NLRA07 Arctic Circle Explorer - Alaska Railroad from Anchorage

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Embark on one of the greatest northern lights journey of your life as you visit two popular aurora destinations in Alaska - Coldfoot, located above the Arctic Circle and Chena Hot Springs Resort. Join our Arctic Circle tour and experience the famous northern arctic region above the Arctic Circle. Your railroad journey starts in Anchorage. Travel from Anchorage to Fairbanks aboard the Alaska Railroad offering large panoramic windows and on-board dining. See the untouched snow of the hinterland on this all-day trip. And anywhere along the tracks, a watchful eye may be rewarded with the sight of a moose in the wild. We follow the Dalton Highway, which has also become known to us through the "Ice Road Trucker" series, in the direction of the Arctic Circle. During the trip your guide will introduce you to the history of Alaska and the peculiarities of life in Alaska. Enjoy the impressive landscape of Central Alaska, such as the Yukon River, Finger Mountain or the Trans Alaska Pipeline and look out for moose, lynx and foxes that are at home here. Your guided tour includes the overnight in Coldfoot. The hotel is rustic by urban standards, the hotel is clean and each room has a private bath, a luxury in the wilderness. At night admire the natural spectacle of the aurora borealis with its colourful shining veils. Afterwards we take you to Chena Hot Springs Resort, the most developed year round hot springs resort in Alaska. At night you can relax in the soothing outdoor mineral pools and watch the northern lights in a quiet atmosphere - an unforgettable experience. Hot springs right at your resort, authentic log cabins and the largest ice museum in the world will also delight you. Optional winter activities and warm hospitality will make your stay a very special experience. Whether you are looking for a relaxing break or searching for a bit of adventure, don’t miss the charm and beauty of Chena.

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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 – Van Tour to Coldfoot / Arctic Circle ( Overnight: Coldfoot )

Depart from Fairbanks in comfortable tour van and travel along the remarkable Trans Alaska Pipeline. You'll follow the famous Dalton Highway, the solitary land route of Alaska's Arctic wilderness. Traverse the frozen Yukon River and enjoy the snow-sculpted forest. Cross the Arctic Circle in ceremonious fashion and receive an official Arctic Circle Certificate. Appreciate the low light on the horizon as it shines on the windswept Arctic Tundra. Arrive Coldfoot in early evening and watch the Aurora Borealis at night dancing on the northern sky. Accommodation: Coldfoot provides an excellent base for travelers in Alaska's Brooks Mountain Range. Although rustic by urban standards, the hotel rooms feature two twin beds and a private bath, a luxury in the remote wilderness of Alaska's Arctic.

Coldfoot / Arctic Circle ( Overnight: Coldfoot )

Depart for an adventurous drive into the Brooks Range to Atigun Pass. This is the northernmost pass in the world that is kept open year-round and the highest year around pass in Alaska. Enjoy an evening aurora viewing expedition to historic Wiseman – an old gold rush town established in 1907 - for a unique cabin visit and an opportunity to enjoy the solitude of the Brooks Mountain Range as you scan the northern sky for Northern Lights activities. Enjoy the spectacular show as they are flipping and waving through the sky in shades of green, purple and red. A spectacle you’ll never forget. Cabin visit includes complimentary hot beverages. Departs at 10:00 PM and returns at 2:00 AM.

Coldfoot / Arctic Circle – Flight to Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Breakfast at the Truckers Cafe in Coldfoot. Time for another sightseeing activity trip: Dog Sledding Adventures: Enjoy an experience with real Alaskan sled dogs. Learn what it takes to have a dog team in Alaska and enjoy. Fly back to Fairbanks with eagle views of the remarkable Trans Alaska Pipeline, symbolizing the immense changes brought to Alaska's Arctic by the discovery of oil over 30 years ago. Rest of the day at leisure. You can visit this afternoon the Morris Thompson Cultural Center, offering knowledgeable cultural programs and an interpretive exhibit gallery featuring the land, seasons and people of Interior Alaska and the Arctic.

Fairbanks – Chena Hot Springs Resort ( Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort )

Morning on your own: explore the city and check out the winter activities or visit the famous Alaska University Museum with the States largest collection of gold, gold mining history and Alaskan heritage. Afternoon transfer to Chena Hot Springs Resort - a prime Northern Lights viewing area in the hills about 60 road miles northeast of Fairbanks. Tonight join the spectacular snow coach tour to see the aurora up close (included). From the resort you travel 30 minutes to the top of a ridge (2600 ft) where no city lights interfere the aurora. After arriving on top you can step inside the heated Mongolian Yurt to warm up and enjoy a hot beverage. For the next few hours you can always step outside and enjoy spectacular 360-degree Aurora displays. Return to the resort at around 2:00 AM.

Chena Hot Springs Resort ( Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort )

Relax in the large heated mineral indoor pool, the outdoor rock lake and in numerous hot tubs – which are providing a great opportunity to soak or swim until the Northern Lights are appearing in the evening again. You have plenty of time to go dog sledding, visit a sled dog kennel tour, try snowmobiling or join a tour of the Ice Museum. Dinner (optional) at the rustic log lodge restaurant and then take a short walk to a heated cabin for another night of outstanding Northern Lights viewing opportunities. The resort is also known for its healthy outdoor opportunities in the pristine wilderness of Alaska´s great Interior - first discovered by gold prospectors at the turn of the century. In 1912, the geothermal area was the premier place to soak - for residents of the booming town Fairbanks.

Chena Hot Springs Resort – Fairbanks

After breakfast spend some time to enjoy Chena Hot Springs Resort facilities. Individual transfer to Fairbanks airport or downtown. Flight reservations to your home destination should be arranged preferably after 10:00 am. Please Note: all flights to/from or within Alaska are not included. Rest of the day on your own and tour extensions are readily available.