Upon arrival at your hotel in Fairbanks, you will be welcomed by your Adventure Guides. They will be with you throughout your journey to some of the most pristine geography on earth. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay, before beginning your National Parks exploration.
2Denali National Park, AK
After breakfast, delight in scenic drive through boreal forests and verdant river valleys to Denali National Park. Led by your adventure guides, spend a half day exploring this amazing natural wonder. Admire the untamed landscape, where low-elevation forest rises to alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in the tallest peak in North America Mount Denali, formerly Mount McKinley. Stop at the Denali Visitor Center, where interpretive exhibits and ranger programs give you an overview of what the National Park has to offer. Explore the nearby bookstore/giftshop, and Alaska Railroad depot. Visit a Denali Dog Sled Kennel to meet the dogs and learn about the history of dog sledding in Denali National Park, which dates back over 100 years.
3Denali National Park, AK
After breakfast, board a National Parks motorcoach for a narrated Denali Park Road exploration. This comprehensive journey will lead you through the highlights of the park as a trained naturalist points out animals, geologic features, ecosystems, and more. Admire a vast, unspoiled wilderness of braided glacial rivers, massive peaks, and tundra. Along the drive, keep your eye out for brown and black bears, as well as caribou and moose. In the evening, be treated to dinner and a relaxing hotel stay.
4Travel to Kenai Fjords National Park
On your way to Kenai Fjords National Park, visit Talkeetna, a delightful and quirky town which began as a mining town and trading post and grew with the railway expansion. Discover beautiful heritage buildings and a vibrant arts scene on a stroll down historic Main Street, where you can shop for handmade art and souvenirs. Learn about the town's early pioneers at the Talkeetna Historical and enjoy the surrounding panoramic mountain views. You may even see mountain climbers who begin their ascent at the base here. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in Seward, AK.
5Kenai Fjords National Park
Enjoy a full day in Kenai Fjords National Park, an ever-changing destination where ocean, mountains, and ice meet. The park is comprised of the Harding Icefield, the largest icefield entirely within U.S. borders, as well as outflowing glaciers, coastal fjords, and islands. Delight in a day of cruising along the shoreline and into fjords. Your captain will provide commentary along the way and position the boat for up-close viewing of glaciers and wildlife, including whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters. Be treated to lunch on board. After dinner, spend another night in Seward
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic drive to Anchorage. On your way, stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a sanctuary which provides a home to injured and orphaned animals in 200 acres of spacious habitats. Meet the variety of animals native to Alaska, including bears, bison, reindeer, and wolf. You might even have the chance to feed a moose. Next, stop at the Eagle River Nature Center in Chugach State Park, an organization which serves to preserve and protect the historical, natural, and recreational resources within the park. Enjoy the pristine mountain and lush forest views. Be treated to dinner and a relaxing stay in Anchorage.
7Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay
After your incredible National Parks exploration, fly from Anchorage to Juneau. Settle into your pre-cruise hotel and get a good night’s sleep before beginning your Southeast Alaska cruise.
8Juneau, AK/Mendenhall Glacier
Explore Juneau and view the breathtaking Mendenhall Glacier, one of the most beautiful glaciers in North America. Downtown, enjoy unique shops, excellent museums, and native heritage sites. Ride the enclosed tramway up the steep mountainside for spectacular views of forested islands, quiet coves, and rugged coastal mountains. As you depart the dock, keep an eye out for whales, renowned for their abundance in the area.
Nestled at the northern end of the Lynn Canal, the mountains rise steeply from the shoreline and seem to wrap around Haines. Along a river on the edge of town, view the bears that regularly feed on salmon. Bald eagles are the stars of more than 260 species of birds in the adjacent Chilkat Valley. Enjoy a variety of activities, including a guided wildlife expedition, a private kayaking and rafting tour, or a visit to bald eagle rehabilitation center.
Located at the northernmost point of the Inside Passage, the small town of Skagway became known as the “Gateway to the Yukon” and grew rapidly as 100,000 adventurous Americans traveled north in hopes of striking it rich. Learn more about this amazing story at the National Park Service’s Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Antique streetcars with colorful guides still offer tours of the old frontier and gold-rush-era buildings. Take a vintage locomotive up the breathtaking mountain pass on your way up to Canada aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad which was completed in 1900. Explore the town’s the false-front buildings which house a charming array of shops, restaurants, bars, and museums.
11Glacier Bay, AK
There is no place in the world quite like Glacier Bay National Park. The park sprawls majestically over 3.3 million acres of dynamic topography. Thousands of glaciers descend toward the bay, which is surrounded by the Fairweather Mountain Range, known to collect more than 200 feet of snow annually. American Cruise Lines is one of a few cruise lines allowed privileged access into this natural wonder. Savor a day cruising through this 60-mile bay as you delight in the diverse and stunning surroundings. Sip on cocoa as the ship floats beneath massive glaciers. Gaze in amazement at hundreds of seals hauled out on floating icebergs and massive chunks of ice breaking off and collapsing into the water. Enjoy awe-inspiring sights as your onboard presenter shares stories about the unique aspects that make this place so remarkable. From the comfort of your private balcony, watch for abundant marine and shoreside wildlife, including otters, seals, sea lions, black and brown bears, mountain goats, and many birds.
As your ship docks in Petersburg, admire the surrounding mountains which rise to the sky, white and gleaming. Founded more than 100 years ago by Norwegian fishermen, Petersburg is an authentic Alaskan fishing town, with most families making their living from the sea. Be warmly welcomed by locals and excursion guides who are proud to share the treasures of their hometown and honor the culture of those who first settled here. For a spectacular view, take a flightseeing excursion and soar over massive glaciers, majestic valleys, and mystic bays. Explore the charming shops and quaint museums of downtown or hike along the waterfront to enjoy the surrounding wilderness. Charter a fishing boat for the afternoon in the adjacent Frederick Sound or delight in a jet boat adventure to nearby LeConte Glacier Bay.
Wrangell’s cozy little bay offers a broad view of the attractive town and along the long valley descending from the backdrop of coastal mountains. To the north of town, the Stikine River empties into the ocean in braided rivulets across a wide delta. Salmon runs attract wildlife and observation areas enable you to safely watch eagles, seals, black bears, and brown bears feasting on the spawning fish. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a jet boat ride up the river, an important route during the Gold Rush. On your exploration of the town, savor the flavors of fresh salmon and halibut, participate in native Tlingit culture, or stop and pick from the wild bushes of blueberries and huckleberries.
14Tracy Arm, AK
This day of cruising offers an array of scenic highlights as our small ship meanders the narrow channel of the Tracy Arm Fjord. Throughout the 25-mile journey, the waterway averages only about a mile wide, framed by steep vertical cliffs stretching more than 3,000 feet high. Pockets of valleys reveal views of larger, snow-capped peaks featuring mountainsides adorned with ancient forest and swaths of sparkling glaciers. Hundreds of waterfalls cascade down the cliffs and tumble into the water. The miraculous journey is further heightened as the ship arrives at the faces of the stunning twin Sawyer Glaciers that once combined to carve out this incredible waterway. Seals lounge with their young on small ice floes. During glacier viewing, the crew prepares a delicious hot-chocolate bar with an array of toppings and liqueurs. The area is almost unchanged since naturalist John Muir visited in 1879 and described this special place as "shut in by sublime cliffs, nobly sculptured, and adorned with waterfalls and fringes of trees, bushes, and patches of flowers."
After an exciting adventure exploring the best of Alaska, end your journey where it began, in Juneau. Enjoy breakfast on board before departing the ship. You may decide to stay longer in this enchanting destination, brimming with incredible wildlife viewing, shopping, eateries, and breweries. of Alaska’s capital.