RSAN01 Alaskan Nature Escape - Rail & Drive Tour from Anchorage

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From North to South, experience Alaska with the Best! An adventure by rail and road across central Alaska is a great way to discover Alaska’s grand scenic beauty. Board in Anchorage the last full-service railroad in North America and choose between the “Adventure Class” seating in the one-storey railway car or the “Deluxe Dome Railcar” on board the Alaska Railroad or with one of the privately operated trains. All train cars feature large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views around every bend of the majestic beauty of the glaciers, mountains and Alaskan wildlife. Spend two days at Denali National Park which is the natural habitat for many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears. The next train route leads to Fairbanks, the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, which enjoys 24 hours of daylight during summer. Pick up your rental car and overnight in the quaint town of Talkeetna, located at the confluence of the Chulitna, Susitna and Talkeetna Rivers and known for scenic flightseeing tours to Mt. Denali. Enjoy the drive along the coast to Seward, where we have reserved the scenic Kenai Fjords glacier & wildlife tour for you. Your Alaskan vacation comes to an end in Anchorage. Please read our itinerary to have more detailed day-to-day experience. On request, this trip can be customized and can be organized in reverse order.

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Arrive in Anchorage during the day. Transfer to your hotel in downtown Anchorage. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city of Anchorage is not the frozen tundra of Alaska you might imagine. You will find it’s brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous. Being the largest city in Alaska, it is rich in indigenous culture; spend your day enjoying the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visiting the Anchorage Museum, or browsing through the Saturday Market. Visit the Lake Hood Floatplane base, go for a walk along the Coastal Train and try out one of Anchorage popular seafood restaurants. With so much of variety of things, for a first time visitor to Alaska or a seasoned traveller, Anchorage has more to offer and is the perfect starting point for your journey into Alaska.

Anchorage – Denali National Park | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Morning transfer to the railroad station where you'll board the train to Denali National Park. Choose between the standard rail car or the glass-dome compartments with large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views of snowcapped mountain ranges, pristine scenery and abundant wildlife. Enjoy the comfortable ride as the train takes you via the Matanuska Valley towards the Alaska Range and Mt. Denali. Onboard services feature a restaurant, gift shop and snack bar. Arrive at Denali Village late afternoon. Transfer to your hotel and check into your room. Once you settled take a stroll through Denali Village, join a flightseeing tour, wildwater rafting trip or visit Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Kennel for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs.

Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Denali National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing and spectacular sceneries. Pick up your tickets, board the bus and watch out for grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and fox moving along the ridges and river beds. Your driver informs about the history of Denali National Park, its diverse wildlife and flora. Once an animal has been spotted the bus will stop that everyone can watch and take pictures. The bus turns around at Eielson Visitor Center - 66 miles one way/8 hours round trip. You can get off the bus anytime to go for a hike. Return to the Denali Park entrance anytime during the day. Optional: We can extend the transit bus tour to Wonder Lake or exchange to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, Kantishna Wilderness Trails or Backcountry Lodge Tour. Included: Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center

Denali National Park – Fairbanks | Rail Tour ( Driving Distance: 130 miles | Overnight: Fairbanks )

Join this morning the sled dog demonstration hosted by Denali Park Rangers or hike around the Denali Visitor Center. Start your drive on the Richardson Highway and stopover at Nenana. Residents of Nenana sponsor the Nenana Ice Classic, a nature-based lottery. It is a fundraising event in which individuals attempt to guess the exact time the Tanana River ice will break up. Once you get to dig into it more interesting details emerge! Arrive in Fairbanks, the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, which enjoys 24 hr of daylight during summer. This afternoon board the authentic Riverboat Discovery sternwheeler for a cruise along the Chena and Tanana rivers. Highlight is stopover at an Athabascan Indian Village, Susan Butcher's sled dog kennel and a floatplane take off & land.

Fairbanks – Talkeetna | Start Self Drive Tour ( Driving Distance: 270 miles | Overnight: Talkeetna )

Pick up your rental car. Take the Richardson Highway south via Denali National Park towards Talkeetna - the base for most climbing expeditions and spectacular glacier flightseeing activities within the Alaska Mountain Range. Check into your downtown hotel or a beautiful mountain lodge with breathtaking views of Mt. Denali. Optional Tour: Take a flightseeing trip within 6-Miles of Denali's 20.320 ft summit and get a picture perfect view of the Kahiltna and Ruth Glacier with its Great Gorge - over 9.000 ft deep - as well as onto magnificent ice-falls. Another highlight will be an adventurous glacier landing at the 5600 foot level of the Ruth Glacier, located in the Sheldon Amphitheater. A leisure trip is the jet boat safari on the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers.

Talkeetna – Seward ( Driving Distance: 240 miles | Overnight: Seward )

Your road trip continues past Anchorage where you will join the Seward Highway - offering incomparable vistas of fjords, glaciers and mountains as you follow the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. Arrive in Seward, a small fishing town at the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Kenai Fjords is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. This afternoon you have time to visit Exit Glacier. Short trails lead to the edge of the glacier where you take a good photo in front of glacier ice. You may spend some time at the Alaska SeaLife Center – the world’s first cold water marine search institute. Enjoy a delicious seafood dinner overlooking Seward's boat harbor.

Seward ( Overnight Seward )

Board the stable catamaran for a spectacular cruise deep into Kenai Fjords National Park with actively "calving" glaciers and magnificent scenery. Covering 110-miles, the trip is narrated by a National Park Ranger, who is highly adept at spotting wildlife and pointing out the many sights. Kenai Fjords showcase the best of Alaska’s marine world in a compact package. Kittiwakes, puffins and other seabirds nest along cliff faces just above the swells. Sea otters float belly-up eating mussels while Harbor seals haul out on icebergs off Aialik and Northwestern Glacier. Look out for Steller sea lions on Chiswell Island as well as Humpback and killer whales. After reaching the tidewater glacier, guests witness "glacier calving" a process by which glaciers shed giant slabs of ancient ice. Included: Kenai Fjords Glacier Cruise

Seward – Anchorage | End Self Drive Tour

Spend some time in the morning at the Alaska SeaLife Center – the world's largest and first cold water marine search institute with wildlife rehabilitation and public education facilities, try some outstanding halibut or salmon fishing within Resurrection Bay, book a half day kayak tour from Lowell Point to Holgate Glacier or hike the scenic Exit Glacier Trail - the choice is yours ! Take the Seward Highway north towards Anchorage. Feel free to take a break at the designated photo stops to enjoy the panoramic views over Cook Inlet. Arrive in Anchorage later in the day and drop off your rental car.