11 + 1 – Day Alaska Land
Vancouver to Anchorage/Seward
**Optional Cruise back to Vancouver with Holland America
This is a land tour from Vancouver to Anchorage/Seward that takes you to a variety of small towns in the Alaskan interior – some are mining towns, some are ghost towns…an adventure trip that will take you panning for gold, checking out sawmills, bridges, forests, rivers, and awe-inspiring wildlife. We hope you enjoy the “+1” in Anchorage…Got your camera?
Day 1 – Let’s Begin in Vancouver: Arrive and overnight at the luxurious Fairmont Vancouver City Hotel. For those days we have created some sight-seeing options…You will need a current passport…Once a trading post and a rough-and-tumble sawmilling settlement, today modern Vancouver is many things. It’s a bustling seaport, a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking for active things to do, an ethnically diverse metropolis, and Hollywood of the North. Hemmed in by mountains and sea, Vancouver greets visitors with its combination of a laid-back attitude and urban sophistication against a backdrop of glass towers, modern sights, and plentiful green spaces. Vancouver’s culinary scene is on the rise with its excellent restaurants that have a distinctively local stamp on them. If you are looking for where to go for music, theater and the arts, they are thriving in the city’s many museums, galleries and performance venues. Beyond downtown, sightseeing and exploration await among the colorful suburbs, unspoiled islands and the vast, rugged wilderness.
**City Excursions – NORTHWEST EXPLORATION & SUSPENSION BRIDGE (INTRANSIT): Few places in the world are as culturally and geographically diverse as Vancouver. You’ll drive to Capilano Park for a treetop adventure. The famous Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses a deep gorge carved by the Capilano River and is 450 feet long. It is designed for walking use only, and you’ll feel the sway as you head towards the far side. Follow a progressive series of platforms that wind their way among the primordial forest of British Columbia. Keep an eye out for various species of birds and animal life that live in the woods.
**City Excursions – HOP-ON, HOP-OFF SIGHTSEEING: This flexible city tour offers the highlights of downtown Vancouver by convertible, clear-top bus, with stunning views rain or shine. Choose to hop off at any of the 20-plus stops; then, hop on to continue your adventure. Included are major attractions and scenic points of interest. Take an up-close look at Vancouver’s urban oasis of Stanley Park near English Bay, purchase lunch at Granville Island, visit historic Gastown or the trendy Yaletown, and Robson Street for a little shopping. Full commentary is available in English. Notes: This tour provides a 24-hour Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing pass to visit the best of Vancouver. Buses operate regularly from the street level of Canada Place pier.
Day 2 – Whitehorse, Yukon: As you fly to Whitehorse on Yukon’s own Air North, you’ll meet your Journey Host to learn about your upcoming adventure in Northern Canada’s largest city which sprang from frontier roots. During the Klondike Gold Rush, prospectors washed up here, past two major river obstacles: Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids (named for whitecapped waves that resembled stallions’ manes). To prevent mass starvation, the government required every Stampeder to haul along a year’s supply of goods. Whitehorse, the northern terminus of the railway from Skagway, Alaska, boomed because it was as far north as would-be miners and their freight could travel by train; from here, sternwheelers did the rest, down the upper Yukon River to the mining town of Dawson City. Now the territory’s capital, Whitehorse stands at Historic Mile 918 of the Alaska Highway. It remains a popular tourist stop for attractions like the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and the natural and cultural insights at the MacBride Museum.
**City Excursions – MILES CANYON NATURE WALK: Hike along the shores of the impressive Yukon River through beautiful Miles Canyon. On this easy, non-paved interpretive walk, your local guide will point out areas during the Klondike Gold Rush and share colorful stories of the Yukon past and present. Discover interesting facts of Yukon’s natural history.
**City Excursions – TASTE OF YUKON & SLED DOG TOUR (DINNER): Looking for an authentic Yukon experience? Learn about these prized athletes – Alaskan Huskies! See what it takes to be a competitive musher at the home of Yukon Quest legend Frank Turner. You’ll meet a certified expedition guide, hear about their ethical and eco-friendly operations, learn about the Yukon Quest and how integral dog sledding is to the Yukon history–you will gain genuine insight into lifestyle here in the Yukon wild, that’s for sure! This is an authentic Yukon dining experience!
**City Excursions – WHITEHORSE CITY EXPLORER BY BICYCLE OR THE BACKCOUNTRY BY ATV: What better way to explore Whitehorse than a ride through town on a bicycle? This fully paved and flat cycle tour highlights the historical and modern gems of Whitehorse. Your knowledgeable guides will share local favorites with you and invite you to experience the great northern lifestyle! Or a fun way to experience our great northern lifestyle. Drive your own ATV or share a Side by Side and explore the backcountry of Whitehorse. On the first miles on the Copper Trail we quickly learn how to handle the quad and discover how easily we make it through all terrain, before we head up Mount McIntyre to our Viewpoint over Fish Lake. On our way downhill from Mount McIntyre we continue our tour on the Copper Trail to our pickup point at Mount Sima.
Days 3, 4, & 5 – Enjoy Dawson, Yukon for three-days: A three-day adventure walking the old-time wooden boardwalks that connect frontier-era buildings in the Yukon Territory’s original capital. The heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City housed around 30,000 people in the summer of 1898. But the town was sliding towards “ghost” status just a year later: A fire had destroyed 117 structures, right as the gold ran out and rumors arrived of nuggets in Nome, Alaska. In the early 1960s, Parks Canada began refurbishing the Palace Grand Theatre and the Commissioner’s Residence landmarks. It also resurrected the sternwheeler SS Keno, a large wooden-hull, bucket-line dredge. Along with the community of Bonanza Creek, where from the frozen ground Stampeders pried $500 million in gold, these icons form the Klondike National Historic Sites, now part of a larger proposed UNESCO World Heritage area. Today tourists wander around this 19th-century charm. Highlights include the Jack London Museum, Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall and the Sourdough Saloon, which infamously serves cocktails.
**City Excursions – DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIE’S: Step back to a time where Diamond Tooth Gertie enticed the Stampeder’s to bet away their pokes and be entertained while you do the same. Watch high stepping Can-Can dancers; and if you are feeling lucky, you can try your luck at blackjack, roulette poker or slot machines!
**City Excursions – DAWSON CITY AND GOLD FIELDS TOUR: Join us aboard one of our comfortable, air-conditioned mini coaches for a tour of Dawson City and the Gold Fields. Along your journey, you’ll see many of the original gold rush era buildings that are still standing along Dawson’s boardwalks. You’ll hear some history on Dawson City and the Gold Rush, as well as some highlights of modern life here in town. In the Gold Fields, the tour covers Bonanza Creek, Dredge No. 4, and the Discover Claim. Finish the trip with a stop at Claim 33 where you will learn all about gold panning and try it out for yourself. Gold guaranteed in every pan!
**City Excursions – TOP OF THE DOME: Experience Dawson City and the Yukon Valley from above! Your trip includes transportation to the top of the Midnight Dome along with stunning photo opportunities and breathtaking views. Enjoy cultural and historical info on Dawson City and the Klondike. A must see!
Days 6 & 7 – Two Days in Fairbanks: Bearing the nickname the Golden Heart, Alaska’s second-largest city was born of gold rush fever, thanks to Italian immigrant Felix Pedro who found the precious metal in 1902 near where Captain E.T. Barnette decided to build a trading post on the banks of the Chena River. Though much of Fairbanks today is an amalgam of modern shops and malls, its history is celebrated at the 44-acre Pioneer Park, which includes a Gold Rush Town with 35 restored buildings. Fairbanks is a city of festivals, from July’s Golden Days commemorating its past, to Ice Alaska in February and March, when residents make the best of its winters by playing host to a slew of international ice sculptors who come to the city for the World Ice Art Championships. The city is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis.
**City Excursions – JOURNEY ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, FORT YUKON & THE YUKON RIVER: This is an adventure you’ll be talking about for years. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly over the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle. At Fort Yukon, accessible only by air, an Athabascan native guide shares their way of life in the Alaskan bush. Travel through the wetlands keeping your eye out for wildlife. Return to Fairbanks and be presented with your official Arctic Circle Club Certificate.
**City Excursion – ALASKA SALMON BAKE & PALACE THEATRE REVUE: Looking for a relaxed dinner after a busy day of adventures? Head to the Alaska Salmon Bake at Pioneer Park where you’ll enjoy an All-you-can-eat buffet while surrounded by Alaskan history. Enjoy fire grilled salmon, salad bar, etc. Sit inside our dining hall or outside where you can soak up the evening sun. Get great tips from our grill masters. After your meal, catch the musical comedy at the Palace Theatre. If you only see one show in Alaska make sure it’s the “Golden Heart Revue” performed by a polished, professional cast.
**City Excursion – CHENA HOT SPRINGS & ICE MUSEUM TOUR: Experience the “hottest” and “coolest” attractions in Alaska! Start with a 60-mile ride to Chena Hot Springs Resort. Along the way learn about its history. Be on the lookout for wildlife as this is moose country. Enjoy the “cool” tour of the largest year-round ice environment in the world made from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow. See the beautiful ice chandeliers overhead and theme bedrooms as you take in your amazing surroundings. To end the evening, the choice is yours for either a “hot” dip in the natural outdoor hot springs rock lake; or take an educational Geothermal Energy Tour. Learn about the resort’s ongoing energy projects.
**City Excursion – FAIRBANKS HIGHLIGHT ADVENTURE: This adventure begins right at your Fairbanks accommodation. During your guided adventure, The Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center welcomes you with great exhibits about Interior Alaska as well as a Gateway to Fairbanks year-round activities. Next, it is on to the University of Alaska Museum of the North where dramatic architecture and new exhibit galleries make the museum an extraordinary destination. At the University of Alaska Museum of the North, discover fascinating stories about Alaska’s cultures, places, and wildlife. Our last stop will be where it is Christmas year-round and where we will find Santa at his home in North Pole. The Santa Claus House is full of Alaska and Christmas souvenirs. View the world’s largest standing Santa Claus statue and visit Santa’s reindeer.
**City Excursion – AURORA BOREALIS VIEWING: An average of 243 nights you’ll be witness to the most spectacular sky view. You’ll be picked up from your Fairbanks hotel and driven to one of the best viewing locations in the Fairbanks area. Our yurt is carefully selected to ensure that guests can gaze upon the Northern Lights with ease. Outside of Fairbanks and away from the city lights, these wide-open areas ensure a perfect way to take in Alaska’s winter sky. Share the evening with a knowledgeable guide and learn all about these dancing lights. Enjoy the sights from inside the yurt, or step outside to snap some photos of this amazing sky.
Days 8, 9, & 10 – Three Days in the Denali National Park: Denali is the iconic centerpiece of Alaska’s Interior. We have a special connection with suppliers and can offer up to three nights in Denali to really settle in and explore, and can include the deeper Tundra Wilderness Tour into Denali National Park on all of the two- and three-night Denali itineraries; immersing visitors in all that Denali has to offer at our beautiful 60-acre riverside Resort; the ultimate base camp for adventures to Denali, followed by relaxing evenings. Enjoy soaring views across the Nenana River into Denali National Park from virtually anywhere on this amazing property, as well as great dining, quality entertainment, and unique local shopping opportunities. Our exclusive longer stays, which include the Tundra Wilderness Tour, give our guests an up-close view of the mountain and the best wildlife viewing. It is rare not to see some combination of Alaska’s Big Five: grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall Sheep and wolves, along with other animals on this expertly guided six- to eight-hour tour. In addition, there are other adventures to choose from like visiting the home of an Iditarod dog musher. With more than six million acres of pristine Alaska wilderness, Denali National Park with its abundant, viewable wildlife and North America’s tallest and most impressive peak will surely make your experience one you’ve dreamed of.
**City Excursions – DENALI GLACIER LANDING BY HELICOPTER: Your experienced pilot guide will make sure that every moment of this life-changing adventure is filled with thrilling sights as you glide over wild, untamed rivers and climb through huge U-shaped valleys to trace the spine of the Alaska Range—the home of Denali. Revel in the sweeping bird’s-eye views and land on the Yanert Glacier to see astounding natural wonders up close. Bring your camera to capture each new experience to share with family and friends! On clear days, you may catch a glimpse of Denali making this tour an adventure beyond compare!
**City Excursion – DENALI HELI-HIKING BY HELICOPTER: Want to experience Alaska? This tour offers the opportunity to explore magnificent backcountry with an unforgettable guided hike! Your naturalist guide will lead you on a tailor-made adventure walk above the tree line. Track animals learn the history of the area and relax on a hillside overlooking the valleys of the Alaska Range. Take in the views while enjoying a small snack.
**City Excursion – RIVER RAFTING – CANYON RUN, PADDLE RUN, WILDERNESS RUN: Hang on—it’s whitewater ahead! You’ll get splashed and enjoy every minute of this 11 to 13-mile Class III-IV whitewater adventure on the Nenana River. Your experienced guides will navigate through such rapids as “Razorback,” “Two Rocks” and “Cable Car” while you enjoy the ride and take in the stunning scenery.
**City Excursion – MUSIC OF DENALI: Kick back and laugh after a full day of sightseeing by joining in on this evening-long jaunt to a family-style roadhouse to see a sidesplitting musical comedy about the first men to reach the summit of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). The evening begins with a family style dinner featuring Alaskan salmon. Come hungry it’s an all-you-can-eat! Enjoy wonderful performances by a talented group of musicians and singers who hit all the right notes with lively songs and heartfelt sounds. As total relaxation sets in, get ready to experience a truly delightful show that captures the legendary adventures of the first men known to scale the highest peak in North America, Denali, which means ”The Great One,” just 20,000 feet high; this towering mountain features two significant summits and five glaciers that flow down from the mountain’s steep slopes. Through clever lyrics set to engaging music, the gifted cast tells the entertaining story of these early explorers. Relish the spirited music full of funny, lighthearted lyrics and the gifted ensemble that bring this original musical and a slice of Alaskan history to life.
**City Excursion – HUSKY HOMESTEAD TOUR: Enjoy a warm welcome and experience a true Alaskan lifestyle at Husky Homestead—home of Iditarod Champion, Jeff King. This tour is widely heralded as an authentic look into rural lifestyles based on 35 years of Alaskan adventures from freight hauling on Denali to crossing the finish line in Nome with a champion Iditarod team. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating a championship team and carving a life in Alaska’s Interior. Hear compelling stories from the trail and see actual racing sleds, arctic survival gear and equipment used to traverse 1100 miles of Alaska’s most rugged terrain.
**City Excursion – TUNDRA MOUNTAIN GOLFING: Hit the greens during this spectacular expedition to Black Diamond Golf Course—a one-of-a-kind Alaskan course surrounded by stunning scenery. Golf the rugged, nine-hole course bordered by gorgeous mountains and tranquil Otto Lake. Constructed in 1995 on the Alaskan tundra, this unique course offers challenging grass that evokes Scottish courses of yesteryear. Hazards include moose prints, and a crafty fox that enjoys stealing balls. Since unlimited greens fees, golf balls, club rentals and a power golf cart are included, you can relax and enjoy the panoramic views on this 3,000-yard, par-35 course while teeing off under the Midnight Sun. Receive a souvenir logo golf ball so you can take a piece of this home.
**City Excursion – DENALI FLY FISHING FOR ARCTIC GRAYLING (4 HOURS): Soak up the beauty of Denali during this extraordinary fly-fishing expedition to Fish Creek. Gear up with lightweight fly-fishing gear provided by your guide—a dedicated fly-fisherman whose passion for the sport is contagious. Learn the basics of fly casting, landing fish and catch-and-release techniques. These ravenous surface feeders are thrilling to catch on the fly whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned angler. Relax and breathe in the clean mountain air and take in the unbridled beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.
Days 11 & 12 – Two Days in Anchorage: After long and dark winters, Alaskans love their summers and the residents of Anchorage are no exception. The city plants thousands of flowers to celebrate the arrival of warmer months and days that last as long as 19 hours. Approximately 40 percent of Alaska’s population lives in Anchorage. It’s a city where you can see the northern lights—the aurora borealis—on a clear dark night, typically during colder months. There are also plenty of active things to do and attractions to hike, bike and see wildlife such as the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or Flattop Mountain Trail inside Chugach State Park.
**City Excursions – SPENCER GLACIER SIGHTSEEING & FLOAT TRIP: Leave Anchorage by train following the shoreline of Turnagain Arm. This area is part of the second-largest National Forest in the U.S. You’ll pass Girdwood then into the City of Whittier, the gateway to Prince William Sound and its magnificent glaciers. Continues south down the Placer Valley into an area only accessible by train. You’ll stop at Spencer Glacier populated by bear, moose, coyotes and wolves. Your adventure operates under permit from the National Forest and your guide will meet you at Spencer. Then, you will begin your raft trip on Spencer Lake, while your guide explains the natural history of the area. The trip ends with a gentle raft trip down the Placer River for your trip back to portage. You will then board a deluxe motor coach for the transfer back to Anchorage.
**City excursion – PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND 26 GLACIER CRUISE: Welcome Aboard! Travel by coach from Anchorage to Whittier. Your 5-hour glacier cruise will cover 140-miles of narrow fjords, calm passages and stunning scenery. From your catamaran, you will come face to face with towering masses of ice. It is not uncommon to see a glacier calve – where pieces of ice break off into the water. To witness this massive movement of ice and hear its thunderous roar is truly an unforgettable experience! You may also spot whales, bears, mountain goats and bald eagles. You will even stop at a bird rookery that is home to thousands of kittiwakes. The high-speed catamaran has three decks, two of which are enclosed and heated. All decks have outdoor areas. A complimentary hot lunch is served right to your table featuring wild Alaskan smoked salmon chowder or a hearty vegetable chili. After your cruise, board your motorcoach for your trip back to Anchorage.
**City Excursion Upgrade – ANCHORAGE TO SEWARD: TOUR UPGRADE TO INCLUDE CRUISETRAIN: Upgrade your journey between Anchorage and Seward by adding a cruisetrain to your Alaska adventure. Upon your arrival in Anchorage, you will embark the train at the Alaska Railway Depot for a relaxing train ride to Seward. Your train passes the Resurrection River Divide, Lower Trail Lake, Moose Pass and a host of glaciers. Canyons, cascading waterfalls, glaciers and spectacular scenery await at every turn. Enjoy a meal at your table or in the Club Car—lunch, snacks and beverages are available for purchase. Upon arrival in Seward, you will disembark at the cruise ship terminal.
May we suggest a cruise back to Vancouver, BC? All you do is ask and we will help you plan this wonderful land trip in Alaska coupling it with a special cruise. 352-277-7300 is the number to ask for Sandra or Kathryn.