PRE Discover Denali
See big, bold and genuine Alaska by following its scenic highways and famed Alaska Railway into rustic towns, through majestic Denali National Park, to an Iditarod dog kennel, and up breathtaking, snow-mantled mountains.
After flying into the Anchorage airport, you will be met and transferred to the Sheraton Hotel Anchorage for the evening. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive north from Anchorage on the George Parks Highway, which winds through the kind of scenery that defines the Alaskan interior: tundra, soaring mountain peaks, glaciers, forests, wild rivers, and vast expanses primarily inhabited by animals such as moose, grizzlies, foxes and birds.
Upon reaching Talkeetna, whose downtown is a National Historic Site, you will have a short time to explore before boarding an Alaska Railroad train. As you travel the 4.5 hours to Denali, seating is upstairs in the Dome where you will enjoy views from all sides of the railcar and lunch is included downstairs in the dining room. Once you reach Denali, you will be transferred to the Grande Denali Lodge, which perches on the edge of a bluff less than a mile from the entrance to Denali National Park.
Following enlightening private lecture on Denali, your evening is open for dinner on own before you overnight at the lodge.
The day starts with an early breakfast at the lodge. Then, you’re off on a 5-hour Denali Natural History Tour led by a driver/naturalist, which takes you to Mile 19 of the Park Road (private cars can’t go past Mile 14). It begins at the Wilderness Access Center, where you’ll see the award-winning film “Across Time and Tundra,” which tells of the creation of Mt. McKinley National Park in 1924. Next, you’ll climb Government Hill—look off to your left and you'll see an expansive view that includes part of the Yanert Valley.
After Mile 3, you begin to enter the wilderness. This is taiga forest—and although no wildlife viewings are ever guaranteed— this is prime moose habitat, and moose may be seen anywhere on this stretch of road. Watch for a flash of sun glinting off antlers, or moose nibbling fresh willow leaves along the road.
You might also see foxes on this section of road and watch for caribou above treeline. The Great one—Mt. McKinley—often comes into view at about Mile 9, if weather is cooperating.
At Mile 12, you’ll visit Savage Cabin, the original cook’s cabin in the Park’s first tourist camp, and still a ranger patrol cabin used by the Park Service. At Mile 17, you’ll see a presentation by an Athabascan Alaskan Native interpreter, sharing the story of Alaskan Natives in Denali, and how they survived thousands of years in this harsh wilderness.
Upon returning to the lodge, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, before overnighting at the lodge.
After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive from Denali on the Parks Highway, which (weather permitting) affords magnificent views of Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. In time, you will visit an Iditarod Sled Dog Kennel and learn about this truly Alaskan competition.
Traveling from Anchorage to Nome on the Bering Sea coast, each Iditarod team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher cover 1,150 miles of Alaska’s most rugged terrain in 10 to 17 days. Add temperatures well below zero, scouring winds, and long hours of darkness, and it is no wonder that the Iditarod is called the last Great Race on Earth.
Continuing on from the kennel, you will journey along the shoreline between the Chugach Mountains and the waters of Turnagain Arm to Girdwood, eventually checking in to the Hotel Alyeska. The rest of the day and evening are yours to enjoy as you please.
After breakfast at the resort, you will ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska on the aerial tramway for a spectacular view of the surrounding area with its seven glaciers. Depart for Seward after lunch (on own). The road to Seward passes through some of America’s most spectacular scenery and holds three scenic designations: USDA Forest Service Scenic Byway, Alaska Scenic Byway, and All-American Road.
Upon arriving in Seward, you will embark on the cruise ship.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The times indicated are approximate, given here for general reference purposes and subject to change.
EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights through the cruise line, you will be met per the flight details provided and transferred to the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. Note that check in time is 3:00pm. Any meals other than breakfast as well as any activities are on your own until Day 2 of the program. Kindly ensure that the cruise line has your most up to date flight details.
Fly into Ted Stevens International Airport and transfer to the Sheraton Hotel Anchorage or similar.
Check in is 3:00pm. If you prefer an early check-in, you may purchase hotel accommodations for an extra night.
This day is at leisure and meals are on own.
6:00am Buffet breakfast at the hotel
8:00am Depart Anchorage for Talkeetna
11:05am Board Deluxe Dome Railcar for Denali National Park (lunch on train)
3:45pm Arrive at the Grande Denali Lodge, steps from Denali National Park
5:30pm Reception with private lecture, followed by dinner (on own, not included)
PM Open for optional activities
Overnight at the Grande Denali Lodge
5:00am Buffet breakfast at the lodge
7:00am Approximate Departure for Denali Natural History Tour
12:00pm Approximate Return from Denali Natural History Tour
Lunch on own
PM Open for optional activities. Dinner own own
Overnight at the Grande Denali Lodge
5:00am Buffet breakfast at the lodge
8:00am Depart for Big Lake
12:00pm Arrive at Happy Trails Kennels for enlightening presentation
Box lunch with sandwich, pasta salad, cookie and bottle of water
2:00pm Depart for Anchorage
3:30pm Arrive in Anchorage for brief city tour
5:30pm Arrive at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood
PM Open evening for optional activities and dinner on own
Overnight at the Hotel Alyeska
6:00am Buffet breakfast at the resort
AM Open for optional activities or use of the included Tram Ticket to the top of Mount Alyeska.
Lunch on own
1:00pm Depart for Seward
3:30pm Arrive in Seward and embark the ship
The electric current in the United States is 110 volts. You may need a converter if you have 220-volt devices.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
Passport is required for ship embarkation
Excess luggage can be stored and delivered to the ship from the Anchorage Sheraton
Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, for all arriving flights
Sheraton Hotel Anchorage, Grande Denali and Hotel Alyeska or similar.
Different hotels will only be used in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are required, they will be of equal
ratings and standards.
One night at the Sheraton Hotel Anchorage or similar
Two nights at the Grande Denali Lodge or similar
One night at the Hotel Alyeska, Girdwood or similar
Denali Natural History Tour in Denali National Park
Full breakfast daily
One lunch and two snack box lunch
One reception and lecture on Denali
Alaska Deluxe Dome Rail tour
Tours and sightseeing as per the program
Survival Pack for each tour room in Denali
Luggage handling and all associated gratuities
Airport transfers as applicable
Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated arrival information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, an arrival transfer is not provided.
Gratuities for tour director and motor coach driver, personal expenses, and any meals not listed above.
HOTELS AND LODGES
The best available hotels and lodges in Alaska are used throughout the land program. They are comfortable and rustic. Guests accustomed to the level of services at an international five-star hotel will find that the same services are not available in Alaska. Due to peak season in Alaska from May through September, it may be difficult to change rooms during the hotel stay as all hotels have very high occupancy. Hotels are subject to change.
While you are in the Denali area at the beginning of the tour program, your guide will present additional touring programs for sale. These tour options vary from week to week and therefore can’t be pre-purchased. However, your guide will do everything possible to help you secure space.
As your baggage will travel on many different modes of transportation, please choose sturdy cases that have been properly tagged with personal identifications, both inside and out. It is important to keep all valuables and documents on your person. As amenities such as elevators and baggage handling are limited at some locations, we suggest you only carry one bag per person while on the land tour. Your tour director will arrange to ship the rest of your luggage to your cruise ship.
Guests can make arrangements for their luggage to be transported from their home to the ship, and back home from any port at the end of their cruise by contacting Luggage Free at 800-361-6871or www.luggagefree.com.
CLOTHING AND CLIMATE
With a broad variety of weather possibilities, we encourage you to bring clothes that are suited to layering. Daytime attire in Alaska is strictly casual. Comfortable, supportive walking shoes are a must. The following items should be included: water-repellant coat or jacket, collapsible umbrella, rain hat, lightweight windbreaker, and sweaters. It could be warmer inland with summer temperatures in Denali reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Travel in Alaska is generally at lower elevations. The maximum altitude is 2,800 feet in Denali National Park.
Weather conditions are unpredictable. While the cruise line and its appointed ground operators will do everything possible to assist with alternative arrangements, we cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred if a land program, tour or private arrangement made through the cruise line is disrupted due to adverse weather.
The published itinerary is based on component suppliers expected to be operating for the land program. Changes to the availability of flights, flight and tour schedules or other itinerary components out of the cruise line’s control may require an adjustment to the final itinerary. The local ground operator will handle meal vouchers, train tickets, or tour tickets included in the program. The cruise line reserves the right to substitute hotels, if necessary.
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
PRE - DISCOVER DENALI
Price: $2,299.00 per guest based on double occupancy.
PRE - DISCOVER DENALICruises.LandProgram.IsConcierge
Price: $2,184.00 per guest based on double occupancy.