August 7, 2012 Day 1: Ankorage
Plan to arrive in Alaska by at least the afternoon of the day your trip begins. Tonight, meet your Trip Leader and fellow travelers for dinner and orientation. Dine at a well-known local restaurant for Alaskan infused cuisine and enjoy other local sights such as art galleries, shops and other Anchorage attractions. Overnight in Anchorage. (D)
(Included meals will be noted: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner; complimentary snacks & non-alcoholic beverages included each day).
August 8, 2012 Day 2: - Riverside Lodge
Bid farewell to the city of Anchorage and travel south along the majestic Turnagain Arm to the small mountain community of Girdwood. Today's adventure takes us through the northernmost rainforest areas of Alaska on a guided hike through a protected forest canopy. Upon reaching a local gorge, board a hand-tram for unique transport across Glacier Creek. After the hike, more amazing views can be captured as we ride the resort tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for spectacular views of the seven surrounding glaciers. During the 8 minute tram ride, we'll gain more than 2000 feet of elevation, with a bird's eye view of winter ski routes and flower-covered valleys.
Late afternoon we will continue south to Kenai Riverside Lodge, situated in scenic Cooper Landing. Cooper Landing is surrounded by the forested, lower slopes and glacier covered summits of the Chugach National Forest, with local mountain peaks ranging in elevation from 4000 ft. to 10,000 ft. and higher.
Upon arrival at the lodge, enjoy orientation and take in the amazing sights on the riverfront. Kenai Riverside Lodge features a large riverside deck with fire pit, self-guided nature paths, a wood-fired sauna and more! Appetizers and dinner are served in the main lodge this evening. Overnight at Kenai Riverside Lodge. (B, L, D)
August 9, 2012 Day 3: - Riverside Lodge
After a hearty breakfast in the main lodge, our guides will outfit you in river gear for a full-day guided rafting adventure on the Kenai River. Explore the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge while your raft guide offers natural history interpretation and stories behind the sights. Scan for eagles and birds, salmon and trout swimming in the turquoise water and possibly moose or bears on the banks of the Kenai River.
A delicious pack lunch will be enjoyed on the banks of the Kenai River. This evening, retire to the main lodge for dinner and relaxing. Overnight at Kenai Riverside Lodge. (B, L, D)
August 10, 2012 Day 4: - Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
From our departure point in the stunning seacoast town of Seward, board a small ship bound for Kenai Fjords National Park – home to an array of glaciers and marine wildlife such as whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, puffins and more! A half-day marine wildlife cruise will allow us to explore the rugged coastlines. Enjoy lunch in front of a calving glacier before arriving at our exclusive lodge destination: Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge.
Nestled in a protected tidal lagoon area, the Glacier Lodge offers miles of pristine beachfront for exploring and views of the stunning Pedersen Glacier. This afternoon, meet your guides for a lodge orientation and settle into your private cabins. Enjoy dinner and evening presentations. Overnight Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. (B, L, D)
August 11 – 12, 2012 Days 5 - 6: - Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
Explore the wild delights of Kenai Fjords National Park for two full days. After breakfast in the main lodge, choose from a wide array of activities best suited to your energy level and interest. Guided options include naturalist walks, sea kayaking, group canoe paddles and more.
In the spirit of adventure and to take advantage of tidal and weather patterns, guides will discuss specific nature outings and options with our group this morning. All activities are suitable for beginners and require no previous experience.
For those seeking a more relaxed approach, the main lodge offers ideal comfort with direct views of nature. Curious sea otters and seals frequent the lagoon, just steps from the main lodge deck. In a nearby meadow, we can sometimes glimpse bears and other wildlife from a safe distance. Our natural history library offers amazing resources and interesting reads – cozy up with a good book and let your worries drift out with the tide!
Upon return to the main lodge, share stories from your day's adventure with other guests and join an evening natural history presentation, given by local expert guides or guest speakers. Overnight Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. (B, L, D)
August 13, 2012 Day 7: - Anchorage
This morning allows another opportunity to kayak, canoe or beachcomb for a half-day before boarding our boat for the return wildlife cruise to Seward. Board the historic Alaska Railroad for a scenic backcountry rail tour back to Anchorage. Enjoy a festive farewell dinner on the train. Overnight in Anchorage. (B, L, D)
August 14, 2012 Day 8: Travel home
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, followed by airport shuttles. (B)