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An Alaska family vacation of a lifetime, created by Tauck and BBC Earth! Your family experiences the natural treasures of America's 49th state in a new way on one of our newest Earth Journeys, created by Tauck and BBC Earth - nature's premier storyteller. Travel by land, sea and air on this incredible Alaska tour that is designed for every member of your family - with on-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches. Your family's travels begin with one night in Anchorage, then it's off to the northern interior for a jet boat ride, a wilderness hike, a GEO-caching treasure hunt and two nights at a wilderness lodge. Meet Alaskan huskies at a dog sled training facility and soar above the foothills of Mt. Denali on a flightseeing adventure. Travel to Alaska's alpine playground in Kenai for a two-night wilderness lodge stay and a choice of activities including kayaking, river rafting and a guided wilderness hike in the Kenai River region. Cruise the Kenai Fjords with a naturalist who points out wildlife along the way. During your final two-night stay in Girdwood, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to meet animals being rehabilitated (from moose to to grizzly bears), and pan for gold at the Crow Creek Mine.
Day 1: Welcome to Alaska
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, The Hotel Captain Cook. Transfers are included upon your arrival at Anchorage International Airport to The Hotel Captain Cook in the heart of Anchorage, the first stop of your Alaskan adventure. Meet your fellow family explorers at our welcome dinner tonight at your hotel, then hit the hay before the fun continues bright and early in the morning.
Day 2: Iditarod Huskies, jet boating and geo-caching in Talkeetna
Head for the wilderness today with a first stop at Big Lake, where you'll meet a champion Iditarod musher and his high-energy, friendly sled dogs. You'll learn what it takes to train and outfit these powerful animals and have time for a snuggle or two, if you like. Continue on to Talkeetna, a frontier town located at the meeting point of the Talkeetna, Chulitna and Susitna rivers and the starting point for a jet boat* ride along mountain waterways. Ashore, a leisurely nature walk will introduce some of the abundant wildflowers and plants (some once used by the locals for cooking and medicines), and visit an authentic trapper's cabin. If the weather is good, you'll have an incredible view of Alaska's famous Mount Denali - the Athabascan Indians called the mountain Denali, meaning "the Great One" - en route to your wilderness lodge for a two-night stay. Later, at your comfortable lodge, join us for a high-tech geocaching game and dinner à la carte.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: A hike at a lake and a wilderness homestead in Trapper Creek
Loons and kingfishers on the lake, Mt. Denali on the horizon and a forest alive with wildflowers, berries and mushrooms provide plenty of company on this morning's Talkeetna Lake hiking* adventure. Your local guide will also share stories about life in Talkeetna today: how the first native peoples survived in this beautiful but wild land and amazing encounters with wildlife. After a well-deserved lunch back at the lodge, you'll visit an authentic Alaskan family homestead to get an understanding of what it takes to be modern-day pioneers. Your day ends at an interpretive campfire where you'll not only enjoy more wonderful storytelling, but also learn tips for surviving in the wilderness - while munching on classic s'mores.
Meals: B, L
Day 4: Flightseeing near Mt. Denali and on to Kenai via Anchorage
Depart your lodge in Talkeetna and soar over the Denali foothills in a small plane (weather permitting) for a breathtaking bird's-eye view of towering Mount Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. After your flight, you'll travel to Anchorage for a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a renowned cultural center and museum where you'll come away with a greater understanding of Alaska's Indigenous people. Following a dance performance, a tour and lunch, continue on to the wildlife-rich Kenai Peninsula and a two-night wilderness lodge stay in Cooper Landing, nestled within Chugach National Forest.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Hiking, kayaking or river rafting on the Kenai Peninsula
Today, you can choose how you and your family will experience the wonders of the Kenai Peninsula, as your Alaska family vacation continues at your lodge in this wilderness wonderland between Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska. You can choose to go kayaking*, take a scenic river-rafting trip*, or embark on a hike into the wilderness with a local guide - they're included with Tauck Bridges! You might also want to take advantage of optional opportunities for fishing or horseback riding that may be available at an additional cost. (Note: Tours of June 12 & 26; July 10 & 24; and August 7, which stay at the Seward Windsong Lodge nights 4 & 5, will visit the Alaska Sealife Center.)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Meet special wildlife & pan for gold on Turnagain Arm
On today's visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife through education, you'll be introduced to the orphaned animals being cared for at this rehabilitation center. Think moose and musk ox, bald eagles and grizzly bears. From here, it's a short trip to Crow Creek Gold Mine, where you'll learn about this historic mine and the art of gold panning and platinum prospecting. At the turn of the 20th century, "gold fever" brought scads of hopeful miners to this area in search of untold riches. You'll meet a prospector, pan for gold and enjoy a barbecue lunch. Tonight, enjoy a fun presentation on mountain climbing and the gear required for safety and comfort; you'll also learn how outdoor adventures can be personally amazing yet have minimal impact on the natural environment.
Meals: B, L
Day 7: A train, a boat and a glacial wonderland on Prince William Sound
Today it's all aboard the Alaska Railroad to travel along the breathtaking shores of Turnagain Arm to Whittier where a boat waits to take you on a cruise along Blackstone Bay in Prince William Sound. You'll cruise past thundering waterfalls and spectacular glaciers, some towering as high as 1,700 feet above the boat. Keep your ears ready for sounds the glaciers make as they groan and crack - and keep an eye out for eagles, otters and harbor seals along the way. En route back to your hotel, you'll travel through the Whittier Tunnel, the second longest highway tunnel in North America. Tonight, join us for a great time swapping stories of your adventures at our farewell reception and dinner.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Journey home
Tour ends: Girdwood. Fly home anytime. A transfer from The Hotel Alyeska to Anchorage International Airport (approximately 60 minutes) is included. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in. Ask at booking about additional hotel nights before or after your trip.
Earth Journey created by Tauck and BBC Earth with on-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches; ride the rails along Turnagain Arm aboard the Alaska Railroad; flightsee over the wilderness near Mt. Denali; meet a musher, kayak, hike, try geocaching, and cruise past glaciers on Prince William Sound
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