Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN FAIRBANKS
Welcome to Fairbanks, the state’s second-largest city. Meet your Tour Director this evening between 4 pm and 8 pm in the hotel reception area.
Day 2 FAIRBANKS–DENALI NATIONAL PARK
This morning, board the sternwheeler DISCOVERY for a cruise on the Chena and Tanana Rivers, with a stop at the Chena Indian Village to learn about Athabascan Native culture. You will also have the chance to meet Iditarod mushers and their famed dog teams to learn about breeding, training, and the big race! We then continue to DENALI NATIONAL PARK, home to North America’s highest peak, 20,320-foot Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), majestically dominating the park’s 6 million acres. This evening, enjoy dinner at the Murie Science & Learning Center, followed by an exclusive PRESENTATION on Denali National Park by a local Naturalist.
Day 3 DENALI NATIONAL PARK
Morning at leisure. Optional activities include a float trip down the Nenana River and a helicopter ride over the park. Then, dress comfortably for a WILDERNESS EXPEDITION into Denali National Park to seek out grizzly bear, caribou, moose, and other wildlife.
Day 4 DENALI NATIONAL PARK–ALASKA RAILROAD–TALKEETNA
Continue your exploration of Denali National Park and then board the world-famous ALASKA RAILROAD for a journey through untamed wilderness (see page 49 for information about your train). Today’s ride ends in the unique town of Talkeetna, a model for the TV show Northern Exposure. SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, where you can enjoy hiking, flightseeing, jet boating, or just relaxing on the deck with amazing views of Denali.
Day 5 TALKEETNA–BIG LAKE–ANCHORAGE
This morning, enjoy a traditional Alaskan TREAT at the historic Talkeetna Roadhouse. Then, head south toward Anchorage. Stop along the way at HAPPY TRAILS KENNELS, home of four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser and his dogs. See a demonstration on mushing, complete with a mock Iditarod checkpoint, and get a chance to play with the sled dogs! This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.
Day 6 ANCHORAGE. CRUISE IN KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK. SEWARD (EMBARKATION)
Witness one of the world’s most scenic drives as you follow the south shore of lovely Turnagain Arm. Upon arrival in Seward, board your vessel for a cruise of KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK and the opportunity to see glaciers calving into the sea, orcas, humpback whales, sea otters, and more! After your cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park, transfer to the pier to embark on your Holland America cruise ship, the MS Westerdam (sailing on the May 19, June 2, 16, 30, July 14, 28, August 11, 25 and September 8 departures) or MS Noordam (sailing on the May 12, 26, June 9, 23, July 7, 21, and August 4, 18, and September 1 departures).
Day 7 CRUISING: GULF OF ALASKA
Enjoy breathtaking scenery as we travel the route of Alaska’s Marine Highway. The entire shoreline of the Gulf of Alaska is a rugged combination of forests, mountains, and tidewater glaciers. Be on the lookout for Alaska’s wildlife including whales, seals, otters, puffins and more.
Day 8 SCENIC CRUISING: GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
This Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Witness the spectacle of thunder and flying spray as huge slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea—making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship, adding expert commentary to the day’s events.
Day 9 HAINES
Nestled on the shores of America’s longest fjord, Haines enjoys a spectacular setting. You may choose to take a float trip through Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, home to the largest annual gathering of bald eagles, or maybe visit the Sheldon Museum, art galleries, or local shops in town.
Day 10 JUNEAU
Visit one of the most remote capital cities—Juneau. Accessible only by air and water, Juneau is located at the base of two towering mountains in the heart of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and is home to a rich Gold Rush history, Native culture, wildlife, and a wealth of natural wonders. Shop for gold nuggets, visit the stately Governor’s Mansion, saunter through the swinging doors of the historic Red Dog Saloon, or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of ice that is 12 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.
Day 11 KETCHIKAN
Experience Native Alaska firsthand. Meet the spirits of the raven, whale, and eagle as you view the largest collection of totems in the world at Saxman Totem Park or Totem Bight State Historic Park. Or, explore Creek Street, now home to contemporary art galleries and quaint boutiques.
Day 12 SCENIC CRUISING: INSIDE PASSAGE
Sit back and relax as you cruise through the beautiful and awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, barking seals, and other wildlife.
Day 13 VANCOUVER (DISEMBARKATION)
The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Please schedule flights after Noon.