Alaska's Northern Lights featuring the Iditarod Race
10 days with Collette Vacations Rating:
Day 1 Anchorage, Alaska - Tour Begins
Your journey starts in Anchorage, a city on the edge of the snowcapped Chugach Mountains and 60 sparkling glaciers. This is your gateway to wilderness and adventure.
Day 2 Anchorage - Wildlife Conservation Center - Anchorage
Drive along the Turnagain Arm to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. With a local guide, discover where orphaned or injured bears, wolves, porcupines, and moose are cared for in a 200-acre rehabilitation site. Following an afternoon at leisure, get into the spirit of the Iditarod at the exclusive Musher’s Banquet dinner. Chat with the stars of the race, enjoy local entertainment, and watch the mushers draw their starting positions from a mukluk (Arctic boot.) (B,D)
Day 3 Anchorage - Winter Glacier Cruise - Anchorage
Head to Whittier and embark on an incomparable glacier cruise of Prince William Sound, narrated by an expert guide. Blue skies collide with stark white glaciers, and playful otters dip in and out of the calm waters. Embrace the sheer magnitude of Alaska’s natural beauty as you venture through a geological wonderland. Return to Anchorage and enjoy dinner on your own. (B,L)
Day 4 Anchorage - Iditarod Ceremonial Start
Welcome to the ceremonial start of the legendary Iditarod. Cheer on mushers, take photos of the energetic dogs, and peruse the local food vendors lining the streets. Perhaps you’ll try a bite of reindeer sausage. After the ceremony, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to delve into the area’s indigenous culture. Learn about dances and songs, shop for local crafts, and wander through the replica village to see how people lived. (B)
Day 5 Anchorage - Willow - Iditarod Official Start - Anchorage
Venture to Willow and feel the adrenaline in the air as the Iditarod mushers line up at the starting line for the official start of the race. Mushers leave in 2-minute intervals, starting their 1,049-mile journey to the finish line in Nome. Cheer amongst the locals for your favorite dogs at this bucket-list event. After the excitement of the day, relax with dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 6 Anchorage - Palmer - Talkeetna
Take a step into the past when you visit Musk Ox Farm. Learn about the Musk Ox project – a sustainable domestication effort that has worked to preserve, protect, and increase awareness for these wooly creatures since 1954. Continue on to Talkeetna as Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, looms large over the landscape. Check into the iconic Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, perched on a ridge offering unforgettable views of Denali. Tonight, enjoy dinner and beer at one of Alaska’s most popular micro-brewers – the Denali Brewing Company. (B,D)
Day 7 Talkeetna - Alaska Railroad - Fairbanks
Begin your day with a lecture on the down-to-earth Alaskan lifestyle before hopping on Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train for a full-day journey to Fairbanks. Sit back and relax as you are whisked away, through snow-covered mountains and striking valleys. Have your cameras ready – the train conductor will point out wildlife as you pass by. Dinner is included in the train’s dining car. This evening you arrive in Fairbanks, your home for the next three nights and one of the best places in Alaska to see the northern lights. (B,D)
Day 8 Fairbanks
Feel the brisk air and discover Fairbanks, the perfect juxtaposition of nature and civilization. Look into the past at the Antique Auto Museum, where vintage cars sit between timely artifacts and fashionable designer dresses from times gone by. Hop in a car yourself, throw on some flapper accessories, and pose for a perfect souvenir snapshot. In the afternoon, embrace the Iditarod spirit and try your hand at dog mushing, stepping into a sled with an expert guide and gliding over the snow with your very own pack of sled dogs. Late this evening, chase the legendary northern lights, considered to be one of the most amazing natural spectacles in the world. Walk out in the snow under an unspoiled bed of stars and search for the shimmering hues of purple and green. (B)
Day 9 Fairbanks
Enjoy a full day at leisure in the city of Fairbanks. Take this opportunity to relax or flex your sense of adventure with optional excursions: consider flightseeing to the Arctic Circle or perhaps take a day trip to Chena Hot Springs – founded in 1905 by gold miners – as the springs are known for their healing remedies. Toast to your Alaskan adventure at a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Later in the evening, enjoy a final chance to spot the northern lights. (B,D)
Day 10 Fairbanks - Tour Ends
Enjoy a relaxing morning before heading to the Museum of the North, the University of Alaska’s collection featuring 2.2 million years of biodiversity and thousands of years of human history. Enjoy some free time before departing for the airport. (B)
All This Included
Take a snowy peek into Alaska. Visit the friendly local towns of the last frontier and witness the world-renowned Iditarod. Discover the Alaska Wildlife Conservation with a local guide and interact with nurtured animals. Feel the Iditarod Spirit at the Musher’s Banquet and at the official race start. Experience a winter glacier cruise among drifting icebergs and playful otters. Glimpse into the past at Musk Ox Farm. Travel via Alaska Railroad, search for the aurora borealis, and connect with a deeply rooted heritage.
Anchorage, AK: Hilton Anchorage
Talkeetna, AK: Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Fairbanks, AK: Pikes Waterfront Lodge
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.