San Francisco To Vancouver
San Francisco, California
Depart 5 pm
From the first Spanish Mission founded by the “Sacred Expedition” in 1776, to the rip-roaring days of the Barbary Coast and California Gold Rush to rising phoenix-like after the great earthquake of 1906, San Francisco never ceases to please the eye, the heart and the palate. With such iconic sites as Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Victorian architecture of Pacific Heights, Union Square, colorful trolley cars, Muir Woods and the surrounding vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valley, the “City by the Bay” is always a must-see on any visitor’s list to the West Coast.
Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Arrival 7:00am, Departure 3:00pm
Nestled against the wooded hills along the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. With its steep hills and beautiful Victorian homes, Astoria has been called the “Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest.” Named for the early fur trader, John Jacob Astor, Astoria offers the traveler Fort Clasop, the reconstructed winter quarters of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the elegant Victorian mansion of Captain Flavel and excursions into the breathtaking surroundings including Mount St. Helens.
Cruising the Outside Passage
Arrival 12:00pm, Departure 7:00pm
Founded by Russian fur traders as New Archangel in 1799, Sitka was the historic center of Russia’s Alaskan empire. The Russian flag was replaced by the Stars and Stripes when the United States purchased the Alaska territory in 1867. Today, picturesque Sitka, is known for its fishing industry, an annual summer classical music festival and, of course, its many historic visitor attractions. On a clear day Sitka, the only city in southeast Alaska that actually fronts the Pacific Ocean, rivals Juneau for the sheer beauty of its surroundings.
Cruising the Hubbard Glacier
Arrival 8:00am, Departure 6:00pm
In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris were prospecting for gold with the help of Indian guides. Here they discovered nuggets “as large as beans” at the mouth of the aptly named Gold Creek. Out of their discoveries came three of the largest gold digs in the world where more than $150 million in gold was mined. Juneau’s surrounding beauty and natural wonders have attracted cruise ship travelers for over a century, with steamship companies bringing tourists here since the early 1880’s.
Arrival 12:00pm, Departure 11:00pm
One of Alaska’s oldest settlements, the fur trade brought Russian traders here in the early 1800s. The Americans established a military post in 1868 and named it Fort Wrangell. The town boomed during the great Gold Rush of the late 19th century and Wrangell sported gambling halls, dance halls, booze, and lawlessness. Today, commercial fishing and timber still are the mainstays for Wrangell’s economy. Explore nearby Stikine River home to hundreds of species of migrating birds, spectacular glacial valleys or watch the bears at Anan Falls rain forest.
Arrival 8:00am, Departure 7:00pm
Ketchikan, on the southwest side of Revillagigedo Island, grew up around salmon canneries and sawmills. Ketchikan's name supposedly comes from the native term "Katch Kanna", which roughly translates: "spread wings of a thundering eagle." At one time Ketchikan was proclaimed the “Salmon Capital of the World.” An outstanding collection of totem poles make a visit to Ketchikan essential for anyone interested in Native art. Travelers flock to Ketchikan for their first look at the North Country, and are rarely disappointed.
Cruising the Inside Passage
Arrival 1:00pm, Departure 11:59pmVictoria is a picture-perfect city exuding old-world charm, with fragrant and colorful flowers everywhere. Founded in 1843 by James Douglas of the Hudson’s Bay Company, it was first known as Fort Victoria. By 1848, Vancouver Island was made a British colony. In 1868, Vancouver Island was incorporated with mainland British Columbia. Although it is a port city, Victoria is not as industrially oriented as Vancouver. The harbors, especially Inner Harbour, are dotted with pleasure crafts, ferries, and floatplanes.
“Gassy Jack” Deighton saw a chance to make money from the miners on their way to the Yukon and the saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gas Town. From here, modern Vancouver was born - Canada’s third largest city. The government persuaded the settlers to change the name of the town to Vancouver, after Captain George Vancouver, who sailed the area’s waters in 1792. Today Vancouver offers travelers tram rides to the top of Grouse Mountain, the lovely Ming Dynasty Gardens, historic Gas Town and picturesque Stanley Park.