Breakfast daily, 9 lunches including a picnic lunch in Denali National Park, 10 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Anchorage.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN ANCHORAGE
Welcome to Alaska! Meet your Tour Director this evening between 5 pm and 8 pm in the hotel reception area.
Day 2 ANCHORAGE–WASILLA–TALKEETNA–ALASKA RAILROAD–DENALI NATIONAL PARK
Traveling north into the majestic wilds of Alaska, visit the IDITAROD HEADQUARTERS, home of the world-famous dogsled race. Arrive in Talkeetna, the starting point for climbers attempting to summit Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), the highest peak in North America at 20,320 feet. Board the historic ALASKA RAILROAD for a scenic trip to DENALI NATIONAL PARK (see page 49 for information about your train). 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
Today, a guided WILDERNESS TOUR takes you into 6-million-acre Denali National Park to explore the majestic wilderness and seek out grizzly bear, caribou, moose, and other wildlife! Your afternoon is free for optional adventures such as float trips, a dogsled demonstration, a helicopter ride over the park, or a delicious dinner and rollicking musical comedy performed in a camp house reminiscent of the Gold Rush era.
Day 4 DENALI NATIONAL PARK–FAIRBANKS
This morning, spend a little more time marveling at the wonder of Denali National Park. Then, enjoy a friendly atmosphere during lunch at the 49th STATE BREWERY, where you’ll have a chance to sample some local specialties. Travel into the heart of Alaska to Fairbanks, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 5 FAIRBANKS
This morning, board the sternwheeler Discovery for a CRUISE on the Chena and Tanana Rivers, with a stop at a recreated Chena Indian Village to learn about Athabascan Native culture. Later, visit the UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA–FAIRBANKS MUSEUM during your Fairbanks city tour, and also stop at the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline.
Day 6 FAIRBANKS–DAWSON CITY
Continuing the journey into Gold Rush history, motor over the Top of the World Highway and enter Canada’s Yukon Territory. Passing through the village of Chicken, today promises to be filled with breathtaking scenery. Tonight, you have reservations at DIAMOND TOOTH GERTIE’S, featuring ragtime music, can-can girls, and an old-fashioned casino.
Day 7 DAWSON CITY
Today, step back in time at the site of CLAIM #1, where the first gold strike was made. Continue to the ROBERT SERVICE INTERPRETIVE CENTER and learn about the “Bard of the Yukon” and the numerous poems and ballads he composed while exploring this remote area. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Day 8 DAWSON CITY–WHITEHORSE
Today, trace the trail of the gold seekers on their way to the Klondike. View the Five Finger Rapids, which once posed a major obstacle to the hordes of fortune seekers stampeding into the Yukon. Your day concludes in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon.
Day 9 WHITEHORSE
A city tour stops at the YUKON BERINGIA INTERPRETIVE CENTRE, where you can meet the Ice Age giant mammals that once ruled the ancient subcontinent. See the SS KLONDIKE RIVERBOAT and learn about its importance on the Yukon River in the Gold Rush days. Later, head to Whitehorse’s premier dogsled facility, MUKTUK ADVENTURES, where you will personally meet the huskies and their trainers. Here, learn about the training and care of Alaskan Huskies, as well as the lifestyle required to race in world-famous competitions such as the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. Afterward, enjoy a special Taste of the Yukon dinner.
Day 10 WHITEHORSE–TOK
Return to Alaska, traveling along the rugged mountains of Kluane National Park, home to 19,625-foot Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. Continue on the Alaska Highway to Tok, the “Dog Sled Capital of the World.”
Day 11 TOK–VALDEZ
Head to Alaska’s northernmost ice-free port, Valdez, home of the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal. As you travel toward some of the highest coastal mountains in the world, enjoy views of Thompson Pass, Worthington Glacier, and Bridal Veil Falls before arriving in the “Switzerland of Alaska”—Valdez. Visit the unique VALDEZ MUSEUM late this afternoon.
Day 12 VALDEZ–WHITTIER–ANCHORAGE
Board a BOAT today and get a closer look at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Terminal, the many massive glaciers, and the playful sea life of PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND. Keep your eyes open for eagles, whales, mountain goats, dolphins, and sea lions! This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 13 ANCHORAGE–SEWARD (EMBARKATION)
Transfer to the pier to embark on your Holland America cruise ship, the MS Noordam (sailing on the following departures: May 19, June 16, 30, July 14, 28, and August 11 & 25) or MS Westerdam (sailing on the following departures: May 26, June 9, July 21, and August 4, 18, and September 1).
Day 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 VANCOUVER (DISEMBARKATION)
The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Please schedule flights after Noon.