1 Anchorage, the City of Lights and Flowers.
Welcome to Alaska, an adventurous land of wildlife, mountains, forests and open spaces. Upon arrival at Anchorage International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at MUSE, located in the Anchorage Museum, a venue dedicated to studying and exploring the land, people, art and history of Alaska. (DW) Stay: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa.
2 Anchorage Sightseeing to Talkeetna.
Get acquainted with Anchorage with an included city tour. Enjoy an exclusive Agutak (Eskimo Ice Cream) making demonstration by Alaska's first people during a visit to the renowned Alaska Native Heritage Center. Learn how this culinary treat establishes a link to the past, inspires a sense of pride and spurs a dialogue about an ancient people's remarkable ability to survive. In the afternoon, depart Anchorage for the quaint community of Talkeetna, nestled at the base of Mount Denali, North America's tallest peak. Upon arrival, meet a bush pilot who will share fascinating stories about the joys and hazards of flying in rural Alaska. The evening is yours at leisure, so ask your Travel Director for suggestions on where is best to head for a bite to eat. (B) Stay: Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.
3 Journey Along the Alaskan Railroad.
This morning is yours to explore more of Talkeetna. Later in the morning board the world-famous Alaskan Railroad train for a spectacular journey over swift-rushing streams, towards Denali National Park and Preserve. View the majestic surroundings from the comfort of your glass-domed railcar before meeting a local climber who will tell stories about what it's like to brave a climb up the tallest land-based mountain in the world. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner hosted by Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater. This theatrical dinner mixes old-time Alaska with storytelling, music and humour as you join a cast of characters in a tale of adventure in 1900s Alaska. The menu includes hearty Alaskan classics such as salmon, barbeque ribs and corn. (B/DW) Stay Two Nights: Grande Denali Lodge.
4 Denali National Park, the Crown Jewel of the Alaskan Wilderness.
With the Denali National Park and Preserve just a short drive away from your hotel, you'll find a number of ways to enjoy the Alaskan wilderness on your own, or spend the day partaking in one of our optional activities. From an exciting rafting trip down the Nenana River(8) to a helicopter flightseeing tour or a Denali Wilderness walking tour, the choice is yours – just don't forget your camera! End the day back at your lodge and enjoy panoramic views of your surroundings at night. (B)
5 Girdwood and Mount Alyeska.
Enjoy a scenic journey on the George Parks Highway. After lunch, meet the champion dog team of four-time Iditarod winner, Martin Buser and learn about the challenges of competing in the 1,049-mile (1,688 km) dogsled race. Journey on the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm with its dramatic views, before arriving in the town of Girdwood, home of the Alyeska Resort and ski area. Ride the aerial gondola for sweeping views of the mountains and sea. The evening is free for you to enjoy. You'll get some shut eye at the luxurious Hotel Alyeska, which is nestled in a lush valley surrounded by mountain peaks, hanging glaciers and spectacular ocean views. (B/L) Stay Two Nights: The Hotel Alyeska.
6 Prince William Sound Cruise.
Today is devoted to the 26-Glacier Cruise through Prince William Sound and College Fjord, where you will come up close and personal with the glaciers. Visit with the Captain in the Wheelhouse and enjoy an included lunch. In the evening, join your Travel Director for a wonderful Celebration Dinner, featuring a variety of local seafood specialties, complete with wine and good cheer. (B/L/DW)
7 Seward and Return to Anchorage.
Visit the aquariums of the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward and enjoy an exclusive presentation about their marine research and rehabilitation programme. Have lunch and explore downtown at your own pace. Your Travel Director will be on hand to give you a few recommendations. Return to Anchorage and transfer to the airport or head to the trip hotel for guests extending their stay. Airport arrival will be at 17:00. (B)