I meet hundreds of Alaska visitors each year, and most have successfully navigated the internet-based jungle of trip reviews, social media sites, and personal recommendations from friends or family about what to see in the Last Frontier. But just as no family vacation is one-size-fits-all, neither is Alaska.
Enter the arranged tour, and one company who sees, as we do, the value of customizing to fit the traveler.
Alaska Heritage Tours is an arm of the CIRI Alaska Tourism Company, a group of pros who have stood behind AKontheGO in our commitment to family travel in the 49th state. From whale-watching day cruises in Resurrection Bay to hikes in beautiful Denali National Park, the company is dedicated to preserving the best of Alaska; cultures, experiences, and people that make this place like no other.
Alaska Heritage Tours utilizes tools and established relationships to create pre-arranged tours for travelers who fancy themselves of the independent ilk, that is, folks like us who enjoy going places with a little bit of assistance and a lot of information about activities, lodging, and transportation, and yet, we the consumer make the final decision. Rich with opportunities to experience the diversity of Alaska without worrying about logistics, the company’s tours rate high among those who like travel but dislike worrying about it.
Families who cruise often like the flexible feel of an Alaska Heritage tour; after a week or more of frenetic boarding and disembarking with 1,000 or so of your closest friends, taking a smaller, more intimate look at Alaska feels just right, especially with children who are likely to be tired of all this “here and there” scurrying.
With the state’s two largest cities as departure points, guests can begin their exploration of Alaska from either Fairbanks or Anchorage, taking advantage of road, rail, or boat. From there, imagination takes over, as glaciers, wildlife, craggy mountain tops, and the warmth of Alaska’s residents help create the perfect addition to any visit North. With names like “Alaska Grand Explorer Tour” and “Best of Kenai Fjords National Park,” kids immediately become part of the superstar legacy of Alaska, and can take part in an immersion of adventure not often found in a typical family vacation.
Alaska Heritage Tours has a new plan for 2014, too: The first-ever group tour, featuring a full-time escort between Anchorage, Kenai Fjords National Park, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. Over the course of eight amazing days, your family can visit a sled dog kennel, cruise near a glacier, eat a cinnamon roll the size of your head, and watch for grizzly bears foraging the meadows of Denali National Park.
Perfect for the multigenerational group who has both younger and older members of a group, especially family reunions, the escorted tour departs on five different dates between May and September, 2014.
When would I go? Late August or early September, tops. Leaves are turning, animals are active in preparation for winter, and crowds are much thinner, allowing for a small group experience with personal attention.
The Alaska Heritage Tour team is ready to help, too, with careful consideration for your family’s particular needs. Whether independently traveling, or making the journey to Alaska with a larger group, they’ll help find a great fit, from one day to 10. Call 877-258-6877, or visit the company website, HERE.
What questions should you ask?
- Car seats, kid-friendly accommodations and restaurants?
- Can we create a self-drive option?
- Do tours allow for important “down time” or flexible scheduling of our days?
- Can we bring an infant?
- How should we pack? Can we bring our own snacks and drinks on tours? What is provided for us?
Summer 2014 is nearly here (no, really, it is). Alaska is waiting for you.