ALASKAN ADVENTURE BY LAND AND SEA
Your Alaska experience begins in Fairbanks, named “The Golden Heart City” for its gold mining history. Pan for gold on the Gold Dredge 8 tour then float down the Chena River aboard a sternwheeler riverboat. The next morning board a motor coach to Denali National Park where you will stay two nights at the beautiful Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Journey aboard Princess Rail to Talkeetna, bringing you to the foot of Denali, known as the “Great One.” After getting settled in at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, sit on the deck while gazing at the majesty of Denali. Motor coach down the scenic Kenai Peninsula with potential wildlife sightings and spend two nights at the charming Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. Enjoy a relaxed morning before departing for Whittier to board the Coral Princess, for your cruise to Vancouver, British Columbia.
This cruise will be hosted by highly-acclaimed, husband and wife team; Kim and Melanie Heacox. They will share unforgettable stories of the Alaskan frontier, attend exclusive events including a book reading and signing, a glacier and nature talk, and optional excursions curated specially for AAA members. Viewing the spectacular Hubbard Glacier with 10-story sized glaciers calving into the sea, will be unforgettable. Followed by a visit to Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site while being on the lookout for its abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises and many more. Next, visit Skagway stepping back into the gold rush era before heading to Alaska’s capital, Juneau, followed by a visit to the quaint fishing village of Ketchikan. Enjoy a full day at sea sailing the Inside Passage before your early next day disembarkation in beautiful Vancouver BC.
- Land Highlights:
- Gold Dredge tour panning for gold
- Sternwheeler riverboat cruise
- Denali National Park – a biosphere of wildlife, plants and geological features
- Ride Princess Rail to Talkeetna
- Stay at 3 Princess Wilderness Lodges – Denali, Mt. McKinley and Kenai
- Cruise Highlights:
- Alaska Expert Hosts: Kim and Melanie Heacox (see attached bios)
- Glacier viewing: Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park
Rates are per person, land only, and based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to change and based on availability. Pricing does not include airfare, port charges, extra nights, optional services, gratuities or revision fees, except where noted. You are responsible for calling your AAA Travel Agent to check passport requirements, visa requirements, recommended vaccines, and/or any additional documentation needed for your participation in the vacation. Additional advisements may be given at time of booking. A AAA Colorado escort may be provided on these departures with a minimum number of participants.
Fly to Fairbanks, Alaska’s “Golden Heart City”. Check in to your hotel.
Take a Gold Dredge Tour to pan for your own gold. Enjoy a miner’s lunch before boarding an authentic sternwheeler riverboat down the Chena River. Evening at your leisure.
Embark on a motor coach trip to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge for a 2-night retreat. Optional activities are available or enjoy the lodge, river view deck and Princess Village with the popular Christmas cottage and sugar shack.
Explore Denali National Park on a Natural History Tour, watching for glimpses of Denali as well as Denali’s “Big Five”, bears, moose, caribou, wolves and Dali sheep. Relax the remainder of the day with a glass of wine on the deck.
The journey by Princess Rail to Talkeetna is unforgettable. Then motor coach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. After getting settled in, have a glass of wine on the deck or gaze at the majesty of “The Great One” from the lodge’s expertly designed treehouse.
You’ll head by motor coach across the stunning Kenai Peninsula to Cooper Landing. Here the charming Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge welcomes you to a classic Alaskan lodge retreat – timber log construction and all.
A full day in the beauty of the Kenai Peninsula awaits. Perhaps you’ll explore Kenai Fjords National Park, spend the afternoon river rafting or fishing. You’ll return to your bungalow-style room with its wood-burning stove and sun porch for an evening of pure relaxation.
Relax this morning before boarding a motor coach to Whittier and your awaiting ship. Embark and sail this evening.
The Hubbard Glacier measures 76 miles long and plunges 1,200 feet into the depths of the bay. It’s immense beauty and phenomenal blue hues are enchanting, but when your ship draws closer is when it really impresses. You will have prime viewing spots from which to witness the glacier calving as it often expels icebergs the size of 10-story buildings! What a splash!
During your scenic cruise through Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Park Rangers will share their knowledge of this amazing place and help you identify abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and more.
Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska’s largest town with about 20,000 population. Hotels, saloon, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. Today, it still retains the flavor of the gold rush era.
In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris searched for gold with the help of Native guides and eventually found nuggets “as large as beans”. From their discovery came three of the largest gold mines in the world valued more than $150 million. Eventually Juneau became the state capital and replaced gold mining with the business of government.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City” because it’s the first major community travelers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. You will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage which includes the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center
A full day to relax and enjoy the many on-board amenities your cruise ship offers; specialty dining, rejuvenating spa offerings, and exciting nightly entertainment. Family programs are also available.
You have an early arrival and disembarkation in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver.