Alaska has a lot to look forward to in 2013, here’s a list of the new and noteworthy:
- Visitors can immerse themselves in Alaska’s ecosystems and learn about the state’s parks, forests and refuges with Alaska Geographic’s 2013 lineup of field seminars and youth programs. The courses are designed for those looking for ways to connect to Alaska’s vast wilderness. www.alaskageographic.org
- Holland America Line is expanding its Alaska program with four new 10-to-20 day round-trip Seattle CruiseTours, offering guests the convenience of combining an Inside Passage cruise with an in-depth overland tour via motorcoach.
- Rust’s Flying Service is offering travelers a pilot for a day, their own experienced Alaska bush pilot as a personal tour guide for six hours. There are three suggested itineraries that include a variety of customizable options or guests can choose their own adventure. www.flyrusts.com
- Alaska Wildland Adventures is kicking off a new tour for 2013 that introduces guests to Alaska birding, teaching birding basics and how to spot, identify and classify various species in Kenai Fjords and Denali national parks. The itinerary also includes wildlife viewing and options for guided hikes, kayak trips and small boat explorations. www.alaskawildland.com
- Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours has new snowmobile tours in the Susitna Valley. The customizable, multi-day tours explore the backcountry in the shadow of Mount McKinley and include overnights in area lodges and at a luxurious cabin. www.youralaskavacation.com
- Bald Mountain Air, based in Homer, is now offering once-in-a-lifetime trips to Alaska’s Arctic coast to observe polar bears in their natural habitat. Day trips depart from Anchorage on a two-hour flight to the Native village of Kaktovik on Barter Island. Tours run on weekends mid-September to late October. baldmountain.powweb.com
- Seward’s Adventure Sixty North, LLC began taking travelers on snow coach tours to the Exit Glacier area in late 2012 onboard a heated, 12-person snowcat. The adventure company is the only outfitter in the state licensed to take snowcats into a national park. www.adventure60.com
- Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, located 90 miles in Denali National Park and Preserve, has expanded its 2013 Special Emphasis Series offered at North Face Lodge. Throughout the summer, specialists are invited to share their expertise on a wide variety of topics with guests during the evening program. campdenali.com/live/page/
- 1st Alaska Outdoor School will be taking guests on guided tours of the Ice Alaska park during the BP World Ice Art Championships Feb. 26 – March 31, 2013 in Fairbanks. The tour includes narrated transportation around the park and interaction with a local ice artist. www.1stalaskaoutdoorschool.com
- With Alaska Sea Cycle Tours, travelers can set off on an aquatic adventure of water biking in a nearby cove in Ketchikan. This tour takes guests to a wildlife estuary and on to the Tongass Narrows while learning how Alaskans utilize the land and sea. www.alaskaseacycletours.com
- New in 2013 is the Evening Chef’s Table at the Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan. The Chef’s Table will be offered every evening and features dishes highlighting fresh Alaska seafood in a rotating four-course menu. www.alaskafishhouse.com
- Pack Creek Bear Tours in Juneau takes guests to Admiralty Island, home to more than 1,500 brown bears, for a five-hour bear viewing adventure to watch and photograph bears close-up. www.packcreekbeartours.com
- Alaskan Food Tours takes guests on a three-hour culinary adventure through the streets of Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. From dining on seafood to satisfying a sweet tooth and taking in a view of the city, the tour provides a well-rounded experience of the sights, tastes and culture of Alaska. alaskanfoodtours.com
- Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn will offer a new tour to Hoonah for its guests in 2013. This day trip will include airfare and transportation to the Native village for bear viewing and a ride on the world’s longest and highest ZipRider zipline at Icy Strait Point. www.pearsonspond.com
- Chief Shakes Tribal House, a historic replica of a 19th century Tlingit tribal house on Shakes Island in Wrangell Harbor, is celebrating its recent renovation with a rededication and reopening celebration on May 3-4, 2013. www.shakesisland.com
- Small-ship cruise company InnerSea Discoveries has added an in-depth look at Alaska’s Native cultures with the introduction of the Adventure Heritage program. The program combines onboard educational presentations with tours to various historical sites at each port of call. www.innerseadiscoveries.com
- Alaskan Dream Cruises is introducing a new 62-passenger vessel, the Baranof Dream, and a new 11-day itinerary featuring extended exploration of Chichagof Island, Baranof Island and Red Bluff in addition to other ports of call in the Inside Passage. www.alaskandreamcruises.com
- Jewish travelers looking for a new way to celebrate an anniversary or a unique kind of worship experience can take advantage of Panim Hadashot’s visitors’ program in Juneau. Local Rabbi Dov Gartenberg will create personalized experiences for clients, ranging from celebrating a special anniversary under a Huppah in the Tongass Rainforest to an outdoor worship experience consisting of an hour-long walking service. www.panimhadashot.org
- Unalaska’s resident birding and naturalist guide, Suzi Golodoff, is now offering year-round tours highlighting the various birds in the Aleutians and the natural history of the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor area. www.unalaska.info
- Visitors to Nome can embark on various adventures with the help of Akau Alaska Gold and Resort in 2013. Activities range from gold prospecting tours of historic mines, expeditions to nearby hot springs and Native villages to hiking and salmon fishing. akaugold.com
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