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Northern Lights at Borealis Basecamp

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8 days From $2,498 per person
4.6 stars(9 reviews)
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Let your wildest Alaskan dreams come to fruition on this journey that includes northern light viewing in your own private igloo at Borealis Basecamp, a ride on the iconic Alaska Railroad, a floatplane excursion past Mt. Denali and plenty of time to immerse yourself in the wonders of two of the state’s greatest cities.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: AT-BBCS-24

About the tour

Forget everything you have heard about northern lights viewing and come along for this independent adventure into Alaska's backcountry to Borealis Basecamp. Set just 25 miles outside of Fairbanks, this unique hotel offers an aurora borealis experience like no other. Watch hues of red, green and purple undulate across the night sky from your cozy, private igloo accommodations. A sixteen-foot domed fiberglass provides you with panoramic views of the colorful skies without even stepping foot out of bed. Your stay also includes a scenic sunset toast with champagne and the chance to set out into the boreal forest aboard a dogsled, snowmobile or ATV. Following your time at Borealis Basecamp, spend a day exploring Fairbanks, and do not forget to look up at night; even being surrounded by city lights and buildings, Fairbanks is an idyllic place for northern lights viewing. The trip presses forth toward Anchorage aboard the iconic Alaska Railroad, specifically, its Aurora Winter Train. The all-day route showcases little-seen Alaska and places where the roads simply do not reach. Your time in Anchorage brings its share of adventure, opt to add in a flightseeing tour of Mt. Denali and its surrounding glaciers and foothills or enjoy ample time to sightsee through the city on your own terms. Complemented by optional excursions and some of the vastest and impressive scenery in the U.S., this vacation is one that won't be forgotten. 

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Fairbanks

Arrive in Fairbanks, one of Alaska's oldest, coldest and largest cities. Known fondly as the Golden Heart City, this destination is your gateway to the breathtaking colors of the aurora borealis. The city is beloved for its unique art installations and historic buildings that date back to the height of the Gold Rush. Transfer to your hotel independently, then enjoy the rest of the day to get acquainted with Fairbanks. Overnight Fairbanks.

Day 2 - Transfer to Borealis Basecamp

You are welcome to continue your explorations in downtown Fairbanks this morning. Coffee lovers rejoice; there are several boutique coffee roasters throughout the city, in addition to numerous coffee shops. Diverse restaurants and art galleries speak to the city's love of the unique abound. And, of course, you cannot leave before checking out Golden Heart Plaza.

Head back to your hotel early this afternoon to await your transfer to Borealis Basecamp. A shared van picks you up at the designated meeting point and commences the journey out into the wilderness. Borealis Basecamp is set less than an hour outside the city yet feels worlds away with its wide-open skies and 100-plus acres of boreal forest. On arrival, you are shown to your accommodations for the next two nights: a fiberglass dome. These private domes are crafted to be cozy, personal nests for northern lights viewing with all the amenities of home. You may also wish to unwind post-transfer with a heavy dose of relaxation at Latitude 65. The main hub of Borealis Basecamp, this yurt is home to the onsite gourmet restaurant and open lounge areas in which guests are welcome to interact with each other, play board games or simply marvel at views of the White Mountains while sipping a drink. After the sun sets, get cozy in your dome to watch for the northern lights above. Overnight Borealis Basecamp.

Day 3 - Borealis Basecamp at Leisure

Today is yours to explore the snow-clad terrain and soak in the serenity of your surroundings. Enjoy a continental buffet breakfast as you wake and then your choice of excursions. During the fall touring season, you may select either an ATV ride through the surrounding forests and mountains or a dogsledding tour. Come November, those options change to dogsledding or snowmobiling through the snowy landscape. While your vacation includes just one option, others are available to fill your day further (payable locally). The evening includes a 2-hour sunset tour. Aboard a Borealis Basecamp vehicle, ride to a scenic hilltop lookout and toast with a complimentary glass of champagne as the sun sinks behind the trees. Return to your dome in time to watch the reds and greens of the aurora dance across the sky from the comfort of your bed. Overnight Borealis Basecamp.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Fairbanks

After breakfast this morning, bask in the beautiful forested scenery of the White Mountains during your transfer back to Fairbanks. Spend the day sightseeing and exploring as you please after you check-in at your downtown hotel. Perhaps find yourself immersed in Alaskan culture at the Museum of the North or visit the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum to set your sights upon over 70 beautifully preserved vintage cars. Get your picture taken under the iconic moose antler arch for a quintessential Fairbanks souvenir. A walk along the frozen Chena River is also a marvelous way to pass the time. Overnight Fairbanks.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Aurora Winter Train to Anchorage

Today, a new adventure beckons as you transfer to the Fairbanks train station and board the Alaska Railroad's Aurora Winter Train.  This 12-hour journey takes you through the snowy backcountry, some of which is entirely unreachable by road. Enjoy distant views of Mount Denali and picturesque vistas of the Susitna River. If you look closely, you may even catch glimpses of moose, caribou or bear wandering near the waterline or amongst the evergreen trees. On its southerly route, the train passes through Talkeetna and Wasilla and makes its way along the incredibly scenic Knik Arm before arriving in Anchorage. Make your independent transfer to your hotel, and feel free to grab dinner at a nearby restaurant or settle in for the night. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 6 - Explore Anchorage

Explore Anchorage at your leisure or opt to add in an activity for your first free day in the city. If you'd like to explore more in and around Anchorage, consider adding in a day trip to Matanuska Glacier where you will begin with a scenic drive through Matanuska Susitna valley with plenty of opportunities for photos during the stops along the way before embarking on a guided glacier walk of a lifetime. Overnight Anchorage

Day 7 - Anchorage at Leisure

There is no shortage of ways to enjoy your a free day in Anchorage. The city is incredibly walkable, offering you easy access to public art installations, wonderful restaurants and beautiful parks - even in the winter. The Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center are great places to explore the region's culture, whereas the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is the ideal spot to learn more about the state's animals. Downtown is brimming with art galleries and cute boutique shops in which to find a variety of souvenirs and artwork. Perhaps set out on a whale watching tour or venture into one of the nearby national parks for a day to remember. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

Your Alaska adventure concludes this morning. Transfer to Anchorage's airport for your return flight home or continue your expedition through America's Last Frontier on your own.

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.

Trains

Alaska Railroad's Aurora Winter Train
Alaska Railroad's Denali Star

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Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 9 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (7)
  2. 4 stars
    (1)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Carol

5 stars

Submitted 03 Apr 2024

The Borealis Basecamp location is unique. Two nights were just right for us. The igloos were cozy. May be nice to have some different games available. The staff was excellent. All well coordinated. Received information in time and the instructions on the vouchers helped. Liked our stay at Springhill in Fairbanks. Did you know that the bus system in Fairbanks is free if you are over 60? The Aurora train was comfortable and enjoyed mixing with others in the dining car. We booked a separate city tour package in Anchorage. No free breakfast at the hotel. Some amenities were not free. We found a great breakfast at Snow City Cafe. Will definitely explore Vacations by Rail again. Customer Service was spot on!

from Vacations By Rail
We are so glad to hear that you had a great time! What wonderful photos! We would love to share them to our social media if we have your permission.
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Cynthia Bunch

5 stars

Submitted 24 Mar 2024

Fantastic experience!

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Rick Siciliano

2 stars

Submitted 06 Jan 2024

The Adventure services group was excellent. They were very friendly, attentive, helpful and knowledgeable, to mention a few. They were the brightest part of the trip. The restaurant was the low point. They try to present themselves as a high end restaurant, but fall short of the Holiday Inn Express at breakfast, and Denney's for lunch and dinner. In Alaska, we were served a badly fileted piece of Sockeye Salmon that was both over and under cooked and tasted old. The roasted carrots were under cooked and bitter. The Pork Chop, stuffed with spinach and mushrooms the staff claimed to have foraged themselves was cooked ok, but the mushrooms were over powered by the excessive creamed spinach and again the roasted carrots were under cooked and bitter. The cost was excessive for a restaurant that prepared the dishes flawlessly. As we had no other choice of somewhere else to have dinner, we felt completely taken advantage of. There didn't seem to be anyone in the kitchen that had any pride in the food they were serving. It's not like we had a choice of where to have dinner. Lunch was no different, over priced poorly prepared food. Very disappointing, they could have done so much better. The Igloo was nice, but not a luxury accommodation. The mattress seemed old and worn out. It had a hump in the middle with a steep decline to the edge. The heater was noisy and difficult to set to achieve stable temperatures. As a result, unless you turned the heat way up, (78 - 80) the temp fluctuations caused the ceiling windows to be covered in condensation making aurora viewing not possible from inside. Also, the wasn't a chair in the room, leaving nowhere to sit except the edge of the bed, which was impossible to sit on without sliding off due to the hump in the middle of the mattress. The common areas have not kept up with the increases in capacity that has occurred in the last few years. The result is there space is insufficient to accommodate guests waiting for check-in after arriving on a shuttle. There isn't enough seating or standing room for guests to wait comfortably while people check-in and schedule meals and activities. A 10 to 20 minutes process. At check-out the situation is the same, except it is created by all the people waiting to find out which shuttle they are assigned to and then waiting on that shuttle to arrive. There wasn't enough seating or space to accommodate the number of people waiting. In fact, many guests ended up waiting outside in 2 degree weather. Neither process seemed that organized and resulted in a certain amount of chaos. The front desk did notify us of aurora activity which did save us from missing it and it was amazing. The activities offered were also varied and a lot of fun. Overall, it was a good experience and we don't regret going there, but it could have been so much better with a little more emphasis on customer satisfaction.

from Vacations By Rail
Thank you for taking the time to provide your detailed feedback. We do regret to hear that some aspects of your trip were not enjoyable. We want to make this right and will have someone from our travel services team reach out you shortly. We do hope you consider traveling with us again.
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TIMOTHY JOSEPH

5 stars

Submitted 06 Jan 2024

Wonderful Experience, unique and much fun

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James Hollon

5 stars

Submitted 28 Dec 2023

Trip of a lifetime! The Basecamp was fantastic, outstanding staff, food was excellent.

from Vacations By Rail
Amazing photo! We would love to share this photo along with your review to our social media if we have your permission.
1 comment

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JAMES A MYERS

5 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2023

The Borealis Basecamp should be added to every travel itinerary when you travel to Northern Alaska. The entire property is beautiful with gorgeous views and an amazing staff. Everyone on site was super knowledgeable and went above and beyond and took care of us during out entire stay. The sunset UTV ride, the Reindeer meet & greet and walks, the Sauna, everything was amazing. Latitude 65 had absolutely mouth-watering dishes and every meal was better than the last. We even got a chance to speak with the chef and compliment on the entire menu, and we followed him, as well as the BaseCamp on Instagram. Make it a priority to stay at the Borealis Basecamp!

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