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Touring By TrainAugust 4, 2008 By: Michael Browne Travel Agent
Exploring the Alaskan wilderness up close
Although cruises to Alaska have taken off in the past decade or so, some travelers are finding that the best way to immerse themselves in this scenic wilderness may be by rail. The Alaska Railroad is now offering a package it calls “Alaska Indulgence” that combines rail and flights for an extensive, all-encompassing tour.
A journey by rail offers the perfect opportunity to see the Alaska wilderness
The tour begins with the Arctic Circle Air Adventure with the Northern Alaska Tour Company, a roundtrip journey by air across the Arctic Circle, traveling north from Fairbanks and over the Trans Alaska Pipeline, the Yukon River Valley and the Brooks Mountain Range as the flight route passes just south of the Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Following an overnight stay at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, travelers will board the Denali Star train. They will then take a bus through the park road to Denali Backcountry Lodge for two nights. After leaving Denali, guests will once again board the Denali Star to Talkeetna, where they will spend the night at the Talkeetna Lodge, which offers a spectacular view of Mt. McKinley.
The Denali Star, the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, links Anchorage to Fairbanks with stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna and Denali Park.
Recommend GoldStar Service to clients, with first-class service aboard double-deck dome cars. Reserved upper-level dome-car seating, priority check-in, upper-level outdoor viewing deck, exclusive lower-level dining room, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and seasonal tour guide commentary are included.
The following day, travelers will be flown to a remote lodge—either Riversong Lodge or Tordrillo Mountain Lodge—for two nights, meals included. Riversong Lodge is at Lake Creek, a famous Alaskan fishing river. It is accessible by floatplane only. The Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, on the banks of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake, offers guests all the comforts of a first-class Alaska lodge, including private baths and Alaskan cuisine prepared by a top chef. Satellite wireless access, a bar and flat-screen TV are available for evening entertainment. The wood-fired hot tub and sauna provide relaxation at the end of the day.
Following the two-night lodge visit, guests are taken by floatplane to Anchorage, where they will
spend the night at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. In the morning, they board the Coastal Classic train to Seward and a cruise to Fox Island, where they will stay overnight at the Seward Windsong Lodge, in the middle of a scenic glacier river valley.
The Coastal Classic winds through the wilderness between Anchorage and Seward. This train travels to the shores of Resurrection Bay for convenient connection to Kenai Fjords National Park.
This leg of the journey is followed by a motorcoach ride from Seward to Cooper’s Landing, with a two-night stay at Kenai Wilderness Lodge. The 12-day trip ends with a motorcoach ride back to Anchorage.
Agents should contact Susie Kiger, director, passenger sales and marketing (907-265-2487, [email protected]), for pricing and reservations.