Anchorage is the gateway to Alaska, the remotest part of the United States. You arrive into Anchorage and meet your transfer to take you to our starting hotel. The largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is the last stopping point before we head off into the wilderness. Once you have arrived there is time to explore the city before a dinner with your group in the evening to get to know your travelling companions
We take a trip down the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm, one of 25 National Scenic Byways in the USA. We arrive at the gold-mining town of Girdwood, the only resort in Alaska that operates all-year round. After we arrive, we take the tram 2,300 feet up to the summit of Mt. Alyeska, towering over the town. Follow the Winner Creek Trail in the afternoon, through the rainforest of Girdwood. Make sure the kids have sturdy wakling shoes or trainers for this hike. We can discover some of the intriguing animals and plantlife here. Who knows, we may even see moose.
Continue along the Seward Highway, where we stop along the way to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This is a great opportunity to observe wildlife in a habitat similar to their natural state. Among the wildlife we can see here are bears, moose, coyote, eagle, musk oxen and bison. We continue along the trails of the Exit Glacier, a great way to see how glaciers have shaped the landscape of Alaska.
Paddle along the shore of Resurrection Bay, using two man kayaks. The scenery around the Kenai Fjords is spectacular, as the entire fjords contain at least 38 glaciers. While paddling along the coast, there is a wide variety of wildlife to see, from sea lions to puffins. How many can you see? This afternoon is free to explore Seward at leisure. We recommend an optional visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center. Close up encounters with puffins, seals and much more sea life will add to your morning out on the water.
We continue along the Sterling Highway to Homer. Passing through the Chugach National Park, we should keep an eye out for brown and black bear, as this is their natural habitat. Along the route, we have a great chance to see the inlets, lakes and mountains that make up the Kenai Peninsula. This afternoon we stop at Cooper Landing for a float along the Kenai River. We switch to a rubber raft, and our guide will regale us with tales of the area - everything from stories of the history of the area to the journey salmon make every year up the river.
A boat ride across Kachemak Bay gives us a great chance to see a variety of marine birds. Once safely back on land, we are guided through the trails of Kachemak Bay. For those kids learning geography, there is a lot to learn here about tidal and geological changes that shape the landscape. Much better than learning it in the classroom!
This morning there is a great opportunity to experience the Wynn Nature Center. In the summer months, the Nature Center is famed for widespread wildflowers, and all the wildlife that is drawn by this carpet of blooms. There are trails through the park, which mean we can all get a bit closer to the abundant nature on offer here. This afternoon we return to Anchorage, where we have time for a final dinner, and to say goodbye to our new friends.
This morning we transfer to the airport after breakfast, and depart at any time.