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Alaska Cruise and National Parks

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The great wilderness of Alaska beckons.

17 days From £4,695 per person
This is an independent non-escorted holiday

2022 Tour code: QLS22

About the tour

The great wilderness of Alaska awaits on this exciting holiday. Travel on the Denali Star and Glacier Discovery railways, sail across the open seas through the Inside Passage, and visit some of the most naturally spectacular national parks on the continent.

Highlights

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What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London to Fairbanks

Board your flight to Fairbanks, Alaska from London Heathrow, transferring at Minneapolis. On arrival, a private transfer to your hotel for the next two nights will meet you.

Day 2 - Fairbanks

Start your day with a riverboat tour along the Chena and Tanana Rivers, enjoying expert narration as you admire the 'wedding of the waters', the spot where the two rivers meet, as well as the dramatic forest scenery.

You're free to explore the city of Fairbanks for the rest of the day. Book a visit to the natural Chena Hot Springs for ultimate relaxation, or take advantage of the many dog sled or ice fishing tours available. Alternatively, learn more about the history of the region with a visit to the University of Alaska's Museum of the North.

Day 3 - The Denali Star

Transfer from your hotel to the rail station to board the historic Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad's flagship train.

Departing from Fairbanks and heading southbound to Anchorage, experience the true wilderness of the north as you travel past remote cabins, gushing rivers and dramatic canyons. Your stop is the stunning mountain scenery of the Denali National Park, named after North America's tallest mountain which stands inside.

When you arrive at Denali National Park, there will be a transfer waiting to take you to your hotel for the next two nights.

Day 4 - Denali National Park

Set out into the wilderness to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of Denali National Park by guided coach tour. The tour takes you through some of the park's most stunning scenery, with fantastic views of Mount Denali and the surrounding area.

Keep your eyes peeled for some of North America's most iconic wildlife. You may spot wolves, caribou, Dall's sheep and moose - and you might be lucky enough to spot the elusive grizzly or black bear. Foxes, marmots and snowshoe hares are a common sight, and keen birders will love the opportunity to spot golden and bald eagles in flight.

Day 5 - Talkeetna

You're free to continue exploring Denali National Park this morning, perhaps taking in the magnificent scenery with a final walk, before boarding the Denali Star to Talkeetna.

Originally founded as a trading post on the Great Alaskan Railroad, the small but charming wilderness town of Talkeetna boasts a population of around a thousand. On arrival, drop your bags at the hotel before heading out on a jet boat experience, enjoying the crystal clear glacial waters and the peaceful solitude offered by this isolated landscape.

Day 6 - Talkeetna to Seward

Board your coach for a scenic day's drive to Seward, your next destination and stopping point for the next two nights. The port town is where mountains and coast meet, creating a stunning backdrop and making Seward an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding wilderness.

A real highlight of your journey here is the journey along the Kenai Peninsula that lies between Talkeetna and Seward. Sit back and enjoy views over fjord-like scenery, as pine-clad snowy mountains give way steeply to the icy seas of the North Pacific Ocean.

Day 7 - Kenai Fjords National Park

Get to know the aquatic inhabitants of Kenai Fjords National Park in a relaxing and informative manner with a cruise through the fjords.

This dramatic landscape is home to a range of wildlife species, including otters, whales, porpoises, bears and puffins. Keep your eyes peeled from the comfort of your boat and see what you can spot.

You'll also be served a lunch of regional specialties onboard your boat. Sampling some of Alaska's finest produce whilst surrounded by mountains, fjords and occasional passing porpoises is a tour highlight!

Day 8 – Seward

Spend some more time exploring Seward. You could find out more about the history of Alaska's railroads at the Alaska Railroad Museum, immerse yourself in wildlife conservation efforts at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or take in the simple but poignant Mariners' Memorial at the harbour.

Seward's historic harbour also offers plenty of attractions, including boat tours and charters for sightseeing and fishing. Or, you could wander round the downtown district, taking in the local gallery scene and enjoying the town's collection of large, colourful public murals.

Day 9 - Sewards to Anchorage

Leave Seward behind and board the Coastal Classic train to Anchorage. The route has been ranked as one of the top ten train journeys in North America by National Geographic - and as you pass through the dramatic landscapes of the Chugach National Forest and Prince William Sound, it's easy to see why.

Once at Anchorage, take the Glacier Discovery train to Whitter, where you'll board your cruise ship. The next seven nights will be spent on board, as you travel down the Canada's west coast to trendy Vancouver.

Day 10 - Hubbard Glacier

After a night in the harbour, your cruise sets sail this morning. Enjoy the views out over open seas and glimpses of the dramatic North Pacific coastline as the ship makes its way to its first stop: the Hubbard Glacier.

Hubbard Glacier is one of the largest tidewater glaciers in North America at 76 miles long and 1,200 feet deep. The sheer size of it makes for a breathtaking sight - but it's the glacier's turquoise tint that gives it a uniquely otherworldly feel. Enjoy the views before having your first dinner onboard the ship.

Day 11 - Glacier Bay National Park

Stretching across over three million acres of rugged mountains and glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of any journey along Alaska's Inside Passage.

Keep watch for humpback whales, harbour seals and sea otters as you explore this lush wilderness. Cruising through the park is an ideal way to experience its varying landscapes, sailing through ice fields to the heart of the Fairweather Mountains. Learn more about the area via narration from a park ranger, who will board the boat and cruise with you for the day.

Day 12 - Skagway

Your cruise ship docks in Skagway, where you have the day to explore. Literary enthusiasts may recognise this Klondike gold rush town from Jack London's famous novel 'The Call of the Wild' - as such there's plenty of history to engage with here.

The historic downtown district and boardwalk offer glimpses into the town's rugged past, whilst a trip to the White Pass Railroad Summit passes some of the famous sights of the original Klondike Trail. Alternatively, watch the wild salmon run at Pullen Creek StreamWalk, spot wildlife on Chilkoot Lake, or cruise across glaciers on a dogsled tour.

Day 13 - Juneau

In the morning, your ship docks in the Alaskan capital of Juneau, and you have the rest of the day to explore.

You might like to explore the local crafts scene, with a range of downtown galleries and cooperatives filled with everything from the traditional to the contemporary. A wander along the seafront presents multiple opportunities to sample Alaska's freshest seafood, with salmon, halibut and crab being the local specialties.

If you're keen to experience more of the local wildlife, there are a number of whale watching tours that depart from the harbour.

Day 14 - Ketchikan

Learn more about Alaska's rich indigenous heritage as your boat stops in Ketchikan for the day. The city is famous for its collection of both contemporary and traditional carved totem poles, housed at the Totem Heritage Center amongst collections of other Native artefacts, including cedar bark baskets, beaded regalia and button robes.

If you're interested in finding out more about the region's history, you could pair this with a visit to the Tongass Historical Museum, or take your seat at the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show for an exciting afternoon's entertainment.

Day 15 - The Inside Passage

Today is your final day onboard your cruise before you disembark at Vancouver. Sailing through Alaska's famous Inside Passage is a fittingly scenic end to your epic seven-day voyage.

The Inside Passage is famous for its backdrop of snow-capped mountains, pristine waters and dramatic fjords, so simply sit back and enjoy the view. You may also catch a glimpse of some of the area's marine wildlife on your journey, including bald eagles, whales, puffins and seals.

Take your final meal onboard, perhaps retiring to your cabin after watching the sunset over Alaska's most stunning views.

Day 16 - Vancouver to London

Your ship pulls into Vancouver in the morning, marking the end of your voyage. Transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

Day 17 - London

Your flight touches down at London Heathrow, marking the end of your holiday.

Additional information

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

The Lakefront Anchorage, Anchorage

The Lakefront Anchorage, Anchorage

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Pike’s Waterfront Lodge

Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, Fairbanks

View hotel

Seward Windsong Lodge, Seward

Seward Windsong Lodge, Seward

View hotel

Ship

MS Nieuw Amsterdam
Alaska Cruise and National Parks

The great wilderness of Alaska beckons.

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Luke Simpson
Luke
James Starkie
James
Rhianna Coote
Rhianna