Luxury Alaskan Lodge Adventure

Countries
Best time to visit
May, June, July, August, September

Mountains that have no names. Places where no roads lead. Fly over volcanoes, hike to glaciers, meet bears and moose and whales. In Alaska you will experience nature where it is still wild and free.

Day 1 - Welcome to Alaska

Seven_Glaciers_Restaurant

Dine at a Mountain-Top Alaskan Restaurant

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Enjoy the view from the scenic tram as it climbs steadily for over 600 metres, all the way to the mountain’s summit. You are now at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant. Delicious dishes are on the menu, all of them prepared with local produce, seafood and game. You will choose your wines from an award-winning wine list. And don’t forget the dessert, as it is something quite special, just like the mountain view around you.

Day 2 - Explore the Girdwood Area

Helicopter landed on the smooth blue icy surface of a glacier in Alaska.Click on any of the sample images below to view a lightbox of all of my snow and glaciers shots:

Scenic Heli Flight Over the Chugach Mountains

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You may usually think of ice as being white. But as you look down from the helicopter you will see surprising shades of deep, clear blue.  You will be flying over the Punch Bowl Glacier, located in the majestic Chugach Mountains, at nearly a thousand metres above sea level. This icy expanse is a sight to behold, and all the more striking a sight if you behold it from above.  This is one of Alaska’s most scenic experiences, a helicopter flight over an untamed wilderness.

Two people sitting on top of an iceberg frozen in Portage lake with the Portage Glacier in the background. The shear size of the glacier & iceberg make the people look so tiny.

Hike on Punch Bowl Glacier

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After a trek along the scenic ridgeline of Glacier Express, you will arrive at the glacier’s very edge. Here you can feel the dormant but enormous power of this mass of frozen water.  Now, put on your climbing harnesses and equipment. Once ready, you will make the journey out to the glacier itself, to tread on tons of long-sleeping water — it’s a truly unique and extraordinary experience.

Day 3 - Into the Wild

A seaplane flies over Southern Alaska in twilight. Shot at high iso with slight grain.

Wilderness Flight To Wrangell St. Elias National Park

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Depart from Anchorage in a private three-passenger Cessna. Your pilot is taking you over wild country, from Anchorage to McCarthy Airport and Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Just look out and marvel at those snow-capped mountains. The best of Alaska unfolds beneath the wingtips, a landscape worthy of a John Barry soundtrack. And it’s oh so serene.

Ultima Thule Lodge, CREDIT_Arturopoloena

Ultima Thule Lodge

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Over 150 kilometres from the end of the asphalt, Ultima Thule Lodge is so remote that the area it’s in doesn’t even have a name. No other lodge in Alaska is as isolated.  Deep inside the Wrangell St Elias Mountains, Ultima Thule will immerse you in a world without Wi-Fi, without roads, without even trails. It’s perched on the banks of a glacial river and only accessible during the summer, from May to September.  Stay here and you won’t see other people for days. Bush-plane and four-wheel drive adventures combine with hikes as you completely escape everything else in the world.

Days 4 & 5 - Explore Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Ultima Thule Lodge - hiking experience, CREDIT_Arturopoloena

Hike in Wrangell St Elias National Park

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You have spoken with an expert and together you mapped out a hike perfectly suited for you. It strikes just the right balance between safe and stimulating. Now off you go, in your comfortable hiking clothes, onto the Alpine Tundra.  It is known as “the land above the trees” and indeed, trees aren't able to sustain life at this altitude. Yet as you hike, you will come to fields strewn with tiny, lovely wildflowers. If you are in the mood for harsher places, make your way to one of the largest non-polar glaciers in the world: the Bagley Ice Field.  Here you will have a view of the impressive Mt. Logan, a gigantic, many-peaked monument of rock and ice. You may feel you are somewhere in Middle Earth.

Alaskan Brown Bear Catching Salmon

Wildlife Safari in Wrangell St Elias National Park

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Listen to the silence. The wind whispers in the grass blades and in the tall fir trees. Suddenly, a bird chirps, and there! You spot the little fox sparrow not far. If it hides quickly, turn your binoculars up as you may see a peregrine falcon soaring above. In this national park, you will spend long hours in communion with nature, watching birds and animals. Your guide can take you on an excursion to see the fierce grizzly, the bison, and the large Alaska moose with its stately antlers. The shy spare wolves may show themselves too. On the shore of the Krik Arm, the sea inlet close by, you may get lucky and spot dolphins and seals — maybe even a whale.

Days 6 & 7 - Tutka Bay

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Tutka Bay Lodge

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Hidden in Alaska, cut off from the world, Tutka Bay is located at the head of a wild 11-kilometre fjord. It’s the perfect retreat to discover Kachemak Bay and sit back in the middle of nowhere. The six suites are carefully spaced out so every guest can enjoy complete privacy. From the fjord and forest you can go travel to even more remote places, including the Alaskan coastline and its empty beaches. Incredible tidal fluctuations play out, so each hour the landscape changes before you. Of course there is a sauna and hot tub. And a boat house. For this is a seriously luxurious lodge where you can get lost with your travel partner.

Kayaking in Kachemak Bay

Fishing and Kayaking in Kachemak Bay

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Kneel down and scoop the wet sand grains aside, and you will soon have enough clams and mussels for your evening meal. If you would like cod or flatfish on the menu too, you just have to catch them (the guide will help you). And don’t feel guilty if you would prefer salmon — rather, head inland, and fish a salmon out of freshwater.  After you have ensured your dinner, take the kayaks out on the bay. You will paddle in and out of coves, see eagles above and seals around you, and come close to those cutest of creatures, the sea otters, as they hunt for food.  You are right to feel a kinship to them, for you have also caught your own food today.

Kachemak Bay Hiking

Hiking in Kachemak Bay

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As you hike Grace Ridge in Kachemak Bay State Park, you will look on glacial lakes with cold clear colours, and wander through alpine meadows by glittering waterfalls.  Or you can walk on easy trails among ancient beech forests. Or else, go down to the rugged shore, where the empty beaches are as peaceful as can be. The sonorous to and fro of the waves, the gulls’ crying, the straight horizon with its promise of infinitude, and the sand that keeps no lasting record of those who came and went.  Walk along the beach, and let your mind calm down and rest as you immerse yourself in the serene surroundings.

Day 8 - Walk Alongside Bears

A yearling brown bear cub stands on hind legs looking at the propeller of a small plane parked on Hallo Bay, Katmai Peninsula, Alaska.

Walk Alongside Bears in Katmai, Alaska

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Yes, you can walk alongside bears in their natural habitat. Your expert guide will ensure you are entirely safe during your bear watching. Katmai National Park has no roads, so you will first need to fly here. And it’s remarkably how consistent the bear sightings can be.  Suddenly you see your first bear. Large, furry, a living token of nature’s power. And then, another one, and another, and a whole group. They graze on sedge grass, dig up clams on the shore, play together, or simply rest. You may catch them fishing for salmon on the stream, or even courting. All these bears desire is to be free to live their lives. Here, in this protected, remote area, they can do just that. And you can walk close to them, without disturbing them, and enjoy their presence.

Day 9 - Departure