Alaska Journey

United States · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Discover the beauty of the great state of Alaska during ten days of jaw-dropping coastline vistas, astounding encounters with wildlife, and the towering majesty of Denali. Spy caribou and moose; keep your eyes peeled for orcas; and go behind the scenes at the celebrated Alaska SeaLife Center in picturesque Seward. Experience the raw beauty of nature on an unforgettable journey to wild Alaska.

What's Included

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Denali Immersion, Denali National Park and Preserve. Kenai Fjords wildlife cruise. National Park Service excursion in Denali. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Search for beluga whales out at sea, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the renowned Alaska SeaLife Center, explore the Kenai Fjords, enjoy breathtaking views of the Alaska Range, hike in the Denail area with a naturalist guide

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1.TRAVEL DAYS
In order to cover the vast distance in North America to be able to visit several different places along our trip, we will have a couple of long driving days.

2. WALKS AND HIKESOPTIONAL
All walks and hikes proposed by our CEO will be easy to moderate level. You may choose to participate or not, but exploring our national parks on foot is part of our way of travelling. It’s a healthy way to discover North America’s beauty and landscape.

3. LEGAL DRINKING AGE
Please note that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 and in Canada, 19 (with Alberta and Quebec at 18). Many bars and clubs will ask for ID at the door, therefore listening to live music in certain bars or spending a night out in Las Vegas or New Orleans is not possible when you are under the legal age, even if you don’t plan on consuming alcohol. Drinking laws in both countries are strictly enforced and our CEOs are unable to help those under age obtain alcohol of any kind.

While this should not stop those under legal drinking age from booking a tour, it is important to note that if a traveller is under-age there are certain optional nighttime activities that they may not legally be able to participate in. When trying to book the right trip, we recommend that travellers under legal drinking age take this into consideration when booking a tour that visits several big cities.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver – this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 12, avg 10.

Meals Included

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Meals

Some meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available and we believe you should have the opportunity to explore a bit and taste the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

Transport

Air-conditioned private vehicle, boat, hiking, walking, national park shuttle.

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (6 nts), cabins (3 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

This trip uses comfortable 3 star hotels/lodges, well located in cities or near park entrances. Our chosen hotels vary in size, character, and amenities, but are of a very good standard, and the rooms are double occupancy with a private bathroom.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

Upon arrival on Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, which is located 6 miles (10km) from downtown Anchorage, you have a couple of options for transportation: public taxi and a complimentary shuttle service provided by your Joining Hotel in downtown Anchorage. Both are located right outside the main lobby or at the domestic terminal the taxi waiting area can be reached by the underground transportation or lobby or the sidewalk outside.

Taxi
The drive will take about 15-20 min depending on traffic and the fare to your hotel is approximately $23 (excluding tip).

Complimentary shuttle service
No matter what time you arrive the shuttle is there for you 24 hours 7 days a week. Once you have your luggage proceed to the Ramada courtesy phone located in the baggage claim area. Call the hotel to arrange your pick up from the airport. Apart from tipping the driver at the end you don’t have to pay a dime.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.

Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative or our G Adventures Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Canada based)
24hr emergency number
From outside Canada: +1 514-948-4145
From within Canada: +1 514-948-4145

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light jacket.

For days in the outdoors, layering is key. We recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days to spend hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.

NOTE: Mountains in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska could have unpredictable weather with snow and heavy rain even in Summer time. Spring time could be snowy (until end of June) and fall season could start as soon as mid-August. Make sure you have equipment and clothing for all conditions!

Checklist

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Laundry

Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The United States currency is the US Dollar (USD).

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the US and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card in the USA, you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US Dollars as cash (preferably smaller bills, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is very difficult to find in the USA and most banks do not accommodate.

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 15-18%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.

Optional Activities

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

Please see the full itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Minimum Age

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

PRODUCT_LINE: NUANG, ID: 24478

Itinerary

Day 1: Anchorage

Arrive at any time.

Additional Notes:
Please keep in mind, a lot of what there is to see and do in Alaska is weather-dependent. We give our CEOs the opportunity to adjust the schedule as needed based on weather.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Anchorage/Homer (1B)

Travel along the stunning coast of the Kenai Peninsula, where glaciers tumble down from the mountains towards the ocean. Keep an eye out for beluga whales playing out at sea while driving along the Turnagain Arm, or catch a glimpse of volcanoes across the Cook Inlet. Opt to enjoy a hike outside of Homer.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 355km)

Day 3: Homer (1B)

Enjoy a free day in Homer, walk the quaint streets and visit the museum, restaurants and art galleries. If your feeling more adventurous, opt to explore Kachemak Bay by water taxi or kayak, go hiking, catch a floatplane for remote grizzly bear viewing or try your hand at a local sport– halibut fishing.

Day 4: Homer/Seward (1B)

Leave Homer and arrive at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula where the ice age still lingers. Get a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the world-renowned Alaska SeaLife Center, an incredible marine science facility that frequently collaborates with the National Geographic Society on wildlife initiatives. Visit the centre’s labs and meet a researcher for a presentation on current projects.

Included Activities:
Alaska SeaLife Center

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 270km)

Day 5: Seward (1B)

Today set out by ship to explore the Kenai Fjords, viewing glaciers, sea bird colonies, puffins, sea lions and whales (if we’re lucky, maybe orcas). The afternoon is free, opt to go hiking or explore the town.

Included Activities:
Kenai Fjords Boat Trip

Day 6: Seward/Denali National Park and Preserve (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a scenic drive, stopping for photos along the way. In the afternoon, reach the Denali National Park area, known for its diversity of wildlife and the highest mountain in North America, Denali (formerly called Mt McKinley). Settle in and meet our instructor from the Denali Education Center, and learn about the sometimes surprising, always extreme, conditions that shape life in Denali and define a subarctic ecosystem.

Additional Notes:
Depending on availability, we may stay in the accommodation at the Denali Education Center or at a nearby lodge. Please remember that due to the remoteness of the Denali area, the accommodation is simple, but allows you access to one of the most stunning wildlife areas in Alaska.

Included Activities:
Denali Immersion

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 580km)

Day 7: Denali National Park and Preserve (1B, 1L)

Travel to the heart of Denali National Park on a day-long journey to the Eielson Visitor Center. The tour is run by the National Parks Service and includes a park-naturalist guide. Along the way, enjoy breathtaking views of the Alaska Range and its many peaks. Have your cameras ready to take pictures of wildlife, which may include caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves and more.

Additional Notes:
Private vehicles cannot drive into the National park. The excursion today is a guided tour operated by the park and other travellers may also be on the excursion.

Included Activities:
Denali National Park Visit

Transport:
Shuttle (8.00-9.00 hours)

Day 8: Denali National Park and Preserve (1B, 1L)

This morning, enjoy a hike with a naturalist guide from the Denali Education Center, taking in the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Denali wilderness. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the great outdoors with options to observe a sled dog demonstration by the National Parks Service or flight seeing. This evening enjoy another lecture discussing history, daily life and culture with a local resident.

Included Activities:
Denali Immersion

Day 9: Denali National Park and Preserve/Anchorage (1B)

Enjoy the scenic drive back to Anchorage. Opt for a final dinner with the group and reminisce about the epic journey into the wild.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 370km)

Day 10: Anchorage (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

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Joann McMillan

Joann McMillan

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