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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:
Arrive in Anchorage and make your way to your hotel. This afternoon, you are free to explore the “Last Frontier” on your own.
This morning, board the world-famous Alaska Railroad for a memorable train journey to Talkeetna, the jumping-off point for climbers attempting to summit Denali Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. Enjoy strolling along the shops in downtown or take a walk to the river. Early this afternoon, journey to Denali National Park for a 2-night stay.
Denali National Park and Preserve, majestically dominates the park’s six million acres. Enjoy a free day for independent activities; a hike along the many wilderness trails might be of interest. 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 suggestions.
Relish one last look at the outstanding scenery and wildlife of Denali, before traveling across the Denali Highway. This seldom-traveled road was the first road to allow access to Denali National Park—a true wilderness with frequent wildlife sightings and amazing views of the Alaska Range. Next, climb over the top of Thompson Pass, well-known for the annual snowfall in the winter months, the pass offers summer guests unforgettable views. End today’s journey in the town of Valdez, nestled between the waterfront and mountains, giving it the nickname, Alaska’s Little Switzerland.
Board a boat and travel across magnificent Prince William Sound. Explore the 3-mile face of the mighty Meares Glacier and hear tales of the region as told by the Alaskan crew. Keep your eyes open and cameras ready for marine wildlife such as otters, seals, and whales while viewing spectacular glaciers. Return to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.
This morning, a city sightseeing tour of Anchorage, with a visit to the Anchorage Museum, where you will see a fascinating display of artifacts of the native people of Alaska. After Anchorage sightseeing, return to Whittier to board Holland America’s MS Noordam or MS Nieuw Amsterdam for an unforgettable Inside Passage cruise. The remote village of Whittier 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.
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.
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.
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.