NEW YORK, NY, April 2013 – Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is continuing its tradition of delivering some of the rarest and most fascinating natural and cultural experiences available anywhere on land and sea today with “A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia and Haida Gwaii.”
The 15-day/14-night voyage begins in Seattle, and will feature the travel world’s most comprehensive expedition in the Pacific Northwest. The adventure begins with a cruise through British Columbia’s forested Gulf Islands, where guests can search for orca whales or embark on their own kayak adventures. From there the voyage heads along the Inside Passage of British Columbia, where things get even wilder thanks to an abundance of whales, dolphins, bears and other wildlife, with countless bays and inlets just waiting to be explored by kayak.
Cultural and natural discovery are next on the destination menu with a rare visit to Haida Gwaii, an island chain so rich in biodiversity that it is known as the “Canadian Galapagos.” Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii is only a 45-minute flight from Vancouver, but feels like another world altogether. It is a place where, for hundreds of years, culture has meant turning toward nature instead of away from it. Home to the world’s largest black bears, Haida Gwaii’s waters are teeming with life, and there are at least thirty-nine subspecies of animals and plants found nowhere else in the world.
Thanks to special permission from the Gwaii Haanas Archipelago Management Board (comprised of representatives from the Haida Nation and the Canadian Government) National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird will be the first ships carrying more than 22 passengers to visit the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in more than two decades. In this wild region, guests will visit the ancestral Haida village of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or K'una (Skedans), see an original collection of ancient totem poles at the Haida Heritage Museum, and learn about the spiritual beliefs and respect for nature integral to Haida culture.
Lindblad guests will get a rare glimpse into the art, history and culture of the region thanks to two onboard Haida interpreters, meet local artisans in the ancestral village of Old Massett, and a traditional dance demonstration and feast.
From there it is on to Alaska, as guests cruise past glacially-carved cliffs and kayak in the stillness of Misty Fiord’s forested backwaters. Alaskan wildlife will again be on full display as the expedition heads into Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait, where naturalists will join guests on deck to take in the antics of orca and humpback whales and Steller sea lions. Or, if it is some solid ground you are looking for, you can head for the shore and enjoy a hike along a peaceful forest trail, or a visit to the fishing village of St. Petersburg, known as “Alaska’s Little Norway.”
The spectacular fjords of Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness feature a range of breathtaking sights including waterfalls cascading from glacially carved walls, an up-close look at the majestic Dawes or South Sawyer Glacier and a chance to head out on a Zodiac cruise that will deliver an unbeatable view of sculpted icebergs.
The dynamic culture and history of Alaska comes alive in a visit to Juneau and the Alaska State Museum, plus a chance to get your own front row seat to the ice-carved valley of Mendenhall Glacier.
Thanks to a special park permit, guests will get to spend an entire day in the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park. There, amid the enormous structures and expansive wilderness, they can learn about the legend of the lore of the region by a native Tlingit interpreter. Or they can be on the lookout for Steller sea lions, puffins and mountain goats while basking in the stillness of the area – a stillness sometimes broken by the thunderous sounds of tons of ice calving into the sea.
After a day featuring kayak and hiking opportunities among the forested islands of southeast Alaska, the scene shifts to beautiful and culturally-rich Sitka. This final day excursion comes complete with the picture-perfect Saint Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and the Raptor Rehabilitation Center for close encounters with eagles.
Throughout the voyage, learn from the most knowledgeable and experienced expedition team of naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist who reveals vibrant, seldom-seen marine life.
Want to go deeper into geography photography? The September 6, 2014 voyage is a specially designated photo expedition with renowned National Geographic Photographer and marine biologist, Flip Nicklin, one of the world’s leading photographers of whales. The voyage will feature outings timed to take advantage of the best light—aboard Zodiacs for up-close encounters with marine mammals, or on photo walks. Plus, unique “share and learn” opportunities like onboard photo clinics, one-to-one critiques and inclusive laptop gallery events to see each other's shots.
On the May 4, 2014 departure, Jon Waterhouse, National Geographic Fellow and the executive director of British Columbia's Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC), an international treaty organization comprised of seventy Native Tribes and First Nations, will share his passion for the biodiversity and cultural riches of Alaska and British Columbia.
A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia and Haida Gwaii will feature departures from Seattle on the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion on May 3 and 4, 2014 with special photo expeditions with a National Geographic photographer departing on September 6 and 7, 2014 and traveling in reverse order from Sitka to Seattle. Rates begin at $9,990 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
For more information or to book your Lindblad Expeditions experience today, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION or call your travel agent.