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Magnificent Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands
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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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Magnificent Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands - with National Geographic

Trip highlights

Take a ride to the shore and explore up-close in a Zodiac® inflatable, along with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

Discover the northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire in an expedition cruise unlike any other.

Witness some of the world’s most volcanic islands.

Experience the Aleutian Islands and Alaska alongside a National Geographic Photographer and Expert, who are specialised in the destination.

Victoria Herrmann

National Geographic grantee Victoria Herrmann works with coastal communities in polar regions on climate change adaptation. As lead researcher for the America’s Eroding Edges project, she spent two years travelling and interviewing 350 local leaders to identify what’s needed most to safeguard coastal communities against the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Her current project seeks to safeguard cultural heritage by connecting national expertise to some of the 13 million Americans at risk of being displaced due to sea-level rise. Victoria is also the president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. She teaches sustainability management at American University; science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland; and public speaking at National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamps.

  • 10 Jul 2020
Ulla Lohmann

Ulla Lohmann is a photojournalist, filmmaker, and adventurer based in the German Alps. Having studied natural resource management, geography and climatology, she has a special interest in volcanoes and glaciers and regularly contributes to research papers, media articles, and tv documentaries. In 2000, Ulla was featured in a National Geographic magazine story covering craters on the South Pacific island of Ambrym (“Inside the Volcano”), and she continues to explore volcanoes in some of the most remote places on the planet. Lohmann was recognized as a fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club in New York in 2015. Ulla has spent extensive time with indigenous cultures in Australia, New Zealand, and across the South Pacific, as well as producing work throughout Europe. She is a regular contributor to the National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Image Collection, and she published a book about Italy’s Dolomites with National Geographic Books. Her images have also appeared in the French and German editions of National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, GEO, the Sunday Times, Paris Match, Figaro, Image & Nature, VSD, and Roadtrip.
Spoken Languages: German (Native); English (Fluent); French (Fluent); Bislama (Vanuatu) and Pidgin (New Guinea) — Fluent; Spanish (Conversational); Italian (Basic)

  • 19 Aug 2020
Itinerary - 13Days

1 Petropavlovsk-Kamtchatski

Petropavlovsk is the oldest town in the Russian Far East, founded in the 1750’s. The town which was heavily steeped in military industry during Soviet years is a popular port city. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is located on the bank of Ishim River where it sits upon high hills and is surrounded by volcanos.

2 At Sea

Le Soleal is an innovative and environmentally-friendly ship that embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is PONANT’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market. This day at sea will give you the chance to explore the ship and enjoy all the services and activities on board.

3 Attu Island, Aleutian Islands

Attu Island is the westernmost and largest island in the Near Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It was once home to the only WWII land battle that was fought on an incorporated territory of the United States, and the said battlefield area is a US National Historic Landmark. Located between the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, Attu Island experiences an unusual climate which culminates in storms and violent winds.

4 Kiska Island and Amchitka Island, Aleutian Islands

Kiska belongs to the Rat Islands group, located to the west of the Aleutian Islands. During WWII, Kiska was occupied by Japan along with neighbouring Attu Island. The aftermath of World War II is visibly evident today, with bomb craters still visible both from the ground and in satellite images on the hills surrounding the harbour. Furthermore, there are numerous equipment dumps, Japanese gun emplacements and shipwrecks which have been untouched since 1943.

Amchitka is also located in the Rat Islands Group and is a volcanic, tectonically unstable island. It’s part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and it’s recognised for wilderness qualities. The Island has also been used in the past to do nuclear tests.

5 Atka Island, Aleutian Islands

Atka Island is the largest island in the Andreanof Islands of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. In the northeast of the island you can find the Korovin volcano, which reaches a peak of 5,030 feet. After the Japanese attacked Unalaska and seized Attu and Kiska, the U.S. Government evacuated Atka residents and burned the town to the ground to prevent Japanese forces from using it and advancing. The community was rebuilt after the War. Discover this traditional Unangan settlement and its customs and lifestyle during your visit to the island.

6 Yunaska Island and Chuginadak Island, Aleutian Islands

Yunaska Island is the largest of the Islands of Four Mountains group in the Aleutian Islands of southwestern Alaska. It offers a stunning volcanic landscape as the island is formed by two volcanic mountains, with a flay valley between.

Chuginadak Island is located in the Islands of Four Mountains of the Aleutian archipelago. The western part of the island is dominated by Mount Cleveland, one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc. A narrow strip of land separates the volcano from the rugged and lower eastern side of the island.

7 Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep-water port in the archipelago. The town is on the coasts of both Unalaska and Amaknak Islands, connected by a bridge appropriately called “The Bridge to the Other Side”. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of Christ is the oldest cruciform-style cathedral in North America and worth a visit if you disembark.

8 Chankliut Island, Alaska

Hidden from plain sight is Chankliut. Located off the Alaska Peninsula, the diverse landscape makes for an interesting experience. From mountainous terrain to lush valleys, there is a distinct charm about Chankliut Island. Explore the neighbouring valley and its ancient calderas for a unique experience that reflects the islands uninhabited nature.

9 Geographic Harbor and Hidden Harbor, Alaska

Geographic Harbor is the heart of the Katmai National Park and Preserve. The distinctive rocky cliffs are characterised by white marks that are the remains of ash deposits that accumulated following a volcanic eruption. Explore the Geographic Habor and its tall cliffs in more detail as you board a Zodiac® inflatable with a National Geographic Expert.

Hidden Harbor lies at the heart of the Katmai nature reserve in Kinak Bay. Recognised for its tranquil landscapes and beautiful rivers and lakes, Kinak Bay is a treasured find that many don’t get to experience. Head towards a narrow passage where you’ll find a few small beaches that are the epitome of serene but do keep your eyes out for the brown bears that reign here.

10 At Sea

During your time at sea, make the most of the amenities and services onboard. Take a moment to relax in the spa or head to the fitness centre for a workout. There is plenty of entertainment to keep you entertained as well as access to the upper deck which allow you to take in the journey from a spectacular viewpoint.

11 Tsaa Fjord, Icy Bay, Alaska

Part of the Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park, Icy Bay is a body of water in south-east Alaska that was formed in the past 100 years due to the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers.
Icy Bay lives up to its name with an active tidewater glacier often clogging the fjord with icebergs. Here you can witness fantastic representations of geologic action over thousands of years whilst soaking in the magnificent views and exploring the landscape up-close.

12 Inian Islands and Elfin Cove, Alaska

The Inian Islands are a collection of half a dozen small, rocky islands located at the Pacific Ocean at the end of the Icy Strait. The islands possess a particularly rich ecosystem, on land as in the sea with Steller sea lions, Tridactyl gulls, cormorants and sea otters calling the Inian Island home which you can explore further with a Zodiac® outing.

Elfin Cove is a serene and peaceful island that is only connected to the rest of the world by sea.
The remote cove lies at the tip of an island in the Alexander Archipelago. The tiny port is enclosed by crystal clear waters and on land lies a small collection of quaint wooden houses. Elfin Cove is a quiet port that is overcome by tranquillity.

13 Juneau, Alaska

Juneau is the capital of Alaska that is surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible fauna and scenery. Along the Gastineau Strait, in the heart of the spectacular Inside Passage, you’ll witness mother nature at her finest. Glacier cut mountains line the water where you may be lucky enough to see humpback whales or try your hand at kayaking. On land explore the area via foot during a hike through the forest or go bear watching for an unforgettable experience.