Alaska Winter Adventure
from $5118
Duration: 8 Days
Ready to chase the Northern Lights, explore virtually untouched natural wonders and maybe even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus along the way? This 8-day adventure through Alaska is perfect for travellers looking to connect with nature in one of the world’s most stunning winter wonderlands. Explore one of Alaska’s largest glaciers, the Matanuska Glacier, take part in a guided snowshoeing experience in the pristine Denali State Park and just when you’re ready to warm up, you can bliss out in Chena’s natural hot springs. With the opportunity to view the Northern Lights from strategically chosen viewing points every night of the trip that the weather permits, this is an adventure that you will never forget.
  • Enjoy nightly guided Northern Lights viewing opportunities, at locations strategically chosen by your local leader near your accommodation.
  • Take part in a leader-led Snowshoe Hike in the stunning Denali State Park.
  • Stay at Sheep Mountain, which is virtually untouched by tourists, making it perfect for spotting the Northern Lights thanks to no light pollution.
  • Visit Santa Claus’ house in the North Pole, with the option of a reindeer walk through birch forests.
  • Soak in Chena’s natural hot springs for some well-earned relaxation time.
  • Turnagain Arm - Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
  • Anchorage - Northern Lights Viewing
  • Matanuska - Glacier Tour
  • Talkeetna - Northern Lights Viewing
  • Denali National Park - Leader-led Snowshoe Walk
  • Denali National Park - Visitor Centre
  • Fairbanks - Running Reindeer Ranch (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Fairbanks - Northern Lights Viewing
  • Fairbanks - Chena Hot Springs (Entrance fee & Transport)
  • Fairbanks - Aurora Ice Museum (Entrance fee & Transport)
  • Day 1 Location: Anchorage
    Welcome to Alaska! Today you can arrive in Anchorage any time that suits you to check in to your accommodation. If you have some free time, you might like to head out for a stroll in the crisp, Alaskan air and get acquainted with the town. This evening your Welcome Meeting will take place at 6 pm where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers. After the meeting, you may like to enjoy dinner with the group – your leader will be full of recommendations for the best local restaurants. Every night of this trip, providing the weather permits, you will be given the opportunity to join your local leader – at the most strategic location within driving distance of your accommodation – for the chance to see the Northern Lights.
    Day 2 Location: Anchorage
    This morning, after breakfast you’ll hop into your private van and travel along the scenic Seward Highway. It is one of only 13 highways in the US with the distinction of ‘All American Road’, meaning it is considered a tourist attraction unto itself. Along the way, you will have great opportunities to view and photograph some of the most scenic vistas that you pass, before arriving at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC). The AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round, providing spacious enclosures and quality animal care. This morning you’ll have the chance to learn more about some of Alaska's iconic animals and how they are nursed to recovery. Head back to Anchorage in the late afternoon and enjoy some down time for your own discoveries.
    Day 3 Location: Sheep Mountain
    Today after breakfast you’ll drive up to The Matanuska Glacier, one of Alaska's most famous destinations. At 27 miles (43 kilometres) long and 4 miles (6 kilometres) wide, it is Alaska's largest glacier that can be accessed by road. It is also one of the most accessible areas to walk on of any glacier in Alaska. Spend some time soaking up the views of the ice that formed thousands of years ago high in the Chugach Mountains. Depending on weather conditions, each day is unique due to the dynamic nature of the glacier. Hop back in your vehicle for a short drive right up to the toe of the glacier, where you’ll spend the next few hours, including enjoying lunch at a local eatery. Tonight, you’ll be staying at a lodge in Sheep Mountain – this area has very few tourists so there is no light pollution, meaning it’s the perfect place to see the Northern Lights if weather permits.
    Day 4 Location: Talkeetna
    Today is a free day, so you’re welcome to just relax at the lodge, or you may like to try your hand at Alaska's official state sport, dog sledding. Known to the locals as ‘dog mushing’, you’ll meet Iditarod racing dogs at the real racing trails north of Anchorage. Each ride consists of up to three riders hooked up to a dog sled team, led by a local Alaskan musher as your guide. Enjoy the serenity of the Alaskan winter landscape in a way that only a dog sled ride can provide. No matter how you decide to spend your day, there’s always the option of meeting up with the group for dinner to swap stories at the end, before heading out in search of the Northern Lights. You’ll view the lights outside of the van, and a tent with a heater will be set up for you to warm your hands in-between marvelling at the spectacular lights. Be sure to layer up, it's going to be cold!
    Day 5 Location: Denali State Park
    This morning after breakfast you’ll be heading to Denali National Park for a day filled with activities. First, head off on a two-hour leader-led snowshoeing experience along some of the picturesque local trails, with a break to stop and enjoy your packed lunch. We explore what's considered the "front country" of Denali. The snowshoeing is considered easy to moderate. If there's not enough snow today, then you'll embark on a scenic hike instead. After lunch, you’ll visit the Denali visitor's center to learn about the nature and culture of the area, as well as the Murie Science and Learning Center for more information on the national park. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy as you please – you might want to explore Denali National Park further at your leisure for more stunning views of the wintery landscape. Then, meet up with the group for an included dinner at your hotel for the evening before the option of another opportunity to spot the Northern Lights in the surrounding wilderness.
    Day 6 Location: Fairbanks
    Today is an exciting day, because straight after breakfast you’ll be driving up to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus’ house! Here it’s Christmas every day, so embrace your inner child with the chance to see inside Santa’s house, complete with an incredible range of Christmas decorations and toys. Then it's time to head for a relaxing soak in the natural waters of the nearby Chena Hot Springs resort. The resort was officially formed back during the gold rush, when weary gold miners discovered that soaking in the warm waters helped their aching bodies after a day of digging. You’ll also pay a visit to the Aurora Ice Museum, forged out of more than 1000 tons of ice and snow harvested from Chena. With a consistent indoor temperature of 25° Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius), this is sure to be a super cool experience (literally!). Tonight, you can choose to join the group for dinner to share magical stories from your day at the North Pole, before the chance to search for the Northern Lights again.
    Day 7 Location: Fairbanks
    Get ready for another special day. This morning you’ll head to a local reindeer farm to meet a charming herd of furry friends, while an Alaskan native explains the adaptations that make reindeer ideal for Arctic living. Take an hour-long walk through the farm with the herd and your guide, then head inside to learn a little more about reindeer while enjoying homemade cookies and drinks. Return to Fairbanks and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. This evening your group may choose to partake in a farewell dinner, before one last opportunity to spot and photograph the majestic Northern Lights.
    Day 8 Location: Fairbanks
    Today your Alaskan adventure comes to an end after breakfast. There are no activities planned and no accommodation provided for the night, so say goodbye to your fellow travellers and local leader. You’ll either need to arrange additional post-trip accommodation or make your way home from here.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    06NOV2021
    Return Date:
    13NOV2021
    5375NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    20NOV2021
    Return Date:
    27NOV2021
    4975NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27NOV2021
    Return Date:
    04DEC2021
    4975NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18DEC2021
    Return Date:
    25DEC2021
    4975NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08JAN2022
    Return Date:
    15JAN2022
    5125NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05FEB2022
    Return Date:
    12FEB2022
    5225NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05MAR2022
    Return Date:
    12MAR2022
    5125NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Alaska Winter Adventure

    Trip code

    SASA

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Ready to chase the Northern Lights, explore virtually untouched natural wonders and maybe even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus along the way? This 8-day adventure through Alaska is perfect for travellers looking to connect with nature in one of the world’s most stunning winter wonderlands. Explore one of Alaska’s largest glaciers, the Matanuska Glacier, take part in a guided snowshoeing experience in the pristine Denali State Park and just when you’re ready to warm up, you can bliss out in Chena’s natural hot springs. With the opportunity to view the Northern Lights from strategically chosen viewing points every night of the trip that the weather permits, this is an adventure that you will never forget.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Private vehicle

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

    Joining point

    The Voyager Inn

    501 K Street

    Anchorage

    99501

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    Phone: +1 9072779501

    Joining point description

    Located in the heart of Downtown Anchorage, The Voyager Inn is just steps away from the city’s best shops, parks, restaurants and cultural attractions. The hotel features complimentary Continental Breakfast, evening Manager’s Reception, Wi-Fi, and access to the Athletic Clubs at the neighboring Hotel Captain Cook.

    Joining point instructions

    Intrepid offers a pre-arranged arrival transfer service from Anchorage International Airport [ANC] at an additional fee. If you have pre-booked this service, please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. If you plan to arrive earlier, this transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. If you have pre-booked this service; please look for the sign with the Intrepid brand and your name on it after exiting. If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Intrepid Emergency number listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, Anchorage Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There are also several information desks and tourist information desks around if you require further assistance. Otherwise, you can travel from Anchorage Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use the authorised taxi services organised from inside the terminal. They will charge you approximately USD$20-25 for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 10-15 minutes depending on traffic.

    Finish point

    Pike's Waterfront Lodge

    1850 Hoselton Drive

    Fairbanks

    99709

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    Phone: +1 8777742400

    Finish point description

    Pike’s Waterfront Lodge is minutes away from the Fairbanks Alaska airport, next door to famous Pike’s Landing restaurant and offers friendliness and hospitality in a setting where you can enjoy many scenic views. The hotel features Aveda aromatherapy room amenities, wireless Internet, a steam room, restaurant, a comfortable lounge etc.

    Finish point instructions

    Intrepid offers a pre-arranged departure transfer service to Fairbanks International Airport [FAI] at an additional fee. If you require this service, please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have pre-booked this service, your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 2 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our Intrepid Emergency number, listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. Alternatively, you can travel from the hotel to the airport by taxi. The hotel reception will be able to assist you with a taxi. The drive to the Fairbanks Airport will take approximately 2-5 minutes and will cost approximately USD$7-10.

    Important information

    1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time. 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 3. Temperatures at this time of year in Alaska can be well below freezing. Please ensure you bring appropriate clothing and footwear. 4. Please note these trips require a minimum of 4 travellers to depart. 5. Please see here for the most up to date COVID-19 information about travelling to and within Alaska, including travel declarations & testing requirements: https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/. Please note our local partner in Alaska also requires a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in order to join this trip.

    Group leader

    Your leader will provide basic information about the sights and cities you'll be visiting but please note that our leaders are not 'tour guides' in the traditional sense. They are adventure travel specialists and are there to organise your trip, arrange activities and help with questions or problems you may have while on your tour. Your leader will provide you with all the important information you need to embark on your own explorations. They are also responsible for driving the van and navigating across the country. The allowable driving times for drivers is strictly controlled in North America. This ensures our drivers are well rested and are not over-tired from too many hours on the roads. While your group will have a minivan for all included activities on the trip, please note that the services of the van and the driver may not be available for your use during free time, or after you have arrived for the day. If you need a special trip into town you may need to arrange transport or a taxi. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. It's strictly forbidden for non-qualified rangers to present any information about some National Parks in North America, therefore we adopt a system (as requested by the park rangers) where our leader will encourage travellers to visit the information centres in the National Parks for details about the site. All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. ALASKA COVID-19 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Please see here for the most up to date COVID-19 information about travelling to and within Alaska, including travel declarations & testing requirements: https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/ Please note our local partner in Alaska also requires a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in order to join this trip.

    Why we love it

    Enjoy nightly guided Northern Lights viewing opportunities, at locations strategically chosen by your local leader near your accommodation.

    Take part in a leader-led Snowshoe Hike in the stunning Denali State Park.

    Stay at Sheep Mountain, which is virtually untouched by tourists, making it perfect for spotting the Northern Lights thanks to no light pollution.

    Visit Santa Claus’ house in the North Pole, with the option of a reindeer walk through birch forests.

    Soak in Chena’s natural hot springs for some well-earned relaxation time.

    Is this trip right for you

    This is a winter trip so you must have the appropriate footwear and clothing. If you don't want to take all your winter gear consider buying some in Anchorage. Winter in Alaska many of the resturants and stores are closed for the season, therefore our choices in resturants will be limited. Packed lunches will be simple, so if you think you will get hungry between meals, perhaps bring some of your own snacks along on day trips too. Weather is unpredictable in Alaska, especially in the winter, so we may need to make itinerary changes to keep the group safe and well at all times. If this occurs, we will do our best to find comparable activities and experiences. This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

    Money matters

    It can be difficult to exchange money while on the road so we suggest that you bring some cash in US dollars/Canadian dollars, or exchange/withdraw money at the airport when you arrive, or at least before you start the trip. Your individual budget will depend on your personal plans. Think about how much you want to spend on souvenirs, shopping, entertainment, food, drinks, excursions and attractions that aren't included in your trip (eg. helicopter flights etc). Please bear in mind that North America has endless things to do and see. Not all possible optional activities are listed in our Trip Notes. The cheapest and most convenient way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which are plentiful throughout all cities and towns, and even at roadside stops. This allows you to draw funds from your personal account at a superior exchange rate. Bank fees for these withdrawals can be either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Check with your bank for information on their international fees. Don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it's stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home. Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it's not recommended to rely on this method only. We recommend that you carry some cash for situations when ATMs can't be accessed. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. BUDGET FOR MEALS NOT INCLUDED: Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. TIPPING If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: We suggest 18% to 22% of your bill. Bars: Recommended US$1 for each drink ordered to ensure you are served again. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$5-20 per day for local guides. Ask your leader for suggestions as to what is appropriate for a given activity. Your Group Leader: You should also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. Your leader works long and hard for you. He or she may well become your friend during the trip but they do need to pay their bills. If the leader's performance meets or exceeds your expectation they will gladly accept a tip from you. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however you should plan to tip your leader US$7-10 per person per day. Another charge not normally listed in North American costs is the state and federal taxes, keep this in mind when your bill comes out slightly higher than the original price listed. Tipping in North America can be confusing. If you'd like some more detail about when and how much to tip, see http://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/tipping-guide-united-states/

    What to take

    ALASKA WEATHER Alaska can experience extremes in weather, even in the summer. Some days are surprisingly warm, but it can also get much colder and wetter here than in the rest of the USA. With this in mind, you may want to consider bringing layers made of wool or synthetic materials that stay warm when wet, as well as waterproof boots and a waterproof coat or jacket, and possibly waterproof pants if it is going to be very wet on your trip. Much of this gear can be purchased in Anchorage at outdoor stores such as REI before the trip if you don't want to buy it at home.

    As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIAL: - Reusable water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. Tap water in the US and Canada is safe to drink and there are many places to fill up along the way, so please save plastic by bringing your own water bottle. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Clothing you can layer. You may encounter a wide variety of temperatures en route due to altitude and unforeseen weather conditions - so be prepared! Make sure to pack a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket. We suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer. - Closed-in shoes. If you are planning on doing any hiking during your trip we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment. RECOMMENDED: - Power adaptor - Insect repellent - Spare camera battery. You should have access to electricity to charge your battery most nights, but it is always a good idea to carry a spare. - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc. OPTIONAL: - Travel pillow if you like to sleep during long drives - Reusable coffee cup such as a travel mug or KeepCup if you are a coffee drinker. Not only is it much better for the environment, but many places in the US and Canada also give a discount for bringing your own cup. - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives. - Swimwear - Head torch

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation. Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights),Lodge (1 night)

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