Essential Alaska by Air, Land and Sea 13-day / 12-night

Essential Alaska by Air, Land and Sea 13-day / 12-night

Essential Alaska by Air, Land and Sea 13-day / 12-night

This Alaska trip covers the highlights of Southcentral and Southeastern Alaska with visits two of Alaska’s most treasured National Parks – from North America’s tallest peak Denali to the epic seascapes of Glacier Bay. Spend 2-nights at a boutique backcountry adventure lodge in Denali National Park and enjoy expertly guided hikes, evening nature talks and a private flightseeing tour. Then make your way to the Inside Passage for a 7-nights aboard a small ship expedition partaking in adventures in and around Glacier Bay National Park. Daily guided recreation activities will bring you up-close and personal with the majestic natural wonders and wildlife in this incredible landscape.

Essential Alaska by Air, Land and Sea 13-day / 12-night

This Alaska trip covers the highlights of Southcentral and Southeastern Alaska with visits two of Alaska’s most treasured National Parks – from North America’s tallest peak Denali to the epic seascapes of Glacier Bay. Spend 2-nights at a boutique backcountry adventure lodge in Denali National Park and enjoy expertly guided hikes, evening nature talks and a private flightseeing tour. Then make your way to the Inside Passage for a 7-nights aboard a small ship expedition partaking in adventures in and around Glacier Bay National Park. Daily guided recreation activities will bring you up-close and personal with the majestic natural wonders and wildlife in this incredible landscape.

Quick Summary

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage

Arrive in Anchorage
Daily Summary

Arrive into Anchorage and meet your driver for a private transfer to your hotel. Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, nestled between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Offering an abundance of shopping, cultural attractions, and gourmet restaurants, Anchorage provides an excellent start to your vacation. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 2: Anchorage / Denali National Park

Anchorage / Denali National Park
Daily Summary

This morning meet your driver at your hotel for a private transfer to the train station. Travel from Anchorage to Denali National Park aboard the Alaska Railroad's Gold Star service. Upon arrival in Denali in the afternoon you'll transfer to your hotel by courtesy shuttle. Most visitor facilities are grouped near the park entrance. Your evening is free for optional activities or you can relax and enjoy some leisure time. Overnight at Denali park entrance, hotel TBD.

Day 3: Denali National Park

Denali National Park
Daily Summary

Relax in the morning. Then transfer to the Denali train station to meet your lodge bus for a tour into the heart of Denali National Park. At over 6 million acres, Denali National Park is one of the world’s greatest wild animal preserves. Here, protected from hunting, the animals roam freely in a region dominated by the continent’s tallest mountain. Along the way watch for moose, caribou, bear, sheep and other park animals. You may even catch a glimpse of North America's tallest mountain - Denali! Upon arrival in Kantishna check in to your room and enjoy dinner.

Day 4: Denali National Park

Denali National Park
Daily Summary

Full day in the park for guided activities such as hiking, naturalist tours and other lodge programs.

Day 5: Denali National Park / Anchorage

Denali National Park / Anchorage
Daily Summary

After breakfast you'll return to Anchorage directly from Kantishna via a small bush plane and enjoy a private flightseeing trip of Denali. During your 1.5-2 hour flight you'll soar over glaciers, peaks and valley with plenty of wonderful photo opportunities of Denali National Park while transporting you directly from the wilderness of Denali to urban downtown Anchorage. Upon arrival in Anchorage, you will be transferred to your Anchorage hotel. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 6: Juneau / Inside Passage

Juneau / Inside Passage
Daily Summary

In the morning you'll have a private transfer to the Anchorage airport for your commercial flight to Juneau, the starting point for the expedition cruise portion of your itinerary. In the early afternoon your embark on a 7-night small ship expedition cruise through the Northern Inside Passage around Glacier Bay National Park.

Cruise Highlights include:
- Explore the shores and fjords of the Tongass National Forest and Tracy Arm
- Bushwhack and hike in old-growth forest and glacial outwash fields
- Whale watching in Frederick Sound
- Search for wildlife—bears, sea lions, seals, porpoises, eagles
- Birding at South Marble Island—puffins, oystercatchers, cormorants, and kittiwakes
- Natural history narration from expert onboard guides

Day 7: Inside Passage - Tracy Arm

Inside Passage - Tracy Arm
Daily Summary

Take an early peek outside. Fjord cliffs reach skyward. Floating ice. And deep u-shaped valleys. There’s no abracadabra here. Mother Nature’s magic is real. Cruise past harbor seals and their pups lounging on chunks of ice. Tracy Arm delivers with the cotton-candy blue twin Sawyer Glaciers of its furthest reaches. Tides permitting, your skiff driver knows the ropes and guides you along. It’s a mashup of towering walls, temperamental currents, and the Coastal Mountains. So many waterfalls. Mountain goats show off fancy footwork on the cliffs. Look for them.

Day 8: Inside Passage - Frederick Sound

Inside Passage - Frederick Sound
Daily Summary

Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feed on krill, zooplankton, and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station, and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Tonight, toast to a whale of a day in Alaska.

Day 9: Inside Passage - Icy Strait

Inside Passage - Icy Strait
Daily Summary

Before you do anything, look out the window. From kelp-lined channels to hemlock and spruce forests, every inch of this far northwest corner is worth exploring. And today’s adventures promise to be as big as the water is deep! Seals and sea lions haul out on rocky outcroppings, resting before they disappear in the water to search for food. If the tides are right, head out in the skiff with one of the guides for a closer exploration of the rugged shore, or perhaps, make it all the way to George Island. Whatever you do—wilderness trekking, skiffing, or paddling—your expedition team guides the way.

Day 10: Inside Passage - Glacier Bay National Park

Inside Passage - Glacier Bay National Park
Daily Summary

This crown jewel of America’s national parks covers 3.3 million acres (that’s a tad smaller than the state of Connecticut). Let that sink in. Most visitors see the same sliver of the park as everyone else. Not you. You’re going the furthest and exploring parts that 99% of visitors never go to. And you have two days to do it. Get started! Taylor Bay sea stacks and rocky shores make for good adventure. Or hike the outwash field of glaciers winding down the Fairweather Mountain Range. The cool breeze off the nearby snow and icefields is energizing. If you motor over to Dundas Bay, keep your eye out for bears, humpbacks, and if you’re lucky, a wolf sighting. Kayak the bay. Bushwhack into the forest. Discover Glacier Bay outback

Day 11: Inside Passage - Glacier Bay

Inside Passage - Glacier Bay
Daily Summary

Your camera’s memory card needs plenty of room. South Marble Island is abuzz with activity. Rare sea birds, black oystercatchers, and orange-beaked tufted puffins can’t be missed. A colony of raucous sea lions adds to the hubbub. They add a distinct aroma to the air, too. Tucking into silent Tidal Inlet—the stomping grounds for bears, wolves, mountain goats, eagles—the backdrop is spectacular. At the end of the western-most arm of the bay sits Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers. And possible views of glacial calving. Take it all in on deck.

Day 12: Inside Passage - Chatham Strait

Inside Passage - Chatham Strait
Daily Summary

Find a perch on the bridge with your captain, or with your guides on the bow, and watch for whales and other creatures before tucking into Port Frederick or another inlet in the Tongass National Forest. Any spot’s a good one to pull over and stretch your legs. Hike, paddle, or skiff your way through this remote corner with bears on the shoreline, seals bobbing on the surface, and welcoming boughs of moss in the trees. It’s all yours to explore. Back on the boat, there's a treat in store—the Farewell Dinner and some special memories from your crew.

Day 13: Depart from Juneau

Depart from Juneau

After breakfast this morning, you'll disembark from the ship with a private transfer to the airport.

Accommodation

Hotel Captain Cook

Hotel Captain Cook

Located in downtown Anchorage Alaska, each of the Hotel Captain Cook’s 546 luxury accommodations offer stunning views of the Cook Inlet or the Chugach Mountains. The Hotel Captain Cook, Preferred Hotels and Resorts, and Historic Hotels 2018 Hotel of Year welcome you to experience excellence.

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge by Pursuit is set on a ridge above the small community of Talkeetna on the south side of Denali. Our lodge offers unforgettable views of Denali and the Alaska Range, yet we are just minutes from adventures of a lifetime. Enjoy the view as you relax next to our 46-foot river rock fireplace or shop for Native art from villages across Alaska. Enjoy casual or fine dining featuring Alaska specialties and the best wine selection in the neighborhood.

Denali Backcountry Lodge

Denali Backcountry Lodge

Denali Backcountry Lodge features private luxury cabins, stunning views and world class adventures in one of the world’s wildest landscapes. Located at the historic settlement of Kantishna, the lodge is a perfect base for exploring the ruggedly wondrous backcountry of Denali National Park. Included in your stay is transporation to and from the backcountry via an exclusive guided wildlife & sightseeing bus tour. The lodge also provides naturalist guided hikes and includes and onsite spa, wellness center, and restaurant.

Alaska Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Alaska Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Ships vary slightly based on route and dates but each small ship expedition cruise hosts no more than 86 guests. Ships include dining room with open seating, main lounge, observation decks for wildlife viewing, on deck hot tub, and active adventure gear for kayaking, paddle boarding, 
and hiking. All meals and beverages are included in the cruise. Cabin rooms options include single king or double twin suites with ensuite private bathrooms.

Pricing Estimate

Starting at: $9265/person

Note: Pricing is estimate only depending on dates and room selection. Excludes some taxes and fees.  

What's Included

  • 5 nights land accommodations 
  • 7 nights on expedition cruise 
  • Private transfers as noted
  • Deluxe dome rail car from Anchorage to Denali
  • Meals and guided activities at Denali Backcountry Lodge
  • Meals and guided daily activities aboard the expedition cruise
  • Flight from Kantishna to Anchorage

What's Not Included

Some meals as noted, alcoholic beverages, gratuities. Flights to Anchorage and to/from Juneau.