Experience the rugged scenery of Alaska by land from the most populous city of Anchorage, through quaint towns like Talkeetna, 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 an optional kayak 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, wander the quaint streets of Talkeetna and keep your eyes open for grizzlies, caribou and moose. Kayak past icebergs and glaciers in Valdez, and experience the quiet, majestic calm of this vast wilderness of unique wildlife and striking landscapes.
Breakfast Included: 1 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
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.
At 10 am, you’ll be treated to a dog sled mushing demonstration from Denali’s Alaskan Huskies, before heading out to drive to the centre of the Alaska Range (approximately 4 hours). We travel on the Denali Highway, but part of this journey is on a less-travelled, unpaved road which can be quite bumpy. The Alaska Range is the highest mountain range in North America and includes Mount Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), which is the continent's highest peak. Experience the area's quiet lakes while keeping an eye out for wild caribou and birdlife. You could hire yourself a canoe and take a scenic trip on the Maclaren River, and perhaps even fish for grayling. In the evening, settle down for dinner before getting comfortable in the lodge.
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 is free to do as you choose. Valdez is the best place to sea kayak among glaciers and icebergs, and you can paddle down the fjords through to waterfalls, with the setting of imposing mountains in the background. On land, perhaps visit the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive to learn about the town’s history.
Seward, Kenai Peninsula
This morning, settle in for a scenic ferry from Valdez to Whittier. The journey takes up a large part of the day, but it’s a beautiful trip, passing by mountains, floating glaciers and secluded coves. Relax into it, perhaps read your favourite book and be sure to breathe in that fresh Alaskan air. After you’ve arrived in Whittier, transfer to a private vehicle, and continue the drive down the Kenai peninsula. Seward is 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.
Seward, Kenai Peninsula
Today is a free day. Perhaps head out on a wildlife marine boat tour exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Head out among the fjords and glaciers, keeping an eye out for humpback and killer whales, sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, and puffins. On land, head to the Alaska SeaLife Center to see some water mammals or take a hike to experience stunning views of the Kenai Peninsula. In the evening, enjoy your last night here before heading to Anchorage in the morning.
Depending on time, and the wishes of the group, there may be time for a short hike this morning before driving back to where your adventure started 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. Perhaps head out for dinner in the evening with your group and reflect on your adventure around Alaska.
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.