Discover Alaska with PONANT: 2024 Small Ship Expeditions

March 20th, 2023

Where else in the world can you watch black bears catch salmon in glacier-fed creeks, sail through ice-carved fjords, and learn about the local way of life in traditional fishermen settlements? Alaska is a state of wondrous beauty, with rich culture, spectacular wildlife, and astonishing natural landscapes. And now that PONANT is unveiling four itineraries and ten departures for 2024, travelers will get to discover the 49th state like never before.

With departures from Vancouver, Seward, and Sitka, the sailings will range from 7-11 nights, making it possible for guests to be acquainted with Alaska’s vast beauty and glimpses into Alaska’s history. All itineraries will feature a crew of naturalists specializing in geology, ornithology, glaciology, marine mammals, botany, and ethnology. For even more on-board discovery, travelers can opt for two co-branded expeditions in alliance with Smithsonian Journeys—the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—providing a deep-dive on Alaska’s history, landscapes, and wildlife.

The seven- and eight-night sailings will explore the Inside Passage, with local boat landings and outings, humpback whale sightings, and tours of natural areas teaming with ancient conifer and resinous trees. With a focus on forests and fjords, travelers will enjoy close-up views of some of Alaska’s most extraordinary wildlife: black bears, orcas, bald eagles, sea lions, and more. As the ship navigates the narrow Endicott Arm fjord, views of the magnificent Dawes Glacier will unfold along with the 653,000-acre Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness nature preserve.

A 10-night sailing departing from Sitka — with its eclectic blend of Alaska, Russian and American history — to Vancouver will offer all the highlights of the shorter voyages, with more of an emphasis on community experiences, such as conversations with a local of Elfin Cove, who will speak to the local way of life in the quaint fisherman settlement. Off the west coast of British Columbia, guests will meet with the local Kwakwaka’wakw people—the original inhabitants of the Northern Vancouver Island area—to experience a traditional cultural dance in a log house. The 10-night sailing comes with more opportunity to discover British Columbia’s coastal landscapes, including the Johnstone Strait and the Pearse Islands.

Finally, the 11-night voyages (from Seward to Vancouver/Vancouver to Seward) offer a complete Alaska experience. Expect chatting with local fishermen in the “Little Norway of Alaska;” meeting the Tlingit peoples of Kake, home to one of the largest totem poles in Alaska; diving into the gold rush history in Skagway; glimpsing mighty peaks like Mount Saint Elias, the second-highest mountain in Canada and the United States; and cruising the Prince William Sound—the jewel in the crown of the Pacific Northwest—to spot orcas, grizzly bears and humpback whales and marvel at the Harvard and Bryn Mawr glaciers.

For more information, visit


PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.



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