SDFA04 Alaska by Land and Sea - Road Trip

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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. This eye-opening driving itinerary will take you to Alaska’s impressive national parks and charming towns, as well as an abundance of native wildlife. Your driving tour starts in the gold rush town of Fairbanks where you’ll pick up your favourite rental car. The drive along the George Parks Highway to Denali National Park is stunning and offers many breathtaking sceneries. You have plenty of time to explore Denali National Park. The name ''Denali'' means ''The Great One'' in the native Athabascan language. At 20,310 feet above sea level. Denali is the highest peak in North America and is surrounded by one of the world's most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. Your journey continues to the charming town of Talkeetna and Seward, gateway to pristine Kenai Fjords National Park. Explore the ancient glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park on a catamaran vessel for the best viewing platforms. 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

Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Arrive in Fairbanks during the day and pick up your rental car. Welcome to the "Golden Heart City". You are invited to explore the local 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 take an authentic sternwheeler on a scenic 20-mile roundtrip 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 bushplane 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 ( Driving Distance: 130 miles | Overnight: Denali Village )

Known as the Golden Heart City of Alaska, Fairbanks is tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle. It enjoys almost 24 hours of daylight during summer months. You are invited to explore the local gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as fantastic scenery. This morning you may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection, Alaskaland or take an authentic sternwheeler on a scenic 20-mile roundtrip cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Enjoy lively narration, stop at a reconstructed Athabascan Indian Village to learn about native hunting and fishing techniques and watch a dogsled demonstration. Leisure drive to Nenana - known for its Alaska Ice Classics - to Denali National Park.

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 ( Driving Distance: 150 miles | Overnight: Talkeetna )

Spend the morning at Denali Village and join a whitewater rafting tour, watch a sled dog demonstration presented by the Denali park rangers or go on a short hiking trip around the Denali Visitor Center. Leave for Talkeetna - the base for most climbing expeditions and spectacular glacier flightseeing activities within the Alaska Mountain Range. 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. You will also see the Sheldon Amphitheatre - the largest of its kind in the world. Another highlight will be an adventurous glacier landing at the 5600 foot level of the Ruth Glacier, located in the Sheldon Amphitheater.

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 )

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. 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 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 ( Driving Distance: 130 miles )

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.