Experience the rugged scenery of Alaska by land from the most populous city of Anchorage, through quaint towns like Palmer, all the way to the untouched back country.. Head on an Alaskan safari for a unique chance to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves in their natural habitat in Denali National Park.. Witness the land mammals of Denali before getting up close to sea otters, puffins and humpback whales on a boat trip among glaciers in Valdez.. Discover Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities, which offers a bustling harbour, quaint shops and galleries, and is a great base from which to explore Kenai Fjords National Park.
Prepare to discover the captivating beauty of Alaska on this 10-day journey through its icy heart. Travel from Anchorage through forests, around mountain ranges and down the spectacular coast to the Kenai Peninsula. Explore the unspoilt woodlands of the Denali National Park, learn about the iconic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and keep your eyes open for grizzlies, caribou and moose. Cruise past icebergs and glaciers in Valdez, and experience the quiet, majestic calm of this vast wilderness of unique wildlife and striking landscapes.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 3
Welcome to Anchorage, USA. Your Best of Alaska adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Located in south-central Alaska on the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is a unique urban environment in the heart of the wilderness. If you arrive early enough, perhaps head to the Anchorage Museum or the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or try spotting a moose wandering the streets of town.
Denali National Park
In the morning, head north along the old Denali Highway to Denali National Park (approximately 5 hours). During the drive keep an eye out for caribou and other wildlife in this amazing, unspoiled environment. You’ll stop by charming Talkeetna for a coffee and pastry (if you like) along the way. On arrival at the park, head to the visitor centre to plan your next day’s activities, then your evening is free to relax – perhaps sit down for dinner with the group and prepare for your days of exploration ahead.
Denali National Park
Leave early in the morning for an 8-hour scenic bus journey through the back country of Denali National Park. Trips on the shuttle buses are quite relaxed and there will be no formal narration. It’s an Alaskan version of a safari, with drivers providing basic park and safety information, assisting you in spotting wildlife, answering questions and making the occasional restroom stop. Bring food and beverages with you, as there aren't any available on the tour. The bus will drive 106 kilometres (66 miles) deep into the park to the Eielson Visitor Center. This epic journey is worth it, as National Park Service rangers and interactive displays provide insight and information about the park and its myriad of resources. There are a wide range of optional activities available for all fitness and adventure levels, such as river rafting, dogsled demonstrations and hiking.
Denali to Valdez
This morning, enjoy your long scenic drive over the Thompson Pass and down the valley to Valdez, visiting the Worthington Glacier along the way (approximately 4 hours). Surrounded on three sides by steep, snow-capped mountains, the blue-water port town of Valdez is best known as the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. On arrival in Valdez, check in to the hotel, and spend some time discovering this port town.
Today you’ll hit the water for an incredible cruise into the Prince William Sound, heading deep into the epic landscape and arriving at the Columbia Glacier. As one of the world’s most active glaciers, you may be lucky enough to see huge chunks of ice fall into the still waters below – a pretty unforgettable sight! Be sure to keep an eye out for marine wildlife, including whales, sea otters, seals and puffins, as your boat navigates the Chugach Mountains and a rugged coastline of rocky outcrops, beaches and fjords. Enjoy lunch on board the boat, then return to Valdez for an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps pay a visit to the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive to step into the town’s history.
Enjoy a free morning in Valdez for your own discoveries. With a number of fantastic hiking and walking trails, you’re never far from scenery to take your breath away. Your leader will be on hand with suggestions on how to get the most out of this beautiful place. In the afternoon, settle in for another scenic drive (approximately 5 hours), arriving at your local lodge in the Palmer region. Fringed with picture-perfect mountains, the atmosphere here is really something special.
Seward, Kenai Peninsula
Hop aboard your vehicle today for a tour to soak up the scenery of Palmer and nearby Wasilla. Stop by the Palmer Visitor Center to learn area’s fascinating story, from the lives of the Ahtna people to the gold rush and the Matanuska Colony. Then you will pay a visit to the Iditarod Headquarters where you’ll learn about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, also known as the Last Great Race, which takes place in Alaska annually. This is one of the state’s most beloved sporting events, with the mushers and even their dogs becoming local celebrities. Continue the drive down the Parks Highway to Seward, one of Alaska's oldest towns, as well as one of the most picturesque. The town itself boasts galleries, boutique shops and a bustling harbour but it's perhaps best known as a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.
Today is a free for your own explorations. Perhaps head out on a wildlife marine boat tour exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Set out among the fjords and glaciers, keeping an eye out for humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, and puffins. On land, you may like to check out the Alaska SeaLife Center, dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of Alaska’s marine wildlife, or perhaps take a hike to experience stunning views of the Kenai Peninsula.
Seward to Anchorage
Venture north this morning to return to where your adventure began in Anchorage (approximately 2.5 hours). Keep an eye out for wildlife on the way back, stopping off to take photos of whales, waves, and volcanoes. On arrival, get to know this eclectic city during a tour with your leader, where you’ll learn more about its history and points of interest. As this is your final night, you may like to get together with the group for dinner this evening to reminisce about the highlights of your journey.
The morning is yours to enjoy at leisure before you check out. The authentic old-school charm of Anchorage is yours to explore, and if you didn’t have time before the tour, head to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or simply check out the sights and sounds of the city and its nearby inlets and communities.