Alaska Land Tours

Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

When most people think of traveling to Alaska, they think of a cruise departing from Seattle, Vancouver or Anchorage. Many of our land tour operators offer a land tour to Alaska, A cruise can be added to some and others are just a land tour. Insight's Jewels of Alaska can be booked as a 7 day land tour or a 14 day cruise/tour. This tour starts in Anchorage with sightseeing, then on Day 3 the motor coach takes you to Talkeetna to board the Alaskan Railroad train to Denali National Park. Then back to the motor coach for a scenic journey to the town of Girdwood at Mount Alyeska. A glacier cruise is offered on Day 6 and Day 7 you return to Anchorage to fly home or board your cruise ship.

Collette offers a 13 day journey, round trip Anchorage with a land only tour. It visits Whittier for a little cruise on Prince William Sound then an overnight in Tok, before traveling to Whitehorse, the capital of Canada's Yukon. Skagway is the next stop and Dawson City. A stop in Chicken, Alaska brings on a chuckle before arriving in Fairbanks. Then on to Denali by dome car train for two nights. The relaxing ride back to Anchorage is by motor coach, where your tour ends.

Trafalgar proudly presents Majestic Alaska with the option of an Alaska Cruise. Their land tour starts in Fairbanks for two nights, then on to Denali for two nights and the Alaska Railroad to Anchorage. Their land tour is 8 days with a 14 day combination cruise/tour.

Globus's 9 day land tour starts and ends in Anchorage with a stop in Valdez, Fairbanks, Denali National Park and back to Anchorage, where you can board your Alaska Cruise and make your vacation 16 days. They also offer Nature's Best, which is a seven day land tour starting in Fairbanks, visiting Denali National Park, Talkeetna and Anchorage, where you can board your Alaska Cruise ship, making this cruise/tour a 13 day vacation.

Cosmos offers their 8 day Alaskan Adventure starting in Fairbanks, traveling to Denali National Park and ending in Anchorage with the Alaskan Railroad train. This land tour can also be combined with a seven day Alaska Cruise. Alaska and the Yukon is also offered by Cosmos for 12 days starting and ending in Anchorage. This tour will take you to Valdez, Tok, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park and back to anchorage. Most travelers will think about this tour in the early summer months, but it is unique in operating August 9 -30 for the start of fall foliage in that part of the country.

Alaskan Cuisine

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017

Alaskan Cuisine

Alaskan Cuisine - what types of food can you expect when traveling to Alaska

  • Try Valdez Moose Stew, Roast Caribou, Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Cakes and a wide range of recipes using oysters, salmon, cod and halibut. Salmon or seafood chowders are mouthwatering!
  • One good Alaskan feast is Wild Salmon grilled on an open fire served with salads and rice which you'll find offered at Salmon Bakes around the state.
  • Berries are very popular for jams, jellies and cooking with meat and fish. Wild Salmonberries, Lingonberries, Blackberries, Rhubarb, High Bush Cranberries and Black and Red Currants are just some of the 50 species of wild fruit that grow here. Try berry cobblers and unique jams.
  • Be sure to try some Alaskan sourdough bread, made famous during the Gold Rush.
  • For the more adventurous try the popular street food - reindeer dogs.  They often are served wrapped in sourdough bread. For the bold you can try Mutuk, which is whale fat and skin frozen together and then eaten raw. Muktuk is not found in many restaurants, but when you do it is usually served hot & pickled.
  • Another unique food in Alaska is Aqutak aka as eskimo ice cream.  This is not ice cream as we know it.  They use back fat of moose, reindeer, seal or caibou along with snow or water and then lots of fresh berries. It is eaten as a dessert, snack or spread. A similar recipe is used with eel to make ell akutaq. 

Alaska certainly offers a wide range of exciting things to see and do. It's unique in the world, an amazing and wild place which should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Alaska Whale Watching

Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2017

Last year I went on an Alaska cruise, and although most of family was able to see wildlife throughout the trip, I always seemed to just miss the whale jumping out of the water or the bear eating on the side of the road. Very disappointing to go all that way and not see wildlife.

The ship usually has a naturalist throughout the cruise spotting wildlife, so make sure and listen out for this, and go on deck - don't try to see everything from inside the ship. It is warm, but you tend to miss all of the action. 

Here's a list of list of popular whale watching tips to keep in mind to improve your odds of seeing whale while in Alaska.

  • Take a good pair of binoculars.
  • Choose clear, calm days.
  • Look for the blow of a whale, which is the cloud of spray or mist that appears as the air is exhaled through the blowhole. This is usually how whales are first seen.
  • If you are a first time whale watcher, you may want to consider motion sickness medications. A good breakfast is key! Very often people will go on their first whale watch fearing they may get sick. They will skip breakfast thinking that no food in their stomach means they won't get sick. In fact, the opposite is true. An empty stomach produces acids and, in turn, can actually make you sick. Eat a good carbohydrate breakfast.
  • Keep Warm! It is always colder on the ocean than on land.
  • Don't forget the sunblock! Water reflects and magnifies the sun rays.
  • Bring extra batteries and film, or a picture card, for your camera.

How You Should See Some Of Alaska’s Best Glaciers

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017