Heart of Alaska ~ July 30 – August 6, 2014

July 12, 2014

DAY 1 WEDNESDAY, JULY 30
Depart via Delta Airlines to the land of the Midnight Sun. Upon arrival in Anchorage, we head to the famous Sourdough Mining Co. for an included dinner. After dinner we visit the Alaska Wild Berry Products where they make handmade jams, jellies and chocolates.

DAY 2 THURSDAY, JULY 31
We begin our day with a visit to the Iditarod Trail Headquarters where we learn about sled dogs and the 1,049 mile Anchorage to Nome race. We then board the Alaska Railroad at Talkeetna and travel the spectacular rail route to Denali National Park. This evening participate in one of the optional tours, White Water Rafting or the Cabin Nite Dinner Theater.

DAY 3 FRIDAY, AUGUST 1
This morning we travel with a local guide into the park to enjoy a sampling of the six million acres of Denali National Park. At only 75 miles away, this will also be your best opportunity to view the majestic Mount McKinley. We depart for Fairbanks making a stop in the quaint river town of Nenana. This evening we delight in an authentic Alaskan Salmon Bake.

DAY 4 SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
Today we will take a cruise on the Sternwheeler Discovery on the Chena River. We will visit the Chena Indian Village, the Kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner, Susan Butcher, and see a float plane take off and land right next to the boat. A delicious lunch is included at the Riverboat Landing. Then it’s on to the Gold Dredge No. 8 to have a short course in gold mining and try your hand in panning for gold. Take the optional tour to the Arctic Circle this evening.

DAY 5 SUNDAY, AUGUST 3
As we depart from Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway we will follow the route of the Alyeska Pipeline to Valdez. We will stop at the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska. Then we continue on the highway and stop at the scenic Rika’s Roadhouse in Big Delta National Historical Park with an included lunch. As we continue to Valdez, we will travel through scenic Thompson Pass, one of the highest passes on the Alaska Highway System, see the Chugach Mountain Range, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and spectacular views of Worthington Glacier.

DAY 6 MONDAY, AUGUST 4
Our day begins as we cruise the majestic waters of Prince William Sound from Valdez to Mears Glacier. We will have a chance to view the Sound’s wildlife in addition to seeing the spectacular Mears Glacier. Lunch and an afternoon snack are included on the cruise.

DAY 7 TUESDAY, AUGUST 5
Today we will travel to Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. The highway is sandwiched between two mountain ranges, the Talkeetna to the North and the Chugach to the South. Enjoy a stop for lunch at the quaint Grand View Café, often offering a spectacular view of the Dall sheep on the mountainsides. We will pass through the agriculturally rich Mat-Su Valley.

DAY 8 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6
After a leisurely buffet breakfast, we will transfer to the Anchorage airport for our return flight home. Our adventure into the “last frontier’ will be memories that we will enjoy forever.