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Alaska the Greatland

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4.7 stars(57 reviews)
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The great wilderness of Alaska beckons on this exciting tour, which features mighty fjords, stunning National Parks and authentic Alaskan experiences.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
9 days From $4,095 per person

2021 Tour code: WC-AKGA-21

About the tour

Nine days: That is all you need to gain an insider's perspective of Alaska on this escorted tour. Your time in The Last Frontier begins in Fairbanks, where a riverboat tour acquaints you with the local waterways, and a trip to Trail Breaker Kennel allows you to experience one of Alaska's favorite pastimes, dog sledding. It is also from Fairbanks that we board the storied rails of the Alaskan Railroad for a ride aboard the  Denali Star. The train will take us right into the heart of Denali National Park, where great adventure meets wildlife spotting and breathtaking scenery. Continuing on the  Denali Star, we move through the vast open terrain as we make our way to Talkeetna. The view along the way is truly inspiring - keep your camera within reach. An overnight stay allows you to soak in the charm of this destination before we continue southbound to Anchorage, down the Turnagain Arm and finally down through the Kenai Peninsula before arriving in Seward. It is in Seward that we have a gateway to one of the most majestic places in southern Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park. As we wrap up our grand Alaskan journey, we spend some time in Whittier, journey out to Prince William Sound by boat and even take one last ride on the Alaskan Railroad, this time aboard the  Glacier Discovery. If it is adventure that calls you, the great land of Alaska is the answer.

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

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You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Fairbanks

Arrive in Fairbanks, transfer to your hotel and check in for the first of two nights. It is also at the hotel that you will meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. The remainder of the day is yours to settle into your accommodations or to begin your explorations independently. Overnight Fairbanks, AK.

Day 2 - Riverboat Discovery & Trail Breaker Kennel

This morning begins with breakfast at the hotel. After, we set sail on a 3-hour riverboat tour, which takes us along the Chena and Tanana Rivers. We will learn about the culture and history of the area as a knowledgeable tour guide takes us through the waters. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the local wildlife and the bush planes that take off from these rivers. Next, Alaskan Native Guides take us into Chena Indian Village, where we learn about the history and culture of these indigenous people. Following the tour, we return to Fairbanks, where you are free to grab some lunch, explore the local shops or peruse the museums and famed sites.

Tonight, we are in for a quintessential Alaskan experience with a trip to Trail Breaker Kennel for a special "Welcome to Alaska" evening, including dinner and an educational presentation about Alaska and one of its favorite sports, dogsledding. You will even have a chance to meet some of the sled dogs. Overnight Fairbanks, AK. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Day 3 - Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star to Denali National Park

Start your day with breakfast at the hotel, because after, you are in for a real adventure. All aboard the historic  Denali Star for a scenic journey to Denali National Park. This Alaska Railroad train meanders through the landscape, giving us a chance to see wildlife, small villages and great stretches of forest and open land before arriving in Denali National Park. Six million acres lie ahead in the park, and they are yours to explore however you see fit. Gaze upon the mountains, including Mt. Denali, the tallest mountain in North America; board a small airplane for a flightseeing tour; participate in one of the guided ranger programs or set out on one of the many trials for an unforgettable hiking experience. Overnight Denali, AK.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Denali National Park Touring

This morning, we set out deep into the wilderness of Denali National Park for an exploration of the park's rich natural and cultural history. Our first stop is Savage Cabin, constructed by the Alaska Railroad Commission in the mid-1920's and used as the original ranger's cabin. Here, we glimpse the past to learn how the cabin once was and how it is used today. Next, we visit Primrose Ridge for a memorable Alaskan Native presentation, where we learn about how the land has been used for the last 10,000 years. After an informative morning in the Denali backcountry, we return to the lodge for an afternoon at leisure. You may wish to relax in the serene surroundings at the lodge, visit the Denali National Park Visitor Center or participate in an optional excursion, such as helicopter flightseeing, river rafting or an evening dinner show at Cabin Nite. Overnight Denali, AK.

Day 5 - Alaska Railroad's Denali Star to Talkeetna

Enjoy one last breakfast in Denali this morning, then you have some free time to relax, photograph the scenery or take one last hike along the mountain paths before boarding the Alaska Railroad's  Denali Star  in Gold Star Class to Talkeetna. En route, soak in views of Mt. Denali's south face, cross the summit of the Continental Divide at 2,363 feet and enjoy one of the best photo vantage points, the arched Hurricane Gulch Bridge spanning 918 feet across and 296 feet above the creek bed. Enjoy lunch onboard. Tonight, you lodge at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, which gives you a chance to visit the quaint town of Talkeetna and purchase some freshly made baked goods from the historic Talkeetna Road House Inn. Overnight Talkeetna, AK.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Day 6 - Anchorage/Kenai Peninsula/Seward

Start the day with breakfast, then enjoy a visit to the Anchorage Museum for a docent-led tour through some of the museum's most enthralling exhibits, including the center's main exhibition titled "Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska." The exhibition features more than 600 objects from the Smithsonian's collections that were selected and interpreted with help from Alaska native advisers. Leaving Anchorage, we follow the Turnagain Arm by deluxe motorcoach to Mt. Alyeska. Here, where we board a tram that takes us to the top, scaling 2,300 feet of elevation. Relax and admire the stunning views as you spot hanging glaciers, look over the Turnagain Arm and see the valleys of the Chugach Mountain Range. After, we continue down the Kenai Peninsula to Seward. We will check into our conveniently located hotel with the remainder of the evening at leisure to see the town's sites on your own. Overnight Seward, AK.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Kenai Fjords National Park

Get ready to explore glaciers and observe sea otters, sea lions eagles and puffins during your 5 1/2-hour Wildlife Cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park today. Following breakfast at the hotel, we will be transferred to the dock to board our catamaran for the day. A naturalist joins us on this narrated tour and provides valuable information about the area's history, flora and fauna. The catamaran is skillfully navigated in front of two active tidewater glaciers: Holgate and Aialik Glacier, offering you picture-perfect view. The calm waters of Resurrection Bay make this excursion a wonderful experience for all. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Seward. Overnight Seward, AK.

Includes
  • Lunch
Day 8 - Prince William Sound/Surprise Glacier/Anchorage

Savor one last breakfast in Seward this morning before setting off on our journey to Whittier. Along the way, we will experience the famous Anton Memorial Tunnel - the longest one-lane highway tunnel in North America. Since vehicles and the Alaskan Railroad share the same tunnel, access is only available at pre-specified times. Upon arriving in Whittier, we continue onto the town's harbor for a 5 1/4-hour cruise to some of the beautiful places in Prince William Sound. Out on the open water, we will see whales, seals and bird rookeries and pass through the beautiful Esther Passage. The catamaran enters Harriman Fjord, where we will be surrounded by breathtaking mountains and alpine and tidewater glaciers as we make our way to the pinnacle of the tour, Surprise Glacier. On the way back to Whittier Harbor, we stop at a working salmon hatchery for a brief tour. Onboard, we will also be treated to a delicious lunch featuring fresh Alaskan salmon. Back in Whittier, we board the Alaskan Railroad's  Glacier Discovery for our final leg of the tour to Anchorage. Overnight Anchorage, AK.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Day 9 - Tour Conclusion

Your tour concludes this morning. A complimentary shuttle is provided by the hotel to Anchorage International Airport with prior reservations.

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.

Hotels

The Lakefront Anchorage, Anchorage

The Lakefront Anchorage, Anchorage

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Denali Bluffs Hotel

Denali Bluffs Hotel

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Bear Lodge at Wedgewood Resort, Fairbanks

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Seward Windsong Lodge, Seward

Seward Windsong Lodge, Seward

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Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Talkeetna

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Train

Alaska Railroad

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Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 57 reviews

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RITA

5 stars

Submitted 16 Aug 2019

This was an amazing trip. It was so organized and every detail taken care of. They even went above and beyond on little things! The tour director was awesome - knowledgeable and a people person! And our bus driver was just as great! They made a good team together - which served us patrons in the best way. Highly recommend VBR!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Linda K, Wheat Ridge, CO

4 stars

Submitted 25 Dec 2018

Being on the last tour of the season gave credence to the saying 'the last shall be the first and the first shall be the last'. The fall colors were magnificent and we got to see all of Mt. McKinley- what a treat

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Jason R, Altadena, CA

5 stars

Submitted 18 Dec 2018

I really liked learning about the history and natural features of Alaska.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Kim D., Minneapolis, MN

4 stars

Submitted 17 Dec 2018

The adventure was perfect, it was a super great adventure. Sad that it's over and we have to go home.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Marvin W., Elkins Park, PA

4 stars

Submitted 13 Dec 2018

Tour was outstanding! Well organized and Tom and Gwen were great. They really worked hard to accommodate us and had a positive, friendly demeanor everyday.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Gary S., San Antonio, TX

4 stars

Submitted 07 Dec 2018

The tour offered key elements to thoroughly understanding Alaska and Alaskan way of life.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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