Experience Alaska at its finest as you travel by boat, glass-domed rail car, and motor coach on an escorted exploration of Alaskan cultural history and majestic wilderness. With an itinerary that includes excursions to Denali National Park, home of majestic Mt. McKinley, and to the historic Gold Dredge No. 8, this tour has something for everyone.
Day 1: Fairbanks
After you arrive in Fairbanks, we’ll transfer you to your hotel. Relax or enjoy Fairbanks on your own. This evening we will host a welcome reception so you can meet your Tour Director and traveling companions. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 2: Fairbanks
After breakfast, visit Gold Dredge No. 8 to learn how it worked and have lunch. Pan for gold at El Dorado Gold Camp and learn about modern day gold mining. Then enjoy a ride on the Chena and Tanana rivers aboard an authentic sternwheeler. Overnight Fairbanks. (B, L)
Day 3: Fairbanks - Denali
An unforgettable rail journey to Denali is waiting for you this morning. Enjoy breakfast onboard luxurious railcars as the untouched wilderness passes outside. Upon arrival, you’ll travel into Denali National Park to watch big game and other Alaskan wildlife on the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Weather permitting; Mt. McKinley may be visible in its breathtaking splendor from Stony Point, deep in the park. Overnight Denali. (B, S)
Day 4: Denali - Talkeetna
ake time this morning to choose from many complimentary park-sponsored activities or optional tours. Then reboard the spacious full domed railcars as you make your way to beautiful Talkeetna, located at the junction of three rivers and the closest town to Mt. McKinley. You’ll stay at the beautiful McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, featuring quite possibly the most awesome view of Mt. McKinley in the state. Once there, you’ll have time for optional activities such as flightseeing and river tours. Overnight Talkeetna. (B)
Day 5: Talkeetna – Anchorage This morning you will embark on a scenic journey via motor coach along the George Parks Highway. Along the way you’ll stop at Happy Trails Kennels to learn how Martin Buser, an Iditarod champion, races and cares for his dogs on and off the trail. The tour begins with a DVD presentation about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, narrated by Buser and including his unique anecdotal stories gathered over 23 Iditarod races. Learn about what it takes to care for up to 16 dogs on this grueling 1,150-mile race. Watch a demo of the dog’s interaction, and you will have the chance to cuddle with the puppies. Enjoy lunch before returning to Anchorage. Overnight Anchorage. (B, L)
Day 6: Anchorage –Seward
Relax on your motor coach journey to scenic Seward. Enjoy a 6-hour Kenai Fjords cruise today—a wildlife and glacier tour is one of the best ways to explore the Alaskan wilderness! Cruise along the rocky, wild shorelines and look for a variety of birds plus sea lions, bears and Dall sheep. Afterward, travel to Cooper Landing and stay at the remarkable Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. Overnight Cooper Landing, which is just outside of Seward. (B, L)
Day 7: Cooper Landing – Anchorage Join your group for breakfast this morning before you leave for a full day of sightseeing. First stop is at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where you will see moose, black bear, musk ox and other large animals in natural settings at this wildlife rehab and research center. Next we’ll stop at Hotel Alyeska for a tram ride and lunch. You have free time this afternoon to explore. Then we’ll treat you to a tour of Alaska’s largest city—including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where you can experience Alaska’s many diverse native cultures, past and present. We finish the day with a farewell dinner at a local Anchorage restaurant. Overnight Anchorage. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Anchorage
We’ll take you from your hotel to the airport, where we’ll leave you with a fond farewell.
This tour includes: * 7 nights hotel accommodations * Sternwheeler Discovery Riverboat Cruise * Gold Panning in Fairbanks with Lunch * Travel on the Alaska Railroad route aboard luxury railcars * Tundra Wilderness Tour * Happy Trails Kennel * Kenai Fjords National Park Tour * Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center * Alyeska Tram Ride with Lunch * Alaska Native Heritage Center * Evening Anchorage City Tour & Dinner * 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, welcome reception and farewell dinner * All transportation, accommodations, luggage handling, logistics and airport, hotel and rail transfers are taken care of for you