Alaska - America's Last Frontier

Tour Code: USA06

A 14-day wildlife holiday to the wilderness state of Alaska in search of its birds, mammals, flowers and spectacular scenery.

14 days from £6395(inc flights) Land Only Price: £5595 SRS: £995


This 14-day tour travels from Alaska’s southern coastline to the shores of the Arctic Ocean, through taiga forest and open tundra, past snow-capped mountains and towering glaciers, in search of the state’s wealth of birds, mammals – of which Alaska boasts a greater variety than any other region of the Americas – and other natural history. Highlights are likely to include: travelling along the spectacular Seward Highway in search of Moose, Black Bear or Beluga; a boat trip through the Kenai Fjords National Park; a visit to the dramatic Exit Glacier; looking Spectacled, Steller’s and King Eiders, Sabine’s Gull and Snowy Owl during our stay in Barrow and exploring the spectacular landscapes of Denali National Park in search of Dall Sheep, Grizzly Bear, Gyrfalcon and Willow Ptarmigan. We conclude our tour with two nights in Fairbanks, where we’ll look for Mountain Bluebird, Upland Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Grouse and many more bird species before flying home. For those who wish to stay longer we have plenty of suggestions ranging from searching for Musk Oxen in Nome, Grizzly Bears in Lake Clark or a cruise through Prince William Sound!

  • Explore the spectacular landscapes of the USA’s 49th State
  • Mammals include Black & Grizzly Bears, Caribou, Moose, Dall Sheep & Sea Otter
  • Take a boat trip into the Kenai Fjords National Park in search of seabirds & cetaceans
  • Humpback Whale, Orca & Dall’s Porpoise
  • Seabirds include Horned & Tufted Puffins, plus Kittlitz’s & Ancient Murrelets
  • Stay for 2-nights in Barrow on the shores of the Arctic Ocean
  • Join an optional tundra buggy tour in search of Polar Bears & Arctic Foxes
  • View the spectacular snowy peak of ‘Denali’ (Mount McKinley) assuming the weather is clear!
  • Drive the Denali Highway in search of birds & mammals
  • Led by expert naturalist guides

Food

All breakfasts and lunches are included in the tour cost. Dinners are excluded. Allow approximately £250 for these.

Accommodation

A mixture of comfortable motels, hotels and guesthouses, all rooms with private facilities.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Anchorage and overnight.

Day 2/3 Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Day 4 Anchorage.

Day 5/6 Barrow.

Day 7 Anchorage.

Day 8/10 Denali National Park and Denali Highway.

Day 11/12 Fairbanks.

Day 13 Depart Fairbanks.

Day 14 Arrive London.

Alaska, the USA’s 49th state, is vast in every sense! By far and away the largest state of the Union, it spans an astonishing four time zones in astronomical terms (although human government has now rationalised these to two), and contains the highest mountain in North America, some of the most remarkable climatic extremes, and more private aircraft licences than anywhere else in the country! Best of all, its birdlife is both diverse and approachable — from the huge seabird colonies on the coast, to its forest and tundra species further north — and it offers a greater variety of large mammals than any other region of the Americas. These include Black, Grizzly and Polar Bears, plus Grey Wolf, Moose, Dall Sheep and nearly a million Caribou — the most numerous residents! Alaska is also very rich in marine mammals, with Sea Otter, Humpback Whale and the magnificent Orca amongst the many highlights.

This new tour explores some of Alaska’s finest wildlife reserves and landscapes — a cross-section of the state’s varied habitats. Our journey will take us from Alaska’s southern coastline to the shores of the Arctic Ocean, through taiga forest and open tundra, and past snow-capped mountains and towering glaciers, in search of the wealth of birds, mammals and other natural history for which this wild land is home.

We begin our holiday, however, with a flight to Anchorage, home to nearly half of Alaska’s 750,000 human inhabitants. The following morning we will head south along the spectacular Seward Highway to the town of Seward itself, the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. Our journey will take us alongside the Alaska Railroad, through a dramatic landscape of rainforest-clad mountains, the tops of which will still be capped in snow. We should see our first large mammals during this drive, such as a herd of Dall Sheep, a Moose or even a Black Bear or Beluga. Our 2-night stay in Seward will give us time to enjoy a boat trip in search of the marine wildlife and glacial scenery of the Kenai Fjords National Park. Sea Otters are abundant here, and both Humpback Whale and Orca are likely, while the rich seas also provide easy fishing for numerous seabirds, amongst them Horned and Tufted P uffins, Marbled, Kittlitz’s and Ancient Murrelets and Rhinoceros Auklet.

After visiting the dramatic Exit Glacier, and looking for such birds as Grey Jay and Northern Three-toed Woodpecker, we will return to Anchorage prior to flying north to the shores of the Arctic Ocean for a 2-night stay in Barrow. This may not be Alaska’s most attractive town, but the wildlife certainly makes up for its lack of aesthetic appeal. Caribou, Ringed Seal, Spectacled, Steller’s and King Eiders, Sabine’s Gull, Baird’s Sandpiper and Snowy Owl are amongst the species we hope to see here. If conditions allow, we will also offer an optional tundra buggy tour (not included in the holiday cost) in search of the Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes that sometimes gather to feast on leftovers from the Inuit whale hunts.

After returning to Anchorage, we will next drive north to Denali National Park, Alaska’s most famous wildlife reserve, and deservedly so. Whatever your wildlife interest — birds, mammals, wild flowers or just outdoor activities — this is a paradise! Grizzly Bear, Grey Wolf, Caribou, Dall Sheep and Hoary Marmot are just some of the mammals we hope to see; Gyr Falcon, Golden Eagle, Willow Ptarmigan, Arctic Warbler and Waxwing are some of the birds; and wild flowers such as Shooting Star and Dwarf Rhododendron complete the scene. During our visit we should also have great views of ‘Denali’ itself (formerly Mount McKinley) if the weather conditions allow. At 6,194 metres this is the highest mountain in North America and, whilst there are many higher peaks in the world, few others are as impressive since Denali rises from a base just 305 metres above sea level. This is the highpoint of our holiday in more senses than one. During our 3-night stay here we will explore both the national park and the scenic Denali Highway.

We conclude our tour with two nights in Fairbanks, from where we will explore the many habitats that surround the city in search of Mountain Bluebird, Upland Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Grouse and many more. An evening walk may even produce a glimpse of the secretive Northern Flying Squirrel. Finally, we must fly home from Fairbanks’ small airport, although there are plenty of extension options available for those wishing to spend more time exploring this vast state. Ideas include wading birds and shaggy Musk Oxen in Nome, Grizzly Bears in Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks or even a wildlife cruise through the sheltered waters of Prince William Sound. Please call for more details.

Denali National ParkGrizzly BearGrizzly BearSea OtterSpectacled EiderBaird’s SandpiperDall SheepGrey JayGrizzly BearHoary MarmotMountain BluebirdRhinoceros AukletSnowy OwlSteller's EidersTufted PuffinWillow GrouseGyr FalconMooseArctic FoxSharp-tailed GrouseKing EiderOrcaOrcaHumpback WhaleHumpback WhaleSpectacled Eider (Jane Howsam)Boreal Whiteface (Jane Howsam)Red-spotted Purple or White Admiral (Jane Howsam)Wilson's Warbler (Jane Howsam)Short billed Dowitcher (Jane Howsam)

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Wed 14th June 2017 - Tue 27th June 2017

2

£6395

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £5595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Fri 15th June 2018 - Thu 28th June 2018

YES

£6995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £5995 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United States

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Paul Stanbury
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01962 733051

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