|Anchorage, Alaska, United States
||Anchorage, Alaska, United States
As if trapped in the ice age, nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park. Covering around 2711 square kilometres, the area – which was established as a national park in 1980 – is home to both the famed Bear and Exit glaciers. The park earned its name from its long alpine valleys, which are now occupied by the ocean.
Why we love it:
- Experience the Alaskan wilderness at its finest including spectacular fjord scenery, glaciers and the continent’s highest peaks.
- America’s largest state is the ultimate adventurer's dream. Sweeping scenic views, vast wilderness lands and the chance to view abundant wildlife all combine to offer us an experience unparalleled anywhere.
- As well as covering the highlights of the interior, you also take to the waterways with a ferry ride across Prince William Sound, following the rugged coastline with the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
- Spending a night in a rustic lodge, we get a taste of how it is to live like an Alaskan.
- Along the way you'll stay in comfortable accommodation and travel at a leisurely pace – an ideal way to appreciate the highlights and experience the striking beauty of Alaska.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Anchorage - Kenai Fjords National Park
Accommodation: Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites or similar, Anchorage
- Your tour starts at 7:30am at the Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites in Anchorage. As this is an early start we recommend booking a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be arranged when you book the tour.
- The largest city in Alaska with only 250,000 people, Anchorage has gone through quite a change since the earthquake of 1964. Now a bustling city fuelled by the oil boom and tourism, it was not that long ago that Anchorage was the last outpost before heading into the ‘Last Frontier’. After leaving Anchorage you will round Cook Inlet's Turnagain Arm and venture on to the Kenai (pronounced ‘keen eye’) Peninsula and the colourful fishing village of Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.
- At Portage Glacier the leader will take group on a 1 mile hike to Byron Glacier where you can get close enough to touch it.
Day 2: Kenai Fjords National Park
Accommodation: Harborview Inn Kenai Fjords or similar, Kenai Fjords NP
- Located on the south-eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai National Park covers more than 600,000 acres (2400 square kilometres) and is a place where you'll get to enjoy spectacular views of the rugged coastline and the Kenai Mountains and also look out for wildlife. There is much to do on your free day. You can hike in the high-country of the Harding Icefields, try your hand at fishing or enjoy a spectacular cruise through Resurrection Bay and Aialik Fjord, with views of local marine life, migrating birds and tidewater glaciers along this remote wilderness coast.
Day 3-4: Valdez
Accommodation: Mountain Sky Valdez or similar, Valdez
- After leaving the Kenai Peninsula, you'll ride on the awe-inspiring Alaska Marine Highway Ferry through Prince William Sound to Valdez (pronounced ‘Val-dees’). Tucked away at the end of a glacier-carved fjord and called the ‘Switzerland of Alaska’ due to its surrounding snow-capped mountains, this is the most northerly ice-free port in the Western Hemisphere and the terminus of the Alaskan Pipeline that stretches 1300 kilometres (over 800 miles) to Prudhoe Bay.
- You'll enjoy a free day here and there are a number of things you can choose to do, including gliding past the rugged coastline, gazing upon the snow-capped Chugach Mountains and checking out spectacular icebergs released by the immense Columbia Glacier. A myriad of forested islands dot the seascape on our way to Valdez and the towering mountains that surround this fjord make for stunning views. There's probably no better way to experience this pristine environment than with an optional sea kayaking trip. A variety of hiking trails make this area a walker's paradise.
Day 5: Maclaren River Lodge
Accommodation: Maclaren Lodge or similar, Alaskan Range
- You'll head into the heart of the Alaska mountain range on the most beautiful drive in the state, climbing Thompson Pass and past Wrangell-St Elias National Park, en route to Maclaren River Lodge. With spectacular views of the surrounding valley this rustic lodge, complete with a river-stone fireplace and log cabins, provides the ideal setting for an authentic Alaskan experience.
- Please note that these cabins are multi-share and sleep up to four people. You will get to experience the quiet lakes of the tundra and look out for grazing caribous. This is also a birder watcher's paradise with many species often sighted and there is a chance to experience excellent fishing for grayling.
- This range is actually the highest mountain range in North America and includes Mount McKinley - the highest peak in North America, measuring an impressive 6196 metres (20,327 feet). Also with this range are three national parks - Kluane, Wrangell-St Elias and Mount McKinley, which was later re-named Denali National Park and Preserve.
- Optional visit to Kennecott Copper Mill Ghost Town - an extraordinary relic from America's past.
Day 6-8: Denali National Park
Accommodation: Carlo Creek Cabins Denali or similar, Denali NP
- You will then follow the old Denali Highway to Denali National Park and Preserve, where nature survives in a timeless state. Surrounding the tallest mountain peak in North America, grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, marmots and wolves all roam the park. Activities such as river rafting, dog sled demonstrations or walking on a quiet nature trail are available near our lovely campground setting bordering the park.
- The following days you will be free to explore the backcountry. Take the included Denali shuttle bus, which offers scenic views of the taiga and sub-arctic tundra and offers superb opportunities to view wildlife as well as access to limitless hiking options. For a real treat why not try an optional scenic flight to get a good view of Mount McKinley's towering peak. You could even opt for a glacier landing! Please note that accommodation in Denali National Park is in twin-share cabins.
Day 9: Anchorage
- On your final day you'll return to Anchorage where your tour concludes upon arrival at approximately 5pm at the Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites. Optional post-tour accommodation is available - please inquire when booking your tour. If you are planning to fly out of Anchorage tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm (21:00 hrs).
- The services of a professional tour leader.
- Sightseeing and entrance fee to Kenai Fjords and Denali National Parks.
- Overnight in a rustic Alaskan lodge.
- Transport in a customised vehicle and ferry.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights, airport transfers, airport departure taxes, visas, insurance, any optional tours and activities, tips and items of a personal nature.
- Airport transfers
- Airport departure taxes
- Any optional tours and activities
- Any optional tours and activities
- Daily budget
We have chosen some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. For group trips, speak to your leader if you are interested in any of the following:
- Dogsled Demonstration
- Fishing Trip
- Guided Glacier Walk
- Ice Climbing
- Kenai Fjords float plane trip
- Kenai Fjords scenic cruise
- Mountain biking
- Scenic Denali Flight
- Scenic walks and hikes
- Sea Kayaking
- Whitewater Rafting (seasonal) - Alaska
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, if certain requirements are met. Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program. You will be required to complete an online visa waiver prior to travelling (at a cost of US$14). This can be done at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945) - Henry Miller Coast to Coast (1956) - Jan Morris On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac Travels with Charley (1962) - John Steinbeck Blue Highways (1982) - William Least Heat-Moon On the Rez (2000) - Ian Frazer The Great Gatsby (1925) - F.Scott Fitzgerald The Grapes of Wrath (1939) - John Steinbeck The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D.Salinger The Call of the Wild (1903) - Jack London
Peregrine Adventures and Grand American Adventures.
This trip is operated by our partners, Grand American Adventures, a US based company with nearly 40 years experience in adventure travel. They also share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code-shared departure you can expect there to be both Grand American Adventures and Peregrine travellers on your trip.
In the event of an emergency or if you wish to report a problem on tour please do not hesitate to call Grand American Adventures' toll free* 24-hour emergency contact number.
Toll-Free (*in the US): 1 (800) 345 - 8777
International: 001 (310) 719 - 9877
Possible Itinerary Amendments
Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, our stated itinerary should be used as a guideline.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
7 November 2013
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine