A Transpacific Voyage from Alaska to Japan: Lands and Islands of Mystery
Be among the few travelers to explore seldom-visited ports along the water and land bridges that connect East and West, as you journey from Alaska to Japan on the all-suite luxury Silver Shadow.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
I highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in a varied and unusual journey and a desire to learn more about regions in the Pacific Rim. A great combination of learning and adventure.”
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Save $1,500 per person when you book before March 3, 2015!
The Bering Sea was home to water and land bridges that connected East and West, serving as a highway for migration. Be among the few travelers to explore the spectacular natural beauty, wildlife, and fascinating cultures of this region, from Alaska to Japan. Experience the magnificent wilderness expanse of Alaska as you embark your ship in Seward and make stops at the fascinating towns of Homer and Kodiak. Call on the rugged yet inviting Aleutian Islands, including Alaska’s Dutch Harbor, then cross the Bering Sea, and marvel at the dramatic beauty of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, a World Heritage site. Cruise to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido to visit the coastal port of Kushiro and Hakodate before concluding in Tokyo. Throughout your voyage, archaeologist and geologist Peter Bobrowsky, as well as naturalists and other guest speakers provide engaging discussions on the region’s natural and cultural history. Plus, our flexible cruise program allows you to choose your shore excursions. An optional extension to Kyoto is also offered.
This unforgettable, 16-day transpacific voyage aboard the six-star, all-Suite M.V. Silver Shadow provides an unmatched small ship experience that offers many complimentary features aboard ship: all shipboard gratuities and port taxes, personal butler service, beverages in your suite and throughout the cruise, and even complimentary fitness classes.
Please note that there are Air Add-Ons from 53 major cities (see the Tour Cost page for details).
September 16 — Anchorage, Alaska U.S.
Depart your home city and arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, “the City of Lights and Flowers.”
Spend one night in Anchorage in a centrally located hotel.
September 17 — Anchorage/Seward/Embark m.v. Silver Shadow
After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a scenic rail transfer from Anchorage to Seward and embark the Six-Star m.v. Silver Shadow. (B,D)
September 18 — Homer
Call in charming, colorful Homer, at the end of Sterling Highway amid towering snow-capped mountains and blue glaciers on beautiful Kachemak Bay, a sheltered arm of lower Cook Inlet. People have inhabited the area for thousands of years, drawn to its diverse land, mild climate and abundant marine life. In the 1800s, homesteaders and coal miners comprised the area’s population until commercial fishing became the mainstay of the town. Today, Homer is known as the halibut fishing capital of the world, and is home to an eclectic mix of artists, fisherman and outdoor enthusiasts drawn by the wilderness setting adjacent to the clear-water bay and slow pace of life. (B,L,R,D)
September 19 — Kodiak
Arrive in Kodiak where twenty thousand years ago, most of the Kodiak Archipelago was covered by glaciers that left scenic peaks, fjord-like bays and wide U-shaped valleys that became ideally suited for abundant land and marine life. The Alutiiq, Kodiak’s first inhabitants, were drawn to the region by its plentiful fish and sea mammals. Russian trappers were led to Kodiak in pursuit of sea otter pelts and established the first Russian settlement here in 1784. When the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the economy shifted to whaling and salmon fishing. Today, the town is home to over 700 fishing vessels. Explore the island’s historic landmarks highlighting the Native American and Russian legacy and experience a wildness that is matched in few other places on Earth. (B,L,D)
September 20 — At Sea
Cruise along the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific. (B,L,R,D)
September 21 — Dutch Harbor, Alaska, U.S.
Arrive in Dutch Harbor, which has a diverse history where culture and commerce have coexisted since the mid-1700s. At the confluence of the North Pacific and the Bering Sea, it is the only natural deepwater port in the Aleutian Islands, and vessels from around the world call here each year. Since 1988, the town has led the nation in both volume and value of seafood caught with more than 800 million pounds of seafood processed annually for export. Beyond the fisheries at the center of town, you might choose to explore the terrain and wildlife of the island in the path of the indigenous Aleut people who have continuously inhabited these islands for close to 9,000 years. (B,L,D)
September 22 - 25 — Transpacific Crossing/International Date Line
Cruise the North Pacific Ocean and cross the International Date Line. On deck, look for marine wildlife such as Orca and Humpback whales, harbor seals, sea otters and one of the most dense populations of sea birds on Earth between port calls in Dutch Harbor, Alaska and Russia’s Petropavlovsk. Enjoy onboard lectures, live entertainment, Relais & Châteaux® cuisine, bridge tournaments, complimentary fitness classes, a casino, onboard spa treatments and stargazing. Or, simply wrap up in a blanket and relax on deck with a complimentary beverage of your choice while contemplating a panoramic view of the Pacific horizon. (B,L,D)
September 26 — Petropavlovsk, Russia
Petropavlovsk, at the edge of Avacha Bay, is one of Russia’s oldest towns in the Far East and has one of the world’s most beautiful settings surrounded by wilderness sanctuaries and snow-capped mountains. The city is the commercial center of Kamchatka. In 1740, the explorer Vitus Bering reached Avacha Bay, and from here embarked on his voyage that led to the discovery of the Aleutian Islands. The region has since played a strategic role in the defense of Russian territory and was closed off to the world for decades until after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, resulting in the preservation of its vast and unique wilderness including pristine volcanic areas, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kamchatka is inhabited by the largest brown bear population in the world; almost one third of the world’s Pacific salmon population; and the powerful Steller’s sea eagle, the world’s largest eagle. (B,L,D)
September 27 - 28 — At Sea
Cruise south traveling along the Kuril Islands, a volcanic archipelago stretching 810 miles from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to northern Japan.
September 29 — Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan
Visit the beautiful coastal port of Kushiro, located in the southeastern part of Hokkaido and facing the Pacific Ocean. Known as “the town of mist,” it has been a base for deep-sea fishing for over a century. The thriving Washo fish market sells fresh seafood such as saury, hairy crab, salmon, shishamo (a kind of smelt) and scallops. Nearby, the largest wetland in Japan, Kushiro Marshland, is renowned for its unique ecosystem, which can be observed directly from a wooden walkway. It is home to about 600 plant species, and offers habitats for migratory birds and the enormous Japanese crane, a traditional symbol of longevity and good fortune. (B,L,D)
September 30 — Hakodate
Located on the southern shores of the largely untamed isle of Hokkaido, Hakodate opened as an international port in 1859. The city retains the ambiance of a bygone era with old-fashioned streetcars running leisurely through the historic Motomachi district, which is laden with turn-of-the-century American and European architecture. The city’s highlights include a Russian Orthodox church built in the Byzantine style; an antebellum mansion which houses the city’s public hall; and Asa Ichi, a fish and vegetable market brimming with local Japanese culture.
October 1 — At Sea
Spend the day cruising the Pacific Ocean. (B,L,D)
October 2 — Tokyo/Disembark ship/U.S.
Disembark in Tokyo and continue on the Tokyo/Kyoto Post-Program Option, or transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Pre- and Post-Cruise Options and Optional Excursions are available at additional cost. Details will be included with your reservation confirmation.
All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.