Monday, June 24, 2024

09-Days | Iditarod - Chase the Race

Iditarod Race Tour Package II: Chase the Race

 

Iditarod Trail Checkpoint Flights

Iditarod The adventurous tour package includes the Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start on Anchorage's 4th Avenue, the Iditarod Race Restart in Willow, Fly-out to Rainy Pass checkpoint within the magnificent Alaska Range and to Nikolai checkpoint, a native Athabascan village. Visitors have the opportunity to visit a sled dog kennel and enjoy an exhilarating sled dog ride. Maybe you even want to try mushing the dog team! This is the ideal tour itinerary for the true Iditarod fan and active traveler. You may extend your Iditarod Race experience and choose additional fly-out trips and sightseeing tours or travel to Nome on the shores of the Bering Sea and witness the Iditarod finish. All tours are perfectly organized and are providing up-to-date race information.
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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 | Flight to Rainy Pass Checkpoint (Monday)

Morning ski-plane fly-out for a breathtaking flightseeing trip along the Alaska Mountain Range to the Rainy Pass Checkpoint and the nearby Puntilla Lakes. The gateway to the interior offers by far the best and most spectacular scenery of the entire Iditarod Trail. Many teams are taking their mandatory 24 hour layover here before venturing via the treacherous Farewell Burn area and into the flat lands of the interior. A deli style lunch and soft drinks are included. You'll spend the whole day within the incredible wilderness area along the trail observing various dog-mushing activities and teams arriving and departing. Return flight to Anchorage by ski-plane in the late afternoon. Enjoy a delicious dinner and share the stories of the day with your fellow travelers.

Day 7:  Anchorage | Flight to Nikolai Checkpoint (Tuesday)

Morning flight to the native village of Nikolai for another day of up-close-and-personal race action. With a population of 125 people, Nikolai is the first of many tiny native villages along the Iditarod Trail at the South Fork of the Kuskokwim River. The site was a former trading post and roadhouse during the 1899's gold rush This is usually the preferred area were the leading Iditarod dog teams are taking their mandatory 24-hour layover. You spend the entire day within the incredible wilderness area along the trail observing various dog mushing activities and arrival or departures of the teams. Return flight to Anchorage in the late afternoon with our ski-planes. Remaining evening on your own. We recommend a dinner in one of Anchorage's unique brew houses or some shopping for quality Alaska Native Artwork along the 4th Avenue.

Day 8:  Anchorage | Departure Day (Wednesday)

Morning at leisure in/around Anchorage. Time for your last shopping activities, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center or have a nice seafood lunch with delicious Alaska Salmon or King Crabs in one of Anchorage's top restaurants. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. End of tour package. Please note: Individual program extensions are available. We feature a variety of Winter Rail Tours from Anchorage to Fairbanks, Northern Lights Viewing at the Arctic Circle, Self Drive Tours on the Kenai Peninsula or Sled Dog Tours. Please contact us for more information or refer to the Winter Tour section of the website.

Tour Services Included:

 

  • 7 Nights Standard or Deluxe Hotel Accommodation
  • 3 x Deli Style Lunch
  • All Local Taxes
  • Anchorage City Sightseeing Tour
  • Mushers Banquet Ticket, Meet & Greet incl. Dinner
  • Guided Tour to the Iditarod Restart in Willow
  • Flightseeing Tour to Rainy Pass Checkpoint, lunch included
  • Flightseeing Tour to Nikolai Checkpoint, lunch included
  • Anchorage Airport Transfers (Standard Hotel only)
  • Tour Documentation
  • Sightseeing Information

Rates per Person in US $ from/to Anchorage

Tour Number: IDI2 Iditarod Chase The Race Single Double Triple Quad
2025 ✦ February 26 - March 05 | Standard Hotel Accommodation       $ 4250.00 $ 3690.00 $ 3540.00 $ 3460.00
2025 ✦ February 26 - March 05 -  | Deluxe Hotel Accommodation       $ 5040.00 $ 4090.00 $ 3820.00 $ 3690.00
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