Austin-Lehman offers families a Kenai Peninsula adventure

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NEW YORK -- Austin-Lehman Adventures, an operator specializing in North America, began marketing its Kenai Peninsula program for families for the first time this year.

Some of the activities on the trip that are popular with kids are biking, hiking, boating and sea kayaking in Resurrection Bay.

On the first day, passengers take a boat to Fox Island, where they have the private island to themselves throughout the night, staying in solar-powered cabins.

Guests likely will see sea otters, harbor seals, Steller's sea lions and humpback and orca whales.

The rocky shore of Fox Island is visited on the first day of Austin-Lehman Adventures' Kenai Peninsula trip. On the second day, the program visits Kenai Fjords National Park, a 300-square-mile area with glaciers dating to the Pleistocene period.

"As the glaciers drift into an alpine lake, air bubbles escape and it crackles like Rice Krispies," said Reno Walsh, an adventure consultant who has guided the tour. "Those air bubbles are 10,000 years old."

At the park, the group tours the Alaska Sea Life Center, a rehabilitation facility for aquatic life.

The park visit is followed by a cruise to the Tidewater Glacier in a private boat, which ventures "closer than any cruise ship can go," said Walsh.

On the fourth day of the itinerary, the group moves inland, where passengers watch salmon swim upstream to lay their eggs.

"[The salmon] are thick in the rivers, depending on the time of the migration," Walsh said, adding that salmon-watching is a favorite with the families.

"The parents are just as excited to learn about the salmon's life cycle as the kids," he said.

The inland experience includes dog sledding, hiking and panning for gold.

Departures begin July 20, one month after the summer solstice. "The sun will not set until 11 p.m.," Walsh said. "If you want, we can wake you to see the northern lights."

The five-night program is priced at $2,498 per person, double. All children under age 12 get at least 10% off the adult rate.

Austin-Lehman offers a 12% base commission for the first 10 sales, then increases the pay to 15%. The company also pays a $200 bonus to the first agent in any agency to sell one of its tours.

For reservations or more information, call (800) 575-1540 or visit www.austinlehman.com.

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