This vacation features many of the most popular scenic vistas that Alaska and the Yukon have to offer, including a 7-night Alaska cruise. Begin your trip in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, then travel to Whittier for a cruise on Prince William Sound. View as many as 26 tidewater and hanging glaciers, and watch for whales, seals, and eagles. Next, travel along Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, the largest park in the U.S., and continue to Tok, the “Dog Sled Capital of the World.” Enter Canada’s Yukon Territory and overnight in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon and the territorial headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Follow the Trail of ’98 over the same mountains that determined gold seekers traveled in the middle of winter, and continue to Skagway—with its wooden sidewalks and colorful saloons. Spend two nights in Dawson City and soak up the exciting history of this Gold Rush town on your sightseeing tour.Cross back into Alaska via the Top of the World Highway and see spectacular scenery. In Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city, enjoy your sightseeing tour and board a sternwheeler riverboat cruise on the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Next: ride the legendary Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park for free time to explore on your own. Or take an optional wildlife tour to seek out grizzly bear, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep; take an optional helicopter ride over the park; or raft down the Nenana River. On your way back to Anchorage, stop at the Iditarod Visitor Center to learn more about this epic race. Then board your cruise ship for a spectacular journey through Alaska’s picturesque Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. Hear the thunderous roar as glaciers crash into the sea, experience some of Alaska’s small towns, and watch for wildlife such as sprouting whales and soaring eagles. What a great way to end your Alaska and the Yukon vacation! It’s a trip of a lifetime!
Day #1 Anchorage. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day #2 Anchorage. Journey to Whittier and board your deluxe catamaran for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. CRUISE to College and Harriman Fjords in Prince William Sound, and view as many as 26 tidewater and hanging glaciers. There is a good chance you’ll spot whales, seals, and eagles during the cruise. (CB,L)
Day #3 Anchorage–Tok. Travel through Palmer in the Matanuska Valley, a lush farming region where cabbages can grow to weigh more than 70 pounds in the 24-hour daylight. Up over scenic Tahneta Pass with spectacular vistas of Matanuska Glacier. Travel along WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE, the largest park in the United States. The area boasts glaciers larger than the island of Manhattan, and is home to nine of the 16 highest peaks in North America. Overnight in Tok, the “Dog Sled Capital of the World.” (CB)
Day #4 Tok–Whitehorse. Join the Alaska Highway and follow along the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Skirt the shores of Kluane Lake, once a meeting place for crews constructing the Alaska Highway. Behold spectacular vistas of the rugged mountains of Kluane National Park, home to 19,625-foot-high Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. The next two nights are in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon and the territorial headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Day #5 Whitehorse. Excursion To Skagway. Follow the Trail of ‘98 over the same mountains that thousands of determined gold seekers scaled on foot in the dead of winter while heading for the Klondike. From Carcross, your Tour Director will suggest an optional train trip on the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway. Otherwise, continue through the mountains by motorcoach to Skagway. Stroll the wooden sidewalks past charming false-front buildings and colorful saloons.NOTE: Operation of the White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway is subject to seasonal conditions.
Day #6 Whitehorse–Dawson City. Head northwest through the town of Carmacks, once an important supply station for gold seekers on their way to the Klondike. A stop at the fiery Five Finger Rapids, a major obstacle to the hordes of fortune seekers that passed this way. Reach Dawson City, the center of excitement after the first gold strike in the Klondike in 1896, which led to the world’s largest gold rush. Tonight, enjoy the high-flying entertainment of DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIE’S SALOON, featuring ragtime music, can-can girls, and an old-fashioned casino.
Day #7 Dawson City. A full day to soak up the exciting history of this Gold Rush town. Highlights on your morning tour include Bonanza Creek, site of Claim #1, where the first gold strike was made; Robert Service’s cabin; and a photo stop at the SS Keno, the last sternwheeler to run between Dawson and Whitehorse.
Day #8 Dawson City–Fairbanks. A long day and well worth it, as the scenery is magnificent. Motor over the Top of the World Highway and re-enter the state of Alaska. Travel through the village of Chicken and west along the Alaska Highway. Make a stop at an authentic Alaska roadhouse before your early evening arrival in Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city.
Day #9 Fairbanks. Morning sightseeing features the highlights of this historic Alaskan city and includes an up-close visit to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Board the STERNWHEELER RIVERBOAT Discovery III for a leisurely cruise on the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Listen as the ship’s guides discuss the wildlife, history, geology, and customs of the region.
Day #10 Fairbanks–Denali National Park. Board the world-famous ALASKA RAILROAD for a memorable journey through untamed wilderness. Sit back in comfort and enjoy spectacular scenery through wide windows. Be sure to take advantage of the domed-roof car. Today’s ride ends in DENALI NATIONAL PARK. North America’s highest peak, 20,320-foot Mount McKinley dominates the park’s 6 million acres of glacial streams, river valleys, and expanses of multicolored tundra. The afternoon is free for exploring on your own.
Day #11 Denali National Park. A free day for independent activities. A hike along the many wilderness trails might be good fun. Also take advantage of several optional outings, including a wildlife tour to seek out grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep; a raft trip down the Nenana River; or a helicopter ride over the park. Your Tour Director will have plenty of other suggestions.
Day #12 Denali National Park–Anchorage. Continue your exploration of DENALI NATIONAL PARK as you head south toward Anchorage. Stop along the way at the IDITAROD VISITOR CENTER, home of the great dogsled race. After arrival in Anchorage, transfer to Seward and board your cruise ship this evening. (D)
Day #13 At Sea. A relaxing day at sea provides time to explore the ship’s many amenities. Animal and marine life are abundant in this area and, with a little luck, you may spot a pod of mighty yet graceful killer whales. (B,L,D)
Day #14 Scenic Cruising: Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anyplace else in the world. How does it feel when a colossal chunk of ice splits off a glacier and crashes into the sea? The sound is like thunder. The impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. You hold your breath as you capture the moment photographically. Then, you wait for it all to happen again. (B,L,D)
Day #15 Haines. Nestled on the shores of America’s longest fjord, Haines is in a spectacular setting. Fill your day with a float trip through Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, which protects the habitat of the nation’s avian symbol, or board an optional high-speed catamaran for access to shopping and excursions in Skagway. Stroll the wooden sidewalks past charming false-front buildings and colorful saloons. Visit the Red Onion Saloon with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of ‘98 Museum. (B,L,D)
Day #16 Juneau. Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on Gastineau Channel, Alaska’s capital city of Juneau has massive Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Icefield at its back door. (B,L,D)
Day #17 Ketchikan. Built out over the water and up weathered stairways, Ketchikan clings to the shores of Tongass Narrows and drapes the mountains with a hospitable air. (B,L,D)
Day #18 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage. Cruise through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, and other wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day #19 Vancouver. Disembark this morning and transfer to Vancouver International Airport for your return flight home. Please schedule homebound flights after Noon. (B)