As spectacular as the coastline of Alaska is, no trip to Alaska is really complete without experiencing the breathtaking scenery and exciting adventures that await you as you travel into Alaska's vast interior.
An Alaska cruise tour combines your cruise with a trip into the wilds of Alaska on deluxe motorcoaches and/or state-of-the-art, glass-domed railcars. In total, your cruise tour can last from nine to fourteen days and the land portion can be taken either before or after your cruise portion. Either way, there's no better way to get to the heart of the Alaska wilderness experience.
The natural wonders, serene wilderness and the raucous history of Alaska and the Yukon have always been intertwined, and the most complete cruise tours will bring you up close to it all. Enjoy the natural history and tundra wildlife tour in spectacular Denali Park. Stay in the luxurious lodges of Talkeetna and Alyeska Resorts with breathtaking views of Mt. McKinley (Mt. Denali to the locals), the tallest peak in North America. Experience the glittering history of the gold-rush with a tour of an operating gold mine and witness an authentic display of Native traditions as seen aboard the Riverboat cruise in Fairbanks. Board the Yukon Queen II for an unforgettable cruise up the legendary Yukon River to Dawson City. You can even wrap yourself in the ancient culture of the Inupiat Eskimo with an optional tour to the Arctic city of Kotzebue. Tours can be hosted or fully escorted with an experienced guide attending to every detail, every step of the way. We've taken these fantastic tours - slept in the lodges, dined in the restaurants, sampled the tours and experienced the motorcoaches and luxury rail cars. We can answer your specific questions and pick a tour that's perfectly suited to you to maximize your time. It's true that Alaska's peaks are taller, the skies clearer and the rivers mightier than any other place on earth.
The Canadian Rockies are a spectacular mountain range boasting towering snow-capped peaks, glistening glaciers and an amazing abundance of wildlife. You can enter the Rockies from Vancouver by adding a Canadian Rockies rail tour to any Alaskan cruise. Your Rocky Mountaineer Railtours tour features the most modern of railcars winding its way along a 100-year old train route from Vancouver, through the dramatic Fraser Canyon, along the historic Fraser River, and through seven mountain ranges. You'll see Yoho National Park, the remarkable Spiral Tunnels, the stunning glaciers of Glacier National Park and historic Craigellachie, where the last spike was driven, completing the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. There are dozens of bridges, tunnels and cascading waterfalls, on route to Calgary, Alberta. You'll experience Western Canadian hospitality with your overnight stay in Kamloops. You'll see Japser National Park with its awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway, past towering peaks and immense hanging glaciers. Visit the Valley of Ten Peaks as you travel to Banff National Park. This is a spectacular journey enjoyed from the luxurious comfort of Rocky Mountaineer's Gold Leaf service. The Canadian Rockies should not be missed on your trip to Vancouver. Ask one of our agents to forward some Canadian Rockies information to you today!
June 26 -
July 7, 2006
8 or 11 Days
Travel to Alaska
We begin our adventure to Alaska with a flight to Vancouver, Canada. While in flight we will enjoy various snacks and movies. Upon our arrival in Vancouver a Pilgrim Tours representative will meet and help assist in transferring us to the Princess Dawn which will be our cruise ship. After boarding the Princess Dawn and time to familiarize ourselves with the ships amenities, we will have the choice to take a city tour of Vancouver or stay on the ship and enjoy the facilities.
Day 2: At Sea
We begin our cruise this morning with a full day at sea cruising north towards Ketchikan. A self pampering at the Lotus Spa and Pool, a visit to the Grand Casino or quite time in the Reading Room are a few examples of the many activities available aboard the Princess Dawn.
Day 3: Ketchikan
We arrive in Ketchikan early this morning with an opportunity to enjoy one of up to thirty excursion opportunities. This southern-most Alaskan port of call is known as "Alaska's First City" because it's the first major community travelers come to as they travel north. Founded as a fishing camp, Ketchikan is built on steep hillsides and is billed as the salmon capital of the world. A quaint village, the town is just three miles long and three blocks wide. With fishing boats sailing in and float planes ascending from the water, this seaside town is bustling with activity.
We will return to our ship this afternoon to continue our cruise northward to Juneau. Our evening will be filled with excellent dining and an opportunity to further enjoy our ship.
Day 4: Juneau
Perched on a thin strip of land at the mouth of Gold Creek, Juneau is arguably one of America's most beautiful state capitals, with the looming summits of Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts providing a gorgeous backdrop. Once an integral part of Alaska's Gold Rush, the city now boasts a mixture of natural and manmade attractions. In fact, there's so much to do and see here that Princess offers no less than 30 different excursions in and around Juneau - including the chance to walk on a glacier. We will return to our ship mid evening to continue our cruise northward.
Day 5: Skagway
This "Gateway to the Klondike" watched as countless fortune-seekers passed on its streets as they headed to the Chilkoot and White Pass Trails during the heyday of Alaska's Gold Rush. Today, you can still feel like a prospector in Skagway, as you walk along its rustic boardwalks and frontier-style storefronts. With only 750 residents, this cozy town lies at the head of the Lynn Canal and offers a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of most cities.
Day 6: Glacier Bay Cruising
The highest concentration of tidewater glaciers on the planet can be found at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Spread across an impressive 3.3 million acres in southeastern Alaska, this treasure trove of scenic coastal islands, narrow fjords and substantial wildlife offers an inspirational glimpse of what Mother Nature does best. In the northeastern corner of Glacier Bay, the snow-covered Takhinsha Mountains feed the active Muir Glacier, which regularly sheds walls of ice into the bay. The brilliant blue glow of a calving glacier and the thunderous roar of ice crashing into the water below are sights and sounds that you'll remember for the rest of your life. With such a diverse landscape, the park provides a variety of habitats for animals, big and small. Large colonies of seabirds, migrating ducks and geese, black bears, seals, sea lions, porpoises and whales are all common here.
Day 7: College Fjord Scenic Cruising
A glacier lover's paradise awaits in this pristine pocket of Prince William Sound .Up the coast in the northwest pocket of Prince William Sound you'll discover magnificent College Fjord, home to 16 tidewater glaciers. Named for the Ivy League schools that were represented by a group of scientists who explored the area in 1899, College Fjord beckons like a shimmering diamond.
Day 8: Anchorage
We will arrive in Anchorage this morning. For those of us not continuing on the land extension to Denali National Park, Mt. McKinley and Fairbanks we will say goodbye to beautiful Alaska and enjoy an airport transfer in time for our return flight home.
Day 8: Denali National Park
We will disembark the Princess Dawn and be met by our Pilgrim Tours Alaska Tour guide and driver. We will journey north along the Seward Highway, where you will want to keep a close look out for moose, bear, whale and Dall Sheep. We will arrive in Anchorage, which is Alaska's largest city, and enjoy an orientation tour and lunch. After lunch we will continue north to Denali National Park. There will be chances to view Mt. McKinley and the wildlife as we pass the Susitna River and the Matanuska Valley, where some of the most fertile soil in the world is located. Upon our arrival in Denali National Park we will be transferred to the Grande Denali Bluffs Hotel where we will enjoy our dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Denali National Park
After a hearty Alaskan breakfast we will travel deep into Denali National Park on a Tundra Wilderness Tour searching for grizzly bear, moose, caribou, sheep and many other wildlife creatures. We will enjoy a snack lunch and then a free afternoon to explore and hike on our own or partake in select excursions. Some of the many excursion opportunities are a rafting trip or float trip, an sightseeing trip of the Alaskan wilderness in a small airplane or a visit to a dog sled kennel. We will gather as a group early this evening for a special Denali Dinner Theater Show before returning to our lodging for our overnight.
Day 10: Denali National Park and Fairbanks
After our Alaskan breakfast our morning will be free to enjoy personal exploration or partake in group Jeep tours, hikes, or a visit to Denali Park Visitors Center. This afternoon we will board the world famous Alaska Railroad for a scenic journey north to Fairbanks. Upon our arrival in Fairbanks we will be transferred to the Wedgewood Resort where we will enjoy our dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Fairbanks
After breakfast we will experience a full day tour of Fairbanks to include a stop at the Trans Alaskan Pipeline and a cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers abourd the Riverboat Discovery. This afternoon we will visit the recreated Athabaskean Indian Village where natives will teach us about their way of life before visiting the El Dorado Gold Mine and an opportunity to try your luck at striking it rich! Our evening will conclude with a special Alaskan Salmon Bake dinner at Pioneer Park before being transferred to our hotel for our overnight.
Day 12: Return to USA
This morning we will be transferred to the Fairbanks airport for our return flight home.
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