Alaska holiday highlights

It is standard practice for resorts/hotels within the USA to charge a mandatory resort fee which is payable locally. This fee can be anywhere between 5USD to 40 USD per room per night and is not included in the cost of your Kuoni holiday.

In Alaska it’s all about the great outdoors, with activities ranging from hiking and rafting to salmon fishing, and unique landscapes that provide habitat for black and brown (grizzly) bears, blue and humpback whales, moose, lynx and wolves.

The real highlights lie in Alaska’s national parks. In the wilderness of Denali National Park, follow the single 92-mile road that leads to Denali/Mount McKinley, North America’s highest mountain peak, passing dramatic landscapes of forest, alpine tundra and snowcapped mountains, glimpsing bears and moose along the way. Be sure to sample a salmon bake, grilled over a wood fire.

Katmai National Park is where you have the chance to capture the iconic image of brown bears at Brooks Falls, catching salmon as they leap down the rapids. Created to preserve the ‘Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes’ (so called after a deep ash flow was deposited by the eruption of the Novarupta Volcano in 1912, causing steaming smoke from the fissured floor), this incredible park has 14 volcanoes and is home to over 2,000 brown bears.

Seward is the entrance point for Kenai Fjords National Park, straight out of the ice age. Off land, kayak between glaciers and amongst seals in Kenai Fjords National Park, where 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield – over 300 square miles of ice up to a mile thick.

Alaska’s state capital, Juneau, is the gateway to the 3.3 million acre Glacier Bay National Park. Cruise vast Glacier Bay National Park with its rugged mountains, tidewater glaciers and wild coastlines – and a feeding ground for humpback whales in summer.

Away from the national parks, spend time in Alaska’s most popular city, Anchorage, offering a unique blend of spectacular scenery, Russian and native heritage and big city amenities. Wander the narrow, pedestrian friendly streets, which are host to a good selection of bars and restaurants, museums and galleries, many displaying local and cultural art. Further north, the culture-rich town of Fairbanks is steeped in gold rush history.

Hiring a car is a scenic way to get around, with many of the most popular destinations accessible by Alaska’s highways. Alaska’s two main rail routes: the Alaska Railroad and the White Pass & Yukon Route are excellent for reaching places inaccessible by road. Travelling by ferry is also an option between coastal areas.

Alaska key facts

Time difference

GMT -9 hours

Currency

US Dollar

Flying time to destination

14 hours

Passport & visas

Brits must have a full 10-year British Passport that's valid for six months after you return to the UK. You will also need a USA visa or waiver form/ESTA. Apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before travelling (http://esta.cbp.dhs.gov).

Voltage & electricity

The domestic electrical supply is 110V, 60 cycles AC. Sockets are for plugs with two flat pins.

Alaska good to know

Tipping

For good service, waiters and taxi drivers expect 15-20%, and counter and bar staff 10-15%. Porters can expect from $3-$5 per case, while tour guides can be given the equivalent of £2-£3 per day.

Public holidays

  • 1 January: New Year's Day

  • Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  • Third Monday in February: Presidents Day

  • Last Monday in May: Memorial Day

  • 4 July: Independence Day

  • First Monday in September: Labor Day

  • Second Monday in October: Columbus Day

  • 11 November: Veterans Day

  • Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day

  • 25 December: Christmas Day