Frequently Asked Questions
WHY WOULD I WANT TO TRAVEL IN
Alaska is far more vast and varied than most visitors recognize, and
traveling independently can be quite challenging. Reservations are
required long in advance for most lodging and activities, as the summer
season is so short. Our past clients, many taking a group trip for the
first time, express appreciation for the convenience of planning that a
set itinerary offers, as well as for the professional experience of what
and where truly is of interest. While many options exist for visiting
Alaska, small group travel is among the most rewarding, combining the
ease of travel arrangements with a very personal experience, highlighted
by the perspective of knowledgeable guides. As the quality of experience
for each participant is our overriding goal, group size is limited to
six persons on some itineraries, no more than eight on most, and ten on
WHO ARE YOUR TYPICAL CLIENTS?
Our customary clientele is quite diverse, ranging in age from 9 to 84
years. Certain itineraries attract different ages, with groups often
mixed between couples and individuals traveling alone. We do not
require that individuals pay a "Single Supplement" if willing to share
accommodations, though they are available if desired. We've had numerous
honeymooners (and even a marriage en route!). Some itineraries are popular
with families, and we can try to arrange to pair similarly aged children
if possible. Increasingly too, we have had the privilege of
WHAT ABOUT PRICES?
Travel options in Alaska obviously vary widely, and are generally more
costly than elsewhere. When making comparisons, consider how the size of
the group might help define the experience that you are looking for, and
that the costs are necessarily spread accordingly. Our trips also
include a full first and last day of activities, which is not the
industry norm. Many companies also do not include meals or have "hidden"
options. If you're traveling as a single and are willing to share
accommodations, we also don't charge a forced, "single supplement".
It's your wallet but it's also your vacation.
HOW STRENUOUS ARE THE TRIPS, REALLY?
It depends on the itinerary you choose. "Tours" stay only
in established accommodations and dine in local restaurants, with light
hiking an option. They are quite comfortable and are enjoyed by a vast
range of ages. "Adventures" involve wilderness travel and camping and
can be somewhat more rigorous by nature. Some destinations offer only
rustic accommodations, and of course we aren't always able to guarantee
the weather or unforeseen circumstances of travel. No special skills are
required and beyond good health, the only requirement is a keen spirit
of adventure and a true desire to appreciate what is unique about these
lands. Adventure Alaska trips are not for everybody and should you have
any questions as to the suitability of a trip, please don't hesitate to
contact our office. We'll gladly recommend a competitor rather than
steer you toward a trip that you might not fully enjoy.
HOW DO WE TRAVEL?
Most itineraries involve a variety of means of travel in order to give a
better feel for the particular area we are exploring. From trains to
boats or on foot, each is integral to the overall experience. While all
involve some road travel, we will be in specially equipped 15-passenger
vans with never more than 10 persons.
WHAT ARE THE TOUR LEADERS LIKE?
We go to great pains to find those that believe in what they are doing,
because they are the basis of your experience as well as ours. This
means that each is older than the industry norm and extremely
knowledgeable on the areas visited, as well as the activities involved,
and not simply a college kid from somewhere else, looking for a summer
job. All are more qualified than you might expect, from safety training
to natural history to just plain interesting.
WILL WE FOLLOW THE ITINERARY EXACTLY?
We attempt to stick as close to the itinerary as possible, but
due to the wild nature of Alaska and the remoteness of some of our
destinations, occasionally weather conditions, road construction delays
and other unforeseen events require us to alter our plans.
Flexibility is the key to fully enjoying your trip.
HOW DO I BOOK A TRIP?
Give us a call or e-mail us to check availability.
Upon reservation, we will hold your space up to 10 days in order
to receive your deposit of $600 per person. We will send a
confirmation and detailed trip information when we receive your deposit.
The balance of your payment is due 60 days
before the trip departure , subject to the cancellation policy, below.
Payment for lodging and add-on excursions is due at the time of
reservation, subject to separate cancellation policies.
Payment by credit card is subject to an
additional handling fee.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Any time after booking: $100 per person
60 to 45 days before trip departure: 50% of tour cost
44 to 30 days before trip departure: 75% of tour cost
Within 30 days of departure: 100% non-refundable
CAN YOU ARRANGE PRE- AND/OR POST-TRIP
LODGING AND EXCURSIONS FOR US?
Absolutely! We would be happy to recommend quality
accommodations in Anchorage, as well as make all the arrangements for
add-on trips prior to or after your trip. See the
Trip Enhancements page for some
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
Every summer month has something special to recommend it:
late May and early June may still have snow on the ground and fewer
leaves on the trees. This makes spotting wildlife (with their
Spring newborns) easier. Late June and July feature stupendous
wildflowers (including our famous fireweed) and, generally, warmer
temperatures. This time period also offers the opportunity to
experience Alaska's midnight sun. Berries are the stars of August
visits to Alaska - and with berries, come the bears who eat them.
Visitors in late August may be able to glimpse the first displays of the
Northern Lights of the fall season, as well as the beautiful fall colors
starting to spread across the tundra.
Those wishing to experience the "real" Alaska
should travel with us on one of our winter itineraries. We provide
the arctic winter gear; you provide a sense of adventure.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE MY DIETARY
Tours use established restaurants and guests may choose what
they wish off of the menu. Most establishments offer vegetarian
options and do their best to accommodate special requests. Please
keep in mind, however, that at many of the remote locations we visit,
access to the freshest fruits, vegetables and gourmet items is limited.
Adventures rely upon a combination of restaurants and camp cooking.
Our camp recipes use some beef and fish, but vegetarian modifications
can be made easily by your guide upon request. We
strive to provide reasonably healthy and tasty meals with ingredients
chosen for maximum energy, transportability and durability.
Most tours stop at a grocery store on the first
day so that you can purchase any items, including snacks and alcoholic
beverages, you require. Please note that you will need to purchase
your own cooler, if needed, as the group coolers have only very limited
Please contact us if you have questions about
your specific dietary needs.
WHAT ABOUT THE MOSQUITOES?
Alaskan mosquitoes are the stuff of legends...at least that's
what you've heard from others who have visited. While it's true
that at certain times and places in the summer, the flying insects can
test the patience of even the most trail-hardened veteran, many find
that bugs are worse where they come from! If particularly sensitive and
you find yourself in one of those areas of "concentration", here are a few
tips that will make your visit more bearable.
1. Use an insect repellent with DEET
and re-apply frequently. Though there are legions of natural and
non-DEET repellents on the market, research in Alaska has shown that
only DEET is truly effective, and lasts the longest.
2. Wear light-colored clothing.
your own head-net or, if traveling with us on an Adventure itinerary,
borrow one of ours.
WHAT KIND OF PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE
Almost all of our destinations offer the opportunity to view
bears in their natural surroundings. While this is an exciting and
memorable experience, we will be required to take certain precautions
when hiking and camping in bear country. Your guide will teach you
the proper techniques to use in bear encounters and while camping.
In a nutshell, you will not be permitted to store food, drink or
anything with a scent (including toothpaste, deodorant and lip balm) in
We do not carry firearms as we firmly believe
that following the appropriate steps and using good bear sense are the
best techniques for sharing the wilderness with these wonderful animals.