RASE03 Coast to Arctic Circle Holiday by Rail from Seward

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Your vacation to Alaska will be incomplete without visits to our famous national parks and encounters with the natural wonders they contain. The port town Seward is a great location to start your train vacation after arriving by the Alaska Ferry or cruise ship. 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. 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. 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. Enjoy the comfortable ride as the train takes you via the Matanuska Valley towards the Alaska Range and Mt. Denali. 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. Your final destination will be  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. A guided van tour along the Dalton Highway or a flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle is a popular choice for experiencing the Arctic Circle and Yukon River. On request, this trip can be customized and organized in reverse order.

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Itinerary

Seward ( Overnight: Seward )

Arrive in Seward, a small fishing town at the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Check into your hotel. You will be greeted by the tour guide for your Seward area Sightseeing Tour. Heading out to Exit Glacier, take a short walk to the face of the glacial ice. Watch for mountain goats, moose or bear on the mountainside. During the salmon runs, see salmon swimming upstream to spawn. A hearty lunch will be served at nearby Resurrection Roadhouse before you travel to the Seavey homestead and experience "IditaRide" 1.5 hour Wilderness Dog Sled Ride and Tour. You may spend some time at the Alaska SeaLife Center – the world’s first cold water marine search institute. Enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at the harbor. Included: Seward Area Sightseeing Tour

Seward - Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

This morning 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. 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 as well as Humpback whales. After reaching the tidewater glacier, guests witness "glacier calving" a process by which glaciers shed giant slabs of ancient ice. Board the Alaska Railroad this evening for a scenic train ride north to Anchorage. Included: Kenai Fjords Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

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 – Denali National Park ( 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 ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Join this morning the sled dog demonstration hosted by Denali Park Rangers or hike around the Denali Visitor Center. Board the Alaska Railroad this afternoon for a scenic ride to Fairbanks. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. It is a fundraising event in which individuals attempt to guess the exact time the Tanana River ice will break up. Arrive in Fairbanks, the largest city in the interior and gateway to Alaska's Arctic northern region. The city enjoys almost 24 hr of daylight during summer. In the evening enjoy a dinner at the Pump House on the banks of the Chena River.

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.