A home rule city in the state of Alaska, Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region. The city of Fairbanks was founded by Captain E. T. Barnette in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross, where he intended to set up a trading post. Fairbanks has a history of gold mining, which dates back to when it was founded. In 1939, major infrastructure in the territory occurred for the first time, in part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New deal and World War II, which fostered an economic and population boom in Fairbanks. The city of Fairbanks is home to a number of attractions and events which draw visitors from outside of Alaska throughout the year.
Board the legendary Fairbanks riverboat, the Sternwheeler Discovery, for an unforgettable cruise showcasing Alaska 's diverse culture and rich history. Make stops along the way to meet the people and get a taste of local life.
Fannie Q's Saloon
In the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, enjoy an authentic meal at Fannie Q 's Saloon, the lodge 's new restaurant. Dig in to local dishes inspired by the Alaskan mining pioneer Fannie “Q” Quigley whose cooking skills were legendary.
Denali National Park
In 1917, Alaska named its first national park Mount McKinley National Park and nearly 70 years later the park was expanded and renamed Denali National Park. This vast land has a fascinating ecosystem and is more than a park — it is a wildlife reserve. And perhaps its biggest claim to fame is being the home to North America 's highest peak, Denali, ascending more than 20,000 feet. This massive park is now more than 6 million acres, an area that can be compared to the size of Massachusetts. The park is home to nearly forty different varieties of mammals, but the most popular residents are moose, caribou, wolves, plus brown and grizzly bears. Denali is Alaska 's heartland and brings you up close to its majestic beauty and natural wonders.
Tundra Wilderness Tour
The Tundra Wilderness Tour offers wonderful diversity for visitors. Travel 53 miles into the park to the Toklat River area where incredible scenery and some of the best opportunities to view the park 's wildlife await you. This tour also provides in-depth information about the history of the park. While we can 't promise or predict when wildlife will show, the tour allows plenty of opportunity to look for Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves and grizzly bears.
Luxury Domed Rail
Reliving the golden age of train travel, are the luxury domed railroad cars provided by Princess Cruises. Allowing guests to travel from the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge a mere 8 hours to Whittier and the awaiting cruise ship, the domed cars provide ease of travel for up to 880 passengers. With panoramic views from the dome-covered cars and the open-air viewing platforms, guests are delighted with the majestic wonder of Alaska.
A young city founded in 1915, Anchorage is a vibrant city of just over 300,000 people. From its humble origins as a railroad town for the Alaska Railroad, the largest city in Alaska maintains its frontier history in an idyllic mountain setting.
Nicknamed the galloping glacier, Hubbard Glacier is located in Disenchantment Bay. At 76 miles long, this is the longest tidewater glacier in North America and slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A tidewater glacier is a slow moving mass of ice and snow that flows into the ocean.
Located just west of Juneau is the national park known as Glacier Bay. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this park features some of the world 's most spectacular tidewater glaciers, which regularly calve into the sea. Calving is the process of ice breaking from the face of a glacier and forming ice bergs.
Lying at the head of Lynn Canal is Skagway, one of the driest places in an otherwise soggy southeast. While Petersburg averages over 100” of rain in a year and Ketchikan a drenching 154”, Skagway gets only 26” annually. At the height of the gold rush, Michael J. Heney, an Irish contractor, convinced a group of English investors that he could build a railroad over the White Pass Trail to Whitehorse. The construction of the White Pass & Yukon Route was nothing short of a superhuman feat, and the railroad became the focal point of the town 's economy after the gold rush and during the military buildup of WWII.
As the third largest city in Alaska with a population of around 30,000, Juneau was the first town founded after Alaska 's purchase from the Russians. The town was founded on gold nuggest and in 1880, Sitka mining engineer George Pilz offered a reward to any local Tlingit chief who could lead him to gold-bearing ore. Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit tribe arrived with such ore, and Pilz sent Joe Juneau and Dick Harris, two vagabond prospectors, to investigate, and the town formed around the original mining camp.
Ketchikan is known for its totem poles. These can be viewed at Totem Bight or Saxman Village. They tell stories of the Native people. It is said that the Tlingits were inspired to carve totem poles after finding a carved log washed up on the beach.
The Inside Passage is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. Extending from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, and to northwestern Washington state, ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route.
Seattle's Sky View Observatory
Toast to the end of a wonderful adventure at a farewell reception atop the towering Sky View Observatory, where you can take in stunning 360-degree views of Seattle, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade and Olympic mountains.
Relax for seven nights and enjoy the epic Alaskan scenery from aboard one of Princess Cruise Lines ' lovely ships. Cruise through the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay, taking in rugged natural wonders. Cruise the Sternwheeler Discovery and encounter Alaska 's diverse culture and rich history. Enjoy three nights at stunning Princess ' Lodges and Hotels. Ride a Luxury Domed Rail from Denali to Talkeetna viewing incredible landscapes from glass-ceiling railcars and open air observation platforms as guides provide expert commentary. Travel deep into Denali National Park for the best opportunities to view the region 's wildlife. Explore Alaska 's gorgeous capital, Juneau. Visit Ketchikan, the “Salmon Capital of the World.” In a modern saloon, enjoy local dishes inspired by Fannie Q, the famed Alaskan pioneer. End in vibrant Seattle with a farewell reception at the Sky View Observatory.