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Best of Yukon & Alaska - Guided Tour

 

Overview

Hotel description:

15 days / 14 nights

This classic round-trip takes in the very best that Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory have to offer. Departing from Whitehorse, our comfortable coach will take you along scenic roads that retrace ancient trading routes, historic Gold Rush trails, and important wildlife corridors. The tour stops at three of the North's most famous national parks: Kluane, home to Canada's tallest mountain and the world's largest non-polar icefield; Denali, world renowned for wildlife viewing and home to the tallest mountain in North America; and an optional tour to the all-marine Kenai Fjords National Park for the North's premier marine life viewing.



Location

Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Tok, Valdez, Seward, Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Dawson, Skagway


What's included

Package inclusions

  • Round-trip flight to Whitehorse (if flight and tour option is selected)
  • 14 nights of accommodation
  • Round-trip transfers from Whitehorse airport to hotel
  • 12-day guided tour in maxi-van or coach, depending on group size
  • Prince William Sound ferry ticket, entrance fees in all National Parks, day trip into Denali National Park, guided hike in Hluane National Park, entrance fee for Diamond Tooth Gerties casino and Dawson City museum.
  • English & French speaking guide on select departures
  • Earn & Redeem Aeroplan Miles

Itinerary

Due to the nature of this tour, last-minute changes to the itinerary are a possibility and are left to the discretion of the guide.

Day 1    Arrive Whitehorse

Welcome to Canada's Yukon Territory! Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel, where you will meet your fellow travellers. Your guide will run the group through a brief orientation.

Day 2    Whitehorse - Haines Junction
This morning, take a quick tour through the Yukon's capital. This may include a visit to the SS Klondike, a restored sternwheeler next to the Yukon River. Our road trip begins with a short first stage, westbound along the Alaska Highway to Haines Junction. Haines Junction sits right next to Kluane National Park, a 22,000 square kilometer preserve of the northern Coast Mountains. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears in the country, and much of it still remains unexplored and untouched. These mountains compose the largest non-polar icefields in the world. Depending on the weather and the group's interest, we may take a small guided hike into the national park, or charter a bush plane or helicopter to fly over this spectacular landscape.

Day 3     Haines Junction - Tok  
Today we drive along the scenic shore of eighty-kilometre long Kluane Lake. Our first stop will be the Sheep Mountain Visitor Center, where chances are good we'll spot one of the Dall sheep that live high up in the surrounding mountains. We'll then continue along the Alaska Highway to Tok, where we may visit a sled dog demonstration.

Day 4    Tok - Valdez
The first part of today's leg of the journey leads us along the Glenn Highway, passing spectacular Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. From here we take the Richardson Highway southbound to the small seaport of Valdez at the Pacific coast, crossing of the Coast Range via the Thompson Pass, where waterfalls thunder right next to the road. Valdez, known to locals as Little Switzerland, is surrounded by snowy mountains. It is and is also the end point of the world-famous Trans Alaska Pipeline, where enormous oil tankers come and go.

Day 5    Valdez - Seward
Today we'll travel the Prince William Sound on the coastal ferry. Without a doubt this is a highlight, even by Alaskan standards. The ferry takes us close to the calving glaciers along the Pacific Coast, and odds are good we'll see a variety of wildlife along the way. With a bit of luck we'll have the chance to photograph otters, puffins, sea lions, and even whales. Once ashore the next stop is the Portage Glacier, on our way to Seward, a small coastal town on the Kenai Peninsula.

Day 6    Seward - Anchorage
One highly recommended option way to start our day is an optional tour into Kenai Fjords National Park ($). This six- hour trip by boat takes us through some of the finest marine life viewing in the world. Whales, sea lions and teeming rookeries are found here in the shadow of towering glaciers.  We'll then take a drive along the Turnagain Arm to Anchorage. The Turnagain Arm is a teeming coastal plane - watch out for the beluga whales that frequently hunt the tidewater. The rest of the day is free to use as you see fit in in Alaska's biggest city. Check out Lakes Hood and Spenard, where up to 800 floatplanes take off and land daily. The aviation museum is nearby, a great place to gain an appreciation for this important part of Alaskan life. In downtown Anchorage there's the Art Museum, the Museum of History and Art, and, of course, the essential American shopping malls. Take a tour through the bars and microbreweries, which offer a fantastic assortment of craft beers, and for the evening, try a very special dinner at Gwennies, where the chefs serve up the biggest and best steaks.

Day 7    Anchorage - Denali National Park
Today we leave the Pacific coast region and move inland again. The George Parks Highway takes us north to Denali National Park, past sweeping panoramic views of distant glaciers, with glimpses of the beaver dams along the nearby river. Late afternoon, we have the opportunity to take an optional one-hour glacier flight over Denali (Mount McKinley), which at 6193 meters is the highest peak in North America. This is a highly recommended adventure, particularly when the weather is clear.

Day 8    Denali National Park
In the morning we'll take a Park-owned shuttle bus deep into one of the most scenic landscapes in North America. Without a doubt, this is a highlight of most visitors' experience. Weather permitting, we'll get a view of soaring Denali, and with a little luck we will see wolves, Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and grizzly bears along the scenic loop.

Day 9    Denali National Park - Fairbanks
Back on the George Parks Highway, we'll take a break in Nenana to visit the Alaska Railroad Museum, and will reach the city of Fairbanks early in the afternoon. Fairbanks is a unique northern town about 320 kilometres km south of the Arctic Circle, and the rest of the day is free to explore places of interest in and around it. Visit the Alaska Dog Mushing Museum, or treat yourself to Alaskan king crab at one of the numerous restaurants. Take a sternwheeler cruise on the Chena River, watch a photo symphony covering the aurora, or take in the Gold Rush Show at the Malemute Saloon.

Day 10      Fairbanks - Dawson City
After strolling through downtown Fairbanks in the morning, we're on the road again. We'll see the Trans-Alaska Pipeline crossing the Tanana River right next to the highway. In Delta Junction, we'll re-join the Alaska Highway and stop at the local visitor centre. From here we strike out into the open tundra along the Top of the World Highway, passing through quirky northern towns like Chicken and Action Wade Camp, and crossing the international border again at Little Gold Creek, the highest border checkpoint anywhere on the continent. In the afternoon we'll cross the Yukon River by ferry to reach Dawson City.

Day 11      Dawson City
This legendary boomtown was the epicentre of the famous Klondike gold rush of 1898, and gold still animates the place. Immerse yourself in Dawson's history, and try your luck panning the creeks yourself. A visit to Bonanza Creek, the Jack London cabin, the Dawson City museum, and the Midnight Dome are all on the agenda. You'll also want to take some time to simply stroll around the town, with its garish Gold Rush architecture and friendly locals. In the evening, the lovingly restored Palace Grand Theatre offers musical entertainment, turn-of-the-century style, and can-can girls kick up for an evening of entertainment at Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall.

Day 12  Dempster Highway
An early start puts us on the Dempster Highway with plenty of time to explore. This gravel highway, built on solid permafrost, is Canada's only link by road to the remote town of Inuvik, 738 kilometres km away. We'll take the Dempster up to into Tombstone Territorial Park, where jagged black mountains give the area its name and the vast arctic tundra begins.

Day 13      Dawson City - Whitehorse
Today we'll head back to Whitehorse via the Klondike Highway. Along the way, we'll catch many glimpses of the mighty Yukon River, one of the longest waterways in North America and the historic artery of Yukon and Alaska. We'll stop at the infamous Five Finger Rapids, and we can stretch our legs at any of the old post offices, roadhouses and small villages that still give the area a unique northern character.

Day 14      Skagway
From Whitehorse, a day trip takes us down the Klondike Highway to the Alaskan Coast again. In just 175 kilometreskm, we will pass through a wonderful variety of ecoregions and alpine landscapes as we cross over the continental divide to the seaport of Skagway. Like Dawson, Skagway is a legendary gold rush town that has preserved its turn-of-the-century character. For an up-close experience of the infamous White Pass, try taking an optional train ride along the narrow-gauge railway back to Carcross.

Day 15      Return home
Our tour is officially over, giving you the chance to relax or do a little shopping in Whitehorse before returning home. A transfer to the airport for your return flight is included.

Accommodations

Additional fees might apply
The hotels listed below are presented as examples for your reference only. Where “or similar” is indicated, guests will stay at a hotel of the same star rating. The hotel accommodations will be communicated to the consumer or travel agent prior to departure.

Accommodation

Unless otherwise indicated, guests will stay in a standard room at all hotels during the trip.

The locations and corresponding hotels are as follows:

  • Whitehorse: High Country Inn (or similar)
  • Haines Junction: Alcan Inn (or similar)
  • Tok: Youngs Motel (or similar)
  • Valdez: Mountain Sky Hotel (or similar)
  • Seward: Breeze Inn (or similar)
  • Anchorage: Coast International Inn (or similar)
  • Denali National Park area: Totem Inn (or similar)
  • Fairbanks: Bridgewater Hotel (or similar)
  • Dawson City: Downtown Hotel (or similar)
Room occupancy: Maximum 3 adults. Tour is not recommended for children.

Important notes

2019 Departure Dates
June 2, 16 & 30
July 28
August 25


Not included in this package

  • Meals
  • Driver/tour director gratuities
  • Optional tours
  • Personal expenses and insurance

Passport
Valid passport (and visa if necessary) is required for entry into the United States. Passport number and date of birth are required upon booking.

Coach

15-Passenger maxi-van for groups up to 9 or midsize coach for groups 10-20 passengers.

Itinerary
Due to the nature of this tour, last-minute changes to the itinerary are a possibility and are left to the discretion of the guide