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: 2019ATG-26 August 12 to Auugust 21, 2019
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: 8 Breakfasts (B), 7 Lunches (L) and 4 dinners (D) are included.
$4,599 per person, double occupancy
$5,899 Single Occupancy
$4,339 per person Triple Occupancy
$4,179 per person Quad Occupancy
Family Friendly - open to travelers ages 8 and above.
$216.55 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.
Book Your Seats Today!
Alaska Grand Explorer Tour 2019 - 10 Day Escorted Tour Itinerary
August 12, 2019 to Augsut 21, 2019
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: Monday, August 12, 2019- Anchorage, Alaska
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska. Explore Anchorage on your own as time allows.
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).
Hotel: Clarion Suites Downtown: All two-room suites are nicely furnished and feature refrigerators, microwaves, sofa sleepers and coffee makers. This hotel offers a wide range of amenities, including: * Free hot breakfast buffet * Free Wi-Fi * Free 24-hour airport 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: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - Turnagain Arm / Alyeska Tram/ Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float / Seward
9:00 am meet and greet your Alaskan Tour guide in the hotel lobby, ready to begin your exciting adventure. Travel with a small group, in a comfortable executive shuttle and with an Alaska resident as your driver -guide. Benefit from local resident knowledge and first hand experiences. Your ATG guide provides genuine Alaskan hospitality and concierge-level service so you have the best vacation experience possible.
Travel south along the Seward Highway. This National Scenic Byway 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 can offer this particular mix created by climate, geography, and geology.
The Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway is a seven-minute ride bringing you to a viewing deck which provides breath taking panoramic views of majestic mountains, hanging glaciers, sparkling streams, towering spruce, and an array of wildlife. Spend some time observing the views and trail walking.
Lunch included at the top of mountain in the Bore Tide Deli.
1 pm check in Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float:
Take the Alaska Railroad Glacier Discovery Train to the beautiful Spencer Glacier and enjoy an easy raft tour floating amongst icebergs in Alaska wilderness. 1:00 pm check in for 1:25 pm departing train trip 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.
Get up close and personal to the icebergs on this scenic float suitable for all ages. Experienced guides will row you right up to picturesque icebergs on Spencer Lake. The panoramic views of the Spencer Glacier and surrounding mountains are beautiful. From Spencer Lake, Raft 7 river miles down the pristine Placer River, where the river meets back up with the train tracks the Glacier Discovery train will stop to pick us up. Return to the Portage depot where you continue travel with your ATG guide and coach on to Seward.
Hotel: Harbor 360 - Harbor view rooms. 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: B, L DRIVE TIME: 3.5 hours
Day 3: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - Kenai Fjords Wildlife and Glacier Cruise
Hotel Breakfast Room
11:30 am to 5:30 p.m. 6 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 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. Onboard National Park Ranger Fun and educational Junior Ranger Program available for children. Delicious Alaska salmon and prime rib feast served buffet style included. Guaranteed reserved seating in a heated cabin for every guest The tour returns 5:30 pm.
Dinner is at one of our favorite Alaskan restaurants - Ray’s Waterfront Restaurant. This harbor side dining features a choice of fine dining surf and turf choices.
Spend your second night at: Harbor 360 - Harbor view rooms.
MEALS: B, L, D DRIVE TIME: none CRUISE TIME: 6 hours
Day 4: Thursday, August 15, 2019 - Exit Glacier / Begich Boggs Center / Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center / Wasilla
Breakfast voucher for hotel dining included.
Before departing, take a short drive along the Resurrection River toward Exit Glacier to observe the topography, vegetation and natural habitats surrounding a glacial environment. Walking routes vary from easy trails depicting the timeline of the retreating glacier to more moderate hiking trails leading up to the face of the glacier and great photo opportunities.
Depart Seward for a travel day north returns along the Seward Highway allowing a second opportunity for magical views and potential wildlife sightings in their natural habitat. As well as time to explore some other special points of interest.
The Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is built upon the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier in 1914. The visitor center offers an unique opportunity to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America's second largest national forest. Award-winning exhibits and presentations highlight the unique features of the region.
Lunch at Portage Lodge features homemade soup and sandwich or salad, beverage.
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. See moose, brown and black bear, wood bison, musk ox and many more rescued animals.
Wasilla, Alaska is located in the heart of the Matanuska Susitna Borough and the sixth largest city in Alaska. Established at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and Old Carle Wagon Road, the city prospered at the expense of the nearby mining town of Knik. Wasilla is named after Chief Wasilla, a local Dena'ina chief. Wasilla is also home of Iditarod founders, Joe Reddington and Dorothy Page.
Lake Lucille Inn guests enjoy beautiful mountain and lake views along with comfortable accommodations. A fully-equipped health and fitness club with weight room, guest laundry and wireless internet available. An extended continental breakfast is provided each morning. Deluxe rooms feature a lake view.
MEALS: B, L, D DRIVE TIME: 3.5 hours
Day 5: Friday, August 16, 2019 - Glacier Hike/ Hatcher Pass / Independence Mine
Hot Breakfast Buffet included.
Travel today takes us 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.
The Guided Glacier Hike is a popular hike, featuring close-up views of crevasses, seracs and unique ice formations. With the use of crampons, you'll enjoy trekking to a high point on the glacier which overlooks the ice fall as well as getting up close. The glacier is in a constant state of change, and your guide can point out various features as you navigate the intense surface. This is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at the nearby glacier park overlook.
Hatcher Pass is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s granite mountain peaks jutting 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. Excellent hiking opportunities exist for those who are looking to fully stretch their legs.
At the top of Hatcher Pass is the historic Independence Mine, which is protected by the Alaska State Parks, offers a preserved experience of what life was like back in the Gold Rush. Paved interpretive trails, historic buildings and exhibits can all be explored. An ideal experience for someone looking for the slower pace of absorbing some history.
Dinner as a group at a local restaurant.
Lake Lucille Inn guests enjoy beautiful mountain and lake views along with comfortable rooms. A health and fitness club with weight room, guest laundry and wireless internet available. A deluxe hot breakfast buffet is provided each morning. Deluxe rooms feature a lake view.
MEALS: B, L, D DRIVE TIME: 2.5 hours
Day 6: Saturday, August 17, 2019 - Sled Dog Kennel Tour / Talkeetna *Optional McKinley Flightsee with glacier landing / Denali
Hot Breakfast Buffet included.
8:30 am Depart for travel north to Denali.
In route stop in Willow, Alaska the heart of mushing country to tour Dream a Dream kennels and meet the team of Vern Halter, a veteran Iditarod musher Presentations weave the history of the Iditarod into an informative and interactive experience.
Meet with the huskies who make up this incredible team of athletes. Enjoy a short nature walk with the newest members, cute puppies abound! Then take a 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! End with lunch and time to interact with mushers while enjoying delicious deli meats & cheeses, salad and dessert.
Continue travel north with the next stop in Talkeetna, Alaska. This historical frontier town has lots of Alaskan flavor! The rustic and charming community is popular with visitors and offers a lot of hospitality with a choice of delicious eateries, quaint shops featuring local artists and even it’s quirky museums. Some of the best views of the Alaska range and Mt. Denali are seen from this location if weather permits.
OPTIONAL: Talkeetna Air Taxi take a Southside Explorer flight tour with a glacier landing. This #1 highlight is a robust introduction to Denali and the Alaska Range. Follow the river systems of Talkeetna across the Susitna Valley into an incredible landscape of icefalls, glaciers and snowy peaks. Land on a glacier on Mt. Denali and experience the awe of standing among great peaks, the immense scale will astound you. Added cost, subject to 2019 rates.
3:30 pm continue travel to your destination Denali Park. Dinner stop in route to lodging, traveler to pay.
Denali Lakeview Inn sits on a quiet lake and each room has lake and tundra views. These accommodations are clean and comfortable with numerous amenities. Each room has it’s own breakfast corner with continental breakfast choices, a table and chairs, a private deck the overlooks the lake. Watch for wild life across the peaceful lake.
MEALS: B, L DRIVE TIME: 5 hours
Day 7: Sunday, August 18, 2019 - Denali - OPTIONAL DAY to customize your vacation
Continental Breakfast corner provided in room.
Explore Denali your way. Choose from a variety of no-cost to low-cost to added expense adventures and experience this National Park at your own pace.
NOTE: This custom day is arranged and reserved just for tour guests after they have joined our trips. Confirmed tour guests are provided access to our Guest Resource Center for details about activities available to include pricing, times and the need to know information.
Leisure and no cost is the Denali Visitor Center, front country trails, shopping, relaxing at your lodging. Free shuttle to Savage River for trail hikes. Ranger programs are offered, our guides carry a schedule.
Low cost includes National Park Shuttles, recommend 8 hour bus to Eielson Visitor Center for best sights and wildlife viewing. Longer shuttles or upgraded tour are available with advance reservations.
Moderate to higher cost adventures include river rafting, a choice of easier floats or exciting whitewater ; ATV tours driving single seats or riding double to quad; unguided lake kayak rentals; Denali Highway Jeep Tours.
Subject to 2019 pricing provided in Guest Resource Center for confirmed tour guests.
Spend your second night at the Denali Lakeview Inn.
MEALS: B DRIVE TIME: to/from activities
Day 8: Monday, August 19, 2019 - Denali National Park & Preserve
Continental Breakfast corner provided in room.
8:15 am Depart for Denali Park entrance. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Denali Park Shuttle to Eielson Visitor Center.Denali National Park and Preserve, located in Interior Alaska, centered on Denali (Mt. McKinley), the highest mountain in north America, encompasses more than 6 million acres and provides visitors with the experience of a lifetime. 92 miles long, the Denali Park Road parallels the Alaska Range and travels through low valleys and high mountain passes. It is the only road in the park. Along its route, beautiful landscapes can be seen at every turn, and there are to view Mt McKinley - if weather permits. Wildlife can often be seen, too, though sightings are not guaranteed - they are, after all, wild animals roaming an unfenced land.
Opened in June 2008 the completely reconstructed Eielson Visitor Center was sustainably constructed and features interpretive exhibits. This is the turnaround point for your park trip, also a good place to hike and arrange a later bus back. This trip travels 65 miles one way, 8 hours round trip if you stay with the same bus. Your ATG guide will arrange for a boxed lunch for you to take along.
NOTE: Any travelers who wishes to book a different bus trip into Denali must do so prior to final tour
payment date, with advance reservations. Any cost difference is the responsibility of the traveler.
6:30 pm for group dinner at the Denali Salmon Bake restaurant.
Spend your third night at the Denali Lakeview Inn.
MEALS: B, L, D DRIVE TIME: 10 minutes SHUTTLE TIME: 8 hours (not all drive time)Continental Breakfast corner provided in room.
Day 9: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - Alaska Railroad Goldstar - Denali to Talkeetna / Anchorage, Alaska
The Denali National Park Visitor center offers Denali's visitors a chance to learn more about the park by interacting with rangers, viewing the award winning film "Heartbeats of Denali," and exploring the exhibit area. The building boasts a number of environmentally sustainable features . The Denali Bookstore offers an extensive collection of educational materials on the natural and cultural heritage of Denali.
11:20 am check in to board The Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad's flagship train, GoldStar Service from Denali to Talkeetna. On this route, sparkling salmon streams and stands of birch and spruce come into view, while carpets of fireweed add dramatic purple to the landscape. Enjoy 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, lunch and beverages included. Two adult beverages included. Order from the menu of Alaskan cuisine including choices that vary from seafood to reindeer sausage. Adult beverage menu includes award winning Alaskan brewery selections.
The train departs at 12:20 and your guide will drive with luggage and meet you in Talkeetna at 4:40 pm Depart Talkeetna by ATG small coach for the final leg of travel to Anchorage.
Arrival time in Anchorage about 7:30 - 8:00 pm. Your escorted tour concludes with drop off at your departure hotel.
Note: Red eye departures can fly out this night and save the cost of the last night hotel or apply it to the front of your tour for an early arrival. Airport check in time NOT before 8 pm.
Hotel: The Lakefront Anchorage, formerly Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage, 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 lobby.
From a lakeside deck, guests can watch over 800 floatplanes land every day at Lake Hood, the largest and busiest floatplane base in the world. Well-appointed rooms complimentary airport and downtown Anchorage shuttle. Very near to airport and ideal for early morning departures.
MEALS: B, L DRIVE TIME: 2 hours RAIL TIME: 4.5 hours
Day 10 - Departure Day: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - Depart Anchorage. Alaska
Unguided departure day. Hotel provides complimentary shuttle to airport. (Meals included: none)