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Wild Alaska & Northern Lights

Trip Length

Trip Code

8 days PNAWN

Maximum Passengers

13 people
Minimum Age
18

Countries Visited

United States

Start City

End City

Anchorage, Alaska, United States Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Wild Alaska & Northern Lights

NASA has predicted 2012-2013 to be the best time in 50 years to witness the magic of the northern lights at their best. This tour combines this spectacle with the rugged beauty and brilliant wilderness of Alaska, making it an unbeatable experience. Delve into the wintery side of the Denali area on an overnight stay in Healy, admire the snowy peaks and explore the more remote areas of Alaska as well as its cultural hubs. There is complete freedom for the optional excursions of your choice with the chance every night of seeing the famous aurora borealis dance across the sky. This Alaskan northern lights holiday will leave you in awe!

Why we love it:

Wild Alaska & Northern Lights


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Anchorage

Accommodation: Ramada Anchorage Downtown or similar, Anchorage

Our tour starts at 7:30 am at the Ramada Anchorage Downtown. We recommend that you book a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be booked at the same time you book this tour. Bordered by the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage stands as an enchanting metropolis surrounded by rugged wilderness. The largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is home to nearly half of the state's population. It is also one of the only places in Alaska with all the modern fixtures of city life: a performing arts centre, gourmet restaurants and numerous shopping malls. We begin today's sightseeing tour of Anchorage with a trip down to the historic downtown area before heading off to see the Ship Creek fish ladder and Lake Hood, which has the largest float plane base in North America. Your hotel is located within walking distance of downtown, Ship Creek and the various shopping and dining options. This is a wonderful start to the tour and reveals the more modern side of Alaska before you head off into the wilderness in search of the incredible northern lights. Possibilities for evening aurora viewing.

Day 2: Seward

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Breeze Inn or similar, Seward

This morning after breakfast you travel south along the scenic Turnagain Arm on the Seward Highway, designated as an 'All-American Road'. The Kenai Peninsula is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, which combines amazing scenery with a variety of activities for people of all ages and abilities. Seward lies at the head of Resurrection Bay and is a year-round port surrounded by beautiful mountains. Your hotel is located near the harbour where many dining options and shops to explore on your own. Possibilities for evening aurora viewing.

Day 3: Talkeetna

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Swiss Alaskan Inn or similar, Talkeetna

Today we depart Seward for your journey to Talkeenta, travelling north on the Seward highway and along scenic Turnagain Arm. We pass incredible jagged peaks, alpine meadows, breathtaking fjords and crystal lakes, and find a concentrated series of diverse landscapes and experiences. Once back in Anchorage we travel on to Talkeetna on the Parks Highway. You will drive through the Matanuska-Susitna Valley which is considered one of the most important agricultural areas in Alaska. The town of Talkeetna is located approximately 115 road miles north of Anchorage, about 14 miles off the Parks Highway at the end of the Talkeetna Spur Road. Upon arrival in Talkeetna you have the remainder of the day free to explore this wonderful area on your own.Why not head up to one of the mountain lodges for breath-taking views of Denali National Park? There are possibilities for an evening aurora viewing.

Day 4-5: Healy

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Accommodation: Denali Bluff Hotel or similar, Denali

Today we travel north on the Parks Highway to Denali where we continue through the rest of the Mat-Su valley. The valley is rimmed by three major mountain ranges - the Alaska Range, the Talkeetna and the Chugach Mountains. The surrounding mountains include many mountain passes, as well as working and abandoned gold mines. At 6 million acres, Denali National Park is one of the world's last great frontiers for wilderness adventure. At this time of the year the park is closed so we stay 19 km (12 miles) from the entrance in Healy, where there have been some incredible sightings of the northern lights plus time for optional winter excursions. Denali National Park encompasses the heart of the Alaska Range, a stunning chain of peaks. The crown jewel of these mountains is Mount McKinley, popularly known as Denali, meaning 'The High One' in the Athabascan language. At 6196 metres (20,327 feet), it is the highest peak in North America. Today is a free day to enjoy Healy and your remote location. The beauty of staying in this location is the remoteness and away from the bright lights. Depending on availability, options include going snow-shoeing (free snow shoes, although fairly limited and cannot be guaranteed) or dog-sledding. Both evenings offer good possibilities for aurora viewing.

Day 6: Fairbanks

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Springhill Suites or similar, Fairbanks

Today we travel from Denali National Park to Fairbanks. As we head north leaving Denali, we can catch spectacular views of Mount McKinley on the horizon. Situated at the heart of the Tanana River Valley, Fairbanks is a city that combines modern amenities with a quintessentially Alaskan frontier spirit. Commonly known as the Gateway to the Arctic, the second largest city in Alaska has a colorful history dating back to the late 1800s and the discovery of gold in the area. Located close to the center of the state, Fairbanks has the widest temperature range of any city on Earth, with temperatures dropping below -65F (-55C) in the winters, and rising over 100F (38C) in the summers. Once we arrive in Fairbanks we enjoy a city tour which takes us to Golden Heart Park at the center of the city. The park is the site of the 18-foot bronze monument titled 'Unknown First Family'. The park and the statue were dedicated in July 1986 as a tribute to the history and heritage of Fairbanks. There will be a stop to view the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a feat of civil engineering that still carries crude oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Following our city tour we are taken to our lodge 17.7 km (11 miles) outside of downtown Fairbanks, situated on 280 natural wooded acres. It is important to be outside the town and away from artificial lights to maximise our time for aurora sightings. Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the northern lights which are why we schedule a few nights here. The property features views of the Alaska Range Mountains, Mount McKinley (Denali) and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, in addition to the beautiful surrounding acreage. Enjoy hiking around the lodge property or sitting and relaxing by the pond. Good possibilities for an evening aurora viewing.

Day 7: Fairbanks

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Springhill Suites or similar, Fairbanks

Today we travel 100 km (60 mile)s west of Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs. Chena Hot Springs is internationally famed for its natural mineral hot springs. You can relax and revitalise in the outdoor hot springs, hot tubs and indoor pool, whilst enjoying the wintery conditions. During your four hour visit at Chena Hot Springs, enjoy a guided Ice Museum tour, which is set up like an ice hotel, as well as a guided geothermal tour. Before you head back to Fairbanks, soak in the hot springs (bring own towels). Upon transferring back to Fairbanks the remainder of the day is free to take in a multitude of optional excursions or simply explore Fairbanks. Of course there are more chances for an evening aurora viewing.

Day 8: Fairbanks

Meals included: 1 breakfast

This morning is free to explore Fairbanks. Your tour finishes at noon; however, why not stay longer to enjoy continued northern lights viewing. Additional nights in Fairbanks can be booked when booking this tour.


Your Trip

What's Included

• The services of a professional tour leader.

• Sightseeing and entrance fees to national parks.

• 7 breaksfasts included.

• City tours of Anchorage, Seward and Fairbanks.

• Overnights in remote locations away from artificial light for perfect aurora viewing.

• Transport in a customised vehicle.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Accommodation

Meals


What to know

Vaccinations

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.

United States
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.

Insurance

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.

Responsible Travel

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.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

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.

Further Reading

United States

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


Important Information

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!

Last Updated

25 August 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine