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Alaska: Denali to Kenai Fjords Expedition
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8 days

from $10,283 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($6,995 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Hear tales of the Iditarod from trail veteran Mary Shields, and interact with sled dogs at her log home outside Fairbanks.
  • Watch for humpbacks, orcas, and tidewater glaciers on a wilderness cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park.
  • Ride the rails to Denali aboard the scenic Denali Star train, and learn about the park’s dynamic ecosystem from a National Geographic expert.
  • Get up close with Alaska’s wildest residents at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, an animal rehabilitation facility.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed here are some of the experts that will be joining departures on this trip.

Alaska: Denali to Kenai Fjords

Encounter majestic landscapes and diverse wildlife on an expedition into the heart of Alaska’s untouched wilderness. Experience the rugged beauty of Denali National Park on naturalist-led excursions and search for moose, caribou, wolves, grizzly bears and Dall sheep. Hike amid the soaring peaks of the Alaska Range and journey along the stunningly scenic Seward Highway. Cap off your adventure with a cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park, home to humpback whales and towering tidewater glaciers.

Day 1: Fairbanks, Alaska

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Arrive in Fairbanks mid-afternoon. Later, we meet the remarkable Mary Shields at her log cabin outside of town. An Iditarod veteran and special friend, Mary introduces the group to her sled dogs and shares some of her 40 years of Alaska stories. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 2: Fairbanks/Denali National Park

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Today begins with a scenic ride aboard the Denali Star train to the entrance of Denali National Park. The glass-domed, GoldStar Service car provides panoramic views as Alaska unfolds along the tracks and an outdoor, upper-level viewing platform offers fresh air and an excellent vantage point for photos. Upon arrival, we travel into the heart of Denali. In summer, the road is closed to private traffic so the ride is unhurried and uncrowded. Along the way, your expedition leader and naturalist will explain the nature and history of the Park. There will be chances to stop for photo opportunities and wildlife sightings-moose, caribou, gray wolves, grizzly bears and Dall sheep.

Days 3-4: Denali National Park

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Spend the next two days exploring Denali's magnificent interior from your home-base at Denali Backcountry Lodge, one of National Geographic's "Top 10 Adventure Lodges of the World". Set out on your choice of guided hikes depending on interest and energy level. Options include a hike to a ridgeline summit for commanding views, striking out across the trail-less tundra, meandering in a lush valley looking for ground-nesting birds and meadow wildflowers or any of the other activities the lodge has to offer. Whatever you choose, naturalists are there to share their deep knowledge and help you experience this magnificent setting. Weather permitting, take an optional flightseeing trip around Denali, North America's highest mountain to photograph its soaring 20,237-foot peak.

Day 5: Denali National Park/Anchorage

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Take advantage of an early morning drive out of the park to spot wildlife during their most active period. Traveling through the Alaska Range southward along the picturesque Susitna River, we stop for a picnic lunch before arriving in Anchorage this evening.

Day 6: Anchorage/Girdwood/Kenai Peninsula

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This morning drive south of Anchorage along the stunningly scenic Seward Highway, past Turnagain Arm and the snowcapped Chugach mountains, which seem to rise out of the mirrored waters of Cook Inlet. This is part of a route that National Geographic has named one of its “Drives of a Lifetime.” Take the tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for panoramic views and visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and learn about their mission to provide refuge for orphaned, injured, and ill animals that can't survive in the wild. Later in the afternoon continue south to our comfortable lodge on the banks of the Resurrection River.

Day 7: Kenai Fjords National Park

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Embark this morning on a scenic cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park. Today is filled with breathtaking views of glaciers and offers great wildlife watching opportunities for all manner of marine life. Steller sea lions can be seen on the rocky islands and Harbor seals are often spotted on ice floes and in the bays. Sea otters bob on the surface, porpoises leap beside the boat and orca, minke, gray and humpback whales are all frequently sighted. Thousands of seabirds call this area home and fill the skies and sea rocks. The highlight of the day is a stop at the base of a tidewater glacier in the hopes of seeing it "calve"-shedding gigantic chunks of ice into the ocean with a thunderous crash. This evening gather for a farewell dinner at a harbor-front restaurant in Seward.

Day 8: Kenai Fjords National Park/Anchorage

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Before departing the Kenai, take one last short hike to Exit Glacier. Note the markers showing the glacier's recession over the past 120 years. Walk the "Edge of the Glacier Trail" to get a great photo in front of glacier ice. Return to Anchorage mid-afternoon for your flight onward.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate and suits a range of interests and abilities. Travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods and navigating uneven or slippery terrain. Travelers can choose easy or moderate hikes ranging from one to five or more miles. Excursions also include a scenic train ride and a day cruise. There will be several long travel days with multiple stops.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, we stay in comfortable hotels and lodges, including 3 nights at Denali Backcountry Lodge, named one of National Geographic's \Top 10 Adventure Lodges of the World.”

Expedition Team
A National Geographic expert and an expedition leader will accompany this trip, and local guides join us along the way.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Jun 3-10, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Jun 17-24, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Jul 1-8, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Jul 15-22, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Jul 29-Aug 5, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Aug 12-19, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Aug 26-Sep 2, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

  • date Sep 2-9, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $10,283 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $12,194 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information. The optional flightseeing trip around Denali is not included in the expedition cost.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
Doug Chadwick
Naturalist Author Biologist
"

With a master's degree in wildlife biology, Doug Chadwick studied mountain goats among the peaks of the Rockies for seven years. He also carried out surveys of grizzly bears and of the harlequin ducks that breed along the Rockies' fast-moving rivers and streams. In his other role as a journalist, Doug has reported on wildlife around the world, from right whales in the subantarctic to snow leopards in the Himalayas, producing close to 50 articles for National Geographic magazine. Over the past nine years, much of his free time has been spent as a volunteer helping carry out groundbreaking wolverine research in Glacier National Park, Montana. Doug often explores Canada's mountain parklands. In addition to hundreds of magazine articles, he has written thirteen books about wildlife and conservation, including several focused on the Rocky Mountains. One is Yellowstone to Yukon, which prominently features Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as the Banff, Yoho, and Jasper national parks region. He also contributed the lead chapter in a 2014 book entitled Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies, a photographic celebration of the region's wildlife and scenic majesty.

"
  • Aug 12-19, 2020
Kitty Coley
Birder Geologist Naturalist
"

Kitty Coley is a geologist, naturalist, and avid birder who serves as a consultant to National Geographic magazine. As a professional geologist, she has worked in remote rain forests and rugged landscapes around the world. Her love of nature has inspired her to explore through scuba diving, backpacking, white-water and sea kayaking, and biking. A gifted and enthusiastic teacher and a popular National Geographic Expert, Kitty generously shares her knowledge of geology, flora, and fauna on every expedition.

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  • Jun 17-24, 2020
M Jackson
Educator Geographer
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Geographer, glaciologist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and TED Fellow M Jackson studies and writes about glaciers, people, and climate change. M earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon in geography and glaciology, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland. M is a three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar, a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. M holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, where she focused on climate change and Alaskan glaciers. M’s 2019 book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, explores the complex impacts of glacier change for communities along the southeastern coast of Iceland. Her 2015 book, While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change, weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. She has worked for more than ten years across the Arctic guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. M has served as an Expert for National Geographic’s student and adult expeditions in Alaska, Iceland, and Antarctica.

"
  • Jun 3-10, 2020
Kirt Kempter
Naturalist Geologist
"

Kirt Kempter is a field geologist and teacher based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Fulbright Fellow, Kirt has led many geologic expeditions to Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks, and has published numerous maps and articles on the geology of the American Southwest. He frequently travels to and lectures on other national parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks, as well as the national parks of the Canadian Rockies. He has conducted fieldwork on a National Geographic-funded project, as well as studies of plate tectonics and volcanism around the world, including Iceland, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas.

"
  • Aug 26-Sep 2, 2020
Jason Matthews
Naturalist Educator
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Jason is an environmental educator, wildlife photographer, and videographer who has been leading expeditions from the Equator to the Arctic Circle for more than 20 years. He is a certified Master Naturalist specializing in wolf and bear ecology. Jason has been called an "encyclopedia" by the New York Times, and his work has appeared on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. He was recently part of a National Geographic grant team documenting brown bears and polar bears in the Alaskan arctic. Jason divides his time between Alaska and Montana, where he lives near Yellowstone National Park with his family and 70 sled dogs. Jason loves to share his passion for wild places!

"
  • Jul 15-22, 2020
  • Jul 29-Aug 5, 2020