaska SeaLife Center, where you will learn about the marine world that thrives right off the coast. If you wish, venture farther afield to Kenai Fjords National Park to visit Exit Glacier or capture breathtaking aerial views on an optional helicopter excursion.
Day 17 Valdez, United States
Call on charming Valdez today, taking in its beautiful setting along a deep fjord in Prince William Sound. Follow your own interests and learn more about this small fishing town during a self-guided exploration. Alternately, you may opt for an excursion to the magnificent Columbia Glacier, or perhaps take to the sky on a breathtaking helicopter tour of the Chugach Mountains.
Day 18 Scenic Cruising: Yakutat Bay
Today you will witness some of Alaskas most breathtaking and pristine scenery. Cruise into majestic Yakutat Bay to the point where it narrows to become Disenchantment Bay, so named by its Spanish discoverer who was hoping to find the fabled Northwest Passage and instead faced the imposing icy wall of Hubbard Glacier. Today, the spectacular glacier steadily advances into the water, blocking tributary fjords and slowly pushing ice and debris down from the St. Elias Mountains.
Day 19 Icy Strait Point, United States
Discover the old canning station at Icy Strait Point today. Fully restored by the Native American Tlingit community from nearby Hoonah, it is an exquisite time capsule revealing how locals once earned a living from the rich fishing grounds. Celebrate the Tlingit culture during a cultural presentation by locals in traditional ceremonial dress. You might also join a whale-watching excursion to spot some of the many creatures that flock to these food-rich waters
Day 20 Sitka, United States
Glimpse the Russian influence in Sitka, once the capital of Russian Alaska. Enjoy an enlightening panoramic tour of the city, learning more about the fur trade that first brought the Russians to its shores. Marvel at the beauty of Mt. Edgecumbe, a volcano that has lain dormant for millennia, and the verdant islands of Sitka Sound peppered prettily along the water. Admire Sitkas fascinating totem poles and immerse yourself in its heritage during your time in this scenic city.
Day 21 Ketchikan, United States
Discover Alaskas first city, as it is known to travelers coming by ship from the south. Ketchikan was home to the Tlingit long before the arrival of white settlers, as you will see in the many old and new totem poles that grace the town. Learn about Alaskas native legacy and discover the legends behind their designs during your included tour. If you would like to venture beyond the town, perhaps visit the Misty Fjords National Monument or Tongass National Forest, where seaplanes and 4×4 vehicles take you beyond the beaten path.
Day 22 Scenic Cruising: The Inside Passage
Take in the natural splendor of one of Alaskas most scenic waterways, the famed Inside Passage. You will navigate the Strait of Georgia, the Seymour Narrows and the Grenville Channel, reveling in an endless canvas of beauty. Sail past rain forests spilling down steep cliffs to the shore. Keep a watchful eye for orcas, dolphins and whales. Overhead, a wide array of birds take wing, from bald eagles and cormorants to several species of gulls, all feeding on the plentiful bounty of fish in the waters below.
Day 23 Vancouver, Canada
Arrive in Vancouver today, British Columbias cultural capital, in a scenic setting between mountains and sea. Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Vancouver to explore this vibrant city.