Explore the best of Alaska and the Canadian Rockies with Experience!

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Our specially designed itinerary gives you the best opportunity to discover the majesty of the Last Frontier and the magnificent Canadian Rockies at an incredible value.

Alaska, it’s amazingly different, with the tallest mountain, the largest area of national parkland, the highest concentration of glaciers and the longest stretch of coastland in all of the United States. Incredible scenery, breathtaking beauty beyond words, thundering glaciers, thrilling and bountiful wildlife, intriguing native heritage, rollicking Klondikehistory, and friendly hospitality provides a never-ending adventure. The places, the people, the beauty, the history, it’s like nothing else on earth, and it awaits your arrival. It truly is an experience of a lifetime and a journey that you will never forget. In fact the more you see the more you want to see! When you visit Alaska it becomes apart of you forever.

Koinonia Travels and Tours will help make your dream become reality and your journey effortless. We will take you to special places, introduce you to some wonderful people, while helping you learn, live and experience the real and the unexpected.

The following itinerary is only one but the one we feel is the best experience of Alaska and the Canadian Rockies. This tour includes an Inside Passage cruise with the best stops and shore excursions. Join an existing group or as a group leader you may want us to customize an itinerary just for your group.


Day 1 – The adventure begins!
Your adventure begins in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks is Alaska’s second largest city.  It sprawls, broad and flat, along big highways and the Chena River, a friendly easy going town, but one where people still take gold and their independence seriously.  Fairbanks could strike you a couple of ways. It could come across as a provincial outpost or a touring cross between Kansas and Siberia but, it’s a fun unpretentious town, full of activities and surprises that never lost its sense of being on the frontier.  It is near the geographical center of Alaska.  You will learn a great deal about Fairbanks from our motor coach guide as we visit the city, theUniversity Museum and drop by to see the Pipeline. You will even have the chance to buy a little land with an authentic deed and maybe send a Christmas Card from the North Pole or deliver a card to Santa, himself.

Day 2 – Fairbanks, Alaska
This morning we visit the El Dorado working gold mine where Alaska’s gold history comes alive.  We will revisit the past and marvel at the site of days gone by.  This guided tour takes you through a permafrost tunnel, and you will have the opportunity to talk with Alaskan Miners as you learn about present day placer mining methods.  After a short course in gold mining, grab your own “poke” filled with pay dirt right out of the sluice box and try your hand at panning for gold. Everyone finds gold.  After striking it rich we are off to the Riverboat Discovery for a most memorable adventure on the Chena and Tanana River.  Native Alaskan Guides will take you on a personal guided tour of an authentic Athabascan IndianVillage.  Guides will share their Indian/Eskimo cultures with you as you experience native traditions.  Susan Butcher’s Iditarod Champion Dog Team is also seen in action at the Chena Village.  Groups often see legendary Alaskan bush pilots in action.  This 4 hour cruise is rated as one of Alaska’s top attraction with its unforgettable sites and world class commentary.  The evening is yours unless we find something special for the group to do.  Any suggestions?

Day 3 – Denali National Park
Today we drive south to explore Denali National Park.  Denali National Parkcontains Mount McKinley. At 20,320 feet, it is the tallest mountain in North America.  Denali encompasses a broad expanse of alpine tundra and taiga populated by grizzly bears, wolves, dall sheep, caribou, moose, eagles, fox, beavers and small mammals but that’s typical of much of interior Alaska. You will have the opportunity to leave civilization behind for a few hours and visit the wilderness with an opportunity to see the wildlife aboard a park shuttle bus.  Denali National Park represents one of the last intact ecosystems in the world according to the National Park Service.  There are many other activities to choose from at Denali. Enjoy the wilderness!

Day 4 – Anchorage
Today the group will leave Denali and travel to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Founded in 1915, Anchorage is a young town with a fascinating past. It is a thriving metropolis surrounded by wilderness and six mountain ranges. TheChugach Mountains provide a striking backdrop that can be viewed throughout the city and local trails. The city is also a vibrant art and music scene featuring world class dance theatre and Broadway performances. It has many art galleries and specialty shops with delectable restaurants.

Day 5 – Anchorage
Today you experience Anchorage’s rich history and culture. The AnchorageMuseum of History and Art showcases an impressive collection depicting 10,000 years of Alaskan history. Experience the state’s distinctive Native culture through story telling, song and dance as you explore five traditional villages at the AlaskaNative Heritage Center. Visit Sunshine Plaza for a historical view of the 1964 earthquake or see it first hand at Earthquake Park. Hopefully there is time to visitLake Hood, the busiest float plane harbor in the world and watch or fish for salmon in downtown at Ship Creek.

Day 6 – Seward and Resurrection Bay
Today we board a motor coach to travel to Seward.  The Seward Highway,Turnagain Arm Highway, has been chipped into the side of the Chugach Mountains over the surging gray waters of Turnagain Arm.  The 127 mile drive is rated as the most scenic in the country and has been designated a National Forest Scenic Byway.  Today’s journey can be one of the highlights of our trip.  The drive is one reason to travel to Seward but the main reason is Resurrection Bay. Seward’s history is among the oldest in Alaska and we will have some time to discover more about this small town.  First, we will board a small boat and take a cruise of Kenai fjords, which includes whales, wildlife and glaciers.  After the cruise, you may have time to visit the Alaska Sea Life Center where many call it the window to the sea.  The Sea Life Center offers an unrivaled up-close and personal experience with Gulf of Alaska Marine Wildlife.  Witness 1500-pound sea lions gliding past underwater viewing windows, puffins flying through the air and diving in a carefully crafted naturalistic habitant, and harbor seals sprawled out on rocky beaches.  Alaskan king crab, sea stars and pacific octopus also await you as well as a whole variety of intertidal creatures and deep-sea fishes.  It will be a day to remember. Tonight we board our ship to begin our journey through the Inside Passage.

Day 7 – Hubbard Glacier Cruising
Today we continue our journey as we begin our cruise of the Inside Passage.  TheInside Passage is located in the Southeastern section of the state and measures about 125 by 400 miles. Sixty percent of the region consists of thousands of islands covered with dense forests of spruce, hemlock and cedar, a result of the mild, moist coastal climate.  The majority of the area is within Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Spectacular scenery greets the eye at every turn.  The Inside Passage is the last stronghold of the Americans Bald Eagle. More than 20,000 eagles reside in the region, and sightings are frequent. Humpback and killer whales, porpoises, sea lions and seals often follow the ships and can be observed from the deck.  Forest Rangers on board often share interpretive presentations. Wow!  Wildlife, glaciers, and beautiful mountains make for some excellent sightseeing and this will definitely be a highlight.  Prepare to slow down and watch the scenery and enjoy the fellowship for the next two days. This will be an exciting adventure as we enjoy a slow pace cruise and the fellowship of each other while traveling the Inside Passage, which is rated the number one attraction in Alaska.  Come face to face with a gigantic wall of ice that fills your view and extends for miles in either direction. It is a titan on the move, advancing faster than almost any other glacier on the continent. When it reaches saltwater at Disenchantment Bay, the imposing architecture of this behemoth measures five miles in width and 40 stories in height, dwarfing even the largest ships. As you glide along this sparkling blue marvel, watch for seals basking on ice floes, listen for the loud, deep rumble and wait for the mighty crack and thunderous crash. At any moment, you could be witness to an eternal drama as nature’s hand sculpts icebergs before your wondering eyes.

Day 8 – Sitka, Alaska
The onion domes of St. Michael’s Cathedral are your first clue that Sitka was once a Russian settlement – the colonial headquarters of Count Baranof, no less. Discover the echoes of its heyday at a performance by the New Archangel Dancers. Be greeted by Tlingit native people, then stand on the spot where the United Statestook possession of Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million, less than two cents per acre. The dramatic setting, in the shadow of Mt. Edgecumbe, is one of the loveliest in theGreat Land. Take a stroll through old growth forest in Sitka National Historical Park, shop the downtown district, and poke around the Sheldon Jackson Museum for a close-up look at some of the city’s most prized arts, crafts and Russian relics.

Day 9 – Skagway, Alaska
The sidewalks are all but rolled up in Skagway come winter, so you can only imagine the frightful conditions endured by the gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon, with a mandatory ton of supplies to be hauled with them over the steep and treacherous Trail of ’98. Today, summertime visits to Skagway require nothing of the sort, but you can still ride the antique White Pass & Yukon narrow-gauge railway up through silvery-purple rock faces, past Dead-horse Gulch, to see what it was like back then.  Take your time and poke into every little store from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy’s Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie, and other vintage characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of ’98 Museum. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park boasts restored buildings and wooden boardwalks that invite you to take a stroll into the past.

Day 10 – Juneau, Alaska
Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on the Gastineau Channel, the town ofJuneau has the massive Mendenhall Glacier and the immense Juneau Ice Fields at its back door. Juneau is the place to let your imagination run wild. Explore the lushTongass National Forest. Visit the rustic shops in town, or get out and kayak, dogsled, raft, hike, whale watch, flight-see or fish. There is no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours. Climb aboard the Mt. Roberts Tramway for a great spot to hike and shoot a souvenir photo. Today we explore Juneau, Alaska’s capital city.  Juneau is Alaska as you can only imagine: scenery that lures, adventure that inspires, and heritage that fascinates.  An experience that will leave you enchanted.  The Tongass Rain Forest climate provides Juneau with lush terrain and vibrant wild flowers.  The gold rush history is rich.  Juneau is the only land locked capital city in the United States.  The group will take a guided bus tour during the morning hours.  The group will learn of Juneau’s history as we explore the area together.  We will visit Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of blue ice 12 miles long and l.5 miles wide.  The Glacier is fed by the 1,500 square mile JuneauIce Field, which is part of the Tongass National Forest.  Gastineau Salmon Hatchery features many exhibits and salt water aquarium that contains live adult salmon and more than 100 species of Alaska Sea Life.  You will learn a lot about the process of harvesting, fertilizing and hatching eggs.  The morning tour is all planned but the afternoon is yours to explore or do what ever you want, even shop.  Visit a museum or do a self-guided walking tour of the historical and governmental districts, (maps provided).  Take a helicopter flight seeing tour or ride the scenic tram to the top ofMount Roberts.  There is plenty to choose from and you are on your own for the entire afternoon and evening.  Have Fun!

Day 11 – Ketchikan, Alaska
Built out over the water and climbing weathered stairways, Ketchikan clings to the shores of Tongass Narrows and drapes the mountains with a cheerful air. Besides the main attractions – Creek Street, the Tongass Historical Museum, Totem BightState Park and Saxman Village, try a flight-seeing trip to breathtaking Misty Fjords National Monument – a transformational adventure not to be missed. These deep water fjords left by retreating glaciers left granite cliffs towering thousands of feet above the sea and countless waterfalls cascading into placid waters. The souvenir photos you’ll take from the pontoons of the plane are worth the trip alone. Alaskans call Ketchikan “the first city”, not because of size of population, but because in the days before air travel it was always the first Alaskan port of call. Native art and culture flourishes here due to the large population of native Alaskans.  The three Pacific Northwest Indian Tribes are the Tlingit, the Haida and the Tsimshian. The group will have a personally guided and narrated tour of historical Ketchikan, rain forest, stroll the beach, see the Saxon Native Village, Totem Poles, walk Creek Street, and watch a fish ladder and more.

Day 12 – At Sea

Day 13 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Today we end our Inside Passage cruise and get on board the B.C. Ferry inVancouver at Tsawwassen and sail to the Swartz Bay Terminal in Victoria.  Victoria is a jewel and has been charming visitors with spectacular beauty, history and legendary gardening.  It has been rated as one of the top ten cities to visit in the world.  Victoria was originally established by the Hudson Bay Company, in 1843 as a British Trading Post and many of the beautiful character buildings throughout the city and especially downtown date back to the city’s earliest years.  Since it has a reputation as the Garden City, the group will visit the famous Butchart Gardens. You will have some free time in the afternoon and evening to explore the city.  Take a horse drawn carriage tour or ride on the famous double-decker bus. The inner harbor is undoubtedly one of the most photographed places in Victoria.  Some ofVictoria’s most popular attractions are located close to the harbor. It’s an exciting place, so be adventurous and visit Old Town, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf,Beacon Hill Park, Parliament Buildings and more.  Enjoy your time before we ferry back to Vancouver.

Day 14 – Vancouver, Kamloops
Today we will tour Vancouver in the morning before embarking on a journey through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.  So sit back and relax as we have a personal step-on guide that will inform us of the history and show us the highlights of this vibrant city. Galleries, boutiques, colorful public markets, restaurants of every ethnicity: this vital port city has them all. We will visit vibrantChinatown and Stanley Park, with its 1,000 acres of forests, gardens, lakes and lawns in the heart of the city.

Day 15 – Banff
Majestic, awe-inspiring, breathtaking, magnificent – The Canadian Rockies deserve every accolade they have ever inspired, but no amount of descriptions can adequately convey the beauty of Alberta’s most prized geographical asset.  Today you will have the opportunity to see and confirm what has been written about these mountains.  Today we explore the town of Banff and the famous Banff Spring Resort, and travel to Lake Louise and the Chateau Resort.  Some may want to take the Gondola to the top of the ski area for an outstanding view of the valley and mountains.  There will be time for shopping and relaxing during the evening.

Day 16 – Ice Fields
Today we will travel the Ice fields Parkway (often called the most scenic mountains route in North America) to the Columbia Ice fields.  First stop is the Columbian Ice fields, a massive accumulation of ice and snow from the last ice age. The newInterpretive Center explains the development of this natural phenomenon.  Then we take a ride on the gigantic snow-coach an all terrain vehicle across the Ice for an incredible experience.  Then it’s back to Banff where you will continue to be in awe with the beauty of the mountains and be reminded once again of the wonder, power and magnificence of the awesome God we love and serve.

Day 17 – Home

Alaska Interesting Facts:

  • State Motto:  North to the future.
  • State Flower:  Forget-me-not.
  • State Tree:  Sitka Spruce
  • State Bird:  Willow Ptarmigan
  • State Mineral:  Gold, discovery of gold in the Yukon began a gold rush in 1898.
  • State Gemstone:  Jade
  • State Sport:  Dog Mushing