Take a snowy peek into Alaska. Visit the friendly local towns of the last frontier and witness the world-renowned Iditarod. Discover the Alaska Wildlife Conservation with a local guide and interact with nurtured animals. Feel the Iditarod Spirit at the Musher’s Banquet and at the official race start. Experience a winter glacier cruise among drifting icebergs and playful otters. Glimpse into the past at Musk Ox Farm. Travel via Alaska Railroad, search for the aurora borealis, and connect with a deeply rooted heritage.
Your journey starts in Anchorage, a city on the edge of the snowcapped Chugach Mountains and 60 sparkling glaciers. This is your gateway to wilderness and adventure.
Drive along the Turnagain Arm to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. With a local guide, discover where orphaned or injured bears, wolves, porcupines, and moose are cared for in a 200-acre rehabilitation site. Following an afternoon at leisure, get into the spirit of the Iditarod at the exclusive Musher’s Banquet dinner. Chat with the stars of the race, enjoy local entertainment, and watch the mushers draw their starting positions from a mukluk (Arctic boot.)
Head to Whittier and embark on an incomparable glacier cruise of Prince William Sound, narrated by an expert guide. Blue skies collide with stark white glaciers, and playful otters dip in and out of the calm waters. Embrace the sheer magnitude of Alaska’s natural beauty as you venture through a geological wonderland. Return to Anchorage and enjoy dinner on your own.
Welcome to the ceremonial start of the legendary Iditarod. Cheer on mushers, take photos of the energetic dogs, and peruse the local food vendors lining the streets. Perhaps you’ll try a bite of reindeer sausage. After the ceremony, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to delve into the area’s indigenous culture. Learn about dances and songs, shop for local crafts, and wander through the replica village to see how people lived.
Venture to Willow and feel the adrenaline in the air as the Iditarod mushers line up at the starting line for the official start of the race. Mushers leave in 2-minute intervals, starting their 1,049-mile journey to the finish line in Nome. Cheer amongst the locals for your favorite dogs at this bucket-list event. After the excitement of the day, relax with dinner at a local restaurant.
Take a step into the past when you visit Musk Ox Farm. Learn about the Musk Ox project – a sustainable domestication effort that has worked to preserve, protect, and increase awareness for these wooly creatures since 1954. Continue on to Talkeetna as Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, looms large over the landscape. Check into the iconic Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, perched on a ridge offering unforgettable views of Denali. Tonight, enjoy dinner and beer at one of Alaska’s most popular micro-brewers – the Denali Brewing Company.
Begin your day with a lecture on the down-to-earth Alaskan lifestyle before hopping on Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train for a full-day journey to Fairbanks. Sit back and relax as you are whisked away, through snow-covered mountains and striking valleys. Have your cameras ready – the train conductor will point out wildlife as you pass by. Dinner is included in the train’s dining car. This evening you arrive in Fairbanks, your home for the next three nights and one of the best places in Alaska to see the northern lights.
Feel the brisk air and discover Fairbanks, the perfect juxtaposition of nature and civilization. Look into the past at the Antique Auto Museum, where vintage cars sit between timely artifacts and fashionable designer dresses from times gone by. Hop in a car yourself, throw on some flapper accessories, and pose for a perfect souvenir snapshot. In the afternoon, embrace the Iditarod spirit and try your hand at dog mushing, stepping into a sled with an expert guide and gliding over the snow with your very own pack of sled dogs. Late this evening, chase the legendary northern lights, considered to be one of the most amazing natural spectacles in the world. Walk out in the snow under an unspoiled bed of stars and search for the shimmering hues of purple and green.
Enjoy a full day at leisure in the city of Fairbanks. Take this opportunity to relax or flex your sense of adventure with optional excursions: consider flightseeing to the Arctic Circle or perhaps take a day trip to Chena Hot Springs – founded in 1905 by gold miners – as the springs are known for their healing remedies. Toast to your Alaskan adventure at a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Later in the evening, enjoy a final chance to spot the northern lights.
Enjoy a relaxing morning before heading to the Museum of the North, the University of Alaska’s collection featuring 2.2 million years of biodiversity and thousands of years of human history. Enjoy some free time before departing for the airport.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Back in 1918, when Jack Collette started the company, the first tour to ever run was made up of a jitney bus of travellers that left Boston, Massachusetts headed for Florida. This three-week adventure cost just $61.50! At that time few could have foreseen that nearly 100 years later, that same company would be taking guests from around the world to all seven continents.
Collette believe that a true travel experience starts and ends with people and they pride themselves in creating adventures which take you on a journey around the world. They offer over 150 tours taking you to the national parks of North America, the wonders of Central and South America, the culture of Europe, the ancient sites of Asia, the wildlife of Africa and the outback of Australia. Their extensive travel experience and local expertise, developed over their 100 year history, means they take you to the main sights but also to places rarely visited and those you have always dreamed of exploring. Their aim is to deliver authentic experiences so on their tours you can expect to experience and try your hand at local crafts and traditions, meet the locals and see a lifestyle often very different to your own.
Travelling is such an enriching experience, but it is not always straight forward. Language and cultural differences can be a challenge, but Collette have it covered. They have their own experts on the ground who speak the language and understand the customs, and they have designed tours to maximise your stay in your chosen destination. They have organised all the details with airlines, accommodation, transportation, meals, sightseeing and more to ensure your tour runs seamlessly. They transport you from A to B in comfort, so you can sit back, relax and really make the most of your travels.
Collette offer you their ‘Best Value’ approach. Their tours are inclusive of any domestic transportation, accommodation, most meals, daily tours including entrance fees, local guides and exceptional Tour Managers. When you book a flight inclusive tour with them, they will also transport you in style in your own private door to door airport transfers. All you have to pay for are any non-included meals, drinks and non-included excursions – not to mention the odd souvenir along the way! Before you travel, Collette includes, with your full itinerary, details on how to download your personal App for use on tour. The App will become your new travel friend, and is packed with useful information including all the details about your flights and accommodation on tour, useful weather updates, city maps, and restaurant and attraction recommendations. You can also use it to share photos via social media.
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