Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Hailed as the 'Last Great Race on Earth', head to the wilds of Alaska and experience the start of this remarkable cross-country race. Spot Alaskan bears and moose, relax in a resort spa, and try your hand at dogsledding.
Fly to Anchorage where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
This morning meet your tour director and the rest of the group at a welcome breakfast. After, experience one of the world's great drives travelling along the spectacularly scenic Turnagain Arm. There is plenty of wildlife to spot along the route. There is a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre for the chance to see grizzly and black bears, moose, musk ox, cribour, lynx and porcupine. In Seward there is a visit to the Alaska Sealife Centre for an in-depth look above and below the water of Alaska. Later, arrive in the ski resort of Girdwood.
A full day at leisure to discover the activities available. Perhaps, try dogsledding, flightseeing, snowshoeing or take time to unwind in the hotel's spa. There is an included aerial tram ride that offers breathtaking panoramas at Turnagain and seven glaciers.
Return to Anchorage and enjoy an included tour of the historic downtown district and to Lake Hood, the world's busiest seaplane base. Next, there is a behind the scenes visit to the Alaska Zoo. The afternoon is at leisure before enjoying Iditarod Festivities and dinner at the Musher's Banquet. Enjoy Alaska entertainment, see the mushers draw for staring positions and have the opportunity to meet them for photos and autographs.
This morning travel north to Big Lake and visit the home of four-time Iditarod Chamion Martin Buser and his Happy Trails Kennels. Hear his personal stories, including how his sons are named after Iditarod checkpoints, whilst viewing the grandeur Alaska has to offer along the Iditerod Trail. Afterwards, there is a visit to Iditarod Headquarters and the chance to see a replica of an Iditarod Trail Station. Later, head back to Anchorage where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
The day of the big race. This morning, head to 4th Avenue to get a good vantage point for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. Before the race starts, there is a chance for photos and autographs with some of the mushers that participate from all over the world. After enjoying more of the festivities there is a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, which shares the rich heritage of Alaska's 11 indigenous cultural groups. This evening join everyone for a farewell dinner.
After the ceremonial start yesterday the official restart is in Willow. Travel north to the quaint community of Willow, which started as a mining camp when gold was discovered in 1897. Cheer on your favourite musher as they head off into the Alaska wilderness on this 1,131 mile journey to Nome and the finish line.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
The Iditarod pits man and animal against nature, against wild Alaska at her best and as each mile is covered, it is a tribute to Alaska's history and the role the sled dog' played. The Iditarod is a tie to that colourful past. The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its origins as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born. In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs. Throughout the years, the sled dogs were important to day to day life in the villages and throughout Alaska. All of these examples and more are a part of Alaska's history. Anchorage is the starting line. From there, the field of dog teams run 11 miles. After a restart in the Matanuska Valley, the mushers leave the land of highways and bustling activity and head out to the Yentna Station Roadhouse, Skwentna and then up through Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, over the Alaska Range and down the other side to the Kuskokwim River — into the interior and on to the mighty Yukon — a river highway that takes the teams west through the arctic tundra.
In the event the Iditarod Official Start is relocated (beyond Willow) due to weather and trail conditions, a full day of activities will be substituted in Anchorage.
Accommodation as stated or similar
This platinum tour is operated by our sister company Globus.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.