Our On Location Partner, Entrée Alaska, brings Alaska to life with their insights and latest travel information.
Q: How would you describe Alaska for visitors who haven't been there?
I like to use the word "ineffable" which loosely means without description but in a divine sense. There is something so big and beautiful and awesome there just aren't words to adequately describe it!
Q: Tell us about the independent tours you offer.
For those not wanting to take scheduled group tours, there is a wide assortment of custom-crafted options for independent travelers; singles, couples or groups/families. These give you the chance to select exactly what you want to do in Alaska and have some rather unique experiences. While the tours are independent, larger groups often choose to have escorts and private guides travel with them.
These are some of the most popular options:
Helicopter Dog sledding is most-often requested as well as whale watching in Juneau or fishing in Ketchikan. Guests rave about exploring Sitka Sound by small boat with a local and charming Marine Biologist. Another favorite is flightseeing over Glacier Bay with a private pilot; it's hard to say which gets more thumbs up!
Private shore excursions are available in most ports of call with about eight to 10 choices in each location, generally accommodating two to 20 guests at a time. One-of-a-kind excursions based on your specific, even whimsical, desires are possible. This is ideal for those who want to be personally greeted upon disembarkation and gently guided away in a civilized manner to an exceptional and personal tour with engaging locals.
A pre/post cruise trip to Denali (please allow four-nights) or pre/post bear viewing are very popular. Tours of 10-14 days show you the best that Alaska has to offer with accommodation at small-scale remote lodges often fly-in or boat-in only. There are no roads to some of these locations!
Q: Is there a winter tour season in Alaska?
We love winter in Alaska! In general the winter season is from late January through April. It is a magical time to visit - cold crisp days, long nights and Northern lights. Escape to remote backcountry lodges or enjoy "city-based" tours in Fairbanks or Anchorage.
Activities include heli-skiing for all ability levels, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, dog sledding, snow machine touring (the Alaskan term for snowmobile), Northern Lights viewing and of course the iconic Iditarod Dog Sled race in March.
Q: How would you describe the people and the culture?
The people are actually the most amazing part of Alaska in my opinion. They are warm and kind, quirky and gracious and no matter how much disagreement two people have they would always lend a hand if the other was in dire straits - life can sometimes hang in the balance in Alaska and no one takes that for granted.
Q: What tips do you have for people planning a cruise or tour in Alaska?
Dress like an onion - in lots of thin layers to peel off and put back on. The temperature can change so much in the course of a day it is amazing - from walking on glaciers to reeling in fish - you'll need lots of different options for clothing and having the layer system will allow for the most flexibility. Also BUY LOCAL - there is so much "junk" sold to tourists it is really better to buy less and buy better quality real Alaskan-made remembrances!
Please send us a message if you have any questions or comments about anything you see in the e-zine. We'd love to hear from you!