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Aleutian Islands Expedition

Aleutian Islands Expedition

From USD $15,495

Description

Board your expedition ship in the stunning, remote fishing port of Seward, Alaska, and begin exploring the rugged Alaskan Peninsula coast, where deeply incised fjords give access to glaciers tumbling from icefields high above. Brown bears, whales, dolphins and seals are but some that call this coast home, and wildlife only increases as you traverse the Aleutians, a 1900-km chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller ones that forms the Pacific Rim of Fire’s northern arc.

This natural boundary separates the Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea—a designated Mission Blue Hope Spot—creating a dynamic environment that supports amazing biodiversity, including caribou, sea otters, Steller sea lions, orca and gray whales. Delight in black-legged kittiwakes, tufted puffins, crested auklets, peregrine falcon, tundra swans and so much more. Landings reveal historical relics ranging from Aleut villages and Russian fur trade depots to remnants of World War II battles and Cold War bases. Every day promises something to fire your passion especially finishing up on Russia’s spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula.

Trip Name
Aleutian Islands Expedition
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 104 meters Passenger Capacity: 126 Built / Refurbished: 2020/2021 Due to sail in October 2021 our new ship honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 – this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia’s long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife. Sylvia Earle will be actively involved in the development of her namesake. Designed for rugged, remote areas Crossing the notorious Drake Passage or the Denmark Strait, our expeditions face some of the most intense conditions nature can throw at us. The Sylvia Earle is at the cutting edge of nautical technology: robust, powerful and up to the task. Ulstein X-BOW® & Lounge The streamlined Ulstein X-BOW® cuts through the swell so you feel fewer vibrations and disturbances*, and makes quicker transits through waves. It also helps reduce our fuel consumption by up to 60%^. Experience the Glass Atrium Lounge inside the bow, featuring huge windows and superb views to the front of the ship. Swimming pool & wellness centre In between landings, enjoy the heated saltwater open air swimming pool and jacuzzis on board the Sylvia Earle and watch the world go by, or experience our gym, sauna or enjoy a massage (additional cost) in the Wellness centre. Safety features The Sylvia Earle will feature industry-leading safety technology that exceeds the requirements for a ship of this size with a world class return-to-port equipment, which duplicates the propulsion system, enabling the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. The ship will also feature a fully-stocked medical clinic designed for use in remote areas. Responsible travel features We believe that preserving and protecting the environment is of the utmost importance and this is reflected in several features of the Sylvia Earle. The Sylvia Earle will boast one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world due to low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and a streamlined design to deliver an 80% reduction in emissions. The ship can also utilise virtual anchoring to hold its position using a combination of GPS, steering technology, propellers and thrusters. This protects the sea floor and minimises the damage caused by conventional anchors. Zodiac launching platforms Our ships carry many Zodiacs, which you can board via four dedicated, sea-level launching platforms. These platforms make boarding the Zodiacs as quick, efficient and safe as possible, minimising wait times and getting you closer to the action for longer. Whether you’re Zodiac cruising through awe-inspiring fjords in search of wildlife or making a quick transit from ship to a shore landing site, these sturdy crafts will play an integral role in your expedition experience. Activity preparation area We offer a range of add-on adventure activities from kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, and your ship is designed to support these activities, making the transition from ship to sea or shore as smooth as possible. We built the spacious activity preparation areas and loading platforms in consultation with our expert activity guides. You will also have access to lockers and rapid drying areas for dry suits and wet suits, to give your gear the best chance to dry between excursions.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Anchorage
Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to our group hotel. Upon check-in at Hilton Anchorage Hotel, reception staff will provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please fill out the luggage tags clearly, showing your name and cabin number to allow us to deliver your luggage to your cabin. At tonight’s voyage briefing, enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners.Accommodation: Hilton Anchorage Hotel (or similar)
Day 2 - Day 2 Embark Sylvia Earle
After check-out, discover Anchorage on a sightseeing tour transferring to Seward, where our expedition team will welcome you aboard the Sylvia Earle at approximately 4.00 pm. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. We will set sail for Kenai Peninsula in the evening and meet your expedition team and crew at Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 - Day 3 Kenai Peninsula
By ship and Zodiac, explore the wild coastline of Kenai Fjords National Park, where nearly 40 glaciers flow down from the sparkling Harding Icefield to ice shelves calving into narrow waterways below. Sail deep into the Northwestern Fjord and watch for wildlife at every turn.
Day 4 - Day 4 Kodiak Island
The second largest island in the U.S., Kodiak Island is renowned for its brown bears, king crab and fascinating history. Kodiak became the centre of Russia fur trade with Alaska in the 18th century. Visit the Alutiiq Museum, with its collection of art and cultural objects detailing the lives of the native Aleut people who lived here for more than 7,000 years. Hikers can explore the mysterious moss-draped forests, wildflowers and flowing streams, while birders can search for belted kingfishers, varied thrushes, and red crossbills. Later, Zodiac- cruise in to one of Kodiak’s outer islands searching for humpback and fin whales.
Day 5 - Day 5 Geographic Harbour, Katmai National Park & Preserve
Tucked away at the end of Amalik Bay, Geographic Harbor is set in magnificent volcanic scenery. Zodiac cruise amidst spectacular scenery and explore offshore islands searching for bald eagles, marbled murrelets, sea otters, harbour porpoises, and coastal brown bears feeding on salmon, clams, mussels and barnacles. Rising mist reveals stunning volcanic landscapes and early wildflowers in bloom.
Day 6 - Day 6 Semidi Islands
Zodiac cruise beneath basalt bird cliffs at Aghiyuk Island, then stretch your legs on tundra hikes amidst colourful wildflowers on Aghiyuk or Chowiet islands. Aghiyuk Island is a haven for more than with 2.5 million nesting seabirds. In Zodiaks, we explore the island’s sheltered coastline listening to the cacophony of the seabird colony, which includes murres, parakeet auklets, tufted and horned puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and northern fulmars. The surrounding waters abound with sea otters, seals, porpoise and whales.
Day 7 - Day 7 Unga Spit, Shumagin Islands
We land on Unga Spit to explore petrified remains of a 25-million-year-old sequoia forest and a picturesque ghost town surrounded by wildflowers. Wander along a spectacular coastline covered with fragments of fossilised wood, all remnants of an ancient Metasequoia forest, dating back some 70-14 million years. Watch for bald eagles, peregrine falcons and a host of seabirds, while otters and Steller sea lions patrol offshore. Explore an eerie village that was abandoned in 1969.
Day 8 - Days 8-9 Unimak Island
False Pass marks our exit from the Alaska Peninsula and arrival in the Aleutian Islands. Unimak, the largest of the chain, is 93 per cent wilderness inhabited by brown bears, caribou, wolves and the odd wolverine. By foot and Zodiac, we explore the island, from the bustling fishing port of King Cove to the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, where migratory birds arrive in their hundreds of thousands including black brant, emperor geese, Steller’s eider, some 30 shorebird species and many seabirds. In the sheltered coves and bays around Unimak Island, search for orca and humpback whales. Weather permitting, you’ll see the near-perfect cone of Mount Shishaldin, the Aleutian’s highest (and active) volcano.
Day 9 - Day 10 Baby Islands, Dutch Harbour, Unalaska Island
Dynamic tides and whales make for exciting Zodiac cruising among the Baby Islands, none higher than a few metres above sea level, where you’ll be enthralled by whiskered auklets, puffins, petrels, murrelets, guillemots and perhaps even laysan albatross. At Alaska’s busiest fishing port, Dutch Harbour, where more than 600 bald eagles nest near town, you’ll find relics of the Japanese invasion during World War II, visit the Museum of the Aleutians and the oldest Russian church in Alaska.
Day 10 - Day 11 Adak
“Where the winds blow and friendships grow” is the motto of Adak, Alaska’s southernmost city on the island separating the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean. Not always so friendly, Adak was a military installation that allowed America forces to mount successful operations against the Japanese in World War II and housed a community of some 6000 during the Cold War. Today only a few hundred remain, welcoming visitors to explore a near-ghost town set amongst spectacular tundra, where introduced caribou roam.
Day 11 - Day 12 Kiska Island
When Japan captured Kiska in 1942, it marked the first loss of U.S soil to foreign forces since the War of 1812. Today many war relics remain including a Shinto shrine and a two-man submarine and ptarmigans, Lapland longspurs and bald eagles nest in the shadow of active Kiska volcano.
Day 12 - Day 13 Attu Island
The westernmost of the Aleutian Islands, Attu marks the site of the only World War II battle to be fought on North American soil and leaving several thousand dead. Today the attraction is birds, with exotic names like Siberian rubythroat, far eastern curlew and Mongolian plover, plus many of the migratory and seabirds you’ve come to love.
Day 13 - Day 14 At sea
Sea days are ideal for editing photos, attending fascinating talks presented our team of experts or enjoying a massage at the wellness centre, but remember to step outside to enjoy the many seabirds, whales, dolphins and seals on show as we approach Russia’s Kamchatka coast. Celebrate the voyage end at our Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Day 14 - Day 15 Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy, fly to Tokyo
Disembark in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy where you farewell the crew and expedition team and transfer to the airport to board our charter to Tokyo, where we spend the night. Accommodation: Nikko Narita Airport Hotel
Day 15 - Day 16 Depart Tokyo
Depart Tokyo and continue your journey.
Day 16 - Important note:
In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea and other conditions beyond our control.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $15,495Aurora Stateroom Twin Share
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $16,395Aurora Stateroom Superior
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $16,795Balcony Stateroom Category C
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $17,795Balcony Stateroom Category B
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $19,095Balcony Stateroom Category A
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $20,895Balcony Stateroom Superior
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $26,095Junior Suite
22-06-202207-07-2022USD $30,895Captain’s Suite

Inclusions

    • Explore deep fjords of the Alaskan Peninsula, where glaciers shed bergy bits and brown bears and cubs forage along the shores
    • Island-hop the Aleutian chain of active volcanoes forming the Pacific Rim of Fire that separates the Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea
    • Zodiac cruise in mist-shrouded coves, where colonies of Steller sea lions roar, humpback and grey whales blow, sea otters mesmerise and outcrops hold breeding colonies of puffins, auklets, terns, guillemots and dozens of other species
    • Enjoy tundra walks amongst wildflowers adding colour to smoking volcanoes. Explore abandoned military outposts where Japanese and U.S military forces clashed in World War II

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