Alaska is for adventure and discovery! Nourish your soul amid the breathtaking landscapes, fascinating history and abundant wildlife of this must-see outdoor destination. During this seven-night journey, we’ll stay in both Anchorage and Denali National Park, Alaska’s most famous natural park. Encounter 10,000 years of history at Anchorage’s world-class museums and stroll through friendly Talkeetna. Search for caribou, moose and bear during a narrated tour of Denali National Park and learn about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at a working kennel. Witness jaw-dropping views from your glass-domed train car and spectacular coastal scenery during a cruise of Prince William Sound. In the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, visit a reindeer farm and dig into local cuisine at a family farm. Along the way, local experts share their knowledge of Alaska’s history, geography and natural wonders. Our once-in-a-lifetime program reveals authentic Alaska and its frontier-like culture, picturesque landscapes and welcoming communities. This small-group adventure features first-class accommodations, plus an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner.
Land Program: 8 days/7 nights
Breakfasts: 7 | Lunches: 4 | Dinners: 3
B | L | D denotes included breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
This itinerary is subject to change due to operational conditions.
Activity Level ratings indicate each excursion’s physical expectations. To make the best personal choice, please evaluate each excursion’s rating and your ability to meet the tour’s physical demands. Please note, excursions on this program require: walking on unpaved paths or uneven surfaces; and getting on/off motor coaches, trains and boats.
Mild: Walk under 1 mile on mainly flat terrain; navigate under 50 stairs; stand under 1 hour
Moderate: Walk 1-3 miles on flat/uneven terrain; navigate 50-100 stairs; stand 1-2 hours
Active: Walk 2+ miles on flat/uneven terrain, including up and down inclines; navigate 100+ stairs; stand 3+ hours
Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.
Day 1 | Depart gateway city | Anchorage, Alaska
AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Anchorage, Alaska. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: ANC.
Arrive at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Proceed to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.
Transfer via motor coach and check in to the Hilton Anchorage. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.
Day 2 | Anchorage
B | D
Enrichment: America’s Last Frontier. Begin your Alaskan experience with a thoughtful lecture about the state’s geography and natural history. Learn about Alaska’s first Russian settlement on Kodiak Island and how gold was discovered near Sitka in 1972, followed by the Klondike Gold Rush, which brought over 100,000 fortune-seeking prospectors to Alaska.
Discovery: Highlights of Anchorage. Join your group for a tour of Anchorage’s historic downtown, where country cosmopolitan and rugged wild co-exist in beautiful harmony. In the summertime, you’ll be treated to the sight of enormous hanging flower baskets and lovely gardens throughout the district. Some hanging baskets dangle from giant fishing poles! At the Anchorage Museum, gain insight into 10,000 years of storied history during a guided tour. From the modern challenges of living in this untamed landscape to Alaska’s earliest explorers and legends of the gold rush, you’ll be immersed in the state’s compelling history and many peoples. (Moderate)
Free Time: Strike out to explore Anchorage at your own pace. Stretch your legs or rent a bike to experience the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail that leads from the heart of downtown along the pretty coast. Head to one of Anchorage’s 50 breweries for a taste of local craft beer or slip into one of the city’s coffee shops. Alaska is recognized for having more coffee shops per capita than any other state! Anchorage also boasts many wonderful art galleries to pick up that perfect souvenir.
Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers during a Welcome Dinner.
Day 2 | Anchorage | Talkeetna | Denali
Denali Bluff’s Hotel
B | L
Discovery: Charming Talkeetna. At the confluence of the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna rivers sits the quaint town of Talkeetna. Originally a riverboat steamer station that supplied goods to the area’s mining districts, the Talkeetna of today is a hip, welcoming community where streets are lined with log cabins, lively eateries, art galleries, breweries and colorful, clapboard storefronts. You may choose to visit the Mountaineering Ranger Station for insight into the feat of climbing Mount McKinley or head to the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum to learn about the first climbers that scaled the region’s famous peaks. (Moderate)
Discovery: Alaska’s Roadhouses. Sit down to a hearty lunch at a local roadhouse and listen to a local who recounts the history of traditional roadhouses, which once served gold rushers and fortune seekers. (Moderate)
Continue north to Denali National Park. Upon arrival, check in to Denali Bluff’s Hotel and use the remainder of the day to start your exploration of this stunning region. You can begin with optional tours such as hiking excursions, flightseeing, river rafting, golf, biking and much more!
Day 4 | Denali National Park
Denali Bluff’s Hotel
B | D
Discovery: Denali National Park. Embark on a thrilling adventure tour that reveals the incomparable beauty of Alaska’s most famous national park. Your Tundra Wilderness Tour, fully narrated by certified naturalist, takes you deep into this vast, untamed wilderness, home to bear, moose, wolves, caribou and Dall sheep. Travel in comfort as you search for these magnificent animals roaming freely in their natural habitat and have your camera ready for not-to-be-missed photo opportunities. Along the way, learn about the history of the park and marvel at up-close views of Mount McKinley. This once-in-a-lifetime wilderness expedition is sure to be a memorable event that you’ll treasure for years to come! (Moderate)
Enrichment: Geography and History of Denali National Park. Join a local mountain climber and naturalist who will enlighten you with the history and unique geography of this storied, magical region.
After your lecture, sit down to a delicious dinner at your hotel. Dig into flavorful cuisine, complemented by friendly service and excellent views.
Day 5 | Denali | Anchorage
B | L
Discovery: Dog Mushing. For centuries, dogs have been used to pull sleds to transport people and goods. During the gold rush in the 1800s, dog sledding also offered a way to carry mail and discover new travel routes. In 1925, dog sled teams helped deliver a life-saving serum during a diphtheria outbreak, which inspired the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, and dog mushing was officially designated as Alaska’s state sport in 1972. Today, delve into this historic and culturally significant sport while visiting a working kennel. Learn about the Iditarod Dog Sled Race and how teams prepare to take on the trails. You’ll also meet puppies and learn about the care and training regime of these “athletes.” (Moderate)
Continue to the Denali Rail Depot to board a train for a deluxe rail journey back to Anchorage.
Discovery: Scenic Train Journey. Kick back and relax in luxury as you ride the rails between Denali and Anchorage. Your glass-domed car offers unimpeded views of your surroundings, the perfect way to indulge in Alaska’s scenic grandeur. Learn about the sights, flora and fauna from expert commentary. Plus, lunch is provided along the way. (Moderate)
Arrive in Anchorage and check in to the Hilton Anchorage.
Day 6 | Anchorage | Whittier
B | L
Discovery: Whittier and Prince William Sound. Travel along the Seward Highway to the unique, coastal community of Whittier. Our journey will take us through the one-lane Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, North America’s longest highway tunnel. Upon arrival in Whittier, home to approximately 400 residents, board a marine vessel for a scenic cruise of the wildlife-rich Prince William Sound. Sail on calm waters and take in majestic views of glaciers, icebergs and picturesque shores. Breathe in fresh, cool air while watching for whales, sea otters and harbor seals, as well as seabirds, bald eagles, falcons and Great Gray Owls. You’ll also enjoy lunch on board. (Moderate)
Return to Anchorage following your cruise. The remainder of your day is free to explore Anchorage.
Dinner is at your leisure tonight. You may wish to embrace the city’s thriving food scene, best experienced by visiting a food truck, where you may find reindeer hot dogs, salmon quesadillas and more local treats. At one of Anchorage’s many wonderful restaurants, you’ll find other seafood delights, including oysters, cod, halibut and Alaskan scallops. If you’re feeling adventurous, bite into an Alaskan yak burger!
Day 7 | Anchorage | Matanuska-Susitna Valley
B | L | D
Discovery: Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Your journey through “Mat-Su” begins with a visit to the one-room Palmer Visitor Center. Along with a stunning garden of bright blooms and vegetables, this engaging museum also offers background into the region’s Ahtna Athabascan natives, mining at Independence Gold Mine, the development of the city, the Chickaloon tribe and other fascinating local facts. The welcoming, knowledgeable staff awaits to greet you and answer your questions. (Moderate)
Continue to the family-owned, 200-acre Reindeer Farm, where you can interact with these gentle, storybook creatures. Reindeer were introduced to Alaska in the late 1800s by Captain Michael A. Healy, Reverend Sheldon Jackson and naturalist John Muir. As the marine animal populations diminished, reindeer were brought over from Siberia and Russia as a way to help Alaska’s Native people sustain themselves. (Moderate)
Cap off your visit to “Mat-Su” with a visit to a local farm. The combination of silt left behind from long-ago glaciers and extended daylight hours has made the region extremely fertile. In fact, the area is known as the agricultural hub of Alaska and one may see a variety of enormous vegetables, hay and peonies. At the farm, dig into a delicious lunch and learn about the region’s agricultural roots. (Moderate)
Discovery: Alaska Native Heritage Center. Back in Anchorage, embark on a true history lesson at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Browse this living museum that celebrates Alaska’s indigenous people’s dynamic culture through stories, crafts, native dwellings and dancing. Enjoy the opportunity to walk through authentically restored native village sites, including a longhouse with no windows that typically housed several families. (Moderate)
Gather for a Farewell Dinner tonight and raise a toast to your grand adventure in Alaska.
Day 8 | Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for the Anchorage airport your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.