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8 Sep 2012
Voyages of Glaciers
Sapphire Princess - 7 nights ex Vancouver, Canada
All aboard the Sapphire Princess over 7 relaxing nights aboard the Voyages of Glaciers cruise exploring Alaska & Nth.America Pacific . This cruise departs from Vancouver and visits 7 ports in 2 countries before returning to Anchorage (Whittier). This 4 star voyage from Princess Cruises has forward departures, but is unfortunately sold out for this departure.
|Day||Date||Port of call||Arrival||Departure|
|1||Sat 8 Sep 2012||Vancouver, Canada||4.30pm|
| 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.
|2||Sun 9 Sep 2012||At Sea|
|3||Mon 10 Sep 2012||Ketchikan, USA||6.30am||2.00pm|
| 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.
|4||Tue 11 Sep 2012||Juneau, USA||8.00am||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.
|5||Wed 12 Sep 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.
|6||Thu 13 Sep 2012||Glacier Bay, USA||6.00am||3.00pm|
| Glacier Bay, situated in SE Alaska, USA, was originally a large single glacier of solid ice until early in the 18th century. Since it started retreating, it has left about 50 glaciers in its trail and become the largest protected water area park in the world. While its many branches, inlets, lagoons, islands, and channels provide prospects for scientific exploration, it is primarily an amazing visual spectacle. Glaciers descending from high snow-capped mountains into the bay create spectacular displays of ice and iceberg formations.
Interestingly, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes nine tidewater glaciers, four of which actively carve icebergs into the bay. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also famous for its wildlife that include grizzly and black bears, moose, black-tailed deer, mountain goats, wolves, lynx, sea otters, seals, sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, orcas, humpback whales, bald eagles, and gulls, as well over 200 bird species.
Cruise ships typically spend a full day (9-10 hours) in Glacier Bay including a stop at a major tidewater glacier. National Park Service park rangers come on beard to provide a narrative about important aspects of the visit, give a presentation about the park, and answer passengers' questions. They often have a bookstore with maps and brochures as well as a variety of exhibits/hands-on materials to enhance your visit.
|7||Fri 14 Sep 2012||College Fjord, USA||5.30pm||8.30pm|
| College Fjord is located in the northern sector of Prince William Sound in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is surrounded by over a dozen glaciers, and some of these glaciers have spruce forests growing right up to the edge of the ice, giving a sense of grandeur rarely seen. Also causing wonderment is the fact that glacier after glacier has a perfectly mirrored reflection on the water. The trip down the fjord culminates with the mighty Harvard Glacier. It is one of the few in southern Alaska that is actually growing. The area is also home to large colonies of seals. Nearer the forested edges are otter populations. If watchful, visitors may see pairs of orca (so-called killer whales) or even a white beluga whale.
College Fjord is located in the northern sector of Prince William Sound in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is surrounded by over a dozen glaciers, and some of these glaciers have spruce forests growing right up to the edge of the ice, giving a sense of grandeur rarely seen. Also causing wonderment is the fact that glacier after glacier has a perfectly mirrored reflection on the water. The trip down the fjord culminates with the mighty Harvard Glacier. It is one of the few in southern Alaska that is actually growing. The area is also home to large colonies of seals. Nearer the forested edges are otter populations. If watchful, visitors may see pairs of orca (so-called killer whales) or even a white beluga whale.
|8||Sat 15 Sep 2012||Anchorage (Whittier), USA||12.30am|
| Ships call at the ports of Seward and Whittier on the SE coast of Alaska as gateways to Anchorage, which is home to almost half the population of Alaska. What better way to see Alaska than taking the impressive train ride from Seward to Anchorage. You'll see wild animals, beautiful scenery, and enjoy a great meal in the diner car. On arrival be sure to visit the historical Alaska Railroad depot, walk the streets to discover interesting restaurants and a great range of stores (such as Modern Dwellers), and meet very friendly locals. Set alongside magnificent scenery, Anchorage is an unforgettable destination.
The best way to absorb Anchorage's rich and varied history is to visit one of the state's most popular attractions, the modern Anchorage Museum of History and Art in the centre of town. In addition to its rotating exhibitions, the museum features the permanent Alaska Gallery with large areas of exhibition space dedicated to very informative depictions of Alaskan history. The Anchorage Zoo provides an excellent overview of animals of the area, such as the opportunity to view polar bears playing under the water.
The Alaska Native Heritage Centre, a renowned cultural centre and museum in Anchorage, is an exciting place where all people can come to expand their understanding of Alaska's first people. Here we share the rich heritage of Alaska's eleven cultural groups drawing upon the lifeways of long ago, the wisdom of our elders, and the traditions that endure. Its goal is to encourage cross-cultural exchanges among all people. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, with its two active volcanoes, also provides visitors with a true wilderness experience.
Sapphire Princess sails year-round from Singapore, from the Malaysia Peninsula in the south to Korea, China and Japan in the north. For much of the year the focus is on ports around the South China Sea – Malaysia, Indonesia (Bali), Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Grand Asian cruises sail between Beijing and Singapore. In March 2015 a 31-night China and SE Asia Cruise takes you to 15 ports in 8 countries, starting in Singapore and ending in Hong Kong. The cruises are quite accessible from Australia. Princess Cruises organises on-shore tours which can be booked before sailing or during the cruise. For some voyages pre- and post-cruises tours are available to extend your stay in major ports.
There are six types of cabin and 35 price categories: insides, outsides (some obstructed), balcony cabins, outside mini-suites (with and without balconies) and balcony suites. Cabins are roomy and nicely appointed, with satellite TV access to major channels. Standard cabins are practical and attractive, many have additional upper berths for children, and some have inter-connecting doors. The larger the stateroom, the more additional facilities. All guests receive turndown service, chocolates on pillow at night, bathrobes and amenity kits, and complimentary room service on most items 24 hours a day. There are no single cabins, 28 wheelchair-accessible cabins, and some cabins accommodate families of three and four.
Food and Dining
Traditional dining in the International Dining Room offers you a pre-selection of one of two seating times throughout the cruise. Anytime Dining (sitting when and with whom you choose) is offered in the four other themed dining rooms. All serve five course meals changed daily, with chefs inducted into the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs gastronomic society. Sabatini’s serves Italian cuisine and Sterling Steakhouse serves steak and seafood (for an extra cover charge). Dress code is smart casual, and on cruises longer than three days dress for a formal night for every week of sailing. Breakfast and lunch are provided in an open seating arrangement. (Of course a continental breakfast can be delivered to your stateroom, and there is a stateroom menu.) Passengers booked in cabins with balconies can order several special, romantic meals to be served restaurant-style on the verandah - Ultimate Balcony Dining. Order special dietary requests before sailing.
As for entertainment, there is more than can be squeezed into a week. The Princess Theatre is two decks high, featuring glamorous production shows every second or third evening. The Vista Show Lounge with its three stages presents cabaret, and doubles for lectures, bingo and horse-racing during the day. Explorer’s Lounge hosts cabaret acts and dance bands. Movies first-run feature films pool-side at Under the Stars on Sun Deck. There are 12 bars and lounges with live music and dancing. A new feature is the new three-deck-high street-cafe-style Piazza, for sipping coffee and watching the occasional passing performer. Stroll around and shop duty-free, or check your email at the Internet Café.
What's onboard? ▼
- REST & RELAXATION
- Piazza-style Atrium
- Shops duty free
- Main dining rooms (5)
- Traditional & Anytime Dining
- 24-h Room Service, Menu complimentary
- Special dietary requests (order ahead)
- Formal dining (1/week) (rental wear)
- Ultimate Balcony Dining (pay)
- The Chef’s Table (for 10, pay)
- Sabatini’s (Italian, pay)
- Stirling Steakhouse (pay)
- Chocolate Journeys (new)
- The Piazza: Café, Wine Seafood
- Horizon Court buffet
- Internet café
- Drinks, coffee packages
- Afternoon tea service
- Show lounges
- Lounges, bars, nightclub, disco (12)
- Movies Under the Stars
- Onboard games, parties, tours
- ScholarShip@Sea enrichment courses
- Library, writing room
- Art, photo, video gallery
- Celebration packages
- Weddings (enquire)
- Conference Centre
- Pools (3)
- Lap pool with current
- Whirlpools Spas (8)
- The Sanctuary adult oasis (pay)
- Fitness Centre, jogging track
- Lotus Spa & Fitness
- Sports court & table games
- UNDER 18
- Princess Pelicans (3-7 y centre)
- Shockwaves (8-12 y centre)
- Remix (13-17 y centre)
- Group kidsitting (3-12 y, pay)
- Children with special needs
- Video arcade
- Medical centre (pay private rate, no Medicare)
- ATM on board (costly)
- Internet, Wi-Fi (pay)
- Mobile phone at sea (pay provider)
- Laundromats self-serve
- 110V power
- Wheelchair cabins, service animals
- No wheelchair access to The Sanctuary
- Daily newsletter
What's included? ▼
- Accommodation as booked
- Australia: Gratuities for Sun and Dawn Princess departures, and Sea Princess departing and returning to Australia.
- All main meals on-board
- Coffee, tea & milk 24 hrs
- Oplen/anytime dining (not in Australia)
- Traditional/set time & multi-venue dining
- Cocktail or champagne reception
- In-cabin dining at no charge
- Complimentary mini-bar setup (Suites)
- 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
- Kids clubs & teen programs (3-17 yrs most ships)
- Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
- Onboard newsletter
- Port maps and/or guide books
- Destination seminars and/or lectures
- Ship-shore-ship transfers
What's excluded? ▼
- Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
- Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
- Alternate specialty dining venues
- Room service menu items (unless specified)
- Casino gaming, bar expenses
- Passport & visa fees
- Insurances of all kinds
- Increases in third party charges or taxes
- Outside Australia: Service charge USD 11.50 (suites USD 12) pp/night all ages. Adjust or remove on board.
- Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
- Outside Australia Service charge: bar and wine 15%
- Items & services of a personal nature
- Medical services, vaccination costs
- Laundry and/or valet charges
- Laundry services (Complimentary for Suites & Elite Capltain's Circle
- Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
- Childcare night services (3-12 yrs, 10pm-1am)
"I wanted to send a quick email thanking you once again for your help with the cruise. We had an amazing time and I've heard everyone else did as well."
Emily from WA
"Natasha made the usually arduous and stressful booking process enjoyable, fun and pleasurable. Her attention to detail was amazing."
Suzie from NSW
"The Pacific Dawn cruise was terrific - we really enjoyed ourselves. I would like to thank you for the time you have spent answering all my questions."
Ian R from Sydney