TravelStarz

 

 

Home

Ultimate Alaska Winter Wonderland Escorted Land Tour
Featuring Aurora Viewing, Iditarod Musher’s Banquet and World Famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race
February 27 – March 9, 2016
11 days/10 nights

 

Be Adventurous and Visit Alaska in the Winter!  This unique journey includes Aurora viewing in Alaska’s interior, a ride on the Aurora train south to Talkeetna and getting up close to Alaska’s wildlife in the winter, including puffins, moose, bison and more.  Learn about the Iditarod Sled Dog race from an Iditarod musher during a special kennel visit prior to the start of the “Last Great Race” where you will be surrounded by fabulous four-legged athletes known as sled dogs before they hit the trail to Nome.

This tour operates during the winter in Alaska, so expect cold temperatures, uneven and slippery surfaces (ice).  Late night Aurora Viewing opportunities start on arrival day between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM.  Prime viewing time is late evening through the wee hours of the morning.  So plan on channeling your inner teenager and stay up way past a normal bedtime!  Some days are long and active, but the choice is yours as to how much you participate in each day’s events.

Day 1, February 26:  Air arrival into Alaska’s interior city, Fairbanks.  On own transfer to hotel.  (Call the hotel for hotel courtesy shuttle or purchase meet and greet).  Please have flights arrive no later than 4:00 PM.  This evening at 9:00 PM, board your motorcoach as you go *Aurora Borealis viewing (10:00 PM – 2:00 AM).  Enjoy a warm non-alcoholic beverage this evening.  Return to hotel for your overnight in Fairbanks.   *Based on weather and solar activity.                  Meal:  N/A

*Purchasing a pre-night Fairbanks is highly recommended, since the first night of Aurora viewing is late night/early morning.

Day 2, February 27:  Breakfast.  Morning at leisure.  Early afternoon, enjoy a city tour of Fairbanks, including a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline visit.  Depart tonight for another chance to view the Aurora Borealis (9:00 to 11:30 PM approximate times) at a different venue.  Return to Fairbanks late this evening.  Overnight Fairbanks.    Meal:  Continental breakfast

*Aurora viewing is not guaranteed, as it is dependent on weather and solar activity.

Day 3, February 28:  Breakfast.  This morning, board your motoircoach for your drive south to Healy (just north of Denali National Park).  Board the world famous Alaska Railroad (Adventure Class)  for your scenic journey south to the quaint community of Talkeetna.  Time in Talkeetna to dine on own, or choose to take an exciting *flightseeing tour of Mt. McKinley before touring south to Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage.   This full day journey will showcase the beauty of Alaska.  A box lunch is included today.  Keep an eye out for views of Mt. McKinley from the North face to south face.  Overnight in Anchorage.       Meals:  Continental breakfast, box lunch

*Booked with a local guide and Is dependent on weather.

Day 4, February 29:  Breakfast.  Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Alaska’s largest city or to enjoy optional activities.  Suggestions include flightseeing thru the Chugach Mountains and dog sledding, snow shoeing, and much more.  Guests may need to sign a waiver and be in good physical health to participate in certain optional activities.  Overnight Anchorage           Meal:  Breakfast

Day 5, March 1:  Breakfast.  Today climb aboard your motorcoach for a journey to the coastal community of Seward and travel south along the spectacular Turnagain Arm.  Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see Alaskan wildlife up close.  Visit the Alaska Sealife Center for an in-depth look above and below the waters.  Return to Girdwood for overnight accommodations at The Hotel Alyeska.           Meals:  Breakfast, Box lunch

Day 6, March 2:  Breakfast.  A day at leisure at the resort.  There are many optional tours to choose from, or just relax and enjoy the hotel amenities ranging from relaxation in the spa facility, dog sledding, flightseeing, downhill skiing, or snow shoeing at an additional cost.  Enjoy an included Tram Ride offering spectacular views of the valley.  Overnight at The Hotel Alyeska, Alaska’s only four-diamond property.            Meal:  Breakfast

Day 7, March3: Breakfast.  Morning departure from Alyeska north to Anchorage.  Enjoy a city tour through the historic downtown district, Lake Hood/Lake Spenard and visit the Alaska Zoo for a “behind the scenes” tour.  Time to explore Anchorage on your own – you may want to visit the Anchorage Museum.  Tonight, enjoy Iditarod festivities and dinner at the Musher’s Banquet!  Overnight in Anchorage.       Meals:  Breakfast, dinner

Day 8, March 4:  Breakfast.  Today travel north to meet five-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser at his Happy Trails Kennel.  Hear personal stories while viewing a glimpse of the grandeur Alaska has to offer along the Iditarod trail.  Returning to Anchorage, visit the Iditarod Headquarters.  Overnight Anchorage - Breakfast

Day 9, March 5:  Breakfast.  This morning head to 4th Avenue to get a great spot at the Official Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.  Spend time cheering on mushers from all over the world.  Mushers will depart the starting gate every two minutes.  Watch each of them depart or take off early and enjoy other Iditarod festivities in Anchorage.  This afternoon, enjoy the cultural opportunities available at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.  Tonight, reminisce over your Alaska winter adventure and when you plan to return for another adventure to the Great Land.  Overnight in Anchorage.         Meals:  Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Day 10, March 6:  Breakfast.  This morning depart from your hotel for the adventure north to Willow, Alaska, the *RE-Start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Be sure to dress in layers to maximize staying warm, as the entire day will be spent outside cheering on your favorite dog teams.  En route, stop at a local grocery store in Wasilla to pick up on-own lunch items and additional snacks to meet your personal tastes. 

Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the fence line of the race.  Mushers take off across Willow Lake on the 1,049 mile journey by dog sled to Nome.  The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drink, as well as local crafts.   Don’t miss out on snacks throughout the day.  Your Tour Director will have more information on this edible portion of the program.

The departure time from Willow will depend on weather conditions and guests’ comfort level.  It is our goal to see as many of the mushers depart as possible, while still arriving back into Anchorage by 6:00 or 6:30 PM.  Overnight Anchorage.                                Meals:  Breakfast, snacks  

·          This day includes walking on snow and ice (and a few hills) to get to the official start of the Iditarod, where mushers take off from a lake.  A stop will be made at a local grocery store, so guests can get snacks/lunch on their own, or if they wish to buy a portable chair for sitting.  Guests are encouraged to take their time to get to the venue, as there is no rush.

·         In the rare event the Iditarod Official Start is relocated due to weather and trail conditions, a full day of activities will be substituted for the guests in Anchorage. 

Day 11, Monday, March 9:  Breakfast.  On own transfer to Anchorage airport for flight out. (Taxi service is readily available or purchase transfer service.)           Meals:  Breakfast



The below prices do not include air fare.

Rate Per Person/Double Occupancy.  Single and triple rates available:       
$2,562.00:   Feb. 26 – Mar. 7, 2016

                    

NOTES:
* Premier Alaska Tours local escort will be with the group throughout the entire land tour.
* Hand warmers included to ensure your comfort.
* All applicable taxes included.
*Booking by January 1, 2016 have guaranteed seating at the Musher’s Banquet.  After that date, seating depends on availability.

 

Winter Enhancements (prices per person):
-Meet/Greet Services & Transfer $55
-Pre-Paid Tips (Tour Director & Driver) $115

Pre Night:  Fairbanks, includes Breakfast & Bed Tax
$73.00 per person/double occupancy

Post Night:  Anchorage, includes Breakfast & Bed tax
$100.00 per person/double occupancy