Alaska Land Tour Highlights
* Take the Glacier Discovery Tour to get up close and personal to steel blue ice glaciers in an Alaska wilderness setting.
* Enjoy a Kenai Fjords National Park tour to see abundant marine animal and bird life. * Ride the tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for outstanding views.
* Take a guided glacier trek on the Matanuska Glacier.
* Explore Hatcher Pass and the historic Independence Mine.
* Tour a veteran Iditarod Sled dog kennel and take a short ride behind a team of huskies.
* Visit Talkeetna, a rustic Alaskan town with incredible views of Denali.
* Optional Flightsee McKinley with glacier landing (added cost)
* Enjoy a full-day excursion into Denali National Park and Preserve.
* Ride the Alaska Railroad Goldstar service Denali to Talkeetna.
* Optional day in Denali to enjoy a choice of activity - hikes for no cost or, river rafting or ATV tours (added costs)
* Visit several small attractions for informative displays and presentations about Alaska. The Begich Boggs Visitor Center, the Alaska Wildlife and Conservation Center, Exit Glacier Park, the Denali Visitor Center and more.
Rates and Details:
10 Day - Alaska Grand Explorer
Trip Code: 2018ATG-15 July 7 to July 16, 2018
Your Trip Includes: Transportation: Alaskan driver-guide and executive coach transportation. Accommodations: 9 nights lodging - quality hotels. Activities: All listed activities and attraction admissions. Optional activities are additional cost. Meals: 9 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L) and 4 dinners (D) are included.
$4,499 per person, double occupancy
$5,649 Single Occupancy
$4,139 per person Triple Occupancy
$3,949 per person Quad Occupancy
Family Friendly - open to travelers ages 8 and above.
$238 Taxes and fees included in rate published.
Cancellations must be received in writing and are subject to the following fees per person: Any cancellation up to 61 days prior to tour departure: 5% of Deposit amount.
Cancellations with notice 60 days or less prior to departure: No refund, regardless of circumstance.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended.
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Alaska Grand Explorer Tour 2018 - 10 Day Escorted Tour Itinerary
July 7, 2018 to July 16, 2018
SMALL GROUP ALASKA LAND TOUR. Maximum 13 passengers traveling with 1 Alaska resident guide in one of our deluxe small coaches. Designated for travelers of age 8 and above.
DAILY ITINERARY: Your escorted vacation is spent fully discovering Alaska and meeting Alaskans. Trip days generally begin 8-9 am and end 8-9 pm, give or take an hour if the day warrants. Travel is at a comfortable pace with time out of the vehicle experiencing many things along the way. Custom and Optional activities can be arranged for an even more personal experience.. Travelers should be able to walk unassisted (at least a block and up a few stairs), and in good medical condition in order to participate in this small group tour. Times listed are approximate and if needed ATG may alter the schedule as needed to suit the situation. Our tours are meant to experience Alaska in a more personal way with more time away from the crowded larger coach destinations. We focus on showing you some of the real Alaska where you're one in 13 rather than one in 100 or 1000.
Day 1 - Arrival Day: Saturday, July 7, 2018- Anchorage, Alaska
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska. Explore Anchorage on your own as time allows. Downtown area hotel in walking distance to Anchorage attractions, shops, dining and activity. We're happy to assist with any information for individual plans this day. **Unguided. (Meals and activities for this day are at your own expense. The hotel room and tax is included in the tour rate).
Overnight at the Clarion Suites downtown Anchorage. All two-room suites are elegantly furnished. The hotel offers a wide arrange of amenities, including: *Free hot breakfast buffet *Free Wi-Fi internet access *Free 24-hour airport shuttle service *Free Alaska Railroad shuttle service *Exercise room. Be sure to take a dip in the indoor heated pool or relax in the accompanying hot tub.
Day 2 - Escort Pickup: Sunday, July 8, 2018 - Turnagain Arm / Portage Glacier / Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float / Seward
8:30 am Meet and greet your Alaskan Tour Guide in the hotel lobby, ready to begin your journey. Travel exclusively in a luxury shuttle van with easy stand up access, comfortable captain chairs and large viewing windows. Your guide is a year round Alaska resident who will share stories and information for an entertaining and enlightening tour. We want you to see Alaska up close and personal.
The drive heads south on the Seward Highway, a National Scenic Byway which passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The landscape varies from the muddy waters of Turnagain Arm to the icy blue glaciers that hang almost to the sea. Wildflowers and waterfalls brighten every corner of the road as it glides below rough mountains that pierce thick, heavy clouds. Only Alaska's Seward Highway offers this particular mix created by climate, geography, and geology. Wildlife viewing has high potential along this highway. We'll take ample time to enjoy any sightings.
The Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is built upon the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier in 1914. A short visit is to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America's second largest national forest and it ecosystems.
A quick lunch stop is made at the Portage Glacier lodge for yummy sandwich fare and hot soups.
1:00 pm check in. The Glacier Discovery Tour is the Alaskan experience that you always pictured in your minds eye. Experience steel blue glacier ice up close and personal! Board the Alaska Railroad at Portage, travel is south down the Placer Valley leaving the highway behind and into country only accessible by train. Several hanging glaciers appear before the stop at Spencer Glacier. This is another wildlife habitat populated with bear, moose, coyotes and wolves. Swans pause here on their migration, yellow legs and arctic terns also make their home here. Its hard to believe this is only a few hours out of Anchorage and completely off the road system.
Guests disembark the train in the ultra-scenic Placer valley at Spencer Lake. After a brief motor transport to Spencer Lake the raft is launched. Spencer Lake is full of icebergs that crumble from the glacier. The ice is so close you can touch it (however for safety reasons it may not always be advisable to do so). Relax as your guide navigates the raft down the Placer River through spirited Class I (maybe II) rapids that are fun but mild. Take photos or just enjoy the wildness of it all. You shouldn't expect to get wet except for an occasional small splash. After this amazingly scenic float, you'll get back on the train and return to Portage for travel by your small coach south to Seward.
The picturesque town of Seward, Alaska offers you the experience one of Alaska's coastal communities known for dramatic mountains against the sea views, tidewater glaciers and abundant marine wildlife. The connection to the sea is very apparent in Alaskan harbor towns, we show you some of the highlights while here.
Check in to your Alaskan hotel before dining. Dinner on your own this evening.
Harbor 360 Hotel: In the city of Seward, with great views of the Boat Harbor and Resurrection Bay. Harbor View rooms with either 2 queen beds or one king. Includes continental breakfast room. Easy walking distance to shops, dining, and convenient for a walk along the bay under the late evening sun.
(Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 3: Monday, July 9, 2018 - Kenai Fjords Wildlife and Glacier Cruise
1:30 am to 5:30 p.m. Hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise explores the world of whales, wildlife, and glaciers found in Kenai Fjords National Park. The Spirit of Adventure, our newly-remodeled catamaran, is one of our fastest boats, allowing you to experience as much scenery, glaciers, and wildlife as possible within six hours. Providing a full narration to your journey, a uniformed National Park Ranger will be onboard to point out the spectacular sights and provide information on the area’s ecology, history, and geology. You will spend time in front of the mighty Holgate Glacier, an actively calving tidewater glacier.
Visit an active tidewater glacier
View wildlife and scenery on a large, stable catamaran with multiple viewing decks and large, fog-free windows Wildlife: whales, sea otters, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, puffins, eagles, seabirds
Delicious Alaska salmon and prime rib feast served buffet style included
Guaranteed reserved seating in a heated cabin for every guest.
Dinner at one of Seward's finest where you order from the menu. *We choose from a variety of good quality restaurants and allow you to order from the menu: an entree, non-alcohol beverage and dessert. Non-market price items only. Plenty of Alaskan seafood choices. Steak options and limited vegetarian. Not all restaurants are able to accommodate Gluten free diets. Travelers are recommended to prepare for any special dietary needs and bring along.
Spend your second night at Seward hotel. (Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - Exit Glacier / Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center / Alyeska Tram / Wasilla
Before departing Seward, travel along the Resurrection River toward Exit Glacier to explore the topography, vegetation and natural habitats surrounding a glacial environment. Short walks to views or more moderate ones lead up to the glacier terminus. Either offer great photo opportunities.
Return travel along the Seward Highway offers a second opportunity at incredible views and potential wildlife sightings as well as a few more favored small stops.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a non profit organization that cares for rescued wildlife, injured and orphans. They promote better awareness of Alaska wildlife conservation methods through public education and they provide a fantastic opportunity to photograph Alaska wildlife up close. Moose, brown and black bear, musk ox, wood bison and more are all cared for at this facility. Travel continues just north of Anchorage for an afternoon adventure in Alaska wilderness.
Ride the Alyeska aerial tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska. A seven minute ride to 2300' offers stunning views of the surrounding Chugach mountains, hanging glaciers and the Cook Inlet.
Travel continues north of Anchorage, with stops as needed to overnight destination in the heart of the Matanuska Susitna Valley.
Our overnight lodging is in the town of Wasilla, Alaska. "Home of the Iditarod". The Lake Lucille Inn. Surround yourself with Alaskan flavor and the most majestic views in Alaska. (Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - Glacier Hike/ Hatcher Pass / Independence Mine
8:00 am. Depart for travel along a Scenic Byway that offers panoramic mountain views, magnificent blue ice glaciers and wildlife viewing opportunities. Travel follows the Matanuska River as it carves it's way down from higher country through mountains and valleys and up to it's headwaters at the face of the majestic Matanuska Glacier, a 27 mile long, 4 mile wide blue-ice glacier. Drive time 1.5 hours. 9:30 am. check in to trek on an Alaska glacier!
9:30 The Glacier Hike is a popular trek, featuring close-up views of crevasses, seracs and unique ice formations as well as getting up to a high point on the glacier which overlooks the ice fall. This experience tops the list in many visitors highlights. This activity may be difficult for anyone with knee, back or stability conditions. As an alternative activity, you may take a short nature walk with views of the glacier, and a nearby overlook where we occasionally see Dall sheep. If weather is inclement, we stop for a piece of pie and favorite beverage at a nearby hunter's lodge with views overlooking the glacier.
1:00p.m. A picnic lunch of sandwiches and salads is enjoyed at the Matanuska Glacier State Rec site with views of the glacier. Return to Palmer, along the scenic byway stopping for short photo opportunities of incredible mountain, river and valley views.
4:00 pm Hatcher Pass is breathtaking with beauty. It's granite mountain peaks jut up from the wildflower covered tundra and pristine mountain streams meander through the valley below. Panoramic views and short nature walks are pleasing for outdoor lovers. At the top of Hatcher Pass is the historic Independence Mine, which is protected by the Alaska State Parks to offer a preserved experience of what life was like back in the Gold Rush days. Paved interpretive trails, historic buildings and exhibits can all be explored.
6:00 pm. Dinner and return to overnight at Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla. (Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - Sled Dog Kennel Tour / Talkeetna *Optional McKinley Flightsee with glacier landing / Denali
Today we head north, stopping in route to enjoy our favorite sights, attractions and activities. Tour Dream a Dream kennels. Vern Halter, a veteran Iditarod musher who weaves the history of the Iditarod into his informative presentation. Meet the huskies who make up the team, enjoy a short nature walk with the newest members, the pups! Then enjoy a special ride on a multi-seat All Terrain Vehicle with the option of standing positions too. These dog limos are the coolest and most realistic way to ride with a sled dog team in the summer months. It's great training for the dogs and you'll see how they love it! A wonderful lunch is provided for our guests to spend more time with the musher.
Continuing north and taking a slight side trip to visit the frontier town of Talkeetna. This rustic little town is big on Alaska flavor. Some of the best views of north America's tallest peak can be seen from here. Enjoy the delicious diners, quirky museums and quaint artist shops as you stroll along the main street.
It is OPTIONAL and additional cost to take a flight seeing tour of MT. McKinley. This is also a highlight that may not be available on last minute reservation.
The Southside Explorer flight with a glacier landing is a 1 hour tour that will fly into the heart of the Alaska range, over glaciers and other amazing sights to where you'll land on a glacier and have a chance to step out onto Mt. McKinley. Simply incredible! 2016 rate $320 adult.
Continue the drive north to arrive in the Denali park area in time for dinner
Overnight at Denali Lakeview Inn. The Inn sits on a quiet lake 10 miles north of the park entrance. Rooms all have sealy posturpedic beds, private bathrooms, decks with lake views and a small breakfast corner in room for you to enjoy a light morning meal. This Inn is a great value over the full service hotels offered on other dates. (Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 7: Friday, July 13, 2018 - Denali - OPTIONAL DAY to customize your vacation
Today is an "Optional" day in Denali. This afternoon is to allow you to set the pace of your trip and pick what you'd like to do. Your guide will take care of transfers and arrangements as needed. Advance reservations are required for activities chosen.
No additional cost options include - short hikes, Denali park shuttle to Savage river for hike, shopping, relaxing at your lodge. Visit the Denali Visitor Center for displays and information including a variety of films. Shuttle transportation provided by hotel if ATG is unavailable.
Added cost options - ATV rides , Whitewater rafting, Scenic float trips. Rates and more information provided as interested. Multiple schedule times, shuttle transportation provided by hotel and activity outfitter if ATG is unavailable.
Dinner on your own tonight, we suggest your hotel restaurant or ATG can provide shuttle service up to 9 pm to nearby dining choices.
Spend your second night in Denali. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 8: Saturday, July 14, 2018 - Denali National Park & Preserve
8:30 am to 4:3o pm Today is a full day in the park experience. Denali National Park and Preserve provides visitors with the experience of a lifetime. Wildlife, bird life, wild flowers, landscapes, mountains and more. On a clear day, this 8-hour shuttle bus trip into the park affords outstanding views of MT. McKinley and the Alaska Range when visible. Opened in June 2008 the completely reconstructed Visitor Center was sustainable constructed and all new
interpretive exhibits are well worth the visit. This trip travels 65 miles one way, 8 hours round trip. We suggest anyone desiring more time in the park to hike at the Eielson visitor center and return by a later bus.
Spend your 3rd night in Denali. (Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 9: Sunday, July 15, 2018 - Alaska Railroad Goldstar - Denali to Talkeetna / Anchorage, Alaska
11:00 am check in to ride aboard The Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad's flagship train, from Denali to Talkeetna. View sparkling salmon streams and stands of birch and spruce come into view, while carpets of fireweed add dramatic purple to the landscape. If the weather allows the views of MT. McKinley are breathtaking. Enjoy GoldStar Service, first-class service aboard double-deck dome cars, luxury rail travel has never been better. Reserved upper-level dome car seating, upper-level outdoor viewing deck, exclusive lower-level dining room, complimentary non alcoholic beverages.
Your Alaskan tour guide will meet you with your baggage in Talkeetna to continue the travel into Anchorage by luxury shuttle.
Returning to overnight at the Lakefront Anchorage, formerly known as the Millennium. The hotel offers modern, lodge-like accommodations on the shores of Lake Spenard and lake Hood. The lobby is rich with displays of animals indigenous to Alaska including a Kodiak brown bear, polar and black bears. Numerous king salmon, moose and caribou mounts also adorn the spacious and comfortable lobby. From a lakeside deck, guests can watch float planes take off from the busiest float plane airport in north America. (Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 10 - Departure Day: Monday, July 16, 2018 - Depart Anchorage. Alaska
Unguided departure day. Hotel provides complimentary shuttle to airport. (Meals included: Breakfast)