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Cruise Glacier Bay National Park & Tour Alaska By Rail

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Aboard an intimate cruise ship and from beloved routes of the Alaska Railroad, take a front-row seat for a showcase in Alaska’s grandeur, including Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords and Denali National Parks.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
15 days From $8,448 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: WC-CGCN-23

About the tour

From the Inside Passage to Mt. Denali, Alaska is a land of great contrasts and inspiring extremes in both its beauty and its contents. This 15-day trip is your ticket to it all, from Juneau in the southeastern portion of the state to Fairbanks, right at the heart. Spend time amongst marine life and exploring the outback, and traipse through cities where modern life is so perfectly intertwined with Alaska's traditions. Find out what it means to explore America's Last Frontier.

This journey kicks off on the sea. In Juneau, board a decked-out ship that accommodates just 60-76 guests at a time. Its small capacity allows for excursions that just are not possible with large groups and cultivates an environment where long-lasting friendships can be formed. Together, explore regions off the coast, including two days in Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait, Tracy Arm, Frederick Sound and Chichagof Island at Corner Bay. Take time to explore some of the small barrier islands, and relish the opportunity to get out on the water on your own terms aboard a skiff, paddleboard or kayak. Each aquatic adventure brings the opportunities to explore alongside seals, sea lions, whales, orcas, otters and other marine life. As the cruise ship docks in Juneau, prepare to fly to Anchorage. Venture on two separate routes on the Alaska Railroad: the Coastal Classic and the Denali Star. Enjoy Seward, Talkeetna and Fairbanks, and spend time exploring Denali National Park, home to America's behemoth itself, Denali. With guided tours and a great dose of independent exploration time, your time in Alaska can't be beat.

UnCruise Adventures requires that all guests and crew provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Booster vaccinations are now required for all eligible crew and guests to be considered "fully vaccinated". Documentation of vaccination status is required prior to embarking any UnCruise vessel.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Juneau/Ship Embarkation

Arriving in Juneau, you will be transferred from the airport to our check-in area. Upon boarding, your crew greets you with champagne and smiles. Set sail for a week of scenic channels and secluded wilderness. Overnight ship.

*Friday departures will be on the Wilderness Adventurer Ship and Sunday departures will be on the Wilderness Discoverer.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Icy Strait & Neka

Before you do anything, look out the window. From kelp-lined channels to hemlock and spruce forests, every inch of this far northwest corner is worth exploring. And today's adventures promise to be as big as the water is deep! Seals and sea lions haul out on rocky outcroppings, resting before they disappear in the water to search for food. If the tides are right, head out in the skiff with one of your guides for a closer peek along the rugged shore, or perhaps, make it all the way to George Island. Whatever you do-wilderness trekking, skiffing, or paddling-your expedition team guides the way. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Glacier Bay National Park

This crown jewel of America's national parks covers 3.3 million acres (that's a tad smaller than the state of Connecticut). You're going the furthest and exploring parts that 99% of visitors never go to. And you have two days to do it. Get started! Taylor Bay sea stacks and rocky shores make for good adventure. Or hike the outwash field of glaciers winding down the Fairweather Mountain Range. Keep your eye out for bears, humpbacks, and if you're lucky, a wolf sighting. Kayak the bay. Bushwhack into the forest. Discover Glacier Bay outback. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Chatham Strait

Your camera's memory card needs plenty of room. South Marble Island is abuzz with activity. Rare seabirds, black oystercatchers, and orange-beaked tufted puffins can't be missed. A colony of raucous sea lions adds to the hubbub. They add a distinct aroma to the air, too. Tucking into silent Tidal Inlet-the stomping grounds for bears, wolves, mountain goats, eagles-the backdrop is spectacular. At the end of the western-most arm of the bay sits Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers. And possible views of glacial calving. Take it all in on deck. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Chichagof Island at Corner Bay

Known for an abundance of brown bears, this area offers the opportunity for hikes, kayaking, skiffing and a special treat of meeting up with a local select cut logger and learning the trade of a backwoods Alaskan making an ecologically safe living off the land. Keep your eyes out for those bears - they frequent the stream bed. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Fredricks Sound Whales, Robert & Crow Island

Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feed on krill, zooplankton, and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska's oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Tonight, toast to a whale of day in Alaska. Overnight ship. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers

Take an early peek outside. Fjord cliffs reachskyward. Floating ice. And deep u-shaped valleys. There's no abracadabra here. Mother Nature's magic is real. Cruise past harbor seals and their pups lounging on chunks of ice. Tracy Arm delivers with the cotton candy blue Twin Sawyer glaciers of its furthest reaches. Tides permitting, your skiff driver knows the ropes and guides you along. It's a mashup of towering walls, temperamental currents, and the Coastal Mountains. So many waterfalls. Mountain goats show off fancy foot work on the cliffs. Look for them. Overnight ship. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Juneau Disembarkation and Flight to Anchorage

Linger over breakfast this morning cruising into Juneau. Wish your crew and new friends goodbye. Then it's off to the airport to fly to Anchorage for your land tour. Arrive with the rest of the day to explore the offerings of Anchorage as you please. The city is the cultural and commercial center of the state and is brimming with museums, art, superb cuisine and, of course, nature. Perhaps visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center or the Anchorage Museum. Beautiful parks dot the city, and there are plenty of places to enjoy nature without leaving downtown, such as the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, where moose wander freely and fantastic ocean views abound. If you want to relax over a pint instead, breweries are nearly as bountiful as nature here. Overnight Anchorage.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Coastal Classic from Anchorage to Seward

Your adventure continues aboard the Alaska Railroad as you depart Anchorage on the Coastal Classic and begin the trip toward Seward. The southerly journey takes you around the Turnagain Arm with the ocean on one side of the track and 3,000-foot mountain peaks on the other. Remote vistas of the Kenai Peninsula overtake the landscape - views that cannot be seen by any other mode of transportation. As the waters of Resurrection Bay come into view, the train stations in Seward. This city is known for its art scene and has unofficially become the mural capital of Alaska. Venture through Seward to seek out these works of art or head to one of the numerous galleries to get a better look. Of course, art is just one way to explore the city. There is also the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Seward Community Library and Museum, and great parks to explore. Seward is home to an ever-expanding culinary scene that highlights fresh, locally sourced ingredients and boasts great coffee houses and breweries, as well. If you want to get out in nature, there are glaciers, hiking trails, parks and adventures galore. Overnight Seward.

Day 10 - Kenai Fjords National Park

This morning begins by presenting one of the crowning jewels of the region, Kenai Fjords National Park. Discover the fjords, mountains, wildlife and spectacular hidden scenery of this 670,000-acre protected land by boat during your 6-hour cruise excursion. Nearly 100 miles of coastal vistas are presented, with each step of the way narrated by an expert guide. Your guide offers information about the flora and fauna of the region, as well as the marine life. Look for eagles soaring through the skies overhead and seabirds and puffins floating atop the icy waters. Keep a lookout for sea otter playing or a humpback whale surfacing. As the tour concludes, you are returned to Seward in time to board the Coastal Classic for your return journey to Anchorage, again following the undulations of Turnagain Arm. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 11 - Anchorage to Talkeetna aboard the Denali Star

Another route on the storied rails of the Alaska Railroad, another day that presents scenery unlike any you have laid your eyes upon before: Today's journey is on the Denali Star. Running between Anchorage and Fairbanks, this line is one of the most notable in the Alaska Railroad repertoire. This morning, board the train for the first leg of this incredible journey into the interior, with your destination being Talkeetna. The train reaches this quaint town after traveling along the Knik Arm and then through Wasilla. From here, the tracks wind along the Susitna River, with deep evergreen woodlands and impressive mountain ranges forming the backdrop for the course. As the Denali Star stations in Talkeetna, head to the river to board a jet-boat for an insider's look at the area's waterways. An incredible array of wildlife calls these rivers home, from beavers and salmon to eagles, geese and ducks. On the shores, moose, caribou and bear can sometimes be spotted. This ride is as scenic as it is thrilling. The jet-boat returns you to the harbor following the excursion, and from here, make your way to your conveniently located hotel with the rest of the night at leisure. Overnight Talkeetna.

Includes
  • Lunch
Day 12 - Talkeetna to Denali National Park

A land of extremes lies ahead as your journey continues toward Alaska's most notable piece of protected land, Denali National Park. Presenting extreme beauty and extreme heights, Denali is home to the Alaska Range, sweeping valleys, lush forests and a vast array of wildlife. Of course, what the park is perhaps best known for is Mount Denali, the highest peak in America. As you arrive, feel free to set out into the wilderness on your own. The hiking trails throughout the park present wondrous sights at every turn. Make sure your camera is handy! You may venture onto them independently or led by a park ranger who can select trails based on points of interest or difficulty level. Embark on a wildlife excursion to seek out moose, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep or the sizable population of grizzly bears within Denali National Park. Overnight Denali.

Day 13 - Denali National Park Touring/Denali to Fairbanks
Sometimes there is no better way to grasp on the full-scale grandeur of a location than a guided tour and that is just what this morning brings. Explore Denali, where there is nothing but wide-open wilderness for miles and miles in every direction. Soak in panoramic mountain scenes and some of the most impressive glimpses of Mt. Denali available. A guide offers striking facts and notes points of interest as the excursion unfolds while you keep a lookout for the wildlife that calls this region home.

It is back to the Alaska Railroad's Denali Star after your tour concludes, and today's route takes you even deeper into Alaska's interior to the fascinating city of Fairbanks. Watch as Mt. Denali and the Alaska Range fade to mere specks on the horizon as the train ventures north toward Healy and later Nenana. Typical remote Alaskan communities are visible from the tracks, and it is immediately apparent from their secluded nature just how vital the Alaska Railroad is to survival in these parts. The subarctic landscape flattens the further inland the train gets, and caribou can often be seen roaming in the distance. Before the journey concludes, keep a lookout for one last highlight: the Nenana River Canyon. Overnight Fairbanks.

Day 14 - Fairbanks Sightseeing

Get acquainted with the largest city in Alaska's interior with a guided sightseeing tour. Fairbanks offers layer upon layer of history to uncover from its colorful Gold Rush past to its vast native heritage. Today's comprehensive voyage begins on land amidst centuries-old buildings and remnants of the region's mining past. As you venture through the city, enjoy sights that also hint at the modern side of Fairbanks, including perhaps the Museum of the North. Enjoy another perspective on the sights and the city afterward by boarding a Sternwheeler Riverboat for a cruise along the Chena River. The ride invokes a certain nostalgia on passengers, not only transporting them through the fantastic scenery but also through the times, back to a day when riverboats were the most efficient mode of transit in the interior.

Following the tours, you have ample time to sightsee on your own. Perhaps seek out a gallery in which to see Native artworks and jewelry, or enjoy a deeper introduction into the art scene by seeking out the city's murals and sculptures or perusing the museums. Fairbanks is home to a great restaurant scene with eateries that appeal to visitors of all tastes. After two full weeks of adventure, maybe you just want a cold beer with a view - and you are in luck, because there are plenty of places for that, too. Keep an eye on the skies as the sun goes down; if your visit takes place at the right time of year, you may be able to watch the world's most intriguing and colorful display: the Aurora Borealis. Overnight Fairbanks.

Day 15 - Fairbanks - Departure Day

Visions of snow-capped mountains and stunning waterways fill your camera roll and your heart as your vacation concludes this morning. You may proceed to Fairbanks International Airport at leisure to return home or speak to your Rail Specialist if you'd like to continue exploring Alaska.

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.

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Alaska Railroad

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Wilderness Adventurer

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