We’re excited to introduce the 7-night National Park Escorted Tour, Alaska’s newest escorted tour. The tour combines many of the best hotels, tours, and transportation found in Alaska Tour & Travel’s own custom travel packages but also includes many meals, luggage handling, and a professional escort. This is the perfect combination for those visitors seeking the comfort of traveling with an escorted group that includes Alaska’s top destinations such as Anchorage, Seward, Talkeetna, and Denali. (more…)
If your like most independent visitors coming to Alaska, you are seeking active experiences that thrust you into Alaska’s scenic wilderness. As a result, one of the most popular activities you may take part in are guided hikes into Alaska’s backcountry. Alaska Tour & Travel offers guided hiking tours in Seward, Girdwood, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali State Park, and at Denali National Park and the great news is that when surveying our 2013 clients, we discovered that the guided hikes we offer were among the highest rated tour experiences included in packages. Hiking allows you the opportunity to “get off the beaten path” and to experience Alaskan destinations which even many Alaskan’s haven’t seen. Typically, guided hikes tend to have a smaller maximum number of participants to reduce the impact on the environment. Your safety is always the priority on any professionally guided hiking excursion. Most guiding services keep the guide to hiker ratio to less than six to one, which allows participants to not only to get to know their guides personally, but also provides the guide the opportunity to provide more interpretation about the ecosystem.
Alaska’s wild expanses result not having any two hikes being alike, which is terrific for avid hikers who want to include multiple hiking trips in their trip. Difficulty wise, hikes range from novice hikes which are little more than a walk through the woods to more technical hikes which require participants to suit up with glacial gear while hiking on accessible glaciers. Hikes also range by the means of transport it takes to “being able to hit the trail” – whether the trail head is just outside a lodges front door, a short van ride, a ride on a tram up to the top of a mountain, or by helicopter or float plane to a remote location all of these options are available. Here are a few hikes to consider including in a travel itinerary.
Rising to the east of the City of Anchorage are the Chugach Mountains and one of Alaska’s best state parks – the Chugach State Park. The Anchorage Day Hike provides visitors a chance to explore an alpine environment with beautiful vistas of the Chugach Mountains, Cook Inlet, and on a clear day view as far away as Mt. McKinley. Transportation is included, and the name itself doesn’t do the experience justice as the best thing that the Anchorage Day Hike does is quickly transport you away from the city up into one of Alaska’s most accessible and scenic wilderness areas. Our staff loves spending time in Chugach State Park and the views from our office of the Chugach Mountains beckon us often into the mountains during summer months. Each Anchorage Day Hike is tailored to your fitness level and transportation is included from Anchorage hotels. (more…)
Alaska Tour & Travel received over 400 photos this summer from visitors and Alaskans whos travels and photographs covered much of the State of Alaska. For the past five years we have given an award to the photographer whose photo best depicts Alaska’s spectacular wildlife, scenery, people or adventure. The 2013 Grand Prize is a 32GB WiFi iPad. This year in addition to the Grand prize, we are giving a 16 GB iPad MINI to the photographer for their Alaska Railroad themed photo as well. This year’s Grand Prize photograph was selected as “Eagle Hunting” by John C from Houston, Texas. John submitted several beautiful wildlife photographs of wildlife which he took during trips to Alaska. We’ve seen many photographs of eagles over the years, and our staff and other judges were particularly impressed with “Eagle Hunting”. (more…)
The population of Seward Alaska is about to rise rapidly as the summer season arrives. The town boasts a year round population of about 3,000 residents however that easily doubles once the tourists arrive. Seward is most known as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park” and offers a plethora of boat tours that include glacier and wildlife viewing. These tours are spectacular and not to be missed on any visit to Seward, but the town has a lot more to offer such as kayaking, fishing, dog kennel tours and hiking. For help choosing which boat tour to take be sure to read our blog on Kenai Fjords boat cruises. (more…)
Part of the experience of traveling to new places is experiencing great local cuisine. With so many of travelers to Alaska visiting Denali National Park, we get many questions about what to expect when dining at the hotels. We reached out to the Grande Denali Lodge to find out what they had on tap this summer at one of Denali’s premier restaurants, The Alpenglow. The Alpenglow sits high on Sugarloaf Mountain and has the commanding views of Denali National Park’s entrance area along the Nenana River Canyon. (more…)
New for 2013, Norwegian Cruise Line has deployed the Norwegian Sun, to what we believe is the best cruise itinerary that can be offered in Alaska – a 7-day Gulf of Alaska cruise. The Norwegian Sun’s northbound and southbound cruises do not travel to all of the same ports. The Northbound cruises from Vancouver travel to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Hubbard Glacier before arriving in Whittier. The southbound cruises from Whittier travel to Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan before arriving in Vancouver, BC.
The primary difference is that the northbound Norwegian Sun cruise includes a visit to Glacier Bay National Park whereas the southbound cruises include Icy Strait Point. Icy Strait Point is located on Chichagof Island, about 1.5 miles away from the town of Hoonah. Icy Strait showcases the local native Tinglet culture in addition to the many of the typical shore excursions found in other Alaska ports such as saltwater fishing and whale watching excursions. It’s hard to imagine beating a trip into Glacier Bay National Park on a cruise ship, but Icy Strait Point has an excellent reputation so both cruise itineraries are bound to be well received by cruisers. (more…)
Alaska Tour & Travel’s Photo Contest is back for 2013. Over the past few years, we have been able to share over 1500 photos of Alaska submitted to us by residents and visitors. Each year we award the Grand Prize to the photographer that submits the best photograph depicting Alaska’s spectacular wildlife, scenery, people or adventure. This year’s Grand Prize Winner will again receive a 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad valued at $599.
2013 is our 5th Anniversary for our Photo Contest. To celebrate, we will offer a 2nd Prize – a 16 GB iPad mini for the winning Alaska Railroad themed photo. The Alaska Railroad photo selected to win must depict passenger travel on the Alaska Railroad, its dome cars, trains traveling in Alaska, or even activity at rail depots.<--more-->
Last year’s Grand Prize winner was Jeff Bell from Weatherford, Oklahoma who’s photo Fall Colors of Denali impressed the judges with its colorful scene of popular and accessible Riley Creek near the entrance to Denali National Park. You can view all the photos submitted in past years on our Alaska Tour & Travel’s Photo site.
The contest is open to visitors and residents alike. To enter, photos must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org in a jpeg (.jpg) format, with a maximum file size 3 mb no later than October 31, 2013. Please include a brief description of the photo along with your name and hometown. We will post select entries on our Photo Contest Gallery at AlaskaTravelPhotos.com. Be sure to read all of the contest rules here!
One of the most common questions we receive regarding the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park is if lunch is included. The Park concessionaire that operates the tour calls the meal a “small snack.” Each year we inquire what the snack includes as it can change. Often, when we advise visitors to arrange for a box lunch from their hotel before they go we later hear back from them that the snack was a lunch and why did we tell them to purchase a box lunch for the trip? The reality is that whether you will need additional food on your tour depends on your appetite and what you ate for breakfast or lunch before you depart on either the morning or afternoon tour. (more…)