Day 1: Fairbanks, Alaska
Arrive in Fairbanks, a modern city that retains its frontier flavor with pioneer saloons, paddle wheelers and outlying mining camps.
Days 2 - 4: Denali – Kantishna
Denali National Park is one of the world’s great wilderness preserves. Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, towers over the tundra and taiga below, habitat for wolves, grizzlies, moose and caribou. From our base at historic Kantishna Roadhouse, 92 miles inside the park, we have time and space to encounter the wilderness. Hiking, nature walks, biking, fishing and optional flightseeing are available. Early morning and evening offer excellent opportunities to see wildlife in the lodge environs.
Days 5 - 6: Denali / Girdwood
Depart Denali by train on a journey through Alaska’s rugged interior, over Broad Pass and along the Susitna River to Wasilla. From here we drive south to Alyeska Resort, Alaska’s premier ski area that is replete with summer activities, too. Set in a lush glacial valley in the Chugach Range near the coast, Alyeska offers nature and luxury in tandem. Streamside trails lined with wildflowers beckon at the base, or board the tram to the summit, where you may choose to dine at Seven Glaciers, a five-star restaurant with vistas of the ice-bound peaks and Turnagain Arm far below. Explore this magnificent area with your Expedition Leader, or particpate in one of the many optional activities offered here.
Day 7: Fox Island
Fox Island, a private island bordering the Kenai Fjords, reveals the pristine side of Alaska most visitors miss, providing accommodations for just 18 guests in comfortable beachfront cabins. The region is famed for sea kayaking, and an easy paddling trip may unveil some of the area’s prolific marine life.
Day 8: Kenai Fjords – Private Yacht
Today we cruise through a land where the ice age still lingers. Our small yacht allows us to approach wildlife more intimately, and Kenai Fjords National Park provides unparalleled opportunities for viewing humpback and orca whales, porpoises, sea otters and a large colony of puffins. Here, glaciers pour into the sea, and we may observe icebergs calving with a crash. Overnight in Seward, on Resurrection Bay.
Day 9: Kenai Peninsula / Anchorage
The mountain ranges of the Kenai Peninsula rise one after another on our drive to Anchorage. Time permitting, we’ll stop at Exit Glacier for a close-up look at this active river of ice. We spend the night in Anchorage.
Days 10 & 11: Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park
Katmai National Park is home to the world’s largest population of brown bears. We fly by small plane to King Salmon, then by floatplane to world-renowned Brooks Lodge, one of the best places to view these coastal grizzlies in their natural habitat. From the safety of platforms built over Brooks Falls, we observe this classic spectacle up close, as the bears fish vigorously for salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
Day 12: Katmai / Anchorage
After morning activities in Katmai, we return to Anchorage.
Day 13: Anchorage / Home
We transfer to the airport for our flights home.