Note: This information is also available as part of the PDF file following the Detailed Itinerary
This trip does not require a high level of fitness nor does it include camping. It is though, an itinerary that spends a considerable amount of time outdoors in a potentially inclement environment and so a sense of adventure and flexibility are a must. At least a moderate level of fitness is certainly desirable, as not to preclude the many options that can add tremendously to the overall experience, such as the short hikes.
Our lodging ranges from log cabins to lodges to bed & breakfasts, with private bath facilities unavailable at several of the locations. All are very comfortable and are chosen for their uniqueness and charm. Dining is in local restaurants, sometimes with a limited menu. Alcohol not included. Please let us know beforehand if you have any special dietary restrictions. All meals from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 5 are included.
No specialized equipment is needed beyond your personal clothing (see separate Trip Packing List). Clothing should be comfortable, limited to three or four changes for the trip, and when layered be warm to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Dress at our destinations and in the North in general, varies from the very casual to the extremely so. Footwear must of course be comfortable and designed for walking. Rain gear is essential. All clothing and personal items are limited in volume to no more than a manageable medium-sized soft-sided suitcase or duffle bag. Our vans have very limited luggage space, so please pack prudently. Extra items/luggage can usually be left in Anchorage during the trip. PLEASE NOTE: On Day 3, you will need to pack a smaller bag (daypack) for the one night in road-inaccessible Seldovia, as the boat over, and certainly the small aircraft back, have very limited space. Also, if we’re using the boat ramp at low tide, it can be a daunting slope! Extra luggage will be stored in the van. A small daypack also works well in the van for cameras, water bottle, and miscellaneous items, as well as for hikes.
Pre/Post-Trip Lodging/Trip Addons
Many types of lodging are available in Anchorage as are independent extensions before or after the trip. Facilities fill up very early during the summer season. Please advise us of your interests well in advance so that we are able to guarantee suitable accommodations. If you need suggestions for other things to do, just let us know.
Purchases can be made with cash, traveler’s checks and often (but not always) credit cards. TRAVELERS INSURANCE is strongly recommended, as the season is very short and our cancellation policy is necessarily quite strict. EMERGENCIES: A list of lodging/contacts is sent upon confirmation, though the best way to be reached is through the Adventure Alaska office in Hope. Smoking is not permitted in the vans and nearly all lodging facilities in Alaska are non-smoking. Cell phones work only in the larger towns and sporadically on the road system. Gratuities to your guide(s) are not included.
Each client’s appreciation will be immeasurably heightened by gaining some background beforehand of Alaska and the areas of our travels. A wide selection of books and information is available from Alaska Geographic: 810 E 9th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; (866) 257-2757; www.alaskageographic.org and also from our local bookseller, Title Wave Books, in Anchorage – www.wavebooks.com; 907-278-9283
Adventure Travel: is just that! We pride ourselves in being able to give our guests what the large tour companies (i.e. Princess, Holland America, etc.) do not – a chance to visit some of the out-of-the-way places, meet the true locals and support the local economies. Since most everyone has a different definition of just what is adventure, we ask that you consider carefully the type of trip you’re taking and the level of comfort you expect. We very intentionally feature smaller destinations that have not been developed to handle large numbers, and as such do not promise the level of amenities found at larger facilities. We believe that this is integral to experiencing a more “authentic” Alaska, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our past clients makes us confident that we’re succeeding in showing an Alaska that most visitors rarely enjoy. Adventure Alaska trips aren’t for everybody and we’ll gladly recommend a competitor rather than have you take a trip that you might not fully enjoy. Our only requirement: A keen spirit of adventure and true desire to appreciate what is unique about these lands and their peoples. You’ll be rewarded with a personal experience that simply can’t be had on a cursory cruise tour, designed to handle many thousands at a time.
Tipping: We are often asked about tipping, and it is frankly difficult to come up with an adequate response. When it comes to gratuities to your tour guide, generally speaking, we feel it is entirely up to each individual, as each traveler’s means and desire to tip varies. We do believe however that tipping encourages excellence and rewards a job well done, so with this in mind, we support the concept of tipping. And because we’ve been asked so often what an appropriate tip is, a possible guideline for tipping your guide is $10-15 per person per day. Please note that all restaurant tips for meals during the trip will be handled by Adventure Alaska. Tipping to outside vendors/guides (i.e. ice-trekking guides, pilots, boat captains, etc.) is at the discretion of those partaking in the individual services, and again, is highly recommended.
The Electronic Age: Items such as cell phones, iPods and laptop computers, though integral in many of our respective lives, can intrude upon the enjoyment of others trying to "get away from it all", and so we ask that their use be considered and discrete. Many of the places we go are out of cell range, or have proprietary networks not always compatible with national carriers. Wireless connection locations are also surprisingly infrequent. Some locations still have satellite-based or very limited phone capacity, and are unable to accommodate non-emergency public use. What better excuse could there be for not getting a hold of the office–-and remember, it is vacation!
Smoking: Is not permitted in the vans, nor inside most of the accommodations/restaurants, though one can certainly do so out of doors.
Food/Restaurants: During the itineraries, we provide 3 meals a day, with snacks available in the van (alcoholic beverages not included). We make no pretense promising “gourmet” meals, as food is not the focus of our types of trips (—but folks do comment that the meals are exceptional given the great distance groceries must travel!). Often we eat at the establishment where we are staying for the night, and as these are often somewhat remote locations, menu selection is sometimes limited. Meals are hearty (we do get “complaints” about the huge portions in Alaska) and sometimes include local fare such as salmon, halibut or reindeer. While camping, the guide prepares all meals, though assistance is not always refused . . .
Bathrooms: For our "tours" full bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers are available each night, with facilities occasionally down the hall, or in a separate building. For the "adventures", it's the tried and true outhouse facilities while camping, and hot showers and toilets that flush when we're not "roughing it"!