North to Alaska
The travel dates are July 29 - August 7, 2013. Below are some highlights about this incredible trip:
The overall price includes:
- Accommodations for 10 nights at 4-star hotels.
- Breakfast every morning.
- A welcome dinner our first evening upon arrival in Anchorage.
- A farewell dinner our last evening before departing from Juneau.
- We will travel with Fr. Jack Treacy '77, campus ministry director and follow the steps of the late Fr. Hubbard, Santa Clara’s very own glacier priest (Learn more about Fr. Hubbard). Fr. Treacy is an experienced traveler and excited to show us the vast Alaskan corridor.
- All entrance fees for sites and attractions shown on the itinerary with guided tours throughout.
- All transportation accommodations while in Alaska – planes, trains, private coaches and boats
- Pre-trip reception with fellow travelers (local to campus).
Price does not include:
- Driver/Guide - Tips/Gratuities
- Some Meals
- Optional Excursions (as stated in itinerary)
- Arrival/Departure Flight to/from Alaska
The price to travel is $4,459 per traveler. Important information to note:
- A $200 deposit (non-refundable) is due by Monday, January 21 with the remainder due by Monday, April 15.
- Single Supplement room charge is $1,270.
29 July – Arrive Anchorage
Upon arrival you will be taken on a sightseeing tour of Anchorage, which will include the historic downtown area, the Ship Creek fish ladder, and Lake Hood, the largest float plane base in North America. Located in South central Alaska on the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage stands as a sophisticated metropolis in the midst of rugged wilderness. Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska; where nearly half of the state's residents live. It is one of the only places in Alaska with all the modern fixtures of American life such as a modern performing arts center, gourmet restaurants and numerous shopping malls. After your tour you will be transferred to your hotel which is located within walking distance of downtown, Ship Creek and ample shopping and dining options. That evening, we will celebrate the kick-off of our trip with a Welcome Dinner! (D)
30 July – Katmai Bear Viewing Day Trip
Today you will have the amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Father Hubbard and visit Katmai National Park. You will have a private transfer to the airport for your flight out to this remote bear viewing lodge. Long known for its excellent fishing, spectacular volcano and beautiful countryside, Brooks is now widely known for its bear viewing and the millions of salmon that burst from the Bering Sea into the lakes and streams of Katmai National Park. These fish provide a food source for the world's largest population of brown bears. (Though the month of July is considered prime bear viewing season, bear sightings are never guaranteed) All visitors will be instructed by the National Park Service on how to conduct themselves in "Bear Country." This evening you will return to Anchorage, and your private motorcoach will bring you back to your hotel. (B)
31 July – Anchorage to Seward
You will transfer by motorcoach to the Alaska Railroad Depot for your Seward departure. The Alaska Railroad trains feature large picture windows, comfortable seating, dining cars, restrooms, and luggage cars. The scenic rail route to Seward takes you along Cook Inlet and into the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula. The small coastal town of Seward is known for its scenic views and numerous visitor attractions, and it is also known as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Once you arrive in Seward your coach will take you to the Small Boat Harbor for your Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. Spanning over 670,000 acres of water and coastline, this area is home to a multitude of marine mammals, seabirds, and other wildlife. Climb aboard a sightseeing vessel to explore the spectacular Alaskan marine ecosystem. You're likely to encounter Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, and multiple seabirds like puffins and cormorants. With luck, you may even catch glimpses of humpback whales, orcas, and porpoises traveling through Resurrection Bay. This six-hour cruise will take you alongside active tidewater glaciers, where you may see chunks of glacier ice "calving" into the water. The cruise will be fully narrated and a deli-style lunch will be served onboard. When you return to the harbor, the rest of the day will be free for you to explore Seward. (B, L)
01 August – Seward to Talkeetna
Today you will travel north from Seward to Talkeetna. The Seward Highway showcases the natural beauty of south-central Alaska. From jagged peaks and alpine meadows to breathtaking fjords and crystalline lakes, here you can marvel at the diverse landscape while looking for Dall sheep, beluga whales, and eagles. The first stop for today's sightseeing will be the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC). During this visit you will have the opportunity to take photographs while animals display their natural, "wild" behavior. After visiting the AWCC you will stop at the Iditarod Museum in Wasilla. Gain insight into the grueling, 1,150-mile race that takes follows the Iditarod Trail between Anchorage and Nome each March, and learn about the extraordinary mushers and their dog sled teams that attempt to win the longest dog sled race in the world. After this exciting visit you will continue to Talkeetna. This small, distinctive community of less than 800 residents is the main staging area for climbers waiting to start their ascent of Mt. McKinley. The area is also the best location to view Mt. McKinley and the Alaska Range (weather permitting). The area offers visitors the chance to experience Talkeetna's true Alaskan small-town flavor and rich art history. After arriving, the rest of the day is yours to explore this rustic town on your own. (B)
02 August – Talkeetna Local Day
Experience Alaska's wilderness with a flightseeing tour of Mt. McKinley (Denali) and the Alaska Range. Depart from Talkeetna in the afternoon and take in the dramatic vistas: glacier-filled valleys, rugged peaks, and towering mountains waiting to be explored. This magnificent flight can take you as close as six miles of Mt. McKinley's summit. Listen as your pilot describes the natural wonders of Denali National Park. See the Sheldon Amphitheater, beautiful Ruth Glacier and the Great Gorge—the deepest gorge in the world at nearly two miles from top to bottom. Fly around the south side of Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker, and Mt. Hunter. Take in the magnificent Kahiltna Glacier, the longest glacier in Denali National Park at 45 miles long and over 3 miles wide, and fly by the climber's base camp located at 7,200 feet on the southeast fork of the glacier. Weather permitting your tour will also include a glacier landing, so you can experience the remarkable feeling of walking on a glacier. (B)
03 August – Talkeetna to Juneau – via flight from Anchorage
This morning you will be met by your private motorcoach for the return journey to Anchorage. During the drive you will pass the residential community of Eagle River, and the two military installations in Anchorage: Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base. After arriving at the Anchorage International Airport you will check in for your flight to Juneau. Rugged shorelines and thick forests met prospectors arriving in Southeast Alaska just 100 years ago. In Juneau you will be met by a private motorcoach and visit Mendenhall Glacier, one of the most iconic glaciers in all of Alaska. The landscape is much the same today as it was a century ago: tumbling waterfalls cascade across nearly vertical faces of imposing mountains. Juneau lies nestled between the steep, forested flanks of Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts. (B)
04 August – Tracey Arm Fjords Cruise
This morning, you will take a high-speed catamaran to Tracy Arm Fjord, 50 miles southeast of Juneau. Tracy Arm is one of Alaska's best kept secret and rivals other, better known attractions. Hundreds of seals and pups laze on the icebergs at the face of Sawyer Glacier, safe from predators in the fjord. Watch for chunks of ice to calve off the face of the glacier with a splash! The sheltered waters of Alaska's Inside Passage have many inlets and fjords, but Tracy Arm Fjord epitomizes them all. Your catamaran will journey far along the inlet, close to the border with British Columbia. The striking beauty of this incredible wilderness is further enhanced by the abundant wildlife. Be sure to remember your camera and binoculars! After the tour, the evening is free to relax or enjoy optional activities. (B)
05 August – Juneau Local Day
Today is yours to enjoy. There are many local activities (for an additional cost) that will give you great insight into Father Hubbard's travels here. We are also hoping to organize an optional local community service in the morning. More information to come. (B)
06 August – Juneau City Tour
This morning you will board your coach for a visit to the Alaska State Museum. You will be led through the museum by Mary Irvine who is familiar with Father Hubbard's travels in Alaska. The Alaska State Museum is proud to be one of two facilities in Alaska to house a Science on a Sphere. The globe uses multiple video projectors to play dramatic animated images of the earth's atmosphere, weather patterns as well as other amazing educational films – all projected over a rotating educational globe. Housing over 35,000 Alaskan artifacts, of which only a small portion can be viewed at any one time, the museum provides exhibits representing each of Alaska's native peoples. Guests will have the chance to view a life size eagle nesting tree and walk through a recreation of a traditional native plank house. Following your visit you will travel to the Salmon hatchery to learn why this active salmon hatchery is vital to the existence of wild Alaskan salmon. Experience touch tanks, sample smoked salmon and hear about the life of the salmon and the hatchery's role in production. You may see adult spawning salmon from July to September. Following your visit here you depart downtown Juneau to the Shrine of St. Therese where Father Hubbard's Stainless steel boat "Libby" from his expeditions now resides and will be displayed to your group. We will be having a farewell dinner this evening at a local Juneau restaurant! (B, D)
07 August – Depart Juneau
Your Alaskan adventure comes to an end today as you say goodbye to the Last Frontier. A private transfer will be provided to the Juneau International Airport for you to check in for your departing flight.
(B), (D), (B,D), (B,L) indicates the meals that will be provided.
There are some segments of this tour that are not Handicap Accessible, if the guest is wheelchair confined. Both the trip to Katmai National Park and the Flightseeing tour of Denali include segments of travel in a small aircraft. The guest would have to be capable of climbing in and out of these planes in order to attend these excursions. If the guest only has limited mobility (not wheelchair confined), we would be able to offer all of the services.