Alaska Railroad Tracks Out Adventures for Summer Season
New packages take passengers to Denali and Kenai Fjords national parks
The Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic train.
ANCHORAGE—The Alaska Railroad is offering new ways to explore and experience the Last Frontier. In addition to daily summer trains connecting passengers to Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali National Park and Preserve and Fairbanks, the Alaska Railroad is launching two new summer packages.
Passengers can now book this season’s new rail packages, South to the Sea and North to Denali, with departure dates beginning in mid-May and running through early September. The packages will bring visitors an experience in the coastal community of Seward, Alaska, and the surrounding Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as a new way to visit Denali National Park and Preserve. These experiences are packaged to provide passengers with a trip via the Alaska Railroad paired with sought after summer excursions, and adventures in Alaska.
Passengers who book the South to the Sea package will depart from Anchorage and travel to Seward onboard the Coastal Classic Train for a five-night journey. The package allows guests to discover the coastal community with a tour of Exit Glacier and a visit to an Iditarod champion sled dog kennel. Additionally, the package includes a small-boat day cruise to discover tidewater glaciers and see Alaska’s marine wildlife in Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as overnight accommodations at popular hotels and remote wilderness lodges before returning to Anchorage. The South to the Sea package starts at $2,135 per person, based on double occupancy.
The North to Denali package delivers guests a new way to explore Denali National Park, home to the tallest peak in North America, with a four-night trip. Guests will first depart from Anchorage onboard the Denali Star Train to the town of Talkeetna that sits in the shadow of Denali. While in Talkeetna, guests will hop on the Hurricane Turn Train to take advantage of its unique flagstop service that connects homesteaders with their remote cabins, and then experience a guided jetboat ride. The next day, passengers will head north on the Denali Star to explore Denali National Park’s history and wildlife. Additional adventure options in the park include rafting, flightseeing and more. The North to Denali package starts at $1,385 per person, based on double occupancy.
“The Alaska Railroad is excited to offer two new summer packages that highlight iconic Alaska adventures around the state as well as two of our beloved national parks,” Vice President of Marketing and Customer Service Dale Wade said. “We look forward to helping create memorable experiences with visitors and locals alike under the midnight sun.”
Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star train.
The summer season kicks off on Saturday, May 11, when the Coastal Classic Train makes its way south from Anchorage into Alaska’s backcountry on the Kenai Peninsula ending in Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Daily service is available through Monday, September 16.
The Denali Star Train also takes off Saturday, May 11, offering daily departures from both Anchorage and the Interior Alaska city of Fairbanks. The Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, the Denali Star offers direct access to Denali National Park as well as other popular locations in Southcentral and Interior Alaska. The Denali Star Train runs through Tuesday, September 17.
The Hurricane Turn Train will make its first trip of the season from Talkeetna to Hurricane Gulch on Thursday, May 16. As one of the last flagstop services in the nation, this train gives passengers the unique opportunity to get off the train anywhere along its 55-mile route to explore Alaska’s backcountry. Common stops for this round-trip train include Chase, Curry, Sherman, Gold Creek, Twin Bridges and Chulitna. This train runs Thursday through Monday until Monday, September 16.
Adventure seekers of all ability levels can hop aboard the Glacier Discovery Train starting on Saturday, May 25. The Glacier Discovery deviates from the Coastal Classic route after it passes the small town of Portage and embarks for Whittier and Grandview. This route is also the connection to adventurous excursions in the Chugach National Forest at the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, which is only accessible via the Alaska Railroad. This route additionally offers numerous day trip options including: a glacier cruise, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, rafting, hiking and more. The Glacier Discovery Train offers daily service through Monday, September 16.
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.