Sure, you can visit Alaska by ship and go
ashore for a few hours, as most visitors do. But land-based tour
options abound, lending more in-depth experiences than simple shore
operators -- some household names, others not -- are offering new
or expanded land programs in 2008.
launched Glorious Alaskan Adventure, the company's first tour
focused solely on Alaska. The itinerary, to operate from May
through August, will be offered as a 10-day, land-only tour,
starting at $3,899 per person, or as an 18-day, land-cruise tour
starting at $4,695. Highlights include sightseeing in Anchorage and
Denali National Park; a ride on the Alaska Rail from Denali to
Talkeetna; and overnight stays in lodges inside Denali and
Talkeetna national parks.
Call (888) 680-1241
or visit www.insightvacations.com.
Travcoa launched a
seven-night trip, Alaska and the Iditarod, timed to coincide with
Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The trip departs Feb. 28 and
costs $5,995 per person. Visits to the kennels and homes of veteran
Iditarod mushers are included, as is admission to a Musher's
Banquet to meet mushers and their dogs.
The trip also
includes a floatplane trip to Winterlake Lodge on Finger Lake,
where guests can snowshoe, cross-country ski or take a dogsled
excursion. Call (866) 591-0070 or visit www.travcoa.com.
Get Up and Go Tours
in Anchorage launched its Alaska hiking and family adventure tours
for 2008. New offerings include the seven-day Arctic Explorer tour
starting in Prudhoe Bay and ending in Fairbanks. Hiking, canoeing
and wildlife viewing are included. A highlight is a visit to
Prudhoe Bay and its oil field complex, the origin of the 800-mile
Prices start at $850
per person and include meals, equipment and camping fees, ground
transportation and park entrance fees. Call (888) 868-4147 or visit
Kent's new Alaska Inside Passage tour from Seward to Vancouver will
be available July 29 to Aug. 9 aboard the 118-passenger Clipper
The cost is $6,995
per person, double, including guided group tours to areas that are
mostly only accessible by Zodiac landing craft.
The company offers an
early-booking discount of up to $500 per person when Alaska Inside
Passage is booked by Dec. 31.
Call (800) 554-7094
or visit www.akodyssey.com.
Snorkel Alaska opened
its snorkeling excursions off the coast of Ketchikan to non-cruise
passengers. The excursion was voted "Ketchikan's Shore Excursion of
the Year" by Princess Cruises from 2003 to 2006.
The clear waters off
the coast of Ketchikan reward snorkelers with a surprisingly
colorful array of sea life.
To keep warm,
snorkelers wear quarter-inch-thick wetsuits. The total tour time is
approximately three hours. The Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure
is available May to September in Ketchikan.
Visit www.snorkelalaska.com or call (907)
contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].