travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Alaska
Iditarod & Northern Lights
Escorted Tour - Iditarod and Northern Lights including the
Mushers Banquet and a a PRIVATE breakfast with a musher.
26 to March 5, 2012
years visitors from other countries have come to Alaska in winter
to take advantage of its particular location which provides the world's
best views, and best reliability, of the magical phenomenom called
the Northern Lights. This has not been the case from the lower 48,
where Alaska has been seen as a summer destination. Knightly Tours,
established in Alaska since 1969, is determined to introduce the winter
beauty of Alaska to Americans, and have combined the excitement of
the start of the famous Iditarod dogsled race with the Northern Lights,
a combination that's hard to resist. Join this single departure Escorted
tour, taking in both ceremonial and actual Iditarod starts in Anchorage
& Wasilla, attendance at the Mushers Banquet, breakfast with a
musher, Fairbanks' Ice Carving competition, the Northern Lights from
the central Alaskan resort of Chena Hot Springs. Plus,
enjoy a scenic tour along Turnagain Arm, with the mountains towering
one one side and Cook Inlet, discovered (for Europeans) by Captain
James Cook, on the other.
1 - Sunday, February 26: Home City/ Anchorage/ Fairbanks
Fly to Alaska today; after arrival in Anchorage fly to Fairbanks.
Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel. Settle in
and get acquainted with your guide and the city of Fairbanks. Overnight
2 - Monday, February 27: Fairbanks/Chena Hot Springs
This morning you will enjoy a Welcome Breakfast, where you will meet
your fellow adventurers and your guide; together wel review the logistics
of the trip and set out the schedule. Later in the morning we leave
Fairbanks for a scenic 60-mile drive east along the scenic Chena River
Valley to Chena Hot Springs to enjoy the wonders of the hot springs
and search for the Northern Lights. (B)
Overnight Chena Hot
Springs 2 nights
3 - Tuesday, February 28: Chena Hot Springs Resort
Chena Hot Springs Resort is recognized internationally as one of the
best places in North America to view the northern lights. You will
enjoy the unique Rock Lake natural mineral hot pool, exquisite Moose
Lodge and gourmet meals. Optional activities include northern lights
Aurorarium, Snow Coach Aurora Tour atop one of Alaska's oldest mountains,
cross country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. For the adventurous
there will be a variety of dog sled ride opportunities with veteran
Alaska dog mushers.
4 - Wednesday, February 29: Chena Hot Springs / Fairbanks
This morning continue to enjoy the Hot Springs and optional activities.
After lunch we return to Fairbanks. On the way make a stop at the
Ice Park to see how the ice carving is going for participants in the
World Ice Art Championships. The World Ice Art Championships attract
ice carvers from around world. The park encompasses 25 acres, and
hosts visitors and the carving competition for three weeks in March.
At this time, the competition is "icy" as the carvers showcase
the intricate, complex, larger-than-life multi-block final competition.
You won't believe what you see! (B)
Day 5 - Thursday, March 1: Fairbanks / Anchorage & the Mushers'
This morning after breakfast we visit the Ice Park and see some of
Fairbanks, home to the University of Alaska. We have more time to
appreciate the artistry of the carvers to create boith large and intricate
sculptures in ice; who could believe that many of these are made with
something as seemingly crude as a chainsaw. We then transfer to the
Airport for a mi dday flight to Anchorage; on arrival we tour Anchorage,
Alaska's premier city. We head out of the city and along Alaska's
only National Scenic Highway, the Seward Highway. Here on the eastern
edge of the Pacific Ring
of Fire the road skirts Turnagain Arm. 14,000 years ago we would have
been unable to drive here as the landscape was covered with late Wisconsin
glaciers (to say nothing of cars not being invented). Turnagain Arm
was named by English Captain, James Cook in 1778; althopugh many know
of his southern Pacific exploits fewer realize his explorations of
the far North American continent. We stop at Beluga Point, a 4,000-year
old Alutiiq Eskimo hunting site, where the second highest tides in
the world occur with a 38-feet surge. Tonight we attend the Mushers'
Banquet where you enjoy the festivities as you celebrate the great
achievement of the serum run to Nome. At the banquet you will have
a chance to bid on an opportunity to ride in one of the sleds during
the race start in Anchorage.
(B,D) Overnight Anchorage
6 - Friday, March 2: Private Breakfast Reception with a Musher
After breakfast this morning we will transfer to the Millenium Hotel
for a series of learning experiences. First we will attend
a lecture with a musher who will explain how they racers pack their
sleds. They will also regale you with tails of the trail and how this
unique race is run complete with strategy and some of the fun experiences.
we attend one of the more interesting lectures as the Head Veterinarian
for the race will explain the rules that protect these great athletes.
They will explain how racers plan mandatory rest periods and the diet
for these amazing dogs. After this lecture you will be left with a
greater understanding of the "Last Great Race". (B)
7 - Saturday, March 3: Race Day
The ceremonial Iditarod start will begin in downtown Anchorage, where
thousands of fans and media from around the world join in this world-famous
event. The #1 position is reserved for Leohard Seppala, one of the
most famous mushers who carried the diphtheria serum to Nome over
the original Iditarod Trail. Today the successful bidders on the "Idita-Rider"
auction will ride in the sled of a musher as they leave the start
Day 8 - Sunday, March 4: Race Re-Start and on to
We'll leave Anchorage for a short drive to Wasilla. We visit the Iditarod
Sled Dog Race Headquarters and then we will watch the Race Re-Start,
as real race to Nome begins from Wasilla. Mushers will hook up their
dogs and race across more than 1,000 miles of Alaska's wilderness.
The dogs sense that this is "go time" and their level of
excitement is unmatched. You will have a far better and closer look
at the teams and mushers than is usually available in Anchorage. Then
it's Go! With a rooster-tail of snow behind each sled speeding down
the chute, mushers wave to fans as they head off on the "Last
Great Race". After wishing the mushers well we return to Anchorage.
Later tonight we will have a farewell dinner to recount the sights
and sounds from our trip (B,D)
9 - Monday, March 5: Anchorage / Home City
Sadly our northern adventure ends today. As members of our
group of adventurers will have different flights, individual transfers
to the airport will be arranged for your flight home. (B)
plus $98 tax (per person based on double occupancy) / $3649 plus $179
tax (per person single occupation). Does not include airfare to
Fairbanks and from Anchorage; the flight from Fairbanks to Anchorage
Day 5 is included in the cost.
4 nights Captain Cook Hotel, 2 nights Fairbanks Princess Hotel, 2
nights Chena Hot Springs, 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners including the Mushers'
Banquet, private transfers, all admission, race lectures Day 6, airfare
Fairbanks to Anchorage. This tour is escorted throughout.
IS RESTRICTED - CALL NOW 1 877 285 1170 TO SECURE YOUR ALASKA IDITAROD
your stay by skiing Alaska at the Aleyska
Resort - The most northerly ski resort in the US, where the
base is just 250ft above sea level, and the summit 3900ft. No need
to acclimate or fear altitude sickness - just arrive and ski. Despite
the low altitude, Aleyska has 2500ft of vertical drop, over 1400 skiable
acres, and is ranked in the top 20 ski resorts in the US. Snow averages
630", but is about 740" at the peak, and can be much higher.
There are bowls and long slopes, with the 68 runs divided between
a mix of 11% beginner, 52% intermediate and 37% advanced. Lift capacity
is over 10,000 skiers per hour, so lines are non-existent. Be the
first on your block to Ski Alaska!
* Lance Mackey, our musher of
the last few years, is unable to join our group this year. Our new
man will also be an experienced race musher. Perhaps the "group
luck" of the last few years will repeat itself.