This is Alaska as you never imagined with cruise itineraries meticulously crafted to give you a one-of-a-kind experience – intimate access to the region’s wonders and connecting you to the people and cultures in remote indigenous villages and offering the kind of privileged, close-up view of nature’s magnificent handiwork that is typically reserved for only the fortunate few. The ship is the most environmentally sensitive vessel ever to sail these waters, a ship carefully designed for responsible expedition travel, offering a carefully curated itinerary by Alaska’s most experienced exploration experts.
Only a small ship can provide her guests with unmatched access to the wonders of Alaska’s Inside Passage combined with the luxury of beautiful and private public spaces designed for your comfort. Be wholly aware of the rare access you will enjoy aboard this luxury vessel – and the value of protecting this delicate environment while doing so. Thrill to the awesome sights and sounds of calving glaciers as you explore Frederick Sound, Endicott Arm, Dawes Glacier, Tracy Arm as well as North and South Sawyer Glaciers on a ship designed and equipped to get you close. You’ll explore the region’s Tlingit, Tsimshian, Russian and Norwegian culture through dance, storytelling, traditional feasts and other unique hands-on adventures along the way. You are likely to never forget the sights of whales, porpoises, eagles, bears, sea otters and other wildlife in one of the world’s most magnificent habitats.
As you cruise along the Pacific coast, you will explore coastal secrets, stunning waterfalls, ancient glaciers, and hidden villages in the company of the ship’s exclusive world-class expedition partners. Marine Science Experts from Cal Poly State University, Alaska Whale Foundation, Five Finger Lighthouse and Learning Center, Sitka Sound Science Center and others will share their insight and knowledge with you along the way. Your specially trained onboard Expedition Team also brings an impressive accumulation of experience and expertise to every day of your voyage. Your days will be filled with exploration – on guided kayak groups, in expert-led Zodiac trips, in the comfort of the Expedition Lounge with engaging conversation and on professionally led photography sessions.
A New Ship. A New Era. A New Alaska.
Introducing the M/V Ocean Victory
The 200-guest purpose built Ocean Victory features several innovative design elements, beginning with her innovative X-BOW (pronounced cross bow) hull design that allows for a smoother, more comfortable ride; Rolls-Royce zero-speed stabilizers to increase your comfort; dynamic positioning – a computer controlled system that automatically maintains the vessel’s position and anchorless stabilizers which prevent the anchors from damaging the ocean floor; as well as one of the lowest-pollution engine designs in the world; and other extensive environmental protection and guest safety features. Combined with public spaces designed to bring you closer to your destination and luxurious staterooms outfitted in contemporary style and featuring panoramic views, a private balcony in most categories and many amenities such as bathrobes and slippers, mini refrigerator, and large storage for luggage, clothing and personal items.
The vessel’s intimate size and low draft allows access to many of Alaska’s smaller ports and natural wonders not available to larger cruise ships. Focusing on explorations of the Alexander Archipelago encompassing British Columbia and Southern Alaska regions.
May to September departures
Day 1 – Sitka, Alaska
Your voyage begins with a complimentary overnight stay in this beautiful city where you can listen to the chattering of eagles and drink in the scent of the eponymous Sitka spruce as you experience the joy of this place, once called the “Paris of the Pacific". The ship’s Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and their friendly staff can assist you with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences.
Day 2 – Sitka – Embarkation
Sitka is a place of many traditions. You’ll immediately recognize the distinctive Russian domes of the churches, and may assume this city has Russian origins. You’d be right, of course, it was formally founded by the Russian-American Company in 1799. But the heart of Sitka is much deeper. The downtown area of Sitka was settled by the Tlingit people more than 10,000 years ago. For even longer, it has been home to the wild creatures who make Alaska a place unlike any other.
Day 3 – Kake & Frederick Sound
The towering totem pole, the largest ever carved from a single tree, stands sentinel over this ancient village on the tip of Kupreanof Island. The Kake tribe of the Tlingit people still observe a subsistent lifestyle here, the harshness of its demands belied by the warmth of their welcome. Afterwards, enjoy scenic cruising through the gorgeous Frederick Sound.
Day 4 – Endicott Arm & Ford’s Terror
You will spend the night in these splendid surroundings. Your ship is uniquely equipped to stop here, in a secluded cove of the captain’s choice, without disturbing the serenity with mechanical sounds or interruptions. Stand on deck and experience the stillness. Hear the sounds of the waters and wilderness around you. Be fully aware of where you are, who you are, and how you are in this matchless environment. You’ll get to explore these fjords by zodiacs & kayaks led by the team of onboard naturalists.
Day 5 – Tracy Arm
Nature will dictate your route here, as you explore one of these spectacular fjords. Both are deep, narrow, and host to distinct marine environments you can explore with experts via a Zodiac or kayak.
Day 6 – Petersburg
Anchor right beside Alaska’s largest home-based halibut fleet, who call this shallow, protected harbour home. These abundant waters and an endless supply of ice from nearby LeConte Glacier led Norwegian fisherman Peter Buschmann to build the region’s first cannery and invite his fishing countrymen to join him. Hence the town’s name and its strong Norwegian culture. Large cruise ships cannot come into Petersburg, so you’ll be among a privileged few to be in this charming, authentic Alaskan village for a full day of exploration.
Day 7 – Waterfall Coast (Gut Bay)
Today’s challenge is trying to keep track of the number of waterfalls you’ll encounter as the ship glides along Baranof Island’s beautiful eastern coast, the little known “waterfall coast.” Some trickle, some thunder, some simply splash merrily to the sea. Exploration is the order of the day, and you choose your point of view – from any of Ocean Victory’s observation perspectives, or right at water level by kayak or Zodiac. This almost hidden shoreline is perfect for discovery. Watch for seals, deer, and tide pools ready to reveal their secret treasures.
Day 8 – Wrangell
Wrangell is the perfect spot for an optional jet boat excursion to explore the dramatic Stikine River – what the Tlingit people call “the Great River”. Spend a full day in this picturesque town as you are welcomed by the native Alaskans whose ancestors have lived on this island for thousands of years. They open their tribal home, their culture, and their magnificent river for your exploration. Take home your own petroglyph rubbing to remember your time among more than 40 ancient petroglyphs on the 8,000-year-old site of petroglyph beach.
Day 9 – Misty Fjords
The soaring granite cliffs that greet you this morning are 50 to 70 million years old. Yes, million. Ancient glaciers scrubbed deep troughs through this wilderness, leaving a scenic geological wonder. New Eddystone Rock is a remnant of long-ago volcanic activity that left the iconic basalt pillar as a testament to the power of this place. Humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, bears, wolves, moose, and hundreds of species of sea and shorebirds await as you spend most of today exploring the shoreline with the team of marine biologists from Cal Poly.
Day 10 – Ketchikan & Metlakatla
The totem poles of Ketchikan and Saxman welcome you this morning to Alaska’s southernmost city. Standing tall and noble, each hand-carved pole tells a silent story. This afternoon in Metlakatla, the first thing you’ll notice are the smiles. They are wide, warm, and genuine – welcoming you to the only settlement of indigenous Tsimshian people in the United States.
Day 11 – Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet)
In the spectacular setting of this provincial park, you’ll discover a Nature Lover’s Paradise, with inlets, bays, islands, and fjords that reveal an intricate network of waterfalls and glaciers. Old growth Sitka spruce and dense coastal western hemlock forests shelter black bears and grizzlies along the rugged coastline. This is a day that will stretch all your senses. Granite cliffs over 3,000 feet high drop straight into seemingly bottomless water – and waterfalls cascade from dizzying heights into glacial inlets. You’ll explore unique coastal marine life in an area accessible only by sea.
Day 12 – Inside Passage
The first people to explore these picturesque waters did it in hand-carved cedar dugout canoes. You will enjoy an intimate connection to this place as Ocean Victory takes you through a narrow maze of channels, passages, and reaches from Vancouver Island to the northern edge of British Columbia. Whether you’re in the expansive Observation Lounge, on deck or on the one-of-a-kind viewing platform, keep your eye out for whales and dolphins in Queen Charlotte Sound – and watch for bears as the ship glides along pristine island shorelines.
Day 13 – Vancouver – Disembarkation
Enjoy the city at your leisure before heading to the airport or consider a post cruise hotel stay which will allow you more time to explore
- Pre-cruise hotel night in Vancouver or Sitka
- Ground transfers between hotel and vessel
- Included guided tours in each port of call
- Hiking sticks
- Onboard enrichment program
- Acclaimed cuisine in multiple venues
- All day in-room dining
- Unlimited beverages including beer, wine and spirits
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- And so much more!
A second Exploration vessel, Ocean Discoverer, will join the fleet in June 2023 and make Alaska her home for the season. Contact your Travel Professional for complete details.