Region Overviews: Alaska Travel Guide: Overview
More than just a state, the “Last Frontier” lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s last great wild places.
They call it the Inside Passage, but the beauty is all outdoors. You'll notice it as you kayak through protected waterways and hike in dense forests of hemlock and spruce. It's in the moment you first spot a brown bear ambling along the shore or a humpback whale breaching in icy pristine waters. It'll move you as our ship maneuvers through a massive fjord sailing toward a calving glacier. The beauty here is unlike anywhere else on Earth. This is the Alaska you've dreamed of.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Small Luxury Ship
Start Vancouver, Canada / End Juneau, Alaska
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
DAY 1 Our luxurious expedition ship departs Vancouver on a northward course into the majestic wilderness of the Inside Passage, one of the most celebrated cruising routes in the world | Enjoy the evening views as we glide between Vancouver Island and the dense spruce forests of mainland British Columbia.
DAY 2 A full day at sea brings the perfect opportunity to take in the incredible views of this marine landscape from the ship's open-air decks | Keep an eye out for wildlife along the shoreline and for orcas, humpbacks and porpoises in the water.
DAY 3-4 Wake up in Ketchikan, Alaska's First City and salmon capital of the world | Kayak within a secluded cove | Marvel at the immensity of the surrounding Tongass National Forest | Journey to Baranof Island and hike in a dense forest of hemlock, yellow cedar and Sitka spruce.
DAY 5 Voyage deep into the spectacular and remote Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness Area | Take in the dramatic views of waterfalls cascading down steep fjords | Eagles and arctic terns fly overhead while sea lions and whales frolic below | Listen for the roar of ice calving from South Sawyer Glacier.
DAY 6-8 Arrive in Skagway and hop aboard the historic narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, an engineering marvel | Trek through an old-growth rain forest valley to majestic Laughton Glacier | Greet the morning in the small town of Haines in the remote Chilkat Peninsula | Hike in a pristine wilderness where river salmon attract a large population of bald eagles | Disembark in Juneau, Alaska's state capital.
These luxurious and sleek vessels have an intimate French atmosphere and boast an open-air bar, three lounges and a team of master chefs crafting gourmet dishes. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes forest paths and alpine trails, ranging from lightly rolling to hilly with some steeper climbs. Slippery rocks and tree roots and muddy trails may be encountered.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on are like a floating luxury hotel, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. These ships are vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to just 150 passengers on our river trips and up to only 250 on our ocean trips.
We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests per group. Occasionally there may be more than one Backroads group onboard and you may cross paths with the other group on routes or at restaurants. When this occurs, each group will have their own dedicated onboard Backroads leaders.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Although our average group size is larger than a typical Backroads tour, our ship-based trips feel smaller, and much more intimate than a typical cruise. Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. Although our time ashore may be shorter than an average Backroads Hotel trip, you still have the option to select a route that matches your pace. In larger cities, you can decide to shift gears and opt for less active site-seeing activities. It's important to note, our time ashore can be limited due to changes in the nautical schedule and ship tendering. Being onboard a ship provides the benefit of being able to take advantage of ship amenities: fitness room, spa & sauna, swimming pool. In addition, there is the opportunity to relax in the inviting common spaces or the privacy of your room, complete with balcony. Your Trip Leaders will have information on the array of options to choose from. If having longer routes or more flexibility to explore is important for you, we recommend choosing one of our River Cruise or Hotel trips.If you love meeting new people, having more time to relax aboard the ship, and enjoy the ease of unpacking once, you'll love our approach to active ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
On our active cruises, we seek out diversity by including regionally authentic and inventive meals for onshore lunches, picnics and the occasional onshore dinner. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional for some, and less reflective of the region than on Backroads Hotel trips.
In contrast to our Hotel trips, which typically have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories to choose from. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast so book as early as possible if this is important to you.