Alaska Grand Explorer 2021
10 Day Tour Itinerary
SMALL GROUP 10 DAY ALASKA TRIP PACKAGE: Explore two national parks, ride the Alaska Railroad, and experience two unique glacier adventures. Enjoy incredible scenery, wildlife, a working sled dog kennel tour and ride, and much more. Travel from Anchorage south to Kenai Fjords National Park and north to Denali National Park.
Maximum 13 passengers traveling with 1 resident Alaska tour guide in one of our deluxe small coaches. Designated for travelers of age 13 and above.
ALASKA TRIP DETAILS: Days begin 8-9 am and end 8-9 pm, with a little flexibility. Travel is at a comfortable pace with several stops along the way because it’s about the experience, not the drive. In some locations, optional activities can be arranged for a further personalized experience. Travelers should be able to walk unassisted (at least a city block and up a few stairs), and in good medical condition in order to participate in this small group tour. Most meals are included in the tour package cost. Where meals are not included, access and assistance to dining is still provided by your guide.
Alaska Trip Package – Day 1
Anchorage, Alaska Arrival
Today is the scheduled arrival day into Anchorage, Alaska. Alaskan Tour Guides is happy to assist with additional hotel reservations for those who wish to arrive earlier.
Arrival day is unguided. Meals and activities for this day are at your own expense. The hotel room and tax for this night is included in the tour rate. Additionally, a breakfast voucher for tomorrow is included.
Hotel: The Lakefront Anchorage, formerly Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage, offers modern, lodge-like accommodations on the shores of Lake Spenard and Lake Hood. Deluxe rooms feature one King or two Queen beds. This hotel offers complimentary 24/7 airport service and daily shuttle service to the downtown Anchorage area and the Alaska Railroad Depot.
HIGHLIGHTS: National Scenic Byway; Portage Glacier Visitor Center; Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float; Seward, Alaska
Travel with Alaskan guides
9:00 am meet and greet your Alaskan Tour guide, ready to begin your exciting adventure. 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 with a small group, in a comfortable executive shuttle. Depart Anchorage to 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 ocean waters of Turnagain Arm to the icy blue glaciers visible in the mountains above.
Spencer Glacier Adventure
1:00 pm check in to Spencer Glacier Iceberg Float: Take the Alaska Railroad Glacier Discovery Train which travels 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.
Experienced guides will row you right up to picturesque icebergs on Spencer Lake so you can reach out and touch them. The chance to witness the panoramic views of the Spencer Glacier and surrounding mountains are a highlight of this Alaskan land tour. From Spencer Lake, raft 7 river miles down the pristine Placer River, where the river meets up with the train tracks so you can ride the Glacier Discovery train back out.
Return to the Portage depot where you will continue travel with your ATG guide and coach to Seward.
Dinner as a group included.
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.
MEALS: B, L, D | DRIVE TIME: 2.5 hours
Day 3 of your Alaska trip package
HIGHLIGHTS: Kenai Fjords Wildlife and Glacier Cruise
10:30 am check in for the 6 hour Kenai Fjords National Park tour.
This 6 hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise explores the world of whales, wildlife, and glaciers found in Kenai Fjords National Park. An experienced captain will fully narrate your journey and will point out the spectacular sights while providing information on the area’s wildlife, history, and geology. You will spend time in front of a towering tidewater glacier to watch for calving, where giant chunks of glacial ice break off and then crash into the water. Cruise around the islands and coves of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Other possible wildlife sightings include bears, mountain goats, sea otters, seals, sea lions, porpoises, fish, and whales. A deli style lunch or a vegetarian option is included.
Spend your second night at the Harbor 360 – Harbor view rooms.
MEALS: B, L | DRIVE TIME: none | CRUISE TIME: 6 hours
HIGHLIGHTS: Exit Glacier Walk; Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center; Alyeska Tram Ride and Lunch; Wasilla, Alaska
Drive along the Resurrection River toward Exit Glacier and observe the topography, vegetation and natural habitats surrounding a glacial environment.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a non profit organization that cares for rescued wildlife, injured and/or orphaned. This is a must-do stop because it is a fantastic opportunity to photograph Alaska wildlife up close. Photograph moose, brown and black bear, wood bison, musk ox and many more rescued animals on this Alaska tour stop.
The Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway takes you to breathtaking panoramic views of majestic mountains, hanging glaciers, sparkling streams, and towering spruce.
Continue travel north of Anchorage to the “Mat Su Valley.”
Dinner as a group is included
Lake Lucille Inn guests enjoy beautiful mountain and lake views along with comfortable accommodations. A full hot breakfast buffet is provided each morning. Deluxe rooms feature a lake view.
MEALS: B, L, D | DRIVE TIME: 3.5 hours
Day 5 is mid way through your Alaska trip package
HIGHLIGHTS: Scenic Byway to Matanuska Glacier; NOVA – Glacier Hike; Hatcher Pass; Independence Gold Mine
We travel along the Scenic Glenn Byway with its panoramic mountain views, magnificent blue ice glaciers and wildlife viewing opportunities. Follow the Matanuska River as it carves its way down from higher country through mountains and valleys. Its headwaters are at the face of the majestic Matanuska Glacier, a 27 mile long, 4 mile wide blue-ice glacier.
Guided Glacier Hike
The Guided Glacier Hike is a popular adventure, 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 to the giant seracs. The glacier is in a constant state of change, and you will learn about the various features from an experienced guide as they lead the way. This is sure to be an unforgettable memory on your Alaska land tour because there are few areas where such a hike can be experienced .
Hatcher Pass is breathtakingly beautiful. Granite mountain peaks jut up from wildflower covered tundra, and pristine mountain streams meander through the valley below.
At the top of Hatcher Pass is the historic Independence Mine. Protected by the Alaska State Parks for a preserved experience of what life was like back in the Gold Rush.
Dinner as a group is included
Spend your second night at the Lake Lucille Inn.
MEALS: B, L, D DRIVE TIME: 2.5 hours
Alaska Trip Package – Day 6
HIGHLIGHTS: Sled Dog Kennel tour and ride; Talkeetna, Alaska; Optional: Flight tour; Denali, Alaska
Sled Dog Kennel
9:00 am Stop in Willow, the heart of mushing country, to tour Dream a Dream Kennels. Meet a veteran Iditarod musher along with the huskies who make up this incredible team of athletes. You will also get a chance to meet the newest members of the team, cute puppies abound!
Then take a ride on a multi-seat All Terrain Vehicle, with the option of standing positions. These dog limos are the coolest and most realistic way to ride with a sled dog team in the summer months, as well as great training for the dogs. You’ll see how they love it! Another highlight of your Alaska land tour.
Talkeetna, Alaska is a historical frontier town with lots of Alaskan flavor! The rustic and charming community is popular with visitors. Some of the best views of the Alaska range and Mt. Denali are seen from here.
Continue the drive to Denali park with dinner as a group included en route.
Hotel: Some of our Grand Explorer tours stay at the Grande Denali Lodge, while others stay at the Denali Lakeview Inn. Both locations offer numerous amenities and breathtaking views. Breakfast included.
MEALS: B, L, D | DRIVE TIME: 4.5 hours
HIGHLIGHTS: Denali – Custom Day; Denali Park Visitor Center
Choose from a variety of adventures and experience this National Park at your own pace. Explore Denali your way on this Alaska land tour.
- Leisure and no cost activity choices include the Denali Visitor Center, hiking front country trails or taking the free shuttle to Savage River trail for additional hiking, shopping, or relaxing at your lodging.
- Moderate to higher cost adventures include river rafting, a choice of leisurely floats or exciting whitewater; ATV tours with options for solo drivers or multiple passenger machines; and Zipline adventures.
The Denali National Park Visitor Center offers 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.
Lunch and dinner meals today are on your own and not included in the tour rate.
Spend your second night at the Grande Denali Lodge or Denali Lakeview Inn, depending on your tour.
MEALS: B | DRIVE TIME: minimal to/from activities.
Day 8 of your Alaska trip package
HIGHLIGHTS: Denali National Park Shuttle to Eielson Visitor Center
Denali National Park and Preserve, which is located in Interior Alaska, centers on Mt. Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The park 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 views Mt Denali – if weather permits. Wildlife can often be seen, though sightings are not guaranteed – they are, after all, wild animals roaming an unfenced land.
The Eielson Visitor Center features interpretive exhibits and a ranger led walk program. This is the turnaround point for your park experience.
Spend your 3rd night at the Denali Lakeview Inn or Grande Denali Lodge.
MEALS: B, L | DRIVE TIME: 15 minutes | PARK SHUTTLE: 8 hours – not all drive time
HIGHLIGHTS: Alaska Railroad Goldstar – Denali to Talkeetna; Anchorage, Alaska
Board The Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, GoldStar Service from Denali to Talkeetna. 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 two adult beverages included. The train departs at 12:20 and your guide will meet you in Talkeetna with your luggage at 4:40 pm.
5:00 pm Travel continues onboard your ATG coach for the final segment into Anchorage.
8:00 – 8:30 pm The guided portion of your tour ends with check in at the Anchorage Lakefront Hotel. Tomorrow is an unguided departure day. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to the airport.
Hotel: The Lakefront Anchorage, formerly Millennium Alaskan Hotel .
MEALS: B, L | RAIL TIME: 4.25 hours | DRIVE TIME: 2 hours
Day 10 is the last of your Alaska trip package
DEPART: ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
The departure day of your Alaska land tour is unguided. Your hotel provides complimentary airport shuttle. Check with the front desk to reserve your seats the night prior. We recommend you allow 2 hours between airport check-in and flight departure.
10 Day Alaska Grand Explorer 2021 Dates
Dates noted with a * stay at the Denali Lakeview Inn during the Denali portion of your tour, and are a slightly lower rate.
Join us on a small group tour for the best Alaska tour experience!