Feb 26, 2023
AAA Travel invites you on a unique journey to cheer on your favorite dogsled team as they begin a harrowing 1,049-mile odyssey across the icy tundra!
Be Adventurous and Visit Alaska in the Winter!! This unique journey includes Aurora viewing in Alaska’s interior, a visit to Denali National Park in the wintertime, a ride on the Aurora train south to Anchorage and getting up close to Alaska’s wildlife in the winter. Learn about the Iditarod Sled Dog race from an Iditarod musher during a special kennel visit prior to the start of the “Last Great Race” where you will be surrounded by fabulous four-legged athletes known as sled dogs before they hit the trail to Nome!
*Rates are per person, based on double occupancy, land only. Rates, events, hotels, terms, conditions and itinerary are subject to change. Rates do not include airfare. This tour operates during the winter in Alaska, so expect cold temperatures, uneven and slippery surfaces (ice). AAA member benefits are valid for passengers who book through AAA travel only. Benefits listed may be substituted/eliminated based on passenger participation and have no cash value. Other restrictions may apply. The Auto Club Group is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the promotion of this tour.
Arrive into Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City. You will have meet and greet transfers to your hotel. Enjoy your evening of leisure.
Pike’s Waterfront Lodge or similar – 2 nights
Enjoy a city tour of Fairbanks including a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This afternoon will be at your leisure for optional tours such as dog mushing, Arctic Circle Flightseeing, and many others to choose from.
This evening, board your deluxe motorcoach for a chance to view the Aurora Borealis (weather permitting) and enjoy a warm nonalcoholic beverage. (B)
Board your deluxe motorcoach for a scenic transfer south to Denali National Park. En-route, enjoy an included visit to the town of Nenana, home of the Nenana Ice Classic!
Upon arrival into Denali, enjoy a visit to the Murie Science and Learning Center, which acts as the Denali Visitors Center in the wintertime. Enjoy the National Park Film, “Heartbeats of Denali”, hear from a local ranger about the park, and even have a chance to snowshoe! A box lunch is included today.
Tonight, you’ll have another chance to view the Aurora Borealis! Overnight in Healy just outside Denali National Park. (B, L)
Aurora Denali Lodge or similar – 1 night
Transfer to the Denali Rail Stop where you will board the world-famous Alaska Railroad, (Adventure Class) for your scenic journey south to Anchorage. Keep an eye out for views of Denali from the north face to south face.
Upon arrival in Anchorage, you will be transferred to your local hotel. (B)
Sheraton Anchorage or similar – 4 nights
Today, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage featuring the historic downtown area, Lake Hood where 190+ floatplanes take off and land daily, and Earthquake Park to learn about the 1964 Earthquake. There will be time for lunch on own today.
Later, travel along the scenic Seward Highway and enjoy a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where you will have a chance to see Alaska’s Wildlife up close and personal.
Tonight, enjoy Iditarod festivities and dinner at the Musher’s Banquet. (Must deposit by December 23, 2022 for the mushers banquet) (B, D)
Today, You will travel north to meet four-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser at his Happy Trails Kennel. Hear personal stories while viewing a glimpse of the grandeur Alaska has to offer along the Iditarod Trail.
Later, return to Anchorage with a stop at the Iditarod Headquarters. Watch race footage and view trophies, displays, and photos in the Iditarod Museum. Browse the Iditarod store and pick up a souvenir and race memorabilia. (B)
This morning, head to 4th Avenue to get a great spot at the Official Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Spend time cheering on mushers from all over the world. Mushers will depart the starting gate every two minutes. Watch each of them depart or you may take off early and enjoy other Iditarod festivities in Anchorage.
This afternoon, visit the Anchorage Museum, a large art, history, ethnography, ecology, and science museum in the heart of downtown Anchorage. (B)
This morning, depart from your hotel for the adventure north to Willow for the restart of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Be sure to dress in layers to maximize staying warm as the entire day will be spent outside cheering on your favorite dog teams. Temperatures will be in the teens and 20’s. En-route, we’ll stop at a local grocery store in Wasilla to pick-up your own snack and lunch items. Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the fence line of the race.
Mushers take off across Willow Lake on their 1,049-mile journey by dog sled to Nome. The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drink as well as local crafts. Don’t miss out on snacks throughout the day! Your Tour Director will have more information on this edible portion of the program! Our departure time from Willow will depend on weather conditions and guests comfort level. It is our goal to see as many of the Mushers depart as possible while still arriving back into Anchorage by 6:00/6:30pm.
Upon return to Anchorage it will be time to say goodbye to your local Tour Director as you are transferred to the Anchorage Airport for your flight. Flights should be scheduled after 9:00pm. (B)
*Depending upon flight schedules you may need to book 1 post night in Anchorage for an additional cost.
AAA EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Round-Trip Airport Meet and Greet Transfers
- 7 Nights’ Hotel Accommodations
- 9 Meals; 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner (if booked by 12/23/2022)
- City tour of Fairbanks
- Morris Thompson Cultural Center
- Trans-Alaska Pipeline
- Alaska Railroad
- Murie Science and Learning Center (winter home of
Denali Visitor’s Center)
- City Tour of Anchorage
- Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
- Iditarod Musher’s Banquet (must be booked and deposited by 12/23/22)
- Visit Happy Trails Kennel and meet Iditarod Champion Martin Buser
- Visit Iditarod Headquarters
- Ceremonial and Official Start of the Iditarod
- Anchorage Museum
- Fully Escorted by a local Professional Tour Manager
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