Operated by Explore Tours

Alaska by Rail & Road

15 Days / $2689 and up

The best of both worlds are yours in this 15-day itinerary!

This  tour begins with a self-drive into the incredibly scenic Kenai Peninsula visiting Homer and Seward before boarding the Alaska Marine Highway’s sailing from Whittier to Valdez. From Valdez visit the largest and least visited national park in America, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park! Your self-drive will end in Fairbanks where you will then leave the navigation to the engineer of the Alaska Railroad as you travel south to Denali National Park and then to Anchorage.  

Itinerary/Details

Day 1 • Anchorage

Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Pick up your rental car (rental car additional). Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 2 • Anchorage/Homer

Enjoy the scenic drive from Anchorage this morning and arrive in the picturesque town of Homer that sits along the shores of Kachemak Bay. Overnight Homer. (CB) 

Day 3 • Homer 

Today is free for you to enjoy Homer. Consider a bear viewing tour. Some of the best bearviwing in the state depart from this location. Another option is fishing. The waters around Homer is noted for some of the largest (and tastiest) halibut in the world. Overnight in Homer. (B)

Day 4 • Homer/Seward

Your self-drive continues today to Seward. Upon arrival consider a visit the Alaska SeaLife Center. The Alaska SeaLife Center offers an unrivaled, up-close and personal experience with Gulf of Alaska marine wildlife. Overnight in Seward. (B) 

Day 5 • Seward

Today journey into Kenai Fjords National Park on a day cruise. Look for whales, sea lions, birds and more in this pristine Alaskan setting during this 6-hour cruise. Overnight in Seward. (L)

Day 6 • Seward/Whittier/Valdez

Continue your self-drive to Whittier via the Anton Anderson Tunnel, the longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America. On the other side of the tunnel, catch a ferry across the Prince William Sound to Valdez. Overnight in Valdez. (CB)

Day 7 • Valdez

Today is free for you to enjoy Valdez. Consider a day cruise to Columbia Glacier, Alaska’s largest tidewater glacier at 435 square miles. This glacier is receding at a rapid pace, leaving huge blocks of ice and an impassible moraine. It is always changing and each day the bay is filled with floating ice. Some of this ice floats all the way out to the Gulf of Alaska, where it becomes a hazard to shipping. One cause for the Exxon Valdez’s departure from its shipping lanes was the icebergs. Overnight Valdez. (CB)

Day 8 • Valdez/Chitina/McCarthy

Continue your journey on to Chitina, a rural community on the edge of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Park your car at the Chitina airstrip and board your flight with Wrangell Mountain Air to McCarthy. Tonight stay at Ma Johnson’s the only authentic historic hotel in the park and meet locals that actually live here year round! Overnight McCarthy. (CB)

Day 9 • McCarthy

Experience this wild area to the fullest today. After exploring McCarthy consider a venture to the neighboring town of Kennicott. The history of Kennicott, Alaska began in 1900, when prospectors spotted a patch of green hillside that looked like good grazing ground for their pack horses. The grass, as fate would have it, turned out to be the green glint of copper ore. Explore the historic buildings, go hiking on the nearby Root Glacier or rafting on braided glacial rivers. Overnight McCarthy.

Day 10 • McCarthy/Chitina/Fairbanks

Say goodbye to Kennicott and McCarthy as you board your return flight to Chitina.  Pick up your vehicle and drive north on the Richardson Highway to Alaska’s “Golden Heart City” of Fairbanks. Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 11 • Fairbanks

Today is free to enjoy Fairbanks. Consider experiencing a little gold panning or possibly a tour on the Chena River then ending your evening with an Alaskan salmon bake.  Return your rental car this evening. Overnight in Fairbanks. 

Day 12 • Fairbanks/Denali National Park

Depart Fairbanks on the famous Alaska Railroad this morning. Enjoy this relaxing trip as the engineer does the driving for you to Denali National Park. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, viewing’s are always possible in “The Last Frontier”. Overnight at the Entrance to Denali National Park. 

Day 13 • Denali National Park

Travel deep into the park and search the pristine wilderness for bear, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. This bus journey is narrated allowing for insight into the animals, flora and fauna of this spectacular region.  Overnight at the Entrance to Denali National Park. (S) 

Day 14 • Denali National Park/Anchorage

Depart Denali National Park today on the Alaska Railroad and enjoy an incredible journey south to Anchorage. Be sure to have your camera ready for spectacular photographic opportunities. Overnight Anchorage.

Day 15 • Anchorage

Today you'll have an opportunity to stretch your "train legs" with souvenir shopping or optional sightseeing before your departure from Anchorage. Your adventure ends today.


Departure

Package departs from:
Anchorage

2013 Season Validity dates:
May 20, 2013 - September 10, 2013


Tour Price

2013 Pricing

$2,689 per person, double occupancy


Package Includes

Rate Includes: Hotel accommodations (in Anchorage, Homer, Seward, Valdez, McCarthy, Fairbanks and the Denali Park Entrance), rail transportation from Fairbanks to Denali, Denali to Anchorage, Alaska Marine Highway passenger fares and vehicle space from Whittier to Valdez, round trip bush plane flights Chitina/McCarthy, 6-hour National Park Cruise in Seward and the AM Tundra Tour in Denali.

Please Note: Package price does NOT include rental car. Please inquire with your Explore Tours consultant for a personalized car rental quote to match your specific arrival and departure schedule.

Also Note: Continental Breakfast (CB) listed may not be available if our preferred hotel for this area is sold out.