This was our first Captains Choice and was really delighted with every aspect.
J & S Sutcliffe, Natural Wonders of Alaska
Please note: on this expedition cruise, all landings will require guests to board the ship’s Zodiacs, subject to weather conditions. Due to the spontaneous nature of a Silversea Expeditions cruise with Captain’s Choice, this itinerary should be considered a guide only. This tour requires a moderate degree of physical fitness.
Settle in aboard your Qantas flight to Anchorage, with a short stop in Los Angeles en route.
With a warm Alaskan embrace, we’re welcomed to Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood. Our first meal is a hearty home-style dinner, paired with ocean, valley and glacier views.
Up with the lark, a scenic tram ride whisks us to the top of Mt Alyeska. Survey the scenery, including Turnagain Arm and seven hanging glaciers. Visit the Roadhouse Museum.
Enjoy a free afternoon. Or join our Your World experience.
Anticipation peaks at tonight’s Welcome Dinner.
From porcupines to grizzlies and otters, we meet Alaska’s unique species from the land and sea at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre and the Alaska Sealife Centre.
We embark Silver Explorer this afternoon at the port of Seward. After a safety briefing, meet crew members and fellow intrepid travellers over an introduction and dinner.
Edge into Kenai Fjords National Park and see the remarkable spectacle of ice calving into the ocean. Holgate Glacier is one of the best locations to observe this extraordinary event.
During lunch, we sail towards the Chiswell Islands, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Here we are immersed in nature as we head out in Zodiacs. Seals follow in our wake. Horned and tufted puffins toddle along the shoreline.
Today we visit Katmai National Park. 15 active volcanoes gasp atop meandering tundra, home to the state’s largest brown bear population. On a Zodiac cruise along Kukak Bay, we stop to watch brown bears angling for salmon.
Back on board, we discover sea otters and more brown bears near Geographic Harbour and Amalik Bay.
This morning is set aside to simply enjoy nature. Explore an uninhabited archipelago, Semidi Islands, and its millions of seabirds. Large colonies of horned puffins, common murres, northern fulmars and jaegers adorn sandy beaches.
During the late afternoon we visit the remote fishing village of Chignik. With less than 100 inhabitants, this town retains an air of seclusion. The population doubles in summer when the fishing improves.
We reach the volcanic Aleutian Islands. Once studded with gold and hollowed by prosperous mines, today, Unga Island is a ghost town. Explore the ruins of the abandoned church amongst petrified wood forests - we may find great horned owls nesting in its roof. Later, we take a Zodiac cruise.
Like the Russian traders of old, we continue to navigate the Aleutian Islands. Dutch Harbor is the busiest commercial fishing port in Alaska. Here, discover relics of its brutal World War II past and a Russian Orthodox Church.
On a day at sea, sharpen your photography skills with our photographer. Watch for wildlife with our marine biologist.
Hike along the rugged eastern coast of Kiska. Here, admire the remains of an authentic Shinto shrine from World War II.
While waves wash over our ship in the early morning, perhaps attend a lecture, or grab your binoculars and scan the surrounding waters for marine life.
We arrive at Attu Island, an ornithologist’s paradise, by noon. Here we can discover a plethora of distinct birds. Search for the peregrine falcon, Lapland longspur and Aleutian cackling goose among frosty grass and ivory mountains.
On a leisurely day at sea, we cross the International Date Line and enjoy a glass of Champagne as we jump through time.
Named after two sailing ships used by Vitus Bering on his expedition, we truly feel as though we are following his journey as we dock in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, set along the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. Discover the town’s centre. Or, join our Your World discovery.
From the rocky shoreline of Russkaya Bay, old shipwrecks rest. Rusty shells and ghostly reminders. Legends completely intact. We cruise the rivers in a Zodiac and hike through leafy forests ashore. In the afternoon, we visit the cluster of islets belonging to Utashud Island. Green grass clings to gentle slopes, and steep cliffs tumble down to the sea. Spotted seals and sea birds are fascinating to admire in their untouched home.
We reach the Kuril chain today, a fascinating stretch of over 30 volcanic islands that separates the southern end of the Kamchatka Peninsula and Hokkaido in Japan.
The perfectly symmetrical volcanic peak of Alaid on Atlasov Island rises out of the Sea of Okhotsk. Here our Zodiacs land on a beach stained black from lava and we walk to explore the volcano, the highest of the Kuril Islands. We see remains of the Taketomi tufa cone and what’s left of the women’s prison.
We visit one of the most impressive islands of the Kuril chain, Yankicha. The tip of the extinct volcano allows a flood of ocean water into the hushed lagoon, brilliant blue
in colour, which is only accessible by Zodiac at high tide. In the warm mist of hot springs and simmering fumaroles, the volcano’s deepest beauty is only open for those who brave the adventurous journey within.
Northern fulmars and kittiwakes adorn the sky of volcanic Chirpoy Island. Early this morning, our Zodiacs take us along the misty jagged outline in search of sea lions and orcas.
Meaning ‘seal’ in Russian, Tyuleniy is an island that is home to tens of thousands of northern fur seals and steller sea lions. A visit at the height of breeding season shows a rare
shore, painted brown and black with the sleek creatures.
On our final day in Russia, we imagine life in the former Japanese prefect capital, Korsakov. Explore the town centre then drive to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the capital of the island. Here we take in a traditional performance of Cossack song and dance.
Back on board this evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Reception.
Disembark Silver Explorer and spend the day exploring Otaru. Glorious in its time as a major fishing port, original storehouses still garnish the bustling canal district. After a tipple at Tanaka Sake Brewery we visit the Historical Village of Hokkaido.
A late afternoon flight lands in Tokyo from where we board our Qantas flight back to Australia.
Over three superb weeks we have traced the fabled passage that took Vitus Bering over two years to complete. The expedition ends with a farewell to fellow travellers. We hope
to see you again on your next Captain’s Choice adventure.
Reaching the world’s frontiers is no easy feat. And let’s face it, adventure and roughing it is so last century. That’s why all the legwork has been done for you; everything mundane sits behind the scenes. We’ve searched the seven seas for the finest expedition ships to usher you to the edges of the planet, where you’ll never have to carry a map. Or your luggage. You’ll certainly never have to find small change for tips.
Small in stature but big on comfort, Silversea’s Silver Explorer has been designed specifically for navigating the waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both polar regions. A fleet of Zodiac vessels allows guests to visit off-the-beaten path locations and an Expedition Team brings insight to each adventure. Be pampered with butler service, watch passing ocean scenes from your suite and indulge in impressive cuisine inspired by the destinations you visit.
Adventurer & Explorer Suite
Occupying different locations, these suites feature two portholes (Adventurer) or a view window (Explorer); sitting area; and a marbled bathroom with a bath/ shower combination.
Fares are based on a Vista Suite aboard Silver Explorer per person, twin share. Fares include Qantas flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Prices from other cities available on request.
Cruise and Land Only guests join the tour in Anchorage and transfer to Girdwood for dinner on Day 1, and depart Otaru after lunch on Day 21.
Suite Upgrades add per person, twin share
Veranda Suite $5,400
Expedition Suite $10,700
Solo Suite Supplements add per person
Vista Suite $26,680
Veranda Suite $32,840
Expedition Suite $39,770
Includes supplements for single hotel rooms. Solo suites at above prices are limited. Contact our Tour Sales Consultants for details on other suite upgrades.