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2023 Northern Lights Astronomy Tour with Bob Berman

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Special Interest Tours
Feb 16 - 24, 2023
Group size: 20 - 40
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About this trip
Journey to Alaska with astronomer Bob Berman to experience the Northern Lights, and much more! Experience unique activities like a woodland dogsled ride and a private planetarium show, and keep warm in the geothermal spring fed pools of Chena Hot Springs. With lectures from renowned astronomer Bob Berman, get ready to learn and laugh as you enjoy Alaska and the northern sky at their best.
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What’s included
    • 7 Nights Hotel
      2 nights in Anchorage (2/16 & 2/17), 3 nights in Fairbanks (2/18, 2/19 & 2/22), 2 nights at Chena Hot Springs Resort (2/20 & 2/21)
    • 9 Meals
      3 dinners (one each in Anchorage, Fairbanks & Chena Hot Springs), 5 breakfasts (at Anchorage & Fairbanks hotels), 1 lunch (2/20))
    • Ground Transportation
      Ground transportation Feb 16 - 23 (there are no group activities on Feb 23)
    • Aurora Viewing
      Weather-permitting - While in Fairbanks, we will run excursions to view the Northern Lights for nights with clear skies and auroral forecasts of 3 or higher.
    • ANC - Planetarium Show
      Private planetarium show with Bob Berman
    • ANC - Scenic Tour
      Scenic bus tour of Anchorage with stops at Earthquake Park and Beluga Point
    • ANC - Train Ticket
      All-day rail journey from Anchorage to Fairbanks through Denali National Park.. Food will be available for purchase onboard.
    • ANC - Museum Admission
      Admission to Anchorage Museum
    • Lecture
      Astronomy lecture with Bob Berman in Fairbanks
    • Star Party
      Weather-permitting, outdoor Guide to the Northern Sky lecture with Bob Berman at Chena
    • Sno-Cat Ride
      Sunset Sno-Cat ride to summit at Chena Hot springs
    • Dogsled Ride
      Dogsled ride through forest at Chena Hot Springs Resort
    • Ice Park Admission
      Entry to Fairbanks Ice Sculpture Park
    • Museum Admission
      Admission to the Museum of the North
    • Auto Museum Admission
      Entry to Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum featuring vintage cars and clothing from the days of old.
    • Cultural Center Visit
      Trip to the Fairbanks Cultural Center
    • Airport Transfers
      Transfers between the Anchorage and Fairbanks Airports and the hotel on 2/26 and 2/23, respectively. Guests traveling on different days are responsible for their own transfers.
    • Gratuities
      Special Interest Tours will provide gratuities for the driver(s) and any group meals. However, gratuities for breakfasts or housekeeping will be at the guest's sole discretion.
    • Airfare
      Guests are responsible for arranging travel to and from the tour.
    • Meals not Listed
      Any meals not mentioned in the "Included" section will be the guest's responsibility.Please note that breakfasts are not included at Chena Hot Springs but will be available for purchase.
    • Alcoholic Beverages
      Guests will be responsible to pay for any alcoholic beverages ordered at meals.
  • Travel Protection Plan
    Guests will have the option of purchasing a travel protection plan and will be provided with a quote.
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Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Anchorage

Upon your arrival in Anchorage we will greet you at the airport and transfer

you to the Hilton hotel. In the evening we will gather for dinner at one of

Anchorage’s fabulous restaurants.

Day 2 Explore Anchorage & the Thomas Planetarium

After breakfast we will visit the Thomas Planetarium for a special, private show on the northern skies, curated by Bob Berman specifically for our group. The planetarium is located in the wonderful Anchorage Museum, which includes art, history and science exhibits which guests will have time to explore.

In the afternoon we will take a bus tour through Anchorage, including Earthquake park and Beluga Point, a viewing location on  on the beautiful Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet.

Day 3 Rail excursion through Denali National Park

Following breakfast we depart for an all-day train adventure from Anchorage to Fairbanks through Denali National Park.

Throughout the day you will see magnificent scenery of the Alaskan wilderness and, weather permitting, there will be numerous sightings of Denali,. the largest mountain in North America.

Upon arrival in Fairbanks, and after some time to rest and change at the hotel, weather permitting, we will board our coach and head to a dark location out

of town for our first chance at seeing the Northern Lights.

Day 4 Explore Fairbanks

After breakfast we will head to the Morris Thomspon Cultural Center, which houses world-class exhibits about  the Interior and Arctic Alaska and the history and seasonal flow of local lifestyles. After our excursion at the center, guest will have time to wander this unique and historic city.

In the afternoon, back at the hotel, we will join Bob Berman for one of his esteemed lectures, which are fun and approachable for both novice and seasoned astronomy enthusiasts.

In the evening we will head to the Fairbanks Ice Park, filled with incredible ice sculptures that are especially magnificent at night when illuminated by colored lights.

Day 5 Museum of the North & Chena Hot Springs

After breakfast, we will board our coach and make our way to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, one of the world’s leading centers in aurora studies.  Here we will visit the Museum of the North, which offers fascinating exhibits on the nature, arts, and culture of Alaska.

Following the museum, we will travel to Chena for a two-night stay. Located sixty miles from Fairbanks secluded in the mountains, Chena Hot Springs Resort is ideal for observing the aurora and the northern skies. After settling in, we’ll gather for a Sno-Cat ride up a nearby summit where we’ll catch the sunset.

Tomorrow, you can take a dogsled ride in the forest and make sure you find time to relax in the outdoor, natural hot springs.

Day 6 Free Day at Chena

The day is yours to explore Chena and enjoy the Alaskan wilderness. A dogsled ride through the forest and access to the hot springs, pool house and surrounding trails are all included in your package. Chena also offers sno-mobile excursions, and cross-country skii rentals, among other offerings, at an additional cost.

Chena is also one of the “greenest” places on Earth! Scientists around the world have traveled to observe its modern green technology. You will have an opportunity to tour the remarkably progressive facilities and learn about their recycling program (everything is recycled), the self-sustaining power-generation system which uses the hot springs to heat all buildings and create electricity, and the greenhouses where much of the resort’s food is grown.

After dinner we’ll join Bob for a late night outdoor Star Party, where he’ll identify constellations and teach us about their significance.

All in all, this promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Day 7 Fountainhead Auto Museum & the Historic Pump House

In the late morning we will depart Chena and return to Fairbanks. Along the way, we will stop at the Alaskan Pipeline, a great architectural feat in the harshest of climates.

Next we will head to the Fountainhead Antique and Auto Museum, which hosts a “world-class collection of vintage automobiles and period fashions complemented by fascinating exhibits, accessories, photographs and archival videos” and welcomes guests “on a vivid journey through the automotive age, from Victorian times through the Art Deco era.”

After checking back into our Fairbanks hotel, guests will have the rest of the afternoon free to prepare for their flights  home and do any final shopping in Fairbanks.

In the early evening we will gather for our farewell dinner at the Pumphouse, a local favorite which was reconstructed to create an 1890/s “Gold  Rush” motif and houses many impressive antiques.

Day 8 Farewell

Breakfast will be provided at the hotel. Hotel check-out is at 11:00 am, but late check-outs may be available upon request. Transport for guests returning to the airport will be available throughout the day.

Tour Location

Fairbanks, AK

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Accommodation
Meals
Overall
Transport
Value for Money

Double Occupancy 30 left Pricing is per person and is for guests that will be sharing a room. February 16-23, 2023
$4,246 Deposit: $500
Single Occupancy 10 left Pricing is per person and is for guests that wish to have their own room. February 27 - March 4, 2022
$5,546 Deposit: $500
2/15 Anchorage hotel
$170
2/24 Fairbanks hotel
$170