Sunday, June 23, 2024

07-Days | Iditarod - Start Package

Iditarod Race Tour Package I: Anchorage Race Start


The "Race Start" Tour and Sightseeing Package from/to Anchorage

Iditarod  Our "Race Start" tour features the essence of the Iditarod experience, including the iconic race start on Anchorage's 4th Avenue, the official restart in Willow, an explorative city sightseeing tour of Anchorage, and the exclusive Mushers Banquet. The banquet offers a unique opportunity to meet Iditarod mushers in person and capture memorable photos. Tailor your adventure with our flexible tour package, offering a variety of options to enhance your Iditarod journey: embark on a thrilling sled dog ride, venture through the snow on a snowmobile around Hatcher Pass, or discover the majestic Matanuska Glacier with a guided tour. Further enrich your adventure with a cruise tour of Prince William Sound in Whittier, spend a day skiing at Alyeska Resort – Alaska's premier ski destination, or explore remote Iditarod race checkpoints via fly-out options to iconic locations such as Rainy Pass, Finger Lakes, the Yentna River, or Nikolai, with overnight stays in wilderness lodges nestled in the foothills of the Alaska Range. Alternatively, consider a journey to Nome on the Bering Sea's shores, where you can witness the thrilling moment when the first Iditarod musher completes their epic 1,100-mile odyssey. This itinerary is perfect for the independent traveler seeking a bespoke and unforgettable Alaskan adventure.

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Day 1: Anchorage (Wednesday)

Fly into Anchorage. Upon your arrival, settle into your downtown hotel and prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the annual Winter Fur Rendezvous. This festive period offers a plethora of activities, from the Native Arts Market and captivating theater shows to winter carnival excitement, stunning snow and ice sculptures, snowshoe softball games, and dazzling fireworks displays—all leading up to the eagerly anticipated start of the Iditarod Race this weekend. The iconic statue of Balto, the celebrated lead dog, on 4th Avenue, signifies the revered starting point of this legendary race. We invite you to experience the Rondy Melodrama at the Snow Goose Theatre. Prepare for an evening filled with laughter, singing, and the playful tradition of popcorn throwing. Conclude your day with a gourmet dining experience, boasting spectacular views of Cook Inlet, either from the Captain Cook Hotel or Simon and Seafort's Restaurant, nestled above the Cook Inlet shoreline. Embrace the opportunity to delight in the culinary excellence and scenic beauty that Anchorage has to offer.

Day 2: Anchorage - City Tour & Mushers Banquet (Thursday)

Embark on a captivating 3-hour journey through Anchorage, beginning at the historic Ship Creek's Port of Anchorage—where Alaska's largest city was born. This tour will guide you through an enchanting world of snow sculptures, the historical intrigue of Bootleggers Cove, and the natural wonder of Earthquake Park. Cruise around Lake Hood, recognized as the busiest seaplane base globally, before venturing to the scenic Turnagain Arm, Beluga Point for a chance to observe wildlife, and Potter Marsh within the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, a haven for bird enthusiasts. The adventure doesn't end there. At 4:00 PM, join us at the Dena'ina Center for an exclusive Musher Meet & Greet, setting the stage for an evening dedicated to the spirit of the Iditarod. By 6:00 PM, the festivities continue with a banquet and fundraiser, an event that brings together the excitement of live auctions, the delight of a three-course meal, and insightful musher presentations. The night's pinnacle moment is the mushers' drawing of their official starting positions for the race—a ceremony brimming with anticipation and camaraderie. This unforgettable evening offers guests endless opportunities to capture photos, engage in meaningful conversations with the mushers, collect autographs, and partake in the thrill of the auction. Join us for an experience that not only celebrates the adventurous spirit of the Iditarod but also brings you closer to the heart and soul of Anchorage.

Day 3: Anchorage - Free Day for activities (Friday)

Indulge in a day of leisure, exploring the myriad of winter wonders that Alaska offers. Kickstart your adventure just north of Anchorage with a 2-hour sled dog tour, where you'll get up close with the enthusiastic dogs before embarking on an unforgettable trail ride. Choose to cozy up in a specially designed sled or embrace the thrill of mushing it yourself. For adrenaline seekers, a 3-hour snowmobile expedition through Alaska's pristine backcountry awaits, offering the chance to encounter wildlife and marvel at the majestic Denali in the distance. If you're captivated by natural beauty, consider a full-day excursion to Matanuska Glacier, where you'll trek across its vast expanse, encountering stunning crevasses, towering seracs, and intricate ice formations. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Prince William Sound with a glacier cruise or carve through the snow at Alyeska Ski Resort, each offering distinct perspectives of Alaska's breathtaking landscapes. Whatever adventure you choose, you're guaranteed to experience the enchanting beauty of Alaska's winter wonderland.

Day 4: Anchorage - Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start (Saturday)

Experience the iconic start of the Iditarod race, set to begin at 10:00 AM on 4th Avenue, in the heart of Alaska's largest city. Rise early to witness the flurry of preparations, capture intimate photographs of the mushers and their teams - around 50 mushers and more than 1,000 sled dogs - and soak in the electrifying atmosphere of this renowned event before the teams embark on the grueling 1,050-mile journey to Nome. For those seeking a different vantage point, Anchorage's parks and green belts offer splendid alternatives to watch the race's activities unfold. The Balto Statue, a symbol of perseverance and heroism, signifies the ceremonial starting line of the Iditarod. Balto famously led the final leg of a lifesaving relay that delivered diphtheria antitoxin from Anchorage to Nome in the winter of 1925, averting an epidemic that threatened the community. This historic event is commemorated by the race, and Balto's statue stands as a tribute to the spirit of the Iditarod, celebrating the enduring bond between humans and their sled dogs in the face of adversity. Join the celebration and be part of the legacy that continues to inspire and captivate the world.

Day 5: Anchorage - Willow Iditarod Restart (Sunday)

Begin your day with breakfast, then board the motorcoach at 9:30 AM for a scenic drive to the official Iditarod Race Start in Willow, post the ceremonial start in Anchorage. Revel in the picturesque drive along the Glenn Highway, with a brief stopover in Wasilla, before arriving in Willow for the race's restart ceremony at 2:00 PM. Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of the Iditarod, witnessing the mushers' final preparations amidst the fervent cheer of thousands of fans. This moment marks the transition from the celebratory start to the challenging journey ahead, as mushers and their sled dogs embark on the 1,000-mile trek to Nome. They leave behind the crowd's warmth for the solitude of Alaska's wild, potentially treacherous wilderness. Anticipate a return to Anchorage around 7:00 PM, filled with memories of the day's unique blend of excitement and anticipation.

Day 6: Anchorage (Monday)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, followed by a morning of relaxation or exploration in and around Anchorage. This is the perfect opportunity for some final shopping, a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or indulging in a sumptuous seafood lunch featuring Alaska's renowned salmon or king crabs at one of Anchorage's premier dining establishments. Subsequently, you will be transferred from the hotel to the airport, marking the conclusion of your tour package. For those wishing to further immerse themselves in the Alaskan wilderness, individual program extensions are available. Consider extending your adventure with a flight to the remote Rainy Pass Lodge or Nikolai Checkpoints, where the beauty and challenge of Alaska continue to unfold.

Tour Services Included:

  • 5 Nights Standard or Deluxe Hotel Accommodation
  • Local Taxes
  • Anchorage City Sightseeing Tour
  • Iditarod Restart Tour to Willow
  • Mushers Banquet Ticket, Meet & Greet including Dinner
  • Anchorage Airport Transfers (Standard Hotel only)
  • Sightseeing Information
  • Tour Documentation

Rates per Person in US $ from/to Anchorage

Tour Number: IDI1 Iditarod Race Start Single Double Triple Quad
2025 ✦ February 26 - March 03 | Standard Hotel Accommodation       $ 1384.00 $ 977.00 $ 865.00 $ 809.00
2025 ✦ February 26 - March 03 | Deluxe Hotel Accommodation       $ 1950.00 $ 1260.00 $ 1078.00 $ 986.00
Additional Night Anchorage - Standard Hotel  (tax included) $ 145.00 $ 75.00 $ 54.00 $ 43.00
Additional Night Anchorage - Deluxe Hotel (tax included) $ 235.00 $ 120.00 $ 85.00 $ 70.00


Optional Additional Tours

✦ Guided Matanuska Glacier Hike (Tour Guide, Round Trip Shuttle from Anchorage)  $309.00
✦ Alaska Snowmobile Tour (3 hrs )   -  Round Trip Shuttle add $100 per person  $245.00
✦ Winter Dog Sled Adventure (2 hrs)   -  Round Trip Shuttle add $100 per person  $160.00
✦ Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise (includes transfer from Anchorage)
$ 350.00
✦ Mt. Denali Flightseeing Tour $ 535.00