Amazing Alaska: The Iditarod & Northern Lights
March 4 - 11, 2021 (8 Days)
Airfare from ABQ to Anchorage; Fairbanks to ABQ (not including airline baggage and inflight charges)
Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
7 nights’ lodging at excellent hotels
Baggage handling at hotels (for one piece)
7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
Admission to all listed attractions
Your SUN TOURS escort
Winter outdoor gear
All taxes and tips for included items (except hotel housekeeping)
$3,925 Double occupancy, per person
$4,395 Single occupancy*
DEPOSIT: $200 per person NOW holds your place
FINAL PAYMENT DUE: November 26, 2020
None – Through November 26, 2020
$200 – November 27, 2020 - January 6, 2021
$2,300 – January 7 - March 1, 2021
100% – After March 1, 2021
Have you always wanted to witness the Iditarod? Or longed to see the Aurora Borealis? Dreams come true this winter in Alaska. You’ll meet the dogs and mushers, witness the start of “The Last Great Race on Earth”, go on a gray whale watching cruise, take an unforgettable rail journey, walk with reindeer and view the unforgettable Northern Lights. This tour has it all in our nation’s “Last Frontier” including outdoor gear to keep you warm!
Included meals are denoted: Breakfast: B, Lunch: L, Dinner: D
DAY 1 D
We fly Albuquerque to Anchorage, Alaska and after meeting our local driver, we check in to the Hilton Anchorage for our 3-night stay. Warm winter coats and boots are included in the package and will be waiting for you to use throughout the trip. While a lot of regions are coy abut their snowfall, Alaska boasts about its blankets of white and wonderful winter activities.
DAY 2 B,L
First, we drive through the scenic Chugiak and Talkeetna mountain ranges to tour a sled dog kennel and learn about sled dog racing. Then, in Wasilla, we visit the Iditarod World Headquarters to view footage, trophies, displays and photos from previous races to get a full understanding of the world’s most famous sled dog race before tomorrow’s landmark kickoff event.
DAY 3 B,D
This morning we experience the excitement at the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod 2021. A race covering 1000 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod. A race extraordinaire, a race only possible in Alaska. After spending some time taking in the event, visiting with race teams and witnessing the media coverage, you’ll have the afternoon to explore the shops and culture of Anchorage, learn all about Alaska and see Alaskan artwork and artifacts at the Anchorage Museum.
DAY 4 B,L
This morning we travel to the winter resort town of Girdwood where we take a panoramic tram ride and have lunch at the Alyeska Resort. Tucked amid the Chugach Mountains on Alaska’s southcentral coast, Alyeska Resort is the place to discover the wilderness and expansive beauty of the Last Frontier. We then travel to Seward to check in for our one-night stay at the Harbor 360 Hotel. We will have some time to explore this breathtaking area shaped by glaciers, nestled between mountains and the ocean. Sandwiched between the Kenai mountains and the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities, with Mt. Marathon rising steeply behind the town.
DAY 5 B,D
Today we cruise through incredible Resurrection Bay to the Gulf of Alaska, in search of the return of gray whales to the Alaska waters on their annual 10,000-mile migration. Like all whales, gray whales surface to breathe, so migrating groups are often spotted from North America’s west coast. These whales were once the target of extensive hunting, and by early in the 20th century they were in danger of extinction. Today gray whales are protected by international law, and their numbers have grown. In addition to gray whales, you may also see Steller sea lions, sea otters, eagles, humpback whales, and orcas – all in the beautiful coastal waters of Kenai Fjords National Park. Tonight, we return to Anchorage for our one-night stay at the Comfort Inn Ship Creek. We have dinner at Bridge Seafood Restaurant, and we have time to rest before taking our epic journey north to Fairbanks in the morning.
DAY 6 B
All aboard! Spend the day on the Alaska Railroad Aurora Train. The journey is just as splendid as the destination. The 12-hour, 350-mile train ride is like an expedition, passing through four different climate and vegetation zones. You will enjoy the train’s amenities, such as the dining car, as we traverse the wild wilderness of Alaska on our journey north to Fairbanks where we check in for our 2-night stay at the Springhill Suites. Fairbanks lures people from all over the world to see the captivating light of the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, which are constantly in motion because of the changing interaction between the solar wind and the earth’s magnetic field. In the northern hemisphere they extend over northern Scandinavia, the whole of Canada, northern USA, Alaska and Siberia. Viewing this phenomenon has been named on countless lists of top travel experiences.
DAY 7 B,D
This morning walk with reindeer! We will take a half-mile guided walking tour of the boreal forest with our reindeer friends. Watch them leap and bound among the trees or stroll lazily alongside our group and get ready to learn the ins and outs of adapting to the polar climate. You will have the middle of the day to rest before our evening excursion to Chena Springs. We start with a tour of the Aurora Ice Museum where you can have an appletini in a glass made from ice. Next enjoy a soak in the hot springs. Locals will tell you that one of the best experiences one can have is sitting in the soothing natural hot springs rock lake at Chena Hot Springs Resort and watching the lights dance above your head! We will have a final group dinner in the lodge before our snow coach tour to view the Aurora Borealis from warmed yurts. Chena Hot Springs Resort is world renown for being one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights. It is located under the most active band of northern lights, it is away from the light pollution of city lights, and the skies over Chena are clear more often than those over Fairbanks, 60 miles away. The best viewing may take place between 1am and 3am, so this may be a late night, but you’ll witness one of nature’s most amazing spectacles that few get to see.
DAY 8 B
After a bit of a rest, we fly from Fairbanks home to Albuquerque, with warm memories of the cold, “Last Frontier”.
Tour presented in partnership with Pleasurebent Tours, Tucson, AZ.
Itinerary subject to change.