NLRA01 Fairbanks Northern Lights Adventure - Alaska Railroad from Anchorage

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Winter has finally reached Alaska. That means stunning snowy scenery, festive events throughout the state, and long, comfy nights with log-burning fires. This northern lights and rail combo tour is the perfect winter getaway. Put on your snow boots and step on the crunchy snow! While the Aurora Winter Train travels the same stretch of tracks as the summer Denali Star Train, the views are strikingly distinct; the vibrant colors of Alaska’s summer landscape give way to the quiet serenity of pristine snow. Passengers may enjoy the winter wonderland of Alaska’s backcountry from the comfort of a warm railcar, complete with comfortable seats, large picture windows and onboard dining. On a clear day, a spectacular view of Denali rises into view above the Susitna River as you leave  Anchorage and make your way towards Fairbanks. And anywhere along the tracks, a watchful eye may be rewarded with the sight of a moose in the wild. The most common place to see the aurora is under the famed auroral oval, a several-hundred-mile-wide, doughnut-shaped ring that encircles the earth’s magnetic north pole. The auroral oval encompasses tried-and-true destinations like Chena Hot Springs in the Fairbanks region and Coldfoot in the Brooks Range. During big geomagnetic substorms, the auroral oval stretches southward and the northern lights can be seen flickering above the Alaska Range in places like Denali, Cantwell, Paxson and Tok. Some of the best shows have been even farther south - around Talkeetna, Hatcher Pass and Anchorage - but these events are less common. Join the nightly excursion from Fairbanks to an aurora viewing lodge and to Chena Hot Springs Resort, where an exciting but relaxing range of activities await you. Discover the wondrous sculptures at the local Aurora Ice Museum, then relax in the resort's legendary mineral water baths. Your tour guide will take you to the best places to watch the gorgeous Northern Lights with a warm drink in your hand.

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Upon arrival transfer to your downtown hotel. The remaining day is at leisure. Explore Alaska's largest city and visit the many points of interests. Take a walk on the Coastal Trail along Cook Inlet to Earthquake Park with a magnificent view of the snow capped Alaska Mountain Range in the distance, visit Alyeska – Alaska's largest Ski Resort or have a delicious dinner at one of Anchorage's top seafood restaurants. During February and March Anchorage hosts the annual Fur Rondy, Ice Carving Festivals, the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and other fun winter events.

Anchorage - Fairbanks | by Alaska Railroad ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Depart Anchorage at 8:30 AM for a scenic full-day rail tour to Fairbanks onboard the Alaska Railroad. You'll get fantastic views of the snow covered Alaska Mountain Range, a glimpse of Talkeetna and Denali National Park before arriving in Fairbanks at 8:00 PM. Transfer to your hotel near the banks of the beautiful Chena River. Known as the Golden Heart City of Alaska, Fairbanks is tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks offers many winter activities; from the Open North Sled Dog Race Championship to the World Ice Art Championship - Ice Alaska. Relax during your first evening and get ready for a few days of winter fun and adventure within the Last Frontier. You may watch the Aurora Borealis at night dancing on the northern sky.

Fairbanks (City Tour & Northern Lights Viewing) ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Join this morning the Fairbanks & area sightseeing tour - combining fun with Fairbanks history, Alaskan craftsmanship and Alaska winter activities. Your first stop is the Santa Claus House in North Pole where you can shop for Christmas decoration and visit the reindeer. Continue to the Trans Alaska Pipeline viewpoint and the Morris Thompson Cultural Center. Return to your hotel at 1 PM. Rest for the remaining afternoon. You will be picked up at 10 PM for your northern lights viewing tour. Enjoy the transfer to a prime aurora viewing lodge, located in the hills about 20 miles north of Fairbanks – far away from any city lights. Enjoy spectacular 270-degree aurora displays through large picture windows from the comfort of the lodge or outside. Return transfer to your hotel around 2 AM.

Fairbanks (Chena Resort Northern Lights Viewing) ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Sleep in late this morning. During the day you have time to join a sled dog tour, go ice fishing or explore the Alaska University Museum. At 5 PM you'll be picked up from your hotel for your visit to Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks. The large heated mineral indoor pool, the outdoor rock lake and numerous hot tubs are providing a great opportunity to soak, swim or rejuvenate until the Northern Lights appear in the evening. Included is the visit to the famous Aurora Ice Museum and Stoli Ice Bar. Dine at the restaurant serving everything from hamburgers to Alaskan King crab, or choose to join the free geothermal tour. Enjoy Northern Lights viewing opportunities after darkness at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Return to Fairbanks between 3 and 4 AM.

Fairbanks

This morning you have time to visit the Alaska University Museum with the States largest collection of gold nuggets, gold mining history and Alaskan heritage artifacts and the nearby Geophysical Institute - recognized as the best in the world for its Aurora Borealis research activities. You may join a Bush Mail Plane Flight to a remote native village above the Arctic Circle. Downtown Fairbanks offers a variety of excellent gift shops and art galleries such as the "Roseberry Art Gallery" with some tasteful items for your friends at home. Stroll through thedowntown court before returning to the airport for your individual return flight. Tour extension is avaiable upon request.