Welcome to Anchorage! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
As you enter Whittier from North America's longest tunnel, the panoramic view of the ocean, mountains, and glaciers greet you. As the gateway to Prince William Sound, this is where you'll board a Glacier cruise for an up-close look along the 3-mile face of Meares Glacier, and the epicentre of the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964. Watch for eagles, whales, mountain goats, dolphins, and sea lions! Overnight in Valdez, the "Switzerland of Alaska."
Leave Valdez, home of the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal, and enjoy views of Bridal Veil Falls, Worthington Glacier, and Thompson Pass. Visit the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor centre and discover why this vast national park measures in size six times that of Yellowstone National Park, and rises from the ocean to 18,008 feet. Overnight in Tok, the "Dog Sled Capital of the World."
Join the Alaska Highway and follow along the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Skirt the shores of Kluane Lake, once a meeting place for crews constructing the Alaska Highway. Behold spectacular vistas of the rugged mountains of Kluane National Park, home to 19,551-foot-high Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak. The next two nights are in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon and the territorial headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Follow the Trail of ‘98 over the same mountains that thousands of determined gold seekers scaled on foot in the dead of winter while heading for the Klondike. From Fraser, your Tour Director will suggest an optional train trip on the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway. Otherwise, continue by motorcoach to Skagway. Stroll the wooden sidewalks past charming false-front buildings and colourful saloons. NOTE: Operation of the White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway is subject to seasonal conditions.
Head northwest through the town of Carmacks, once an important supply station for gold seekers on their way to the Klondike. A stop at the Five Finger Rapids, a major obstacle to the hordes of fortune seekers that passed this way. Reach Dawson City, the centre of excitement after the first gold strike in the Klondike in 1896, which led to the world's largest gold rush. Tonight, enjoy the high-flying entertainment of Dimond Tooth Gertie's Saloon, featuring ragtime music, can-can girls, and an old-fashioned casino.
Highlights on your morning sightseeing tour include Bonanza Creek, site of Claim #1, where the first gold strike was made; and Robert Service Interpretive Centre, where you'll get a first-hand glimpse into the life of this famous wordsmith, along with genuine Gold Rush era items. Enjoy a photo opportunity at the SS Keno, the last sternwheeler to run between Dawson and Whitehorse. The rest of your day is free to soak up the exciting history of this Gold Rush town at your own pace. Perhaps a return to Diamond Tooth Gertie's Saloon is in order?
A full day and well worth it, as the scenery is magnificent. Have your camera ready for photo opportunities at Dawson overlook and Top of the World Highway, where the motorcoach will re-enter Alaska, and visit one of the last surviving gold rush towns in Alaska before heading west on the Alaska Highway. Stop at an authentic Alaska roadhouse before your evening arrival in Fairbanks.
Morning sightseeing features highlights of Alaska's second-largest city and a visit to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Board the Sternwheeler Riverboat Discovery III for a leisurely cruise on the Chena River. You will see a bush floatplane take off alongside the boat, visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner, Susan Butcher, and see her champion sled dogs in action. Be immersed into the ancient Athabascan Indian culture when our Alaskan Native Guides take you on a personalised tour of the Chena Indian Village.
Board the world-famous Alaska Railroad for a memorable journey through untamed wilderness. Sit back in comfort and enjoy spectacular scenery through wide windows. Be sure to take advantage of the domed-roof car. The ride ends in Denali National Park & Preserve. North America's highest peak, 20,310-foot Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, dominates the park's six million acres of glacial streams, river valleys, and multicoloured tundra. After a short orientation tour of Denali, the afternoon is free to explore on your own.
A free day for independent activities. A hike along the many wilderness trails might be good fun. Also take advantage of several optional outings, including a wildlife tour to seek out grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep; a raft trip down the Nenana River; or a helicopter ride over the park. Your Tour Director will have plenty of other suggestions.
Relish one last look at the outstanding scenery and wildlife of Denali before travelling south toward Anchorage. Stop along the way at the Iditarod Headquarters, home of the great dogsled race. Continue to Anchorage and the Dimond Centre for guests extending their stay in Alaska. For guests with homebound flights, the trip ends at Anchorage International Airport. However, with possible delays for weather, we strongly suggest that guests do not book flights prior to 5 pm.