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Grand Alaska Tour

4.0 stars(2 reviews)

By historic sternwheeler, aboard the legendary tracks of the Alaska Railroad, and along the state's most scenic byways, immerse yourself in Alaska's incredible landscapes and rich culture on this grand tour.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
8 days From $2,852 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: AT-GATR-23

About the tour

From the deep waters of Prince William Sound to the soaring peak of Mount Denali, the extremes of Alaska are sure to keep you captivated as you spend eight days exploring America's Last Frontier. This roundtrip itinerary from Anchorage highlights iconic destinations and stunning sites on this circular route. Each visit brings a variety of excursions that speak to both the heritage and unimaginable natural beauty this state holds. Begin in Anchorage with guided touring of the city and a cruise through Prince William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska to the town of Valdez. Follow two of Alaska's most scenic byways, first the Richardson Highway to Fairbanks and then Park Highway from Fairbanks where you will drive along Denali National Park. Revel in guided touring in both locations and a cruise on a historic sternwheeler on the Chena River in Fairbanks. Take some time to explore the surroundings of Denali National Park on your terms before heading back to Anchorage aboard none other than the Alaska Railroad's flagship train, the Denali Star. Bask in the incredible views offered exclusively by the panoramic dome cars as an idyllic conclusion to this epic journey.  


What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive in Anchorage

Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, welcomes you as you arrive in the far north today. As your plane lands, transfer to your downtown hotel on your own and meet your Tour Manager. The remainder of your day is at leisure to get acquainted with this cultural epicenter. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 2 - Anchorage City Touring/Prince William Sound

Anchorage sits at the crossroads of culture, heritage, and nature and is brimming with sites that illustrate them all. Set your sights upon some of the most popular as you venture through the city on this morning's guided tour. Stops along the route may include places like Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof, or Lake Hood, where seaplanes abound. The museum buildings are beautiful, as are the local parks. Our tour concludes with a visit to the Alaskan Native Heritage Center, which opened in 1999 as a place to celebrate and explore Alaska's indigenous people.

Later this afternoon, the group joins a motorcoach for a scenic drive alongside Turnagain Arm. Look over the calm waters surrounded by snow-capped mountains. You may even be lucky enough to see whales breaching or other marine life surfacing. Our drive takes us to the port town of Whittier, where a boat awaits to guide us through the gorgeous surroundings of Prince William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska to Valdez. We transfer to the hotel on arrival and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure in our new locale. Overnight Valdez.

  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Scenic Drive to Fairbanks

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart Valdez on the Richardson Highway. This byway was the first long-distance roadway constructed through Alaska's interior and boasts breathtaking views along its 366-mile course. Thanks to their scenery, two sections of this roadway have achieved State Scenic Byway status. As we drive to Fairbanks today, watch views of the Chugach Mountains, Copper River, the Alaskan Range, and the Tanana River unfold. Other highlights of our journey include Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, encompassing 13.2 million acres of pristine land and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. We arrive in the aptly named Golden Heart City later this afternoon, with plenty of time for you to settle in on your terms. Fairbanks offers an exciting juxtaposition of old and new, with gold mining history adjoining thriving art and culinary scenes. Overnight Fairbanks. 

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Fairbanks Sightseeing & Chena River Cruise

A guided introduction to Fairbanks' landmark sites and most fantastic attractions beckon on this morning's guided city tour. Our knowledgeable guide tells the tales of the town's mining past and offers tidbits of history as we explore the sights. Your tour may include highlights like the moose antler arch and the historic buildings which once housed boomtown businesses. We stop at the University of Alaska's Museum of the North to uncover thousands of years of Alaskan history through exhibits featuring art, artifacts, fossils, and more. There are over 2.5 million specimens throughout the museum in total. The tour continues to the Chena River banks from the museum, and here, we board an authentic sternwheeler for a cruise down the river. Towering evergreen trees, wide-open skies, and a great deal of history guide the way on this excursion.

Return to Fairbanks with the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps visit the Aurora Ice Museum or have a drink at one of the local breweries, like the HooDoo Brewing Company. Overnight Fairbanks.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Fairbanks to Denali

From the country's tallest mountain to endless forests and rushing river views, the vistas from Alaska's Park Highway will leave you in awe as we drive from Fairbanks to Denali today aboard a comfortable motorcoach. Our route takes us through communities like Nenana, Clear, and Healy before arriving outside of Denali National Park. Over 6 million acres of land - larger than the state of New Jersey - encompass this spectacular destination; it is no wonder that visitors flock from all corners of the earth to see its offerings. This afternoon you have a chance to do just that. Once we have checked in at our hotel, you are free to hike, take photos of the marvelous surroundings, or join one of the park's wildlife spotting tours. You could also visit the park's sled dog kennels to learn more about this iconic - and essential - cold-weather sport. Overnight Denali. 

  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Denali National Park

Immense natural beauty and diverse wildlife find their place amongst the landscapes of Denali National Park. Following breakfast, join the group in marveling upon these wonders as we embark on a guided bus tour outside of the park. Our guide presents facts about the protected lands and takes us to some of the most scenic lookouts. We keep a close watch for animals during our travels, as the vast wilderness includes over 39 species of mammals, including wolves, caribou, moose, bears, foxes, marmots, and Dall sheep. In addition, more than 160 species of birds soar overhead, including Golden and Bald Eagles. Keep your binoculars and camera at the ready. We return this afternoon with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Denali. 

  • Breakfast
Day 7 - The Denali Star to Anchorage

This morning, we join the Alaska Railroad at the Denali Depot and set out into the deep Alaskan wilderness bound for Anchorage. Each mile of the journey is set before you from the domed glass windows of a Wilderness Express Dome Car. An upgrade from standard seating on the Denali Star, the Wilderness Express Dome Car features dual-level cars with comfortable seating and impressive 360-degree views of the changing terrain. Look upon fleeting scenes of Mount Denali and over the beautiful expanses of the wild outback. Mountains, forests, and inland waterways make for marvelous viewing during our route toward Talkeetna, where we switch modes of transportation and join a motorcoach for the final leg of the trip to Anchorage. We arrive at our hotel with time to settle in and freshen up, and then the group comes together once more for a farewell dinner this evening. Overnight Anchorage.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

Your grand Alaskan journey concludes this morning after breakfast. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to Anchorage's international airport for your return flight home. 

  • Breakfast

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.


Alaska Railroad's Denali Star


4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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  5. 1 star


3 stars

Submitted 13 Sep 2022

The tour director and bus driver were excellent. 5 stars to them. The cruise on prince William sound should serve better food it was terrible and would be better with a sandwich

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 13 Sep 2022

Our tour guide Alex had to be one of the best in the business. Some of our travel times were rather lengthy but Alex entertained and kept us interested the entire time. He was extremely knowledgeable and was glad to answer all questions honestly and correctly. He did a great job tending to the needs of every traveler.

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