Alaska's National Parks: Denali & the Kenai Fjords with Laura Aubrey-Cook

10 days
Majestic glaciers, unique wildlife, and pristine views do justice to Alaska’s nickname as the Last Frontier. Learn about the history of famous traditions like the Iditarod, and experience the beauty of both Denali and the Kenai Fjords National Parks. In small villages, and in the untamed wilderness, picture-perfect landscapes will appear around every corner.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

On this guided tour, you’ll walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills. Some activities will take place at high altitudes.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Anchorage, Alaska 2 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Arrival in Anchorage

Welcome to Alaska! Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Anchorage

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head out on a guided tour of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. 

• Walk through Earthquake Park, to learn about how the 1964 natural disaster impacted the city

• Stop at the Lake Hood Seaplane Base

• Venture downtown to see the Captain Cook Statue and salmon ladders

Please note: The stops along the guided tour may vary based on season.

Spend a free afternoon in Anchorage, before joining your group for a welcome dinner this evening.

Fairbanks, Alaska 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Fairbanks

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a flight to Fairbanks this morning. When you arrive, take a sightseeing tour of the city.

• Stop at Golden Heart Plaza, a park located on the banks of the Chena River 

• Enter the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center

• See beautiful flora and fauna at the Georgeson Botanical Garden

• Step inside the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum

Please note: The stops along the guided tour may vary based on season.

This evening, attend a traditional Alaskan salmon bake dinner.

Day 4: Free day in Fairbanks

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Fairbanks or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Riverboat Discovery Cruise & Gold Dredge Tour $119pp* Details

Learn about the area’s rich history and traditions on this excursion into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Start off with a gold dredge tour outside of Fairbanks to learn about gold mining in Alaska. Then, take a ride on the Tanana Valley Railroad to see the Trans Alaska pipeline. Continue on to visit and pan for gold at Gold Dredge 8, a mining station that extracted millions of ounces of gold over it’s 30 years in operation. Enjoy free time for lunch before boarding a river cruise to drift along the local waterways and watch a bush floatplane takeoff. Visit the home and kennels of the late, four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and see the champion sled dogs in action. End the day with a personalized tour of the Chena Indian Village, where an Alaskan native guide will introduce you to ancient Athabascan Indian culture. Please note: This excursion requires advance reservation and must be booked at least 20 days prior to departure. In addition, it runs seasonally from May through mid-September.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Denali, Alaska 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Denali National Park via Nenana

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Denali this morning and on the way, visit Nenana Village. 

When you arrive in Denali, stop at the National Park Visitor Center. Grab lunch on your own before setting off on a scenic drive through the park.

• Look for wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose, wolves, caribou, and eagles

• See Denali, North America’s tallest mountain (weather permitting)

Stop for free time to enjoy a late dinner on the way out of the park, before heading to the hotel.

Anchorage, Alaska 1 night Hotel info

Day 6: Anchorage via Talkeetna & Wasilla

  Included meals: Breakfast

On your way to Anchorage, visit two historic towns to learn more about Alaskan culture and traditions.

• First, stop in Talkeetna to enjoy free time to shop and eat downtown

• Continue on to Wasilla to tour the Iditarod Headquarters and museum to learn about the famous race

• Visit the dog kennel and choose to head out on a short dog sled ride (weather and time permitting)

End your day in Anchorage, and spend a free evening in the city.

Seward, Alaska 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Train ride to Seward

  Included meals: Breakfast

Hop aboard the scenic Alaskan Railroad to travel to Seward.

• Ride along the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet and through the Kenai Peninsula 

• View massive glaciers and towering waterfalls

Spend the rest of the day exploring Seward on your own.

Day 8: Kenai Fjords National Park cruise

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Embark on a full-day cruise through the waterways of Kenai Fjords National Park to experience the panoramic glacial views the area is known for.

• Float along the pristine waters on the Kenai Peninsula 

• Try to spot wildlife, such as birds and whales

Anchorage, Alaska for a day Hotel info

Day 9: Anchorage via Portage & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive through the Kenai Mountain Range, making a stop in Portage. 

• Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to learn about the organization’s animal rescue work

• Continue on to Anchorage, stopping at Portage Lake to enter the Begich Boggs Visitor Center 

• Soak in spectacular views of the Explorer Glacier

Enjoy a farewell dinner in Anchorage with your group. After, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home or, extend your stay to continue exploring Alaska. If you’re booked on the extension, you’ll spend the night in Anchorage.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 10: Arrive Home

Arrive home today. 

Please note: This arrival time applies to east coast gateways. If you live in another region, you may arrive home on the evening of day 9.

Add Anchorage & Juneau Starting from $1,099 pp

Immerse yourself in more of Alaska's natural vistas as you explore Juneau, one of America's most remote capital cities. Spend time walking through the downtown area and soak in views of the Mendenhall Glacier. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife while floating along the Tracy Arm Fjords.

Juneau, Alaska 1 night

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Juneau

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to Juneau this morning. After you arrive, take a guided sightseeing tour of Alaska’s capital city. 

• Pass by the State Capitol building and the Alaska State Museum

• Stop at DIPAC’s Macaulay Salmon Hatchery to learn about the fishing industry

• Walk along the trails at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to soak in views of the icebergs and surrounding lake

Spend a free evening in Juneau.

Day 11: Free day in Juneau

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in the city or add an excursion.

This evening, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Optional Excursion - Tracy Arm Fjords Glacier Cruise $199pp* Details

Hop aboard a boat as your cruise from Juneau to the Tracy Arm Wilderness area. Float along the breathtaking Tracy Arm, a 20-mile fjord through a granite canyon lined with waterfalls, icebergs, and mountain peaks. Gaze up at the Sawyer Glacier, one of the bluest and most beautiful in Alaska. Watch for whales, bears, harbor seals, and a variety of birds, such as eagles and arctic terns. Enjoy an included picnic style lunch aboard the ship. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs May through mid-September. It is also weather-dependent.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $209)

How's the weather?

  • Anchorage, Alaska, United States
  • Fairbanks
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Passport & visa requirements

  • U.S. citizens need valid government-issued identification for air travel within the United States. 
  • In order to enter the United States, Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please be sure to have any additional required identification with you as well.

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and boats.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in and depart from Anchorage (or Juneau on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • A flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks and a train ride from Anchorage to Seward are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a flight from Anchorage  to Juneau.)
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Most domestic airlines impose charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to this region. 
  • Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and personal travel requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • During the summer months, take proper care with sun exposure and heat.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • With a large focus on fishing and hunting, Alaskan fare is known to be very fresh. Salmon and king crab are two of the most popular seafood dishes. Local meat specialties often reflect the type of game that is hunted in the area. This can include moose, caribou, and deer. 
  • A variety of fresh berries grow all throughout Alaska. Some types include lingonberries, mossberries, and salmon berries. Enjoy these on their own, in a spread, or in desserts.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • All of North America operates on 110-120 volts and uses Type A or B plugs with two flat pins or two flat pins and one round pin, respectively.
  • The majority of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.
  • Some of the hotels on this tour will provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed for hotels in more remote locations.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • Alaska is four hours behind Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 8am in Anchorage.

Currency

  • You will use the U.S. dollar on this tour. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • Many banks and businesses now primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in USD.
  • We recommend tipping $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend $2USD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.  

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

Travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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