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Side Trips and Tours



ALASKAPASS BOOKING SERVICE $75 per itinerary

After consulting with you, we develop a draft itinerary of your Alaskan trip. Upon approval, we make basic reservations for transportation-ferry, rail, motorcoach-including requesting a cabin aboard the marine highway. Then we book lodging, optional tours and car rentals following your itinerary. Your credit card (visa or mastercard) is required to guarantee reservations for lodging and optional excursions. We prepare a detailed final itinerary for you with confirmation references, prices, cancellation policies, contact information and departure times.

Denali National Park
Consistently the most popular point of interest in Alaska. The park can be very crowded. Advance reservations for tours and shuttles are essential and required.

Important information:

  • All shuttle bus trips offer some commentary about the park. You must bring your own food and drinking water, as there are no food facilities in the park. There are grocery stores at the park entrance.
  • Statistically July offers the best time of year to see Mt. McKinley but overall Denali is only visible 20% of the time.
  • The park and preserve are immense. There is only one "dead end" road into the park. All trips return the same way they went in.
  • The farther you go into the park, the better your chances for spotting wildlife but these are crowded school buses. On hot days the road is dusty, on rainy days the road is muddy. Not everyone enjoys a long trip into the park. In spite of the discomfort considering the cost there is no better wildlife, scenery or natural history tour on earth.
  • Binoculars and extra film are essential.

Choices:
Park Shuttle to Eielson Visitor Center Approx. $28 per person. About 7 hours
Morning and afternoon departures about 65 miles into the park. Eielson offers outstanding viewing opportunities for Mt. McKinley. (Weather permitting.)


Park Shuttle to Wonder Lake Approx. $35 per person. About 12 hours
(Two nights lodging required in the park area) This full day trip goes about 30 miles further into the park. Wonder Lake offers a postcard vantage of Denali .

Park Shuttle to Toklat River Approx $18 per person. About 5 hours
Toklat River saves some time while still allowing views of Polychrome Pass and Denali. (This is as far as the more costly "wildlife tour" goes.) The best if you don't like school buses.

Denali Park Wildlife Tour Approx. $75 per person. about 6 hours
To Toklat River. A box lunch and hot chocolate are provided otherwise very similar to the shuttle buses. If the shuttles are full, this tour is a must.

Kantishna Wilderness Trails Approx. $115 p.p. about 12 hours
The most extensive one-day wildlife tour available takes you 96 miles into the park by Wonder Lake-to Kantishna Roadhouse. Lunch at the roadhouse is included along with a short native cultural program. The narrated tour makes stops for wildlife sightings and scenic vistas as well as Eielson Visitor Center. A good value.

Denali Wilderness Lodges Usually, 3 days, 2 nights. Approx. $750-$1500 p.p.
Kantishna Roadhouse, Camp Denali or North Face Lodge each offer slightly different experiences featuring the luxury of seclusion in the preserve. Opportunities to view wildlife, and learn more about the natural and human history of the park are superior. While expensive, these lodges offer huge returns they are worth the investment. Even if you have to sacrifice elsewhere.

Seward-excursion from Anchorage
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Cruise Approx. $135 per person about 6 hours
Cross Resurrection Bay and visit Kenai Fjords National Monument. Enjoy excellent opportunities to view marine life including whales, porpoises and otters. Birdlife is particularly abundant. Lunch is included. (The 6-hour cruise connects with the stopover made by the Alaska Railroad on its daily Seward excursion from Anchorage.) Transfers from the Seward rail depot are included. There is a short crossing of some possibly choppy open water.


Whittier-excursion from Anchorage
26 Glacier Cruise Approx. $129 per person about 5 hours
Tidewater glacier viewing and spectacular, "calving" icebergs are on this excellent cruise along with opportunities for viewing seals, otters and abundant varieties of birds in Prince William Sound. This is a large, high-speed catamaran the company offers a "no seasickness-money back guarantee". Lunch is included. Bar and gift shop aboard. (The cruise is designed to fit into the stopover made by the Alaska Railroad on its daily Whittier excursion from Anchorage.)

Departing from Juneau
Glacier Bay Tour 2 days, one night. All meals included. Approx. $485 per person
This tour offers stunning tidewater glaciers and unique opportunities to see wildlife including sea creatures and abundant birdlife. Day 1 transfer from Juneau to Gustavus. Upon arrival in Gustavus, transfer to the beautiful Gustavus Inn. (The inn enjoys a reputation for delicious meals.) Day 2-take the 7-hour cruise to the West Arm of Glacier Bay. National Park Service rangers provide detailed and informative commentary. Transfer to the airport for the short afternoon flight to Juneau.

Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise Approx. 8 hours Approx. $109 per person
This popular day trip departs conveniently from downtown Juneau and sails south to beautiful Tracy Arm fjord. An onboard interpreter provides interesting commentary about natural and native history of the area. See Sawyer glacier and watch for birds, sea mammals and other wildlife. Hot lunch included. Return to Juneau this afternoon.

Departing from Fairbanks
Arctic Circle/Brooks Range fly-tour Approx$249 p.p. about 6 hours
(An evening departure) Fly north of the Arctic Circle on twin engine 8 passenger airplanes to the foothills of the Brooks Range. The approach to Coldfoot airport is directly over the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Upon landing meet your guide who orients you to this remote and beautiful region of the Arctic. Winter temperatures here can plunge to minus 80 degrees while the short summer provides lush vegetation and wildflowers. There is a 16-mile van excursion north to the village of Wiseman. You are met by a resident who leads you on a short walking tour of the village, home to about 35 hardy individuals. About 11:00 PM (with the arctic sun still in the sky) fly back to Fairbanks arriving just past midnight. You earn a certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle. (Picnic style dinner is available--approx. $10 p.p.) This program was introduced in 2003. It received outstanding reviews from our customers.

Arctic Circle drive adventure Approx. $119 per person about 15 hours
These van or smaller mini-bus tours offer the best and most economical way to visit the Arctic Circle from Fairbanks. Driver-guides provide interesting commentary of Fairbanks and the vast interior region. There is opportunity to view wildlife and the magnificent scenery of Alaska's interior. The route crosses the Yukon River and follows roughly the route of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. A celebration is included upon the crossing of the Arctic Circle during which guests receive an Arctic Circle certificate. This is a long driving day.

Barrow one day air tour Approx. $399 per person-full day
A morning jet flight takes you far north, across the Arctic Circle to Barrow, largest of Alaska's Inupiat Eskimo communities. See the Museum of the Arctic, examples of native crafts and dances and tour the community--at 72 degrees north the farthest north in the continent. Return to Fairbanks this evening. (2 day Barrow overnight tours are also available to allow you to experience the midnight sun.)

We are knowable about other worthwhile excursions

  • Katmai National Park
  • Pribilof Islands
  • Misty Fjords National Monument
  • Admiralty Island bear viewing
  • An-An preserve bear viewing
  • Kotzebue one day air tour

Terms and conditions
While providing an excellent independent trip, the booking service is not a tour. For example, transfers from lodgings to transportation depots (unless provided as a courtesy by the establishment) are not included. It is your responsibility to verify times noted in your itinerary and re-confirm these with carriers. We select lodging establishments based on overall value for money, convenient location, previous favorable customer recommendations and logical and acceptable reservation and cancellation polities. If your plans change, if you shorten your stay or if you "no-show"--for any reason, even beyond your control, hotels and tour operators may hold you responsible for reservation guarantees which might include forfeited deposits. We will provide you with a confirmation reference for all arrangements. Should you change or cancel, always obtain a reference number and name. Certain lodging establishments, particularly at Denali National Park, usually charge a full night's lodging at time of booking. We inform you of these in your final itinerary. If we book a stateroom aboard the Alaska Marine Highway, we will usually process that charge to your credit card and arrange payment directly with the ferry.
The booking fee is non-refundable.

 

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