2020- Ultimate Iditarod Winter Wonderland Tour
Be Adventurous and Visit Alaska in the Winter!! This unique journey includes Aurora viewing in Alaska’s interior, a visit to Denali National Park in the wintertime, a ride on the Aurora train south to Anchorage and getting up close to Alaska’s wildlife in the winter. Learn about the Iditarod Sled Dog race from an Iditarod musher during a special kennel visit prior to the start of the “Last Great Race” where you will be surrounded by fabulous four-legged athletes known as sled dogs before they hit the trail to Nome.
This tour operates during the winter in Alaska, so expect cold temperatures, uneven and slippery surfaces (ice). Late night Aurora Viewing opportunities start on arrival day between 10pm and 3am. Prime viewing time is late evening through the wee hours of the morning. So plan on channeling your inner teenager and stay up way past a normal bedtime! Some days are long and active, but the choice is yours as to how much you participate in each day’s events.
To quickly check availability, please link: 2020 Availability!
Day 1 - Sunday
Arrive into Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City. Transfer via hotel courtesy shuttle (or purchase a meet and greet from Premier). This evening, board your deluxe motorcoach for a night of Aurora Borealis Viewing. Enjoy a warm nonalcoholic beverage this evening. Overnight Fairbanks.
*Purchasing a pre-night Fairbanks is highly recommended, since the first night of Aurora viewing is late night/early morning.
Day 2 - Monday
Breakfast will be included this morning. Later, enjoy a city tour of Fairbanks including a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This afternoon will be at your leisure for optional tours such as dog mushing tours, Arctic Circle Flightseeing, as well as many others to choose from. Tonight, you’ll have another chance to view the Aurora Borealis at a different location. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 3 - Tuesday
Breakfast will be included this morning. You will then board your deluxe motorcoach for a scenic transfer south to Denali National Park. En route, enjoy an included visit to the town of Nenana, home of the Nenana Ice Classic! Upon arrival into Denali, enjoy an included visit to the Murie Science and Learning Center which acts as the Denali Visitor’s Center in the wintertime. Enjoy the National Park Film, “Heartbeats of Denali”, hear from a local ranger about the park, and even have a chance to snowshoe! A box lunch is included today. Overnight Healy.
Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch
Day 4 - Wednesday
Breakfast will be included this morning. You will then be transferred to the Healy Rail Stop where you will board the world-famous Alaska Railroad, (Adventure Class) for your scenic journey south to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Keep an eye out for views of Denali from the north face to south face. Upon arrival in Anchorage you will be transferred to your local hotel. Overnight Anchorage.
Overnight in Anchorage
Day 5 - Thursday
Breakfast will be included this morning. Today, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage featuring the historic downtown area, Lake Hood where 190+ floatplanes take off and land daily, and Earthquake Park to learn about the 1964 Earthquake. There will be time for lunch on own today. Later, travel along the scenic Seward Highway and enjoy an included visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where you will have a chance to see Alaska’s Wildlife up close and personal. Tonight, enjoy Iditarod festivities and dinner at the Musher’s Banquet. Overnight Anchorage.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 6 - Friday
Breakfast will be included this morning. Today travel north to meet four-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser at his Happy Trails Kennel. Hear personal stories while viewing a glimpse of the grandeur Alaska has to offer along the Iditarod Trail. Later, return to Anchorage with an included stop at the Iditarod Headquarters en route. Overnight Anchorage.
Day 7 - Saturday
Breakfast will be included this morning. This morning head to 4th Avenue to get a great spot at the Official Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Spend time cheering on mushers from all over the world. Mushers will depart the starting gate every two minutes. Watch each of them depart or take off early and enjoy other Iditarod festivities in Anchorage. This afternoon, visit the Anchorage Museum, a large art, history, ethnography, ecology, and science museum in the heart of downtown Anchorage. Overnight Anchorage.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Sunday
Breakfast will be included this morning. This morning, depart from your hotel for the adventure north to Willow for the restart of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Be sure to dress in layers to maximize staying warm as the entire day will be spent outside cheering on your favorite dog teams. En-route, stop at a local grocery store in Wasilla to pick-up on own snack and lunch items. Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the fence line of the race. Mushers take off across Willow Lake on their 1,049-mile journey by dog sled to Nome. The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drink as well as local crafts. Don’t miss out on snacks throughout the day! Your Tour Director will have more information on this edible portion of the program! The departure time from Willow will depend on weather conditions and guests’ comfort level. It is our goal to see as many of the Mushers depart as possible while still arriving back into Anchorage by 6:00/6:30pm. Upon return to Anchorage it will be time to say goodbye to your local Tour Director as you are transferred to the Anchorage Airport for your flight.
Meal: Breakfast, Snacks
*In the event, the Iditarod Official Start is relocated (beyond Willow, AK) due to weather and trail conditions, a full day of activities will be substituted for the guests in Anchorage.
Alternative Anchorage Day 8 Itinerary - includes a visit to the Alaska Aviation Museum to learn about the huge impact bush planes and pilots have on the survival of the small villages throughout Alaska. Meet a Bush Pilot. Guests will dine in the atmosphere of warm Alaskan hospitality at a local restaurant for an included lunch. This day will also include a stop at the Bear and Raven Theater where guests will enjoy a 30 minute interactive movie about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.