Alaska Travel News Bulletin

Alaska is now easier to travel to then ever. With increased flight gateways and a number of new tours available from the UK, Alaska is teeming with opportunities for the UK visitor.

Brown Bears at Anan Creek, Wrangell, Alaska (c)Mark Kelley/Alaska Tourism

New Aberdeen connection to Anchorage, Alaska, with Icelandair

Icelandair ( / 0207 874 1000) will start operating from Aberdeen in March 2016 offering a new gateway to Anchorage, Alaska, for Scottish travellers. The route which flies via Reykjavik will depart on Wednesdays and Sundays connecting to the onward Anchorage flight on the same day with a return option departing on a Thursday and connecting in Reykjavik on Friday. The new route offers a quick and convenient way for Aberdeen residents to travel to and from Alaska with a total journey time of approximately 12 hours.

Icelandair also operates out of London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, all of which offer a convenient onwards flight to Anchorage from Reykjavik.

Abercrombie & Kent launches new Alaska tours

Specialist operator Abercrombie & Kent ( / 01242 547 717) has launched a range of tailor made and group Alaska tours ranging from expedition cruising with a national park ranger to land based itineraries, transporting travellers to some of Alaska’s most breathtaking locations.

“Alaskan Backcountry” is a recommended tour of nine nights and ten days starting in Anchorage before journeying deep into Denali National Park to Kantishna Roadhouse, traversing the entire length of the park through 148km of Alaskan scenery offering multiple wildlife viewing opportunities on route. The tour continues on the Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna where a float plane awaits to transfer guests to Winterlake Lodge, located on the lower boundary of Denali National Park, offering seclusion and spectacular scenery. From here, guests can enjoy views of Trimble and Hayes Glacier, take part in narrated walks, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, or take a helicopter sightseeing tour or glacier trek, before enjoying the fantastic cuisine, wines and cheese tasting back at the lodge. The tour returns to Anchorage before boarding the flight home. This tour is priced from £6995 per person including international flights on a private basis.

“Family Alaska” is the ideal eight day family excursion, including calving glaciers and marine wildlife, such as orcas, humpback whales, sea lions and harbour seals, on a Kenai Fjords cruise, a ride on the Alaska Railroad GoldStar Dome train from Seward to Girdwood, a visit to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre and a float trip through Kenai National Wildlife Refuge accompanied by a Youth Explorers Guide. Families will also enjoy a private fishing trip to the Susitna River and a floatplane excursion to Denali National Park, landing on a glacier at the base of ‘Denali’, North America’s highest peak. Prices are available on request and are subject to room requirements and the age of the children.

Saga introduces new tour “Across Alaskan Frontiers”

This new 13 night summer tour from Saga ( / 0800 096 0078) combines snow topped mountains, jaw-dropping glaciers, marine life and mammals, as well as historic fishing communities, indigenous culture and a journey on the Alaskan Railroad.Other highlights include a boat trip on Prince William Sound observing marine wildlife such as sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, Humpback or Orca whales, porpoise, eagles, puffins and cormorants as well as the dramatic calving of glaciers, a full day in Denali National Park offering the chance to spot a grizzly bear, moose or caribou and observing North America’s highest peak Denali (previously called ‘Mount McKinley’).

“Across Alaskan Frontiers” has various departure dates between May and August 2016 and is priced from £2999 per person based on two people sharing including international flights, breakfasts, all excursions, internal transportation and hotels.

Discover the World extends Alaska offering with four new tours

Alaska specialist operator Discover the World ( / 01737 214 291) has expanded its Alaska offering with the addition of two new self-drive tours, one seven night escorted tour and a seven night expedition cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage.

The new self-drive options include 10 night/ 11 day tour “Best of Denali and the Kenai Fjords” and 12 night tour “Alaska’s Inns and Nature Lodges”. Focusing on two of Alaska’s most beautiful regions, “Best of Denali and the Kenai Fjords” offers a striking contrast between the marine life and glaciers of the Kenai Peninsula with the rugged mountain landscapes of Denali National Park. Prices start from £2677 per person, excluding international flights. “Alaska’s Inns and Nature Lodges” takes in many of Alaska’s best known highlights, such as Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Denali and the Kenai Peninsula, as well as the chance to meet the locals along the way with stays in a handpicked selection of friendly inns and remote lodges. Prices start from £3634 per person excluding international flights.

For those short of time, ‘The Great Alaska Tour’ is a new seven night escorted journey travelling with an experienced guide through sweeping glaciers, endless mountain ranges and an array of wildlife. Including the Kenai Peninsula where guests can get up close to Exit Glacier, a ferry crossing across Prince William Sound to observe marine wildlife and calving glaciers and breathtaking mountain scenery on route from Valdez to Fairbanks, this short tour is the perfect introduction to many of Alaska’s highlights. Prices start from £1489 per person, excluding international flights.

New expedition cruise ‘Inside Passage; Glacier Country’ offers the chance to travel on a small expedition-style cruise and discover the dramatic icy wilderness of Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. Including guided nature hikes onshore and the possibility of kayaking amongst icebergs, guests will enjoy an intimate cruising experience travelling with like-minded fellow passengers in search of wildlife and natural wonders. The seven night cruise is priced from £2206 per person excluding international flights.

Canadian Affair launches Alaska itineraries

Canadian Affair ( 0207 616 9184) the expert tour operator to Canada has launched its new 2016 holiday brochure, showcasing Alaska as a new destination to explore next year. With a selection of great value hotels, cruise tour holidays, fly drive holidays and escorted coach tours to choose from, travellers can explore Alaska as part of their Canada experience, or as a holiday to Alaska on its own. New Escorted Coach tour ‘Glaciers and Gold Rush Bonanza’ offers a fantastic 16 night adventure departing from Vancouver, taking in an Alaskan cruise stopping at all of Alaska’s most popular port towns, before exploring Denali National Park, Fairbanks and Dawson City.

Alaska’s wilderness can be explored on exciting new fly drive ‘Yukon and Alaska Explorer’ on the 13 night tour, taking in the hidden gem Tok as well as popular adventure city Anchorage. With a whole host of excellent Alaska adventures on offer, tours for 2016 start from just £1779pp excluding international flights.

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