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Alaska Explorer

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Look upon the country’s tallest mountain peak, soak in naturally occurring hot springs and venture through some of the most unimaginable landscapes the world has to offer on this journey of extremes in wild Alaska.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
8 days From $2,492 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2022 Tour code: WC-AAFN-22

About the tour

Two incredible cities, one thoughtfully planned adventure: See what Alaska has to offer during this expedition. Your time is split between Anchorage and Fairbanks, each filled with history and culture and sitting at the doorstep of some of America's most impressive spectacles. Travel by motorcoach, floatplane, boat and the world-renowned Alaska Railroad to reach destinations near and far. Begin your Alaskan exploration in Anchorage, framed by the Chugach Mountains and filled with adventures to be had. Explore the city on a guided tour, then enjoy a full-day cruise through Kenai Fjord National Park and a flightseeing excursion that soars over the stunning landscapes of Denali National Park. Venture north through the state on the Alaska Railroad's Denali Star, passing through untamed landscapes and interesting cities as the train approaches Fairbanks. As the next host city, Fairbanks is as intriguing as it is scenic. Your stay here is highlighted by a guided sightseeing tour of the city's most famous sights and a day trip to Chena Hot Springs. This resort is a truly unique destination, with its mixture of natural and manmade elements, the combination of which leaves much to uncover during your visit. Exploring Alaska is an experience like no other, and with eight days to do so, there is no limit to your possibilities.

There are other experiences available for this tour, speak to your rail specialist for details of other excursions and activities. 

This tour is also available in reverse, from Fairbanks to Anchorage

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Anchorage & Explore on Your Own

Your journey through Alaska begins as you arrive in Anchorage today. Make your way to the hotel for check-in, then the day is yours to experience Anchorage and the surrounding area at your own pace. You may wish to learn about indigenous culture at the Alaska Native Heritage Center or the history of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum. There are plenty of shopping opportunities and art galleries in downtown Anchorage. Interesting restaurants serving superb seafood and local specialties, like reindeer sausage, and fantastic local breweries add a wonderful ambiance to the city. If you want to explore outside the city, you could rent a car and drive to a surrounding glacier or national park. Set out on a hike, visit dog sledding kennels for a taste of true Alaskan sporting, or go moose or bear spotting. There is no shortage of ways to explore in Alaska. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 2 - Kenai Fjords National Park

Beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park beckons on today's adventure into the wilderness. Join your excursion at the designated meeting spot in downtown Anchorage, where you make the journey south via deluxe motorcoach and train to Seward. Here, switch modes of transportation once more and join your ship for an unforgettable exploration of these icy waters. Keep your camera at the ready as you leisurely glide through the park, looking upon glaciers, fjords and untouched coastal islands. Lush rainforests line the shores in some park regions and house animals like bears and moose. Puffins, whales, orcas, seals, and sea otters make interesting tour companions in the water.  The cruise lasts approximately six hours, and as you cruise, a deli-style lunch is served. Transfer back to Anchorage is included following the cruise. Overnight Anchorage. 

Includes
  • Lunch
Day 3 - Denali National Park Flightseeing

Set your sights on even more of Alaska's extremes as you venture by floatplane to Denali National Park. Departing from Anchorage's Lake Hood Harbor, the floatplane heads north, unveiling magnificent landscapes that cannot be experienced from the ground. Look over Ruth Glacier and the Great Gorge, with its 5,000-foot granite cliffs. The views are astonishing. Continuing, the plane flies over the Denali foothills and showcases the massive south face of America's largest mountain, Mt. Denali, soaring at over 20,300 feet above the ground. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this behemoth up close. Your plane lands on a lake in the remote wilderness or on land in Talkeetna for fantastic photo opportunities. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 4 - Anchorage Scenic Tour

Come along for a narrated sightseeing tour of Anchorage's most beloved points of interest. Highlights along the way include the Port of Anchorage, Earthquake Park and Lake Hood, the busiest private seaplane base in the world. Before your excursion concludes and you are returned to downtown Anchorage, enjoy a drive through the Chugach Mountains. The roadway is truly picturesque and offers impeccable views over the city and surrounding mountain ranges and waterways, including the Cook Inlet.

The remainder of the day is yours to get acquainted with Anchorage on your terms. Perhaps join one of the local trolley tours for a better look at the city and to hear the stories and history that formed it. Anchorage's Visitor's Center is a fantastic place to learn more about the region's offerings. If you are ready to set out into nature, consider hiking along one of the local berry trails to pick blueberries, raspberries, and other local varieties, such as cloudberries. There are also excellent fishing spots throughout the city. Of course, one of the best ways to pass the time here is to kick back at one of the local breweries and sip a handcrafted beer made with glacier water. Overnight Anchorage.

 

Day 5 - Denali Star to Fairbanks

The Alaska Railroad is one of the most iconic ways to travel in America's Last Frontier and is your chariot to the far north. Head to the train station this morning to board the Denali Star and settle into your comfortable seat for the 12-hour journey. Along the way, soak in beautiful vistas of remote Alaska, including mountainscapes and water scenes. The train makes stops in Wasilla and Talkeetna, offering glimpses at Alaska's inland cities, and pauses at the station just outside Denali National Park before pressing forth to Fairbanks. On arrival, transfer on your own to your hotel. Overnight Fairbanks.

Day 6 - Fairbanks Sightseeing

What better way to get a first look at the intrigue and culture of Fairbanks than with an in-depth guided tour? Enjoy a narrated look at the highlights of Fairbanks, beginning with the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and its fascinating exhibits about Interior Alaska. Later stops include the Trans Alaska Pipeline and the enthralling Museum of the North (or the Antique Auto Museum, depending on the day of the week and the season). The final stop is at none other than the North Pole, where you can visit Santa Claus and buy Christmas decor and memorable souvenirs. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the vibrancy of downtown Fairbanks independently. This city is home to a thriving art community, with galleries and public installations downtown. Restaurants, pubs and breweries line the streets, offering an authentic taste of Alaska. Overnight Fairbanks. 

Day 7 - Chena Hot Springs

A moment of relaxation and a hint of wonder lies ahead on today's trip to Chena Hot Springs Resort*. Located 60 miles west of Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs is renowned for its natural mineral hot springs. A deluxe motorcoach picks you up at your hotel in the morning for the journey. Remember to pack your swimming suit! On arrival, you have four hours to enjoy the onsite amenities, including the outdoor hot springs pool, hot tubs and indoor pool. Your time here also includes a guided tour of the Ice Museum, hand-sculpted from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, and a geothermal power tour. You are free to dine at the hot springs' restaurant or to grab a drink at the magnificent ice bar, where hand-carved ice crystals cascade from the ceiling in a stunning chandelier. Return to Fairbanks this afternoon with the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Fairbanks.

*During August and September, this excursion is replaced with a Sternwheeler Riverboat Tour on the Chena and Tenana Rivers.

Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

Your Alaskan adventure concludes this morning. You may continue your explorations independently or make your way to Fairbanks international airport for your return flight home. 

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Train

Alaska Railroad's Denali Star
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