ALASKA IN AUTUMN POLAR BEARS SPECIAL

 

14 – 23 September

FULLY BOOKED

Exclusive departure for our very small group, 5 people maximum, a truly intimate and special experience. During this unique adventure we will have the opportunity to encounter both the great northern forests and the tundra wildlife: Grizzly, Polar Fox, Musk Ox, Moose, Caribou. The star of the trip will be the Polar Bear, we will look for this great predator for a couple of days in the remote island of Barter, in the Sea of Beaufort, where few tourists arrive. In our voyage we will drive across very different environments and pass from the bright autumn colors of the Brooks Range to the snow-covered tundra of the Arctic coast of Alaska. An unforgettable experience, and if we are lucky, we will also be able to observe the Northern Light.

PROGRAM

14   September
Arrival in Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska. Hotel transfer and welcome dinner. Fairbanks is called the “Heart of Gold of Alaska” both for the character of its inhabitants, and for its location in central Alaska and of course for the discovery of gold in 1902.
Overnight double room private services.

15   September
In the morning we will begin the long journey to the north on the James Dalton Highway, 414 miles long connecting Deadhorse with the Elliot Highway near Livengood, located about 80 miles north of Fairbanks. Made famous by the recent Ice Road Trucker television program, it is considered one of the most spectacular and wild roads in North America. We will cross immense forests and cross the Yukon river to reach the Arctic polar circle, at latitude 66 ° 33 ‘north. Here begins the midnight sun land and soon we will find ourselves at the foot of the remote mountain range called Brooks Range, and a couple of hours later we will arrive at Wiseman, a historic community of gold miners in the heart of the Brooks Range with a population of 13 residents is a real oasis surrounded by wild territories.
Here you have to keep an eye on the sky in search of the Northern Light, Wiseman is one of the best places in Alaska and in all of North America for the observation of the aurora borealis.
Overnight double room private services.

16   September
Today we will explore the surroundings of Wiseman. Located on the banks of the central course of the Koyukuk River, much of the village’s gold rush history is preserved by its buildings. We will make an easy walk in the alpine tundra near the Atigun Pass (1415 meters), the only one in the Brooks Range to be crossed by a road. Atigun Pass is also the pass to the highest latitude to be open all year round in the world.
This area is one of the best along the Dalton Highway for wildlife observation including Grizzly Bear, Moose and Bighorn Sheep. After the Atigun Pass, we will first cross an area of gentle hills of tundra and then the wide coastal plain dotted with lakes that extends to the Arctic Ocean, territories where Bighorn Sheep, Caribou and even Musk Ox live. We will spend the night in Deadhorse which mainly consist of facilities for workers of the companies operating in the nearby oil fields of Prudhoe Bay.
Overnight double room private or shared services.

17   September
In the morning we will explore Deadhorse and if the weather will allow us we will return to the Dalton Highway in search of animals. Around midday we will embark on the flight to Kaktovik which will offer us a spectacular aerial view of northern Alaska. The small Inupiaq Eskimo village is located on the island of Barter, populated by about 280 people. We’ll find ourselves only 60 miles from the border with Canada!
During Kaktovik’s visit we will have the opportunity to observe our first Polar Bears in a place called “bone pile”. Polar Bears have always used the small islands and the tongues of sand around the Barter island as resting places, to feed and to wait for the formation of winter ice. But certainly the unique opportunity to observe a large number of bears in one place is linked to whaling. The peak in the presence of Polar Bears in the area is typically in September and October, just before, during and after the humpback hunting activity practiced by Kaktovik residents. The bears feed on the carcasses of the whales that are deposited at the “bone pile”, a few kilometers from the village, during the hunting season. In addition, the sea begins to freeze right near the Barter island, another reason that explains the presence of bears in the region.
Overnight double room private services.

18   September
Our Inupiaq Eskimo ethnic guide, authorized by the US Coast Guard and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, will guide us for the whole day either on board a small boat or on land in search of Polar Bears. Observing these great predators in nature is a unique experience, especially with such a small group. Polar Bears are the priority, but there are also excellent opportunities to encounter Polar Foxes that often follow them to take advantage of the hunting hability of the plantigrades. The tundra itself, at first sight bare and sterile, under the Arctic sky can offer unforgettable spectacles.
Overnight double room private services.

19   September
Our last morning we will explore Kaktovik and look one last time for Polar Bears. Back on the plane we will return to Prudhoe Bay and from there we will begin our return journey onbards the minivan to the Brooks Range mountains. In the meantime the snow line will have reached lower altitudes and it would not be surprising to find it on the ground during our passage offering us a different dimension of the already spectcular panorama.
After passing the Atiugn pass, we will meet the trees again. We will spend the night at Wiseman where there will be again a good chance to observe the Northern Light.
Overnight double room private or shared services.

20   September
Today we will go to the discovery of the Nolan Creek Valley, this scenic valley in the heart of the Brooks Range offers excellent possibilities for an easy and pleasant walk in the wild nature of the remote mountain range. Another night in Wiseman and further opportunities to observe the Northern Light.
Overnight double room private or shared services.

21  September
Today we continue our journey south. After crossing the Brooks Range we will enter again the endless forest which characterizes the interior of Alaska. Driving on the Dalton Highway is always an adventure, this road is so long and remote to offer continuous surprises and great views, especially at autumn when colors are spectacular. We will spend the night along the Chena Hot Springs Road.
Overnight double room private services.

22   September
Today we will reach the Chena Hot Springs Resort, a short one hour drive east of Fairbanks. the Chena Hot Springs Resort, internationally known for its natural mineral hot springs, for its prime location to view the northern lights and its Aurora Ice Museum, which we will visit first. This facility is kept at a constant 28 degrees F and is operational year round with the same geothermal energy that keeps the resort open for business. The museum features a gallery and ice bar, overhead chandeliers made of individually carved ice crystals which change color every six seconds mimicking the northern lights, countless sculptures including a gigantic chess set, life sized jousting knights, an ice fireplace and four galleries with varying themes. After lunch, we will appreciate soaking your tried bodies in the legendary healing mineral waters.
We will return to Fairbanks in the afternoon, after leaving the suitcases at the hotel we could enjoy the farewell dinner at the Pump House Restaurant, which offers one of Fairbanks’ best dining experiences.
Overnight double room private services.

23   September
Flight home (not included)

Rate includes:

  • Full board accommodation (all meals included),excluded September 23.
  • Hotel accommodation double room including breakfast.
    Excursions as listed
    Flight Prudohe Bay – Kaktovik a/r.

Not included:

  • International Flights

Voyage Map

PRICE PER PERSON  Euro 9700,00
*Exchange Rate 1 USD = 0,85 Euro.

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