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Cosmos offers Small-Group Discoveries on select North America dates. A Small-Group Discovery is limited to an average of just 24 guests per departure. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos escorted tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery trip is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Welcome to Anchorage! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
As you enter Whittier from North America’s longest tunnel, the panoramic view of the ocean, mountains, and glaciers greet you. As the gateway to Prince William Sound, this is where you’ll board a Glacier cruise for an up-close look along the 3-mile face of Meares Glacier, and the epicenter of the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964. Watch for eagles, whales, mountain goats, dolphins, and sea lions! Overnight in Valdez, the “Switzerland of Alaska.”
. Leave Valdez, home of the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal, and enjoy views of Bridal Veil Falls, Worthington Glacier, and Thompson Pass. Visit the Wrangell–St. Elias Visitor Center and discover why this vast national park measures in size six times that of Yellowstone National Park, and rises from the ocean to 18,008 feet. Overnight in Tok, the “Dog Sled Capital of the World.”
Join the Alaska Highway and follow along the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Skirt the shores of Kluane Lake, once a meeting place for crews constructing the Alaska Highway. Behold spectacular vistas of the rugged mountains of Kluane National Park, home to 19,551-foot-high Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. The next two nights are in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon and the territorial headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Follow the Trail of ‘98 over the same mountains that thousands of determined gold seekers scaled on foot in the dead of winter while heading for the Klondike. From Fraser, your Tour Director will suggest an optional train trip on the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway. Otherwise, continue by motorcoach to Skagway. Stroll the wooden sidewalks past charming false-front buildings and colorful saloons.
Operation of the White Pass & Yukon Railway to Skagway is subject to seasonal conditions.
Head northwest through the town of Carmacks, once an important supply station for gold seekers on their way to the Klondike. A stop at the Five Finger Rapids, a major obstacle to the hordes of fortune seekers that passed this way. Reach Dawson City, the center of excitement after the first gold strike in the Klondike in 1896, which led to the world’s largest gold rush. Tonight, enjoy the high-flying entertainment of Dimond Tooth Gertie’s Saloon, featuring ragtime music, can-can girls, and an old-fashioned casino.
Highlights on your morning sightseeing tour include Bonanza Creek, site of Claim #1, where the first gold strike was made; and Robert Service Interpretive Centre, where you’ll get a first-hand glimpse into the life of this famous wordsmith, along with genuine Gold Rush era items. Enjoy a photo opportunity at the SS Keno, the last sternwheeler to run between Dawson and Whitehorse. The rest of your day is free to soak up the exciting history of this Gold Rush town at your own pace. Perhaps a return to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Saloon is in order?
A full day and well worth it, as the scenery is magnificent. Have your camera ready for photo opportunities at Dawson overlook and Top of the World Highway, where the motorcoach will re-enter Alaska, and visit one of the last surviving gold rush towns in Alaska before heading west on the Alaska Highway. Stop at an authentic Alaska roadhouse before your evening arrival in Fairbanks.
Morning sightseeing features highlights of Alaska’s second-largest city and a visit to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Board the Sternwheeler Riverboat Discovery III for a leisurely cruise on the Chena River. You will see a bush floatplane take off alongside the boat, visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner, Susan Butcher, and see her champion sled dogs in action. Be immersed into the ancient Athabascan Indian culture when our Alaskan Native Guides take you on a personalized tour of the Chena Indian Village.
Board the world-famous Alaska Railroad for a memorable journey through untamed wilderness. Sit back in comfort and enjoy spectacular scenery through wide windows. Be sure to take advantage of the domed-roof car. The ride ends in Denali National Park & Preserve. North America’s highest peak, 20,310-foot Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, dominates the park’s six million acres of glacial streams, river valleys, and multicolored tundra. After a short orientation tour of Denali, the afternoon is free to explore on your own.
A free day for independent activities. A hike along the many wilderness trails might be good fun. Also take advantage of several optional outings, including a wildlife tour to seek out grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep; a raft trip down the Nenana River; or a helicopter ride over the park. Your Tour Director will have plenty of other suggestions.
Relish one last look at the outstanding scenery and wildlife of Denali before traveling south toward Anchorage. Stop along the way at the Iditarod Headquarters, home of the great dogsled race. After arrival in Anchorage, transfer to Whittier and board your cruise ship. This remote village is nestled along breathtaking Prince William Sound, home to a stunning array of wildlife, including bald eagles, sea otters and killer whales, so have your camera ready.
Hubbard is the longest tidewater glacier (meaning it ends at the ocean) in North America. However, unlike nearly every other tidewater glacier on the continent, Hubbard is advancing, not retreating; it is forever pushing a little further into the bay. Chunks of ice that break off become floaties for seals.
A relaxing day at sea provides time to explore the ship’s many amenities. Animal and marine life are abundant in this area and, with a little luck, you may spot a pod of mighty yet graceful killer whales.
In winter, the sidewalks are all but rolled up in Skagway, so you can imagine the frightful conditions endured by gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon. Take your time and poke your head into every little shop, from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy’s Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie, and other historic characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of ’98 Museum.
Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on Gastineau Channel, Alaska’s capital city of Juneau has massive Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Icefield at its back door. Visit the rustic shops in town—or get out and kayak, raft, hike, whale watch, flightsee, or fish. There is no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours.
Alaska’s “First City” of Ketchikan is so named because it is the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain. An important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries—visitors can try their luck on a sport-fishing excursion or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. It is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian.
Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline.
Your vacation ends this morning. Please schedule homebound flights after Noon.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Built in 2002, the 109 spacious guest rooms offer upscale amenities, five wheelchair accessible rooms, hearing/sight impaired services and an in-house laundry facility. The hotel features distinctive art from Kachemak Bay region reflecting the ownership of the hotel; Seldovia Native Association. Guest rooms are equipped with Serta beds, 42" flat screen TV, refrigerators, micro-waves and Keurig coffee makers, as well as standard bathroom amenities. A breakfast buffet is included for all guests. Located in mid-town Anchorage, 7 miles from downtown, the hotel is close to Dimond Center Mall, with lots of restaurants and shops. There is complimentary airport shuttle as well as shuttle to downtown area.
The Best Western Harbor Inn offers beautiful views of Valdez Harbor and is conveniently located near Valdez Glacier Park, Old Town Park and the Alaskan Pipeline Terminal across the bay. The hotel is equipped with high-speed Internet access, cocktail lounge, gift shop, barbershop, and guest laundry.
Family owned, 35 years serving tourists, tour companies and businessmen. Pam, Bud and their staff invite you to stay in 1 of 36 immaculate, comfortable rooms.
Centrally located in downtown Whitehorse, the hotel features fitness center, ATM, complimentary Wi-Fi, guest laundry facilities, plus a fine dining restaurant on property, as well a more casual lounge.
This contemporary and locally owned hotel is conveniently located in downtown Dawson. If features the Sourdough Saloon, Jack London Grill, a gift shop, laundry services and hot tub.
Five-story, Downtown Hotel overlooking the Chena River, located half mile from train station; 3.5 miles from airport.
Located next to Denali National Park, on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain, the Denali Bluffs Hotel is just steps away from adventure. The main lodge featured a stone fireplace, traditional Alaskan Art as well as lounge area. The hotel features a restaurant, coffee bar, gift shop, tour desk, Internet access, and guest laundry.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.