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Alaska holidays

Holidays in Alaska

The largest state in America is beckoning

A whole host of Arctic antics are waiting for you. From multi-coloured northern lights and fast flowing rivers to vast swathes of lush green pine forest.

Hotels in Alaska

Retrieving our hand picked hotels...

Essential information for Alaska

Local time
-9hrs
Currently
Language
USA flag
American English
Currency
US Dollar $
Official currency of the United States
Flight information
Anchorage
19h
Indirect flight
Flight Schedule
Fly daily to Anchorage via various US cities.
If you are joining a cruise, you'll fly to Vancouver and then cruise onwards to Alaska.

Do I need a visa?

To travel to the USA, you will need an ESTA visa. Please make sure that you have this approved at least 3 days before you head off on holiday.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Getting around

With scenery more stunning than you can begin to imagine, the best way to explore Alaska's picture perfect landscape is by road. A road trip on Alaska's epic scenic byways is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Alaska also has a state-owned ferry system, so travelling by boat is also a fantastic opportunity to get up-close and personal with nature.

Giant glaciers and powder snow: Magical Alaska Adventures

The largest, most sparsely populated state in the USA, unrivalled in its astonishingly beautiful, rugged wilderness. Alaska is the kind of place you dream about visiting but somehow never actually go.

Let’s change that, shall we? Holidays to Alaska are a must, and we’re here to tell you why. From rolling tundras and calving glaciers to lively cities and delicious food, Alaska holidays are truly magical and truly unbeatable.

It’s not just a postcard-perfect daydream destination, it’s entirely doable. And more than that, it’s a must. Here’s the scoop:

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a lot of time to work with, it’s pretty much impossible to ‘do’ the whole of Alaska. The place is vast. The state has four main regions, so focus holidays to Alaska depending on what it is you’re looking to see and do:

Southcentral and Interior: Anchorage, Denali and the Kenai Fjords

  • Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska and home to the state’s biggest airport, is a great starting point for any Alaskan holidays, boasting a whole host of attractions, restaurants and shops. If you plan to explore the surrounding area (and you should – an abundance of natural beauty lies just a stone’s throw from the city’s edge), it’s worth treating Anchorage as a kind of base camp. The roads around here are good, and there’s a railroad connecting the city to nearby national parks and attractions.
  • North of Anchorage is Denali mountain — the tallest in North America — within the eponymous Denali National Park. Mountain aside, there’s a whole host of breathtaking landscapes — forest, tundra and glaciers to name just a few — to be seen in the surrounding area. There’s a few small towns around Denali to wander around, too, like the impossibly charming Talkeetna and tourist favourite, Healy.
  • Just a short drive away is ‘Alaska’s Playground’, the Kenai Peninsula. Head here for wilderness trails and impressive wildlife, quaint towns and some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see.

Inside Passage:

Home to Alaska’s surprisingly cosmopolitan capital city, Juneau, this coastal region is popular with Alaska holidayers touring by cruise (but it can be done independently, too). You’ll find rainforests, fjords, glaciers and mountains, and an impressive array of even more impressive wildlife, and experience native Alaskan culture and Russian influence in Sitka and Ketchikan.

Far North/Arctic:

A once-in-a-lifetime kind of destination, the Arctic Circle is a truly unbelievable place to visit, if you can. Alaska’s northernmost region is a stunning amalgamation of snow-capped mountains, rolling tundra and colossal coastal plains, like nowhere you’ve ever seen before. Take a tour via scenic flight from Fairbanks to the tiny village of Anaktuvik Pass. Alaskan holidays have got to include this excursion.

Southwest:

Only accessible by plane, The Aleutian Islands — home to bears, endangered Stellar sea lions and active volcanoes — are an island chain scattered across the ocean. This is the “wildest” of wild destinations, and travelling there is an unforgettable adventure in itself.

Take a cruise tour of the Inside Passage and marvel at the glaciers (most notably: Hubbard Glacier) as you wind your way around a labyrinth of fjords and bays. Keep a look out for whales, sea lions and seals!

Regardless of how you travel the Kenai Peninsula, you’ll be lost for words at the beauty of the rolling tundra, valleys, fjords and rivers. Here you’re almost guaranteed to spot exciting Alaskan wildlife such as moose, bears and bald eagles. It’s some of the most accessible wilderness exploration in the state, so this would be perfect for family holidays in Alaska.

Visiting Denali National Park? Highly experienced climbers with enough time on their hands can’t miss the chance to do the two-week trek to the peak, but it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. Make sure to do your research and track down the very best team to trek with. Otherwise, Denali offers plenty of wintertime activities, from dog-sledding to cross-country skiing and even snowmachining, as well as stunning natural beauty year round.

Adrenaline junkies, the 1.5-mile-wide Mendenhall Glacier is the place to be, or rather, to raft down. Less about white-knuckle, pulse-quickening rapids and more about admiring the surrounding landscapes and wildlife? You’re in luck, there’s a more leisurely trek option, too — you just won’t get the “I Shot The Mendenhall” badge at the end.

  • A tiny restaurant serving up food with big flavour, be sure to stop by The Little Mermaid in Homer for some of the most delicious local seafood (and some great pizza, too).
  • Ketchikan is known as the Salmon Capital of the World — anywhere you eat here is pretty much guaranteed to be amazing for super fresh, super delicious fish. Notably, enjoy impossibly good fish sandwiches, chowder and crab legs with a marina view at the delightfully quaint Alaska Fish House.
  • How better to sample the best of the best food on offer in Alaska than with a food tour? With dozens on offer across the state, including a pedal bus food tour in Talkeetna, you’re bound to find one to fit the bill. After all, if there’s one thing better than food, it’s lots of it.
  • 229 Parks, a log cabin-esque restaurant within Denali National Park, showcases the vast array of delicious local ingredients in some of the most unbelievably tasty dishes. The menu changes daily — it all depends on the local Alaskan bounty — but that’s part of the experience.

 

  • February: First held in 1961, the annual Iceworm Festival is one of the most famous and well-loved Alaskan traditions. Fireworks, variety shows, survival suit races and the famous Iceworm parade are just a few of the things making this the perfect event for any Alaska holidays near the start of the year.
  • May: The annual Trapper Creek Revival is like one big party in the woods, with live bands, poetry, dancing and more. This is a festival like no other.
  • June: The annual 3-day Kenai River Festival is a lively event full of music, beer and wine, food and kids’ activities. This is the perfect festival for families.

If Alaska wasn’t on your radar before, we’re willing to bet it is now. Where first? You decide. Check out our incredible Alaska hotels and holiday packages and swap the office for the fjords. Get ready for a trip of a lifetime!

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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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