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17 Aug 2012
Southbound Alaska Cruise
Celebrity Millennium - 7 nights ex Seward, USA
Get away on the Celebrity Millennium enjoying 7 relaxing nights on the Southbound Alaska Cruise to Alaska & US Pacific Coast. The voyage starts out from Seward and calls into 8 ports in 2 countries before returning to Vancouver. Your 4.5 star voyage from Celebrity Cruises has 10 forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Fri 17 Aug 2012||Seward, USA||8.00pm|
| Ice-free the year round, Seward was a natural choice as the ocean terminal and supply centre during the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Fishing is great all year round and not surprisingly Seward is famous for its Annual Silver Salmon Derby, the biggest fishing event in Alaska. Also very well known is its Fourth of July celebration that features a gruelling foot race to the top of Mt. Marathon. The small coastal town itself is known for its scenic views, several fantastic trips and tours as well as its fine selection of shops.
Fascinating things to do include: a day trip to the Kenai Fjords National Park with its abundant marine life and awesome glaciers, and finding out what lives beneath the surface of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound by visiting the Sea Life Centre that is financed in part by the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement. Other options include taking an exciting Dog Sled ride at Exit Glacier, or kayaking at Fox Island.
A very popular option includes a visit to Anchorage, which is connected to Seward by both a very scenic train trip as well as the highway that is a national scenic byway. In Anchorage visitors find a delightful city, friendly people, great shopping and good restaurants. Above all if there be sure to include a visit to its amazing Anchorage Museum that presents a fantastic view of the history of the area.
|2||Sat 18 Aug 2012||Hubbard Glacier, USA||2.00pm||6.00pm|
| Marching to the beat of a different drum, Hubbard Glacier is advancing while the rest of Alaska's ice rivers are receding rapidly. In 1986 and again in 2002 the glacier galloped forward, closing off Russell Fjord to create an entirely new lake. These phenomena quickly passed and were followed by short retreats, but the glacier is once again on the move and Russell Fjord is headed for another spell as an inland body of water. Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, extending over 120 km from its source on Mt Logan in the Yukon.
As Hubbard advances it creaks and groans as it moves and is a very actively calving glacier. This makes for some exciting moments when the huge chunks of ice crash into the bay creating a wonderful sound known locally as 'white thunder'. The sail up to Hubbard is both leisurely and beautiful. Small ice bergs, sometimes with sea birds or seals resting on them, float in the water that is glacial blue. Seals calve on the ice bergs here as Orca whales do not visit the bay.
This huge white and ice blue glacier is lit by the most amazing, unpolluted day light you have ever seen. The ship gets up so close you can pick out the colours and lines all along the Glacier. Then are heard massive cracks, like gunshots, as avalanches and ice drop off the Glacier itself. It is truly an amazing once in a lifetime sight, possibly a Wonder of the World.
|3||Sun 19 Aug 2012||Juneau, USA||9.00am||9.00pm|
| Built on a narrow shelf between Mt. Juneau and the deep waters of Gastineau Channel, Juneau is Alaska's state capital and a rewarding destination for glacier viewing. Juneau is a blend of fishermen and teachers, legislators and artists, homemakers and lawyers, union workers and frontier entrepreneurs, students and Native elders, all sharing an active port city within an inspiring wilderness setting. Visitors often take the Mount Roberts Tramway, an aerial tramway, that takes them from the cruise ship docks up to the SW ridge of Mount Roberts, providing great scenic views of Juneau and the Gastineau Channel. Twenty kilometres out of town is the Mendenhall glacier, a must-see.
In front of the federal building, the large fountain with its bronze statue of pelicans, which are not indigenous to Alaska, is most appealing. Juneau is home to the Alaska State Museum, which contains a life-sized eagle tree, as well as other permanent galleries. However, you must visit the Red Dog Saloon with its swinging doors, sawdust floors, and flag covered ceiling. The cherished memorabilia that includes Wyatt Earp's gun, a walrus oosik (a walrus penis bone), trophy, wildlife mounts, historical posters, photographs, and currency signed by miners, simply just blows one away.
Juneau Whale Watch’s custom boats depart from Auke Bay Harbour and explore Alaska’s Inside Passage for the best Juneau whale watching. May through September this spot is the playground for whales, eagles, Orca, bears, as well as a number of different seabirds. In fact it is one of the largest concentrations of Humpback whales found anywhere on the planet. That’s how they can guarantee that whales will be seen. On top of that visitors will witness some of the most spectacular views, sharp rising snow-capped mountains on either side of calm, clear blue water, surrounded by lush green fir trees.
|4||Mon 20 Aug 2012||Skagway, USA||7.00am||8.30pm|
| Skagway in Alaska, USA, is an historical city where the past lives on, and a place where the romance and excitement of yesteryear linger around every street corner as well as in every bend of the trail. Gateway to the Klondike and the Gold Rush, visitors can still ride the antique White Pass and Yukon narrow-gauge railway up through silvery-purple rock faces, past Deadhorse Gulch, to see what it was like back then. While in Skagway you can easily walk around town, see all of the historical sites along the back streets and stroll down historic Broadway.
Rent a bicycle or automobile and give yourself a tour in Southeast Alaska. Also available are helicopter tours that prove very popular, while biking and rock- climbing adventures are also popular. Organized tours of Skagway may include stops at the Trail of '98 Museum, Gold Rush Cemetery and viewing Skagway from the lookout perched on a mountainside above the city. Comfortable motorcoach tours are available to the interesting Yukon community of Carcross. Sit down at one of the small cafes, or taste something in an Alaskan brew pub, or treat yourself to a meal in a restaurant with surprises created by local chefs.
The very reasonably priced on-off day bus pass will take you from the pier to the Klondike goldfield area to the delightful Jewell Garden, where a white-topped mountain background contrasts with a riot of colourful plants, and a miniature railroad setting await you. Skagway is famous for its hospitality. When gold was discovered in Nome in 1899, Skagway’s population plummeted, and the town nearly fell into ruin. Saved by tourism in the 1920s, Skagway today is a sort of living history centre. Every summer, hundreds of actors and historians recreate the excitement of the Gold Rush for thousands of cruise ship visitors.
|5||Tue 21 Aug 2012||Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), USA||7.00am||4.00pm|
| Alaska’s newest cruise port, Icy Strait Point, is located just down the road from Hoonah, and 35 km S.E. of Glacier Bay National Park. It is the result of collaboration between the local communities and cruise corporations, to attract visitors eager to experience America’s ‘last wilderness.’ Millions of dollars have been invested in creating a facility that offers cruise travellers an authentic and refreshing Arctic experience. Visitors can explore secluded beaches, take walks through old-growth forests, experience some of the best whale-watching and bear viewing opportunities, as well as ride the world’s highest Zip Line.
Also on offer is the opportunity to get an understanding of the history and culture of the villagers by listening to Tlingit Native stories, and taking note of the buildings that are constructed from sustainable local timber and built by local Tlingit workers in traditional style. Take the time to browse through the craft shops that feature local artisan crafts. Then visit the free museum and the Historic Salmon Cannery that is over 100 years old. There’s an amazing amount of history around these buildings and inside the cannery all of the businesses are Alaskan owned and operated. Be sure to taste the local food at the high quality restaurants.
After an Indian show to watch and meet the Indians of the Village, there are several tours on offer to get out in nature, view Glacier Bay from the air, cruise with the whales, search for brown bears, go kayaking, book a charter fishing excursion, watch the wildlife, or do it all. What has been aimed for is an attractive new destination, expressly for cruisers, that's man-made but not commercialised.
|6||Wed 22 Aug 2012||Ketchikan, USA||9.00pm||6.00pm|
| Alaska’s ‘first city’ Ketchikan is situated along the shores of Alaska's Inside Passage within the heart of the Tongass National Forest. Evergreen mountains rise out of the water, the lush green landscape nurtured by the abundant rainfall of the temperate rainforest environment. Visitors are presented with a remarkable array of activities and attractions that highlight the town's history, industry and culture, and bring them up close to resident wildlife. Ketchikan’s impressive variety of shops and galleries feature work by many of the island’s resident artists as well as an assortment of souvenir items and unique gifts that make shopping a ‘must-do’.
Visitors are presented with a good choice of one-day tours that can be enjoyed in four hours or less. These include a self-guided option based on the official Walking Tour map that directs visitors to the numbered signs posted along the routes. Together with this, visitors can pay for an audio walking tour, which provides insightful information about what is seen. Also on offer is the opportunity to experience the real Alaska by going fishing or wild-life viewing. Another option is to rent a ‘classic car’ that includes a self-touring guide, an experience that helps visitors ‘return to their youth’.
Truly worth visiting are the Ketchikan Alaska Museums and Heritage Centres that are home to fascinating totem poles and native Alaskan artefacts, along with preserving and promoting local traditional arts and crafts. These include the Tongass Historical Museum with both permanent and temporary exhibits, and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Centre with a flexible plan that allows for improvisation by educational groups, community groups and families. If possible enjoy the amazing local food on offer, such as king crab, salmon and halibut, Ketchikan's seafood specialties that are always fresh. Ketchikan has a climate greatly modified and moderated by its maritime location.
|7||Thu 23 Aug 2012||Inside Passage, Canada||cruising|
| The Inside Passage is a coastal route for ocean-going vessels along a network of passages that weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska in the United States, through western British Columbia in Canada, to northwestern Washington State in the USA. Ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route. Carved by glaciers and blanketed with majestic hemlock and spruce, the Passage is a region of pristine water, snow-capped mountains, deep fjords and forested islands.
With its mild, maritime climate, this area is a prime habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises and whales. Glacier Bay National park has 16 active tidewater glaciers, and Misty Fiords National Monument near Ketchikan has 900 m cliffs rising directly from pristine ocean channels. Alaska's Inside Passage offers spectacular scenery, abundant wild-life, vivid Native cultures, astounding history and exceptional hospitality that are hallmarks of the region. Interestingly, the Inside Passage is also a destination for kayakers and canoeists from all over the world, who paddle along the fjords from British Columbia to Glacier Bay in Alaska.
People have been living along the Inside Passage for a very long time. Due to the fluctuations in sea level over the millennia, much of the record of human habitation is under water. Original visitors travelled the Inside Passage in spectacular seagoing canoes. From 1791-95, England's Captain George Vancouver made extensive charts of the entire Inside Passage and he and his crew are responsible for many of the names on the map today. Now, in addition to the large 2,000-passenger ships traditionally associated with Inside Passage cruise tours, you can enjoy active, small ship cruises.
|8||Fri 24 Aug 2012||Vancouver, Canada||7.00am|
| Vancouver is a sophisticated coastal city located to the south of British Columbia, Canada. The city is linguistically and ethnically diverse as reflected in the fact that 52 percent of its inhabitants do not speak English as their first language. Ranked highly in worldwide ‘liveable city’ rankings for many years and being surrounded by nature’s scenery at its best, makes tourism its second largest industry. This beautiful city brims with attractions such as Vancouver's Olympic Village located on the SE side of False Creek, which offers stunning views of the city's downtown skyline and Coastal mountains.
The city is also renowned for its unique dining experiences, boutiques, and shopping districts such as Antique Row, and exotic Chinatown. Don’t miss the historically renovated Gastown - the oldest downtown neighborhood - filled with great souvenirs, good food, and Native Arts and Crafts. If you are looking for funky, hip stuff, then visit Commercial Drive and Central Granville. To relax, visit the delightful Stanley Park, resplendent with its deep forest, totem poles, and scenic promenades. Its nickname Hollywood North comes as no surprise, as it is the third- largest film production centre in North America.
Of great assistance to visitors is the very modern Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre. Here one finds helpful volunteers to find pictures and maps for all kinds of locations, including all the restaurants, attractions, activity information, and coupons. Also available is the public transportation map, which is helpful to get around the town if you want to go outside of walking distance, and don't want to use rental car or cab. Also popular with visitors are: Granville Island that offers a feast for the senses; Grouse Mountain, especially in the snow season for skiing and snowboarding; and Whistler, a luxurious slice of paradise just a two hour drive away.
Until September 2014, during the northern summer, 7-night cruises visit the fjord coast of Alaska, running alternately north and south, between Vancouver and the port for Anchorage. In mid-September 2014 head west to Japan via the Russian port Petropavlovsk. Then until April 2015 14-night cruises will take you to your choice of countries in E and SE Asia: Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand – and of course Hong Kong and Singapore. After the northern summer back in Alaskan waters, she returns to Asia in September 015. In March/April 2016 Millennium departs Singapore for Sydney, the South Pacific, Hawaii and Vancouver. On many of these itineraries, overnight port stops allow you more time onshore for sight-seeing.
Four out of five cabins have an outside view, and of these three-quarters have a private balcony. Standard cabins have a sofa or convertible sofa bed, twin beds that convert to a double bed, plenty of storage space, personal safe, mini-bar/refrigerator, interactive TV, and good-size bathroom. The cabins are nicely decorated and appealing with warm wood-finish furniture. Suites have more space, butler service, more and better amenities and personal service. Those at the stern are in a prime location. There are no single cabins, and 26 wheelchair-accessible cabins available in the Sky Suites.
Food and Dining
The two-deck 134-seat Metropolitan Dining Room, with its grand staircase and musicians' gallery overlooking the sea through a huge glass wall, offers excellent meals and service at two dinner seatings. The decor adds to the fine dining experience. The alternative dining venue, the Olympic Restaurant (reservations-only, extra cost), serves classic French cuisine in absolute style - allow three hours.
The 900-seat Celebrity Theatre is the three-deck venue for production shows, major cabaret acts and big-screen movies. During the voyage relax in solitude, or select your level of conversation and excitement. Daytime activities include a broad range of classes and competitions. For evening entertainment there are soloists at the cafes and bars, participation in karaoke, and of course the casino. The Celebrity Life enrichment program is divided into three themes. "Savor" focuses on wine appreciation, mixology (of drinks), and cooking. The "Discover" program draws on the educational expertise of famous institutions. Passengers learn about the history, culture, art and architecture of destinations; and broaden their exposure to language study, photography, modern digital technologies and dance, to name a few.
What's onboard? ▼
- AquaClass suites
- Main dining, two seatings
- In-cabin dining
- Specialty restaurants (3)
- Casual dining & cafés (3)
- Multiple lounges & bars
- Internet lounge
- Beverage packages
- Show Theatre
- Pools (3)
- Pool butler
- Whirlpools (4)
- Spa treatments
- Fitness centre, programs
- Golf simulator, jogging track
- Conference Centre
- Workshops & lectures
- Shore excursion desk
- UNDER 18
- Club for teenagers
- Children’s centre
- Wheelchair accessible
- Cabin 110/220V
- Wi-Fi areas (pay)
- Mobile phone (home carrier)
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Flight/s and/or transfers as specified
- Australia: Gratuities paid when booking fare (can request to pay onboard in USD) at AU$ 11.75 ($12.25 Concierge/Aqua Class, $15.30 Suites) pp/night, all ages
- All main meals on-board
- Coffee, tea & milk 24 hrs
- Open/anytime or traditional/set time & multi-venue dining
- Alternative specialty dining (Suites)
- Cocktail or champagne reception
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Use of ship facilities - indoor & outdoor
- Entertainment - live music and/or shows, movies
- Activities - organised & individual
- Specialty lectures, workshops, classes & programs
- Bridge director on select cruises
- Infant crèche, kids clubs & teen programs
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Butler & valet services (select cabins)
- Priority dis/embarkation (selected suites)
- Special needs requests & service animals allowed
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Alternate specialty dining venues (unless specified)
- Casino gaming, bar expenses
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Gratuities (can be pre-paid) US$ 11.50 (Concierge/Aqua $12, Suites $15) pp/night all ages, 'adjusted at your discretion'
- Service charge 15% added to beverage bills. Additional tips discretionary.
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
- Childcare night services (3-12 yrs, 10pm-1am)
- Babysitting, individual or in groups (from 1 yr)
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"Ultimately it came down to attitude and the service from you was genuinely impressive so I rewarded that with my business. Price is very important but that good old thing called Service is hard to find these days."
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