This trip will introduce you to both interior and coastal Alaska. Highlights include the train journey to Denali National Park aboard the luxurious Alaska Railroad GoldStar dome train, a flightseeing journey over Denali, and cruising among the glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park. A combination of drives and hikes (independent or expert-guided) offer opportunities to view quintessential terrain and awesome wildlife on land, while time in the fjords will see you possibly spot orca, humpback, gray, and fin-tail whales, plus sea otters, harbor seals, Dall’s porpoise, and Steller sea lions.
Upon your arrival at the airport in Fairbanks, you will take a courtesy shuttle to your hotel. Take a walk, have some dinner, and settle in for a good night’s sleep; we’ll make it an early start tomorrow. Accommodations are at the Fairbanks Springhill Suites by Marriott.
Following another jaunt in the hotel shuttle, you’ll depart Fairbanks aboard the Alaska Railroad GoldStar dome train, bound for Denali National Park. From the open-air platform or glass-covered observation deck, you’ll soak up views of tundra and mountains. Arriving at Denali Park entrance, meet the North Face Lodge bus for your 90-mile trip into the heart of Denali. Watch for black bear, moose, Dall sheep, wolves, and more as you journey into the Park. Accommodations are at North Face Lodge, in a Lodge Room.
Apart from enjoying views of Denali (on clear days) and six other major peaks, your two days at North Face Lodge will afford you opportunities for independent adventures or naturalist-guided excursions. Hike, bike along the park road, fish for Arctic grayling or Mackinaw trout, paddle a canoe along Wonder Lake, observe unique birdlife, and photograph Denali bathed in alpenglow. Accommodations are at North Face Lodge, in a Lodge Room.
Mid-morning, meet your pilot for your scenic flight to the park entrance. You’ll soar through the awe-inspiring Alaska Range, over glaciers, and to the North Face of Denali. At the Park entrance, your personal driver will transport you to Talkeetna along one of the most scenic portions of the Parks Highway, with a stop for a short hike and picnic en route. Accommodations are at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, in a Mountainside Room.
A private drive will transport you to Seward via the Parks and Seward highways. The drive offers the scenery that defines Alaska’s splendor: tundra and muskeg, towering peaks, glaciers and lush forests. Stops along the way include taking an aerial tram to the summit of Mt. Alyeska,, and a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to view wildlife up close. Accommodations are at the Seward Windsong Lodge, in a Standard Room.
From Seward Harbor, you will board a vessel to cruise the calm, protected waters of Resurrection Bay. This forty-five-minute cruise will deliver you to your next lodge—located on the remote Fox Island. En route, look for Steller sea lions, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, humpback and orca whales, bald eagles, puffins, and other birdlife. Accommodations are at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, in a Cabin.
From the Lodge, sea kayak on protected waters, hike, or explore the coastline in a motorized skiff. Or join an interpretive walk, learning about the fascinating history of the island and beach comb along miles of pristine pebble beaches. Wildlife sightings may include harbor seals, sea and river otters, black bears, bald eagles, and a multitude of bird life. Accommodations are at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, in a Cabin.
On your final day at Fox Island, you will depart on the Northwestern Fjords Tour where you will be taken deep into the national park for a stunning view of the Northwestern Fjord glaciers. The tour will end in Seward; there, you will catch the Alaska Railroad dome train ride to Anchorage—a perfect opportunity to have dinner while gazing out the dining room’s picture windows. Accommodations are at Hotel Captain Cook, in a Junior Suite.
Your driver will transport you from your hotel back to the Anchorage airport in time for your return flight. Safe travels!