RAFA04 Across Alaska by Rail

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Let yourself be swept away by the awe-inspiring Alaska’s interior and coastal region on this unforgettable trip. Immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of Alaska’s interior landscape along with the luscious coastal region of the Kenai Peninsula. Your train journey starts in the gold rush town of Fairbanks where you are invited to explore Fairbanks gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures and the fantastic scenery of the northern arctic region. Now it is time to explore Alaska’s backcountry on board the Alaska Railroad. Choose between the “Adventure Class” seating in the single-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. Denali National Park is one of Alaska’s most popular attraction and natural habitat for many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears. It is most likely you will spot some of them while taking the full day Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center, Wonder Lake or Kantishna Roadhouse. Continue your train journey to the quaint town of Talkeetna, known for scenic flightseeing tours to Mt. Denali. Your next destination is Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and filled with lot of adventures along with metropolitan amenities. Take the opportunity and visit the grizzly bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. Experience then another spectacular train route on board the Coastal Classic Train to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. Seward is the gateway for cruises into Kenai Fjords National Park. Board the catamaran for a full day wildlife and glacier cruise, arguably one of the most scenic places in Alaska to see spectacular coastal scenery, marine wildlife and calving tidewater glaciers. On request, this trip can be customized and can be organized in reverse order. 

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Itinerary

Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Welcome to Fairbanks, the "Golden Heart City" - tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle and enjoying almost 24 hours of daylight during summer. You are invited to explore the local gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as fantastic scenery. You may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection or take an authentic sternwheeler on a scenic cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Guided van tour along the Dalton Highway or flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle is super popular choice for experiencing the Arctic Circle and Yukon River. Enjoy a flightseeing trip to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska.

Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

You are invited to explore Fairbanks gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as abundant wildlife and fantastic scenery. This morning you may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection, Alaskaland or join the authentic sternwheeler "Riverboat Discovery" on a scenic 20-mile roundtrip cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. A guided van tour along the Dalton Highway or a flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle is a super popular choice for experiencing the Arctic Circle and Yukon River. Enjoy a bush mail plane flight or a flightseeing trip to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska.

Fairbanks – Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Enjoy the scenic ride onboard the Alaska Railroad 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. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. Arrive at Denali Village at noon. 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 – Talkeetna ( Overnight: Talkeetna )

Enjoy the train ride to Talkeetna. Have your camera ready as the train crosses Hurricane Gulch Bridge, 300 feet above the creek. The tracks veer away from the road system and into the backcountry Hurricane area; this region offers views of the snaking Indian River and the occasional remote cabin. Arrive in Talkeetna and transfer to your downtown hotel or to a beautiful mountain lodge with breathtaking views of Mt. Denali. As turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining center, Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flavor. Log cabins, a roadhouse and clapboard storefronts line the dirt streets. You have time to join a jet boat safari on the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers.

Talkeetna – Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Another highlight of your Railroad vacation is the flightseeing trip within 6-Miles of Denali's 20.320 ft summit and the Alaska Range. 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. Add an adventurous glacier landing on Ruth Glacier. Board the train this afternoon for a scenic ride to Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city is brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous, as well as the more relaxed. Visit the Log Cabin Visitor Center, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Resolution Park. Try some fresh Alaska seafood (Salmon, Halibut) for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in downtown.

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Time for your favourite activity - join a bear viewing day tour to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or to Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark, take a scenic glacier & wildlife cruise deep into Prince William Sound or explore the local attractions. A picture-perfect flightseeing trip takes you over Cook Inlet to Katmai Coast. Watch bears digging for clams, wandering the sedge grass, or nursing their young. Another option is the day trip to iconic Brooks Falls in the middle of Katmai, famous for bears swatting at Salmon making their way upstream. The Prince William Sound is one of the few places left in the world where a concentration of glaciers can be found in such abundance. View majestic alpine and tidewater glaciers covered with ancient ice and observe a large variety of marine wildlife.

Anchorage - Seward ( Overnight: Seward )

Board the Alaska Railroad early morning for your departure to Seward. The train ride offers incomparable vista of fjords and glaciers as you follow the Turnagain Arm. Board the catamaran upon arrival in Seward 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. 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 & Wildlife Cruise

Seward

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. Short trails lead to the edge of Exit glacier where you take a good photo in front of glacier ice. Your tour ends with the check out of your room. Optional tour extension and overnights are available on request.