Alaska Premium Short Visit

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Make the most of your limited time in Alaska: Stay near Anchorage and fly with Alaskan bush pilots to experience the best Alaska has to offer.

Day 1: Anchorage

Anchorage is not the capital of Alaska (that’s Juneau), but it’s by far the biggest city in the state, and home to about half of the population. If you arrive early in the day, consider a visit to either the Anchorage Museum of History and Arts, or the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Other good options include a walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or – if you’re not too…Read more

Anchorage is not the capital of Alaska (that’s Juneau), but it’s by far the biggest city in the state, and home to about half of the population. If you arrive early in the day, consider a visit to either the Anchorage Museum of History and Arts, or the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Other good options include a walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or – if you’re not too tired after a long flight – a hike up the popular trail to Flattop Mt.

Most car rentals companies offer airport pickup, with the exception of some local agencies who are located a short taxi ride away.

Overnight: Anchorage, AK

Fall colors in Eagle River, Alaska

Day 2: Bear viewing

Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks lay on the west side of the Cook Inlet, about 1-1.5 hrs flight from Anchorage. These two wild parks are arguably two of the best locations in the world to view bears in the wild. Today’s plan is to go on a day trip to one of these parks and spend a few hours with the furry giants also known as the coastal brown…Read more

Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks lay on the west side of the Cook Inlet, about 1-1.5 hrs flight from Anchorage. These two wild parks are arguably two of the best locations in the world to view bears in the wild. Today’s plan is to go on a day trip to one of these parks and spend a few hours with the furry giants also known as the coastal brown bears of Alaska.

The brown bear is not a social animal by any mean, but every summer, when the salmon begin moving upstream, big concentrations of bears are formed along the rivers. These bears will spend most of the summer fishing and competing for fishing and mating rights. Busy with their fishing agenda and concerned mostly with the presence of other bears, the bears are generally very tolerable of human presence. This does not mean you should approach them too closely, of course – these are still very wild and very big animals – but it allows for an unforgettable wildlife viewing experience.

The exact destination of the trip is determined based on bear activity observed in each area. Keep in mind that fishing behavior is not guaranteed – in some of the locations the bears could be seen grazing or feeding on clams. Generally speaking, bears could be seen in big numbers along the coast throughout the summer, with July being the best time to view the bears fishing.

Both Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks are not connected to the road system, so arrival at the bear viewing location is done using a variety of small aircraft, including (but not limited to) floatplanes, helicopters and wheeled planes capable of landing on the beaches during low tides. The super-scenic flight will take you over some serious mountains, glaciers and active volcanoes, and is a highlight on its own right. The tour is usually led by the pilot or by a professional guide, unless the destination is Brooks Camp, where park rangers oversee the site and direct the visitors.

Once the tour is over, you’ll fly back to Anchorage.

Overnight: Anchorage, Ak

Brown bears fighting, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Day 3: Knik Glacier heli tour

This morning, drive east along the Glenn Hwy towards the town of Palmer. Your destination is a remote lodge at the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. Here, you’ll board a helicopter flight that will take you over the immense Knik Glacier. The views from the air are simply stunning, and the flight also includes a glacier landing, where you can step out of the helicopter and check out the moonlike…Read more

This morning, drive east along the Glenn Hwy towards the town of Palmer. Your destination is a remote lodge at the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. Here, you’ll board a helicopter flight that will take you over the immense Knik Glacier. The views from the air are simply stunning, and the flight also includes a glacier landing, where you can step out of the helicopter and check out the moonlike scenery on ice.

The area around the lodge is rich with other little gems; you can stop at the tranquil beach of Eklutna Lake, or visit the Eagle River Nature Center. Another great option for a scenic detour is the Hatcher Pass area, a beautiful off-the-beaten-track alpine area in the Talkeetna mountains close to the town of Palmer. Surrounded by green tundra and overlooked by impressive granite peaks, this is a great area for a short (or long) hike. You can also visit Independence Mine Historical Site, an interesting deserted gold mine from the 1940’s.

At the end of the day, return to Anchorage for a relaxed evening.

Overnight: Anchorage, AK

Helicopter landing for a view over the Knik Glacier, Alaska

Day 4: Girdwood

Your destination today is the town of Girdwood, about 45 minutes drive south of Anchorage. The road to Girdwood runs parallel to Turnagain Arm, a narrow bay known for its panoramic views and extreme tides. This is a great area for wildlife viewing, especially beluga whales and Dall sheep. A ski town in winter, Girdwood turns during summer into a hub for local outdoor activities. The Cross Pass Trail, one…Read more

Your destination today is the town of Girdwood, about 45 minutes drive south of Anchorage. The road to Girdwood runs parallel to Turnagain Arm, a narrow bay known for its panoramic views and extreme tides. This is a great area for wildlife viewing, especially beluga whales and Dall sheep.

A ski town in winter, Girdwood turns during summer into a hub for local outdoor activities. The Cross Pass Trail, one of Alaska’s best hiking trails, is right out of town (4-6 hours RT). If you’re looking for a flatter hiking experience, Winner Creek Trail offers a fun walk in the rainforest all the way to a great little view point called “the Gorge”. Overlooking the town is Mt. Alyeska, and you can take the tram to the top and enjoy some excellent views of the area. Other options include bike rentals, dog sledding and more.

Overnight: Girdwood, AK

Hikers overlooking Portage Glacier, Alaska

Day 5: Prince William Sound day cruise

After a relaxed morning, head south to the town of Whittier. Whittier is a quirky little town which is not much of a destination, but it’s worth noting that virtually all residents of this town live in one apartment building (don’t worry, you won’t miss it!). Whittier is connected to the rest of Alaska via a narrow tunnel which is used alternately by vehicles and trains. The tunnel is very…Read more

After a relaxed morning, head south to the town of Whittier. Whittier is a quirky little town which is not much of a destination, but it’s worth noting that virtually all residents of this town live in one apartment building (don’t worry, you won’t miss it!). Whittier is connected to the rest of Alaska via a narrow tunnel which is used alternately by vehicles and trains. The tunnel is very well monitored so the risk of meeting the train in the middle of the drive is not high; still, it’s an interesting ride.

Around noon, you’ll board a 100-passenger vessel which will take you on a cruise of the west side of Prince William Sound. This is a fantastic way to soak the amazing scenery of one of Alaska’s most beautiful coastal areas. The boat is small enough to get very close to some of the tidewater glaciers in this area. The local fauna includes huge sea-bird colonies, sea otters, seals, sea lions and of course, humpback whales.

This 5-hour cruise ends in the afternoon hours. you can use the afternoon hours for a visit in the glacial Portage Valley, where you can check out the displays at the visitor center, or go for a walk on one of the valley’s many hiking trails. Also nearby is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife. This is a great place to see some of Alaska’s charismatic fauna up close and personal.

Eventually, return to Girdwood for a second night.

Overnight: Girdwood, Ak

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Day 6: Anchorage

Drive back north to Anchorage and enjoy another look at the beautiful views along the Turnagain Arm. The trip ends at the Ted Stevens International Airport in town, where you return your rental car and begin the journey back home.

Drive back north to Anchorage and enjoy another look at the beautiful views along the Turnagain Arm. The trip ends at the Ted Stevens International Airport in town, where you return your rental car and begin the journey back home.

Glacier flowing into a lake, Mt. Redoubt, Alaska

Why choose this tour?

If you’re in Alaska for a short visit but you still want to make the most out of your time, this itinerary is for you.

The trip begins and ends in Anchorage. You won’t have to drive more than 1.5 hrs out of town, but you’ll get to see the best Alaska has to offer using a mix of super-scenic flights and boat rides.

The tour package includes

1 A day tour in Katmai or Lake Clark National Park, where you can view the world-famous coastal brown bears of Alaska in the wild.

2 A stunningly beautiful heli flight over the Knik Glacier, including landing on the glacier itself.

3 Scenic day cruise in the beautiful Prince William Sound – Glaciers, whales and more.

Still not sure?

You’re more than welcome to contact us, we’ll be happy to chat and help you pick the right tour.

Total cost

  • $3,230 Per Person, double occupancy.
  • Taxes and fees included.

Deposit / Cancellations 

  • Covid-19 Policy! Yes, these are special times:

    • Deposit: $100 (for the whole trip, not per-person)
    • Balance is due 60 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellation fees:

    • Up to 60 days prior to departure: NO CANCELLATION FEE except for the $100 deposit.
    • 59-30 days prior: 10% of the trip cost + cancellation fees charged by vendors.
    • 29-1 days prior: 20% of the trip cost + cancellation fees charged by vendors.

Trip cost includes

Accommodations

  • 5 nights in hotels, lodges (usually rustic cabins) or B&B’s.
  • Breakfast is not included unless specifically mentioned.

Transportation

  • 6 day Fullsize car rental with unlimited mileage.

Tours

  • Bear viewing tour in Katmai or Lake Clark National Park, including a RT flight from Anchorage (6-11 hrs).
  • Scenic helicopter flight over the Knik Glacier, including glacier landing (60 mins total, 30 mins flight time).
  • Scenic day cruise in Prince William Sound, inc. lunch (departure from Whittier, 5 hrs).

Not Included

  • International and / or domestic flights.
  • Rental car additional costs: insurance, additional driver, gas.
  • Meals.
  • Tips.
  • Optional excursions or admission to optional sites (museums, trams, etc.).
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under “trip cost includes”.

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