The Alaska Explorer Tour
9-Day Alaskan Adventure
- Explore Alaska’s pristine waters of Prince William Sound.
- Visit the World Famous Brooks Falls. See North America's largest land predators gather along streams to feast on salmon runs in Katmai National Park.
- Go fishing in the spectacular Kenai Fjords.
- Experience the true meaning of wonder in the soaring sanctuary of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Trip Itinerary - 9 Days
Day 1: Anchorage: Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is open for activities of your choice.
Day 2: Katmai National Park: At 5 a.m. you will meet your guide and your fellow travelers in the lobby of your hotel. We will have a pre-trip meeting before heading out. This morning we depart aboard a scheduled flight from Anchorage airport. On arrival in King Salmon you will be transferred directly to a seaplane for a 30 minute flight to Brooks Camp. Brooks Falls in Katmai is world renowned for its large population of brown bears due to salmon migration to Brooks River. Bears begin to arrive in Brooks Camp in June. After a short safety briefing on bears by a park ranger, you are free to enjoy the nature preserve. Viewing platforms are connected by walking trails and are strategically placed for commanding views of brown bear activity. Rangers are based at platforms and on trails to provide information, safety and to rotate viewing groups during busy periods. Return to Anchorage in the early evening. Overnight in Anchorage. (L)
Day 3: Anchorage to Whittier & Prince William Sound: At 9 a.m. you will meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel. We will board our comfortable van and travel south along the edge of the Turnagain Arm on the Seward Parkway. This road is considered to be America’s most beautiful and scenic road, crossing mountain passes and majestic valleys. Along the way we will try to spot moose, caribou, eagles and other wildlife. On our way we will make a couple of stops for photo opportunities at Beluga Point and Bird Point. Afterwards, enjoy the unique experience of a trip to Whittier, Alaska driving the longest combined vehicle-railroad tunnel in North America!
At 1:15 p.m. climb aboard the Emerald Sea for a memorable cruise to the most spectacular glaciers in Prince William Sound. In addition to witnessing glacier events like calving and icefalls, you'll also see breathtaking scenery, towering waterfalls and wildlife - eagles, harbor seals, otters and bird rookeries - all in the relaxing comfort of our Coast Guard-certified ship. Additionally, you will enjoy reserved seating in a heated cabin, and our delicious salmon and prime rib meal. Your glacier cruise departs from our base in Whittier and ventures into the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound, where seasickness does not occur. When the boat enters Blackstone Bay, you'll see the massive Blackstone and Beloit Glaciers looming in the distance. As we move in closer, the glaciers grow larger, until they tower 1,700 feet over our 100-foot vessel. Rather than sailing from glacier to glacier, we stop at each one, floating among the icebergs, giving you plenty of time to take in Mother Nature's glorious ice sculptures. Listen for them to groan and watch for them to crack and calve off enormous sections of ice. You will return to the Whittier dock at around 6 p.m. You will overnight in Whittier. (L)
Day 4: Seward: After breakfast this morning, we continue south down the mountainous Kenai Peninsula towards Seward. We will arrive in Seward by mid afternoon where we will stay at a local hotel or at the Seward Windsong Lodge and experience first-class lodging. Nestled in a secluded forest setting, this lodge offers spacious rooms and fabulous local dining. This lodge is located just 5 minutes from many activities including Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield. Exit Glacier is the only glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park that it is accessible by foot. During the afternoon we will have the opportunity to look at this beautiful glacier.
Day 5: Kenai Fjords National Park: At 11:30 a.m. we will board a sightseeing vessel to explore the wonders of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Learn about and experience this glacially carved region known for its tidewater glaciers, spectacular scenery, steep cliffs, and rich waters abundant with wildlife. This nine and one half hour tour will explore the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park. The tour includes a visit to a tidewater glacier where we will search for marine wildlife including sea otters, puffins and many other bird species, steller sea lions, harbor seals and whales. During the second part of the tour, a deli style lunch will be served while the exploration continues! At 6pm we will rail back to Anchorage aboard the Alaska Railroad. Enjoy a pleasant dinner in the dinning car viewing scenery along this route that is about as breathtaking as it gets. We will arrive in Anchorage at 10:15 pm and we will take you to the hotel. (L)
Day 6: Anchorage to Talkeetna: After breakfast, we will begin our journey north. Along the way, we will stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and listen to fascinating stories about Alaska’s native cultures and get an insightful perspective into traditional native ways of life. Later, we continue north through the Chugach State Park to Talkeetna, a classic Alaskan small town with lots of history and tales about mountaineers and bush pilots. We will arrive this afternoon in Talkeetna. Head into town to visit this historical town and its local shops or sit back and relax the rest of the afternoon.
Later this afternoon you can take an optional scenic flight over the Alaska Range & Denali (see below). This is considered to be the greatest flight on earth! You’ll talk about this flight forever! This magnificent flight takes you around Denali, the Sheldon Amphitheater and the Great Gorge. This is an unsurpassed photo opportunity, so make sure you bring plenty of film for your camera. At the end of our very exciting day, we will nestle back into our cozy lodge. (L)
Day 7: Talkeetna: This morning you will have breakfast overlooking the great Alaska Range. After breakfast we will take an Alaska Wilderness Tour which offers a narrated tour of Historic Talkeetna and a rare opportunity to visit an original and remote Alaskan Homestead, 5 miles north of Talkeetna. In 1959 the DeVore family traded the comforts of their Michigan home for the harsh conditions of Alaskan homesteading. Dennis DeVore takes you back to yesterday on this fascinating and very unique tour of the "Old Family Homestead", accessible only by trail. During this "Talkeetna Alaskan Adventure", guests will enjoy a scenic ride driving their own ATV. You will view the original cabin and various implements and tools used, to learn how early day pioneers survived living in the wilderness of Alaska. Next, it is on to a lunch at Dennis' personal cabin on Wiggle Creek, on the back quarter of the homestead. After lunch you may choose to gold pan on Wiggle Creek, relax with a game of horseshoes, croquette, or berry picking (depending on the season). The fresh air, the silent serenity of the forest, and the murmur of Wiggle Creek takes you a million miles away. Weather permitting, you will have an excellent opportunity to capture photos of Denali and wildlife. Lunch is included. (L)
Day 8: Talkeetna to Anchorage: After breakfast this morning we will board our transport van and head back down to Anchorage. We will stop in Willow, the home of the Iditarod Headquarters. Take a sled ride on an exiting trail that winds and circles through stands of paper birch, spruce trees and wonderful Alaskan wildflowers. You will experience this thrilling trail ride with a pack of sled dogs. Afterwards, visit the museum and the gift shop. The rest of the afternoon is free to do last minute shopping and dining before heading back home. (L)
Day 9: Departure from Anchorage.
ABOUT THIS TOUR: Adventure travel is exactly is as its name implies, an adventure! Although every attempt is made to adhere to these itineraries, participants need to acknowledge and willingly accept the unexpected route and itinerary changes due to factors beyond our control. Please keep in mind that due to Alaska’s extreme and fast climate changes, we cannot guarantee a glacier landing on our Talkeetna portion of this trip.
WHAT IS INCLUDED & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Transportation, lodging, transfers and baggage handling and meals as indicated on the itinerary. All rates are per person in U.S. dollars based on shared occupancy. Single supplement is $975 for this tour. Tour does not include Alaska taxes, air transportation to and from Anchorage or any optional tours, liquor, items of personal nature or purchases made onboard the vessels.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: MODERATE: Guests should be able to walk short distances on uneven ground. The longest required walk is two to three miles round-trip over a relatively flat trail, for the purpose of observing and photographing the brown bears. Trails surfaces for our various walks vary, from paved to uneven natural terrain. Tour participants must be able to walk this distance.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly suggest purchasing trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment at the time you sign up for one of our trips. This coverage will offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during your trip. Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance is available at a supplemental cost. Click Here to purchase travel protection.
GRATUITIES: Planet Earth Adventure's tour leaders, staff and drivers and service providers are all paid salaries for their work. They will go out of their way to make your trip special and do not perform their jobs just for money. However, they do accept gratuities should you determine that they performed their jobs at an outstanding level. Gratuities should reflect your satisfaction with their level of service.
CANCELLATION POLICY: We consider the deposit non-refundable at the time of reservation; however, Planet Earth Adventures will try to be flexible in the event of a cancellation. Cancellation with less than 90 days prior to the flight and the deposit is completely non-refundable. Cancellation with less than 72 hours prior to the flight and 100% of the flight will be billed. A MasterCard or Visa is required to make your reservation online. Your card will be charged when you book your trip. We require at least 90-day notice for cancellations. Wildlife sighting is not guaranteed.
2017 Tour Dates, Cost & Optional Activities
TOUR DATES: JUNE 18, 2017 - ONLY 4 SEATS REMAINING ON THIS DEPARTURE JULY 10, 2017 - ONLY 5 SEATS REMAINING ON THIS DEPARTURE (We have other weekly departures available - PLEASE CALL US)
TOUR COST: $4,695 per person/double occupancy
B= Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TOUR WITH THESE OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: