As the Alaska tourism market grows, so does the diversity of its
visitors. More people than ever are traveling independently,
traveling by land and taking other alternatives to a traditional
To serve this burgeoning market, many Alaska specialists have
devised a broad spectrum of itineraries that range from self-drive
vacations to guided wilderness lodge packages.
Many are Alaska-based companies; some are native owned and
others, while technically from the "outside," have been serving the
Alaska market for many, many years.
Here's a look at what several operators will offer in 2001:Alaska's Glacier Bay Tours & Cruises, owned and operated by
Juneau-based Goldbelt Corp., is marketing its "five-sport adventure
"It emulates what we do on the water on our adventure cruises,
but does it on land," said Jerre Fuqua, vice president of
marketing, sales and reservations.
"Each day there's an activity, such as hiking, mountain-biking,
river-rafting, kayaking and helicopter glacier trekking," Fuqua
The six-night program is fully escorted with a maximum of 22
guests per group. The price is $2,495 per person, double.
The company also is the only operator to offer a package for
independent travelers to Gates of the Arctic National Park, located
above the Arctic Circle.
The five-night trip is based out of Bettles Lodge and includes
flightseeing; visits with Alaskan homesteaders and to an Eskimo
village; a river-rafting excursion, and a day of fishing, hiking
The price is $2,750 per person, double.
For information or reservations, call the operator at (800)
451-5952.Alaska Wildland Adventures is celebrating 25 years of leading
fishing and ecotours to the Final Frontier state.
Next summer's program features a lineup of seven different
"safaris," ranging from four to 10 nights, including a package
designed for families.
Activities might include rafting, hiking or horseback riding,
depending on the itinerary.
Prices for a four-night tour begin at $1,895 per person, double,
Groups are limited to 18 participants and are led by
naturalists. Trip extensions include small-ship cruising aboard
eco-oriented ships for a complete land-and-sea adventure.
Independent packages are available to backcountry lodges within
Denali National Park and along the Kenai River's shores.
Packages begin at $825 for three days of wildlife watching at
the Kenai Riverside Lodge.
For information or reservations, call (800)334-8730.Native-owned and operated Alaska Heritage Tours will offer new
tour packages and expanded lodging for 2001.
The company will add more than 100 rooms to its Talkeetna
Alaskan Lodge, bringing the total inventory to 202 rooms. The
company also will expand its Seward Windsong Lodge from 72 rooms to
108 and will add a lobby for check-ins plus additional seating to
Both properties will be incorporated into new and expanded
choices for custom, independent packages and self-drive tours.
Destinations include Anchorage, Kenai Fjords National Park,
Whittier, Valdez, Denali National Park and Fairbanks.
For information or reservations, call (877) 258-6877.Clients on a budget will find economical fishing and wilderness
packages from the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge.
The company's Outback Angler offers affordable fishing trips at
a permanent "tent-lodge" on the border of the Kenai National
Travelers looking for safari-style activities such as mountain
hiking, beach-combing, canoeing and rafting can opt for a tour that
combines outdoor adventure on the Kenai Peninsula and within Denali
Evening activities include free happy hour, hors d'oeuvres and
fireside readings from the poems of Robert Service, the bard of the
For information or reservations, call (800) 544-2261.Alaska Discovery, a leader in adventure travel since 1972, will
add departure dates to its Premium Inn-to-Inn Active Wilderness
Adventure for 2001.
According to John Scheerens, general manager for the company,
the operator has eight dates for this trip, one departing every
week in July and August.
The seven-night tour includes such traditional highlights as the
White Pass and Yukon Route in Skagway and Mount Roberts Tram in
Adventure aspects include river-rafting, sea kayaking,
whale-watching and bear-watching. Groups are limited in size to
The price for the package is $3,495.
For information or reservations, call (800) 586-1911.Knightly Tours is a one-stop shopping source for self-drive
packages, bed-and-breakfast/ferryliner tours and custom packages
tailor-made for independent travelers.
New for 2001 are three motorhome packages that include roundtrip
air from Seattle, a rental RV and a recommended itinerary. Prices
begin at $1,695 per person, double.
Also new are fly-in packages to wilderness lodges, all within an
hour of Anchorage. Destinations include Riversong Lodge, Redoubt
Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge.
Prices start at $309 for a day-trip or $1,090 per person,
double, for a two-night plan, with all meals.
For information or reservations, call (800) 426-2123.Princess Tours has a number of land-only escorted tours that
feature the firm's wilderness lodges, including the renamed
Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, which will have 125 new
guest rooms and a rustic-style decor in 2001 after a $12 million
The lodge will be included in several land-only tours, which may
also include overnight stays in the firm's Mount McKinley Lodge or
A variety of itineraries are available: Two are escorted and 16
others are designed for independent travelers, including two
For information or reservations, call (800) 835-8907.Holland America Tours is the new name for Gray Line of Alaska,
which for 2001 will have more than 20 land-only packages that span
Plans range from a nine-night All Alaska Tour to a one-night
Prince William Sound Explorer tour. Clients can customize a
vacation with a number of mix-and-match options. These add-ons
include a choice of sportfishing; remote wilderness lodges;
wildlife viewing, and local sightseeing excursions to glaciers,
gold dredges and the Transalaska Pipeline.
For information or reservations, call (800) 544-2206.Cruise West has an Outdoors Alaska land-and-sea plan that links
three destinations that have "never before been combined in one
itinerary," according to the operator.
The land segment includes two nights at Denali Wilderness Lodge
and two more at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. The cruise segment
consists of a four-night cruise of Prince William Sound roundtrip
from Whittier. The tour begins and ends in Anchorage.
The 10-night itinerary features four modes of transportation:
deluxe domed railcar, luxury motorcoach, bush plane and small-ship
Prices begin at $3,495 per person.
For information or reservations, call (800) 888-9378.