Alaska Railroad Answers

Some of the most common questions that we receive at Alaska Tour & Travel are about the Alaska Railroad.  It is amazing how many people believe that the Alaska Railroad runs through Canada all the way to the lower 48 States.

The history of the Alaska Railroad  involves many ownership changes. The Alaska Railroad was started in Seward in 1903 under the name of Alaska Central Railroad.  They completed 51 miles of track before going bankrupt in 1907.  In 1909, the Alaska Northern Railroad Company purchased the railroad and completed 21 more miles of track.  In 1914, the federal government purchased the line with the intent of creating a direct route between Seward and the town of Fairbanks in the interior of Alaska.  President Harding drove the final spike that completed the railroad in 1923.  In 1985, the State of Alaska purchased the railroad from the Federal Government.

The railroad is a valuable link between the interior of Alaska and the ice free ports of Seward and Whittier.  The railroad continues to operate both freight and passenger services.  The passenger service offers not only transportation from point A to point B but has the benefit of incredible Alaskan scenery along the way. Alaska Tour & Travel offers many rail vacation packages that feature travel on the Alaska Railroad. (more…)

U.S. Passport Day

Passport Day in the United States is April 9th and in recognition of that day we thought we’d take the time to answer a few questions we get regularly about what travel documents are needed to travel to Alaska. Alaska became the 49th state of the United States on January 3rd, 1959 however Alaska is separated from the rest of the contiguous United States by Canada. Check out our map if you want to see how Alaska borders Canada, not the Northwest United States! This international border creates a unique passport situation. All foreign travelers need a passport from their country to enter the United States. As a U.S. citizen, whether you need a passport for your Alaska vacation depends on how you are getting to and from Alaska. (more…)

Holiday Web Specials for Summer Travel to Alaska

Happy Holidays from Alaska Tour & Travel!

alaska-railroad-thompson-paWe currently have several web specials running through December that we want to make sure you know about before they expire. To take advantage of them you will want to confirm your travel and make a deposit on your reservation by December 31st.   For example, are you planning on taking an Alaska cruise and also planning on spending time traveling independently in Alaska before or after you cruise? If the answer is yes, you should consider booking your 2010 Alaska cruise using our new online cruise booking engine so you can receive a Park Connection Motorcoach Passport valued at $299 for free. The Park Connection Motorcoach is Alaska’s only scheduled motorcoach service that offers service between Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali daily.  The Park Connection also provides service into Whittier on days that cruise ships are in port.  In addition, the passport  provides a 50% discount on Alaska Railroad fares between Denali and Fairbanks. (more…)

The Park Connection Pass

denali-alaskaAlaska Tour & Travel is ready to help you plan next summer’s travel to Alaska. We’ve updated with all of Alaska’s best tours, hotel availability, and transportation options, including many Alaska Travel Deals. Among our new Alaska deals is the Park Connection Pass. The Park Connection Pass allows visitors to travel anywhere the Park Connection goes for 7 consecutive days. The Park Connection is a scheduled motorcoach service which travels daily between Seward, Girdwood, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali State Park, Denali National Park and Fairbanks. Also included in the Pass is 50% off travel on the Alaska Railroad between Denali and Fairbanks. (more…)

Celebrate Savings During Alaska’s 50th Anniversary

I’ve been an Alaska resident for 43 years and in Alaska tourism since 1983 and I can’t ever recall having as many reasons to be excited about Alaska as what it has to offer visitors this summer. Alaska is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Statehood this year.  Many communities and businesses are finding ways to recognize this event.  Alaska Tour & Travel is recognizing the Anniversary by giving away Sydney Laurence’s “Legacy of Alaska” print signed by all of Alaska’s living governors to one lucky photographer who sends in the winning photograph of their Alaska vacation to us.  It’s sure to be a fun way to share Alaska travel experiences and we’re looking forward to sharing all the submissions with you on our photo website.  In addition, the Park Connection Motorcoach is giving free rides if your turning 50 years old this year; Everyone else can save $10 off per person on the Park Connection all season long by choosing our Denali Express and Seward Express departures. (more…)

Alaska Travel Packages By Car

There isn’t a more independent way of experiencing Alaska at your own pace then to create a custom travel itinerary which includes a rental car as your means of transportation for your Alaska vacation. All of Alaska Tour & Travel’s packages can be customized to provide visitors the option of traveling via rental car instead of the Park Connection Motorcoach or the Alaska Railroad.  We sometimes call these packages  Self-drives, and have found they are a popular means of touring Alaska.  Our Self-drive’s include all the hotels, tours, car rental and any other necessities that you’ll find in our other packages.

One of the advantages of Self-Drive packages is that you can visit some off-the beaten-path Alaskan communities which are not otherwise included in travel packages.  Communities such as Homer, Cooper Landing, Valdez, as well as some great parks such as Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Kachemak Bay State Park, and even Chugach State Park will be readily accessible to explore at your own pace with a Self-drive package.  (more…)

My Perfect Alaska Tour, Part II

From Anchorage to Girdwood, Seward to Talkeetna, my perfect tour of Alaska continues after an overnight at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge –

Day 6, Get an early start with a guided fishing trip with Talkeetna Fishing Guides on the Talkeetna River. Their pick up is at 7:45am directly from the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. You can purchase your fishing license at the guide service and they’ll set you up with all the equipment you need to go fishing and they will assist you in shipping home any fish you catch as well. After the 5 hour fishing trip it is time for a break, so explore downtown Talkeetna on foot, and stop by Mile High Pizza Pie for a nice warm pizza or calzone.

Top off a great day in Talkeetna with a Glacier Landing flightseeing trip of Mt. Denali and the Alaska Range with K2 Aviation. This flight is amazing and the knowledgeable pilot will give you all the information you could want to know coupled with the beautiful aerial views of Denali National Park. The glacier landing is a unique experience and the photo opportunities on this trip are once in a lifetime opportunities. After the flight K2 will return you to the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge where you can relax and enjoy dinner at the hotel’s Foraker Dining Room where they specialize in fresh Alaskan seafood. (more…)

My Perfect Alaska Tour

Often I’m asked what I think would be the perfect tour if I was visiting Alaska.  Fortunately, I’ve found that each client I work with has different interests and we’re able to customize each trip to meet their unique interests in travel and adventure.  But since I’m asked so often, its easy to imagine the tour I would customize for myself if I was taking an Alaska trip – based on my experience living in Alaska, and working in tourism here. All our packages can be modified to either travel by rail, motorcoach or rental car.  I think the best of option would be to travel in combination of all three modes.

My perfect tour would start out with a visit to Anchorage and then the Kenai Peninsula.

Day 1, Arrival Day! Pick up a rental car in Anchorage and check into the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa.  What better way to adjust to a long day of travel then to take in a spa treatment before enjoying dinner in downtown Anchorage.  My favorite for dinner is the Glacier BrewHouse in downtown Anchorage just up the street from the Sheraton. They have great food and plenty of fresh Alaskan seafood options. (more…)

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