Alaska Insider | Ocean Victory Cruise

Sitka to Vancouver

(Victory Cruise Lines)

With small-ship cruising, the hidden wonders of Alaska are more accessible than ever before! Immerse yourself in the culture of remote indigenous tribes, explore the ice-cold waters by Zodiacs, and come face-to-face with Alaska wildlife. With an onboard team of expert biologists, this is truly an expedition of discovery!

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Package inclusions:

  • 1 night’s accommodations on land and an 11-night cruise
  • All onboard meals
  • Porter service of one bag per person at hotel
  • Taxes and gratuities for included services
  • Unlimited beverage package on board the ship
  • 5 shore excursions
  • Professional tour manager
  • 1 single occupancy comp
    (based on 25 full-fare passengers; airfare not included)
  • Travel show
  • Pre-departure meeting
  • 100 brochures/marketing materials
  • Complete document packet for each traveler
  • Special surprises

All tours are completely customizable. Contact us to discuss your group’s unique interests and needs!

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Day 1

Today we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Sitka, AK. Our voyage begins with an overnight stay in this beautiful city where you can listen to the chattering of eagles and drink in the scent of the eponymous Sitka spruce as you experience the joy of this place, once called the “Paris of the Pacific.”

Note: The airport location and airline will be confirmed no sooner than nine months before departure.

Day 2

Sitka is a place of many traditions. You’ll immediately recognize the distinctive Russian domes of the churches, and may assume this city has Russian origins. You’d be right, of course, it was formally founded by the Russian-American Company in 1799. But the heart of Sitka is much deeper. The downtown area of Sitka was settled by the Tlingit people more than 10,000 years ago. For even longer, it has been home to the wild creatures who make Alaska a place unlike any other. Our excursion today explores the best of Sitka. It includes a wildlife tour through the Alaska Raptor Center and a visit to the Sitka National Historical Park. The Raptor Center operates with bird care professionals assisted by volunteers to rescue birds, provide them with rehabilitative care, and hopefully release them back into the wild. Next, we’ll visit the Sitka National Historical Park which hosts totem lined trails, cultural exhibits, and carving rooms where Native Alaskan artisans demonstrate their totemic art form. After touring we will board the luxurious Ocean Victory for the next eleven nights. Built for exploration in earth’s most fragile places, the Ocean Victory uses the cleanest available fuel, offers unique access to wilderness waters, and provides an unparalleled platform for discovery!

(Dinner included)

Day 3

A towering totem pole, the largest ever carved from a single tree, stands sentinel over the ancient village of Kake on the tip of Kupreanof Island. The Kake tribe of the Tlingit people still observe a subsistent lifestyle here, the harshness of its demands belied by the warmth of their welcome. We’ll walk to a community hall to watch a carving or weaving demonstration and then be enthralled by a dance performance by local dancers. Up next is a stop at the one-tree totem to hear some history and a Tlingit legend from the pole. We are then free to walk or be shuttled around this authentic native community, visit the hatchery where bears often congregate, and also have a chance to browse and purchase handcrafted native art directly from the craftsmen. Then we are off to the adjacent Frederick Sound to explore by Zodiac with our team of naturalists.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 4

We will spend the night in the splendid Endicott Arm and Fjord Terror area. Our ship is uniquely equipped to stop here, in a secluded cove of the captain’s choice, without disturbing the serenity with mechanical sounds or interruptions. Stand on deck and experience the stillness. Hear the sounds of the waters and wilderness around you and be fully aware of where you are, who you are!

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 5

With two days in this area, we will have the opportunity to explore both Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm with equal curiosity. Both fjords are deep, narrow, and host to distinct marine environments we’ll explore with experts via a Zodiac or kayak.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 6

We’ll dock right beside Alaska’s largest home-based halibut fleet, who call this shallow, protected harbor home. These abundant waters and an endless supply of ice from nearby LeConte Glacier led Norwegian fisherman Peter Buschmann to build the region’s first cannery and invite his fishing countrymen to join him. Hence the town’s name and its strong Norwegian culture. Large cruise ships cannot come into Petersburg, so you’ll be among a privileged few to be in this charming, authentic Alaskan village. Our included tour will have us visiting the Sons of Norway Hall in downtown Petersburg and experiencing the culture and cuisine of Alaska’s Little Norway. Enjoy a snack of three Norwegian pastries, coffee and tea and then watch as the Leikkaring Dancers perform a selection of Norwegian dances.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 7

Today’s challenge is to keep track of the number of waterfalls we’ll encounter as we glide along Baranof Island’s beautiful “waterfall coast.” Some trickle, some thunder, some simply splash merrily to the sea. Exploration is the order of the day, and you choose your point of view – from any of Ocean Victory’s observation perspectives, or right at water level by kayak or Zodiac. This almost hidden shoreline is perfect for discovery. Watch for seals, deer, and tide pools ready to reveal their secret treasures.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 8

Wrangell is the perfect spot for an optional jet boat excursion to explore the dramatic Stikine River – what the Tlingit people call “the Great River.” The picturesque town of Wrangell is the gateway to the river, perched at the very tip of rugged Wrangell Island. We are most welcome here, as native Alaskans whose ancestors have lived on this island for thousands of years open their tribal home, their culture, and their magnificent river for our exploration. Take home your own petroglyph rubbing to remember your time among more than forty ancient petroglyphs on the 8,000-year-old site of Petroglyph Beach.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 9

The soaring granite cliffs that greet us in Misty Fjords are fifty to seventy million years old. Ancient glaciers scrubbed deep troughs through this wilderness, leaving a scenic geological wonder. New Eddystone Rock is a remnant of long ago volcanic activity that left the iconic basalt pillar as a testament to the power of this place. Humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, bears, wolves, moose, and hundreds of species of sea and shorebirds await as we spend most of today exploring the shoreline with our marine biologists from Cal Poly.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 10

Learn the history and culture of proetchikan as we are entertained by a lively city tour via motorcoach along Ketchikan’s busy waterfront. We’’ll pass by some of its most colorful landmarks through downtown Ketchikan and the Ward Cove area while viewing the bustling boat harbors, lush City Park, and beautiful Ketchikan Creek. Photograph the majestic totem poles that tell a silent story and shop at the Saxman Village Store for authentic Native-made items as well as curios. Then we’re off to Creek Street – Ketchikan’s infamous red-light district. This afternoon in Metlakatla, get an up-close, personalized view of these amazing, handcrafted totem poles located all around Metlakatla. The Totem Exploration Journey is a path that will guide us to fourteen of the standing totem poles. Along the path are several historical and cultural points of interest, including the William Duncan Memorial Church, the Metlakatla Indian Community Longhouse, and the Artist Village. We’ll end our time ashore at the community Long House for a presentation on the traditional building and a dance performance by a traditional Tsimshian dance group.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 11

In the spectacular setting of Fiordland, we’ll discover a kayaker’s paradise, with inlets, bays, islands, and fjords that reveal an intricate network of waterfalls and glaciers. Old-growth Sitka spruce and dense coastal western hemlock forests shelter black bears and grizzlies along the rugged coastline. This is a day that will stretch all our senses. Granite cliffs over 3,000 feet high drop straight into seemingly bottomless water and waterfalls cascade from dizzying heights into glacial inlets. We will explore unique coastal marine life in an area accessible only by sea!

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 12

Enjoy these picturesque waters as Ocean Victory takes us through a narrow maze of channels and passages from Vancouver Island to the northern edge of British Columbia. Whether in the Observation Lounge, on deck, or on the one-of-a-kind viewing platform, look for whales and dolphins in Queen Charlotte Sound and watch for bears as we glide along pristine island shorelines.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 13

We will disembark the ship in Vancouver, British Columbia, and transfer to the airport for our flight home.

(Breakfast included)