Spend two nights in Fairbanks, “The Golden Heart City” and enjoy a narrated cruise aboard the Riverboat Discovery to Old Chena Village. Enjoy an Alaska Salmonbake dinner and see the Golden Heart Review. Ride the Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali National Park and spend one night at Denali National Park. Experience an exciting seven-day Inside Passage cruise aboard Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam!
1 Fly to Fairbanks
Your flight to the “Land of the Midnight Sun” takes you to Fairbanks, Alaska, where your Tour Manager greets you at the hotel. The first day of travel will come to a quiet close as you explore the new surroundings and prepare for your adventure.
2 Fairbanks, the “Golden Heart City”
Cast off aboard the Riverboat Discovery
, the only authentic stern-wheeler in Alaska. Your narrated cruise takes you to Old Chena Village where native Alaskan guides show the culture and lifestyle of the original Alaskans. The afternoon is free to enjoy Alaska’s second largest city at your own pace or you may wish to join an optional visit to Gold Dredge #8 Camp for a rail journey through an old mining camp.
Here you will be able to try your hand at gold panning in an authentic setting. Dinner this evening is at Pioneer Park for a sumptuous feast of grilled salmon, prime rib or deep-fried cod. Afterwards, enjoy humorous skits and songs about early Fairbanks in the Palace Theatre’s production, Golden Heart Review
. Meals: B, D
3 Alaska Railroad and Cabin Nite Dinner
Today, board the Alaska Railroad’s flagship The Denali Star
for the trip to Denali National Park. The track cuts through the northern boreal forests of the interior on a journey where sparkling salmon streams, stands of aspen and birch and carpets of purple fire weed create a dramatic landscape.
Arriving in Denali, the afternoon is free of scheduled activities to explore your scenic surrounding and enjoy an optional “flight-seeing” trip on a helicopter through the park, or a river float trip on
the Nenana River. Tonight, sample Alaskan cuisine at Alaska Cabin Nite’s delicious dinner. Then sit back for a hilarious show of tall tales, fun songs and foot-stompin’ music. Meals: B, D
4 Natural History Tour of Denali National Park
Rise early and join an experienced local guide who conducts this morning’s Natural History Tour of Denali National Park. Weather permitting, see North America’s tallest mountain, Denali. Learn about Denali’s varied and interesting collection of birdlife as well as the over 650 species of flowering plants.
Later, travel down the George Parks Highway where you might catch a glimpse of Denali and the rest of the Alaska Range through the stands of spruce and pine. A stop at the Iditarod Trail Headquarters showcases the race’s exciting history.
Meals: B, L
5 Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel and Alaska Native Heritage Center
Begin the day at Happy Trails Kennel, the home and kennel of four-time Iditarod Champion, Martin Buser. Hear Martin’s personal stories, meet his champion dogs and get a glimpse of what life is really like out on the trail. This is an outdoor facility, so please dress accordingly. Later, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center which features interactive displays and exhibits. Here, you will explore the rich cultural history of Anchorage through guides in traditional dress in their model lakeside village. Meal: B
6 Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
This morning take in the dramatic views of Turnagain Arm enroute to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This haven for orphaned or injured Alaskan wildlife hosts an array of animals. Then, take the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier. This 2.5 mile-long tunnel is the gateway to Prince William Sound. Later, board your ship, Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam
to begin the unforgettable cruise portion of the tour. Meals: B, D
7 Prince William Sound and Hubbard Glacier
With its 3,000 miles of shoreline, Prince William Sound is one of the most scenic archipelagoes of tidewater glaciers in the world. Keep one eye on the shoreline while cruising, as you just may spot otters, seals, bears, eagles and deer. From almost anywhere on the ship you will be able to view Hubbard Glacier, a massive 1,350-square mile natural wonder of blue ice. It is the longest river of ice in North America and one of the most active glaciers of its kind in Alaska. Meals: B, L, D
8 Glacier Bay
Cruise Glacier Bay National Park and take in the sounds of the “living” ice, shrill cries of gulls and soaring eagles and splash of a breaching whale. Frosted peaks towering over mossy forests, wide tidewater glaciers, and marine wildlife are givens on Glacier Bay cruises, but every experience in this changing biosphere is unique. Meals: B, L, D
9 Skagway and the Lynn Canal
As your ship approaches Skagway, see the town resting peacefully at
the base of a river valley bordered by the Coast Mountains. When gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the
Yukon Territory, it resulted in the historic Gold Rush of 1898.
As thousands of gold-crazed adventurers sought the best jumping-off spot for their trek, they found the deepest penetration by boat was at the northern tip of the Lynn
Canal. This is how Skagway was born. Meals: B, L, D
10 Juneau and Sawyer Glacier
Your port of call this morning is the Alaskan Capital of Juneau, considered by many to be the most beautiful capital city in the nation. Founded during the gold rush in 1880, the former goldmining town counts among its riches some of Alaska’s most spectacular scenery. The terrain is hilly and winding, and narrow streets present a small-town quaintness existing side-by-side with cosmopolitan sophistication. Meals: B, L, D
A popular destination along Alaska’s famed Inside Passage, Ketchikan is teeming with Native American culture. Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” it is home to the largest concentration of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people in the state. Meals: B, L, D
12 Cruising the Inside Passage
Cruise the Inside Passage, a 1,000-mile-long sea corridor from Alaska to British Columbia, the longest sheltered inland waterway in the world. Its scenery is as grand as that of Norway. Be on the lookout for orcas and humpback whales as you take in the sheer cliffs, massive glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Meals: B, L, D
13 Vancouver to Seattle and Home
Arrive in Vancouver early and take your motorcoach transfer to the airport in Seattle for flights home departing after 4:00 p.m. Meal: B