Senior Voice -

By Dimitra Lavrakas
Senior Voice Travel Correspondent 

Steals and deals around Alaska

Heading out and on the road to vacation bargains

 

July 1, 2020

Courtesy Denali Bluffs

Echoing a log home, the Denali Bluffs rooms have spectacular views of the Denali Canyon and the Alaska Range

With the state opening up somewhat there is hope for travel. Many lodges and inns are closed this year while nearby accommodations are open – and offering some deals.

The Glacier Bay Lodge is closed for 2020, opening again in 2021, but always offers a 10 percent senior (55 and over) discount. The lodge sits in a wooded site and is very cozy.

Glacier Bay is remote and hard to get to but well worth it. Glacier Bay National Park spans over 4,000 square miles and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Sports like kayaking, camping, hiking and fishing are popular activities.

To get to Gustavus you either have to take a plane from Juneau or the ferry, which has limited service, but maybe next year there will be more sailings.

This year the Alaska Marine Highway offers a 7 a.m. Thursday sailing returning 7 a.m. on Saturday. You cold take the ferry over for $139 senior fare and fly back on Alaska Seaplanes for $124 one way.

If you've never flown on a seaplane it should be on your bucket list.

Way up north

Up in Denali, the Grande Denali Lodge is also closed for 2020, but the Denali Bluffs Hotel is open this summer. It's offering a July 1 to Fall 2020 deal called "Experience Denali" that consists of a one-day stay and a two-day car rental starting at $421 with the car rental at Anchorage or Fairbanks.

When you stay here you're keeping your money in Alaska as both lodges are owned by Old Harbor Native Corporation, one of 252 Native village corporations established by Congress in 1971 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Old Harbor is an Alutiiq village on the southeast side of Kodiak Island, approximately 40 air miles from the city of Kodiak and 430 air miles from Denali National Park. It is one of Kodiak Island's six Alutiiq villages.

See http://www.denalialaska.com/denali-bluffs-hotel/home

Or head up to the Fairbanks area and the geothermal Chena Hot Springs Resort for a nice long soak.

The resort is offering a four-day, three-night Aurora Odyssey Package for August 21, 2020 to April 7, 2021.

It comes with round-trip transportation from Fairbanks to the resort, a three-night stay in Moose Lodge, hot spring passes and towel service, dog sled or dog cart, geothermal tour, aurora viewing tour and eight meals per person. Wow. And a year-round ice museum.

Go to https://chenahotsprings.com

If you have an interest in astronomy, be aware that the Perseid meteor shower, the most popular meteor shower as they peak on August nights and can be seen from the northern hemisphere, are active from July 17 to August 24, reaching a strong maximum on August 12 or 13. Normal meteor activity rates seen from rural locations range from 50 to 75 meteors per hour at maximum.

The Perseids are particles released from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle during its numerous returns to the inner solar system, and called Perseids since the radiant (the area of the sky where the meteors seem to originate) is located near the prominent constellation of Perseus the Hero when at maximum activity. The Perseids will next peak on the nights of August 11-12, 2020 and on this night, the moon will be 47 percent full and that helps with the ability to see the shooting stars.

But you have to go where city lights are low and Denali or Chena would be perfect -especially from the comfort of a hot spring.

Head to Homer

The Land's End Resort's ever-popular Getaway Package starts at $139 for two and is perfect to celebrate a relationship milestone or a girlfriends' weekend.

It includes one night in a newly renovated Port City View room, one double bed, one dinner entree per person in the Chart Room Restaurant, one glass of house red or white wine or non-alcoholic substitute per person with entrée, unlimited use of the fitness center, and the oceanfront outdoor hot tub, indoor sauna and soaking pool. Each room has coffee service, free wireless, satellite TV and DVD rental.

You can upgrade to a bay view room, or add a second night. Call (800) 478-0400 or 907-235-0400 to book.

Closer to Anchorage

This one is only for you Alaskans! The Alyeska Resort and Hotel Alyeska offers 30 percent off accommodations with its special Alaskan Residents Rate.

Enjoy world-class dining and some of Alaska's most stunning glacier, mountain and water views, rejuvenate at the Alyeska Spa and amble around the town of Girdwood next door.

Rates are based on double occupancy from June 12 to August 31, 2020. Go to http://www.alyeskaresort.com/hotel-specials-packages/alaskan-rate

Or just drive all over

Alaska Tour & Travel is offering $100 off self-drive vacation packages this summer through September 30, 2020. Explore Alaska's wide-open natural landscapes, scenic highways, and friendly small towns with your own rental car. The discount is valid on travel packages that include a minimum of a five-day car rental, one hotel night, and one tour.

Dimitra Lavrakas photo

Take a kayak tour around Kachemak Bay and see eagles, whales, otters and puffins.

For a limited time, if you purchase any self-guided vacation package over $480 per person, you'll receive a full rebate for your most expensive Denali Park Connection Motorcoach segment. That's a savings of up to $170 or 30 percent off your total package. This special applies both to Alaska Tour & Travel's pre-built packages and custom trips too. Basically, it applies to any reservation totaling $480 or more per traveler that includes at least one overnight, one tour or activity and one transportation service like the railroad. It only applies to AT&T's self guided trips, but there are also special deals on the company's escorted vacation packages as well

Go to http://www.alaskatravel.com more information and the site is a go-to for statewide travel specials.

Safe travels this summer and don't forget your mask.

 
 

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