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“Aurora Viewing During Solar Maximum Activity” Tour # 29 – Alaska

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SMALL GROUP TOUR;

8 ROOMS +
MAXIMUM OF 16 PEOPLE

5 standard rooms and

2 suites available

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2200
March 5 -9, 2025. 5 standard rooms and 2 suites
Max People : 200
Tour Details
Join Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society for his 29th aurora viewing tour to one of our favorite spots near Fairbanks, Alaska where we will spend four nights at the aurora viewing lodge with all meals included.  We now include 1) a city tour of Fairbanks, 2) a trip to visit the World Ice Art Championships where an international team of cold weather artists construct amazing shapes out of blocks of ice, 3) and a 3rd trip that allows you to walk with reindeer to a preserve on the north side of Fairbanks, and finally 4) a trip to the Chena Hot Springs for those of you wanting to enjoy the natural therapeutic waters.
This trip is a continuation of public outreach expeditions on land, sea, and air to watch the Northern Lights.   So far, every time we have ventured to Alaska we have seen aurora on at least two of the four nights!  This adventure will be another small group tour limited to a maximum of 12 to 16 participants.  Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed staying at the lodge in the past and we trust you will find this a great spot for sky viewing. March 5 is a First Quarter Moon so there should be no interference any time of night during our stay since most auroras occur after midnight.

LEARN HOW TO TAKE AURORA PHOTOS! We will work with you to help you plan and capture good Northern Lights images.  Contact me for assistance prior to the trip and also consult our AURORA INFORMATION page which has extensive information that I have accumulated over the last years.

Why Alaska?  Weather systems generally blow in and out fairly quickly. Even though temperatures are cold and generally with remarkably low winds, the area offers a great deal of visual beauty.  Properly dressed in winter garb you will find yourself well protected and able to walk about, photograph or just sit and view.  An aurora cabin is now on the property and serves as a refuge from the cold with chairs that can be used outside as well and access to a/c power. We have always had great response from people on our winter Alaska trips  indicating that they enjoy it very much!

An example of aurora seen on our October 2012 Alaska land expedition.  Constellations such as Sagitta, Delphinus, and Aquila are also captured here.  Paul D. Maley photo.

Seeing the Northern Lights up close and personal is a bucket list objective of many people who are interested in the world’s most amazing experiences.  Over the past few years we have ventured northward to attempt to capture these phenomena from air, sea and land as they light up the night sky.  It has been relatively easy to capture aurora if you are patient, are willing to brave cold temperatures and have the proper equipment.  As an alternative, the easiest way to enjoy the experience is to simply sit and watch!  Unlike a solar eclipse which only lasts on average a minute or two, auroras come and go and can last for hours depending on the level of solar activity and influx of high energy particles into the Earth’s magnetic field.

 

Fairbanks lies favorably in the middle of the aurora zone nearly every night.

 

FOOD AT THE LODGE

Breakfast Examples

Lunch Example

AFTERNOON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

DINNER ENTREES

Itinerary

SCHEDULING YOUR FLIGHTS INTO AND OUT OF FAIRBANKS

We encourage anyone wanting to see aurora from your aircraft window to consider to fly in at night or depart at night such that you have window seats facing the northern part of the sky. Once you reach cruising altitude seeing the Northern Lights is usually possible.

The schedule of events is subject to change

Even in a bright evening sky it is possible to see/photograph the Lights out the window. Bob Hulse photo.

Day 1Mar 5 – Arrive Fairbanks

Sunset at 6:20pm (AST)

A private group transfer will be provided from the airport to A Taste of Alaska Lodge in the afternoon. It will take about 40 minutes to reach the lodge.

Introductory presentation on aurora viewing and photography by Paul D. Maley prior to dinner.

Paul Maley presenting to the group

 

Sunset at 6:07pm

Dinner will be at the lodge (all drinks included)

Northern Lights viewing will commence tonight.

A beautifully meticulous display of Northern Lights from our March 2023 adventure.

 

Overnight Fairbanks: A Taste of Alaska Lodge (D)

Day 2Mar 6 – Fairbanks

Sunrise at 7:42am

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be included for you at the lodge today (all drinks included)

TOUR#1: Meet your private drivers and vehicles outside of A Taste of Alaska Lodge for today’s Fairbanks City Tour. Visit Golden Heart Park at the center of the city, Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, and the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center if time and weather allows. TIPS TO DRIVERS ARE INCLUDED.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline viewing site is located just a few miles from the lodge.

 

Return to the lodge for lunch.

TOUR#2: Your private driver will bring you to Fairbanks to visit Ice Alaska, the home of the World Ice Art Championships. Walk unguided along the single block classic and multi-block classic displays at your leisure.  *NOTE: if sled dog races happen to be scheduled between Mar 1-5, we will substitute either Tour#1 or Tour#2 depending on the scheduling arrangement.

One of the immense ice carvings at Ice Alaska

Dog races are sometimes scheduled during our winter trips. This is ‘skijoring’ and can involve one skier and anywhere from 1 to 6 dogs.

 

Sunset at 6:23pm

Dinner at the lodge

Aurora viewing tonight.

You can see displays without walking far from the lodge. Use a red flashlight when walking around at night.

 

Overnight Fairbanks: A Taste of Alaska Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 3Mar 7 – Fairbanks

Sunrise at 7:39am

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be included for you at the lodge today (all drinks included)

TOUR#3: This morning, your private driver will pick you up and bring you to Reindeer Ranch where you will embark on an immersive reindeer ranch.

Part of the herd at Reindeer Ranch

 

Return to the lodge for lunch.

TOUR#4: This afternoon your driver will bring you to Chena Hot Springs where you will have access to the rock-lined outdoor hot springs, indoor heated pool, and indoor and outdoor hot tubs.

Return to A Taste of Alaska Lodge before dinner

Sunset at 6:26pm

Dinner at the lodge

Aurora viewing tonight

Colors abound when a geomagnetic storm hits.

 

Overnight Fairbanks: A Taste of Alaska Lodge (B, L, D)

Sometimes it is possible to get a group photo with aurora in the background.

Day 4Mar 8 – Fairbanks

Sunrise at 7:35am

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be included for you at the lodge today (all drinks included)

You may choose to go for a fun dog sled run at Paws for Adventure (OPTIONAL COST) which can be reached by walking down about 200 meters to the south of the lodge.  You must schedule this weeks in advance on your own in order to be guaranteed a spot on their schedule.

Sheen and Adam Bensman with their sled dog team at Paws for Adventure

 

Late morning presentation by Paul D. Maley on aurora phenomenology.

Afternoon presentation by Paul D. Maley on upcoming solar eclipses and other astronomical tours

Sunset at 6:30pm

Dinner at the lodge

Aurora viewing tonight

Excitement as the Northern Lights unexpectedly brighten up!

 

Overnight Fairbanks: A Taste of Alaska Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 5Mar 9 – Fairbanks Departure

Sunrise at 8:31am (DST)

Breakfast will be at the lodge

Your private driver will meet you at the lodge this morning and a private group transfer will be provided to the airport in time for your departing flight. Transfers are scheduled no earlier than 10:00am.  All guests must be out of their rooms by 11:00am latest. (B) 

Itinerary may be rearranged depending on local conditions

Price Includes

  • 4 Nights’ Accommodations (as listed or similar)
  • Roundtrip private transfers from Fairbanks airport to A Taste of Alaska Lodge, including gratuity, provided you travel with the scheduled group transfers
  • Ice Alaska tour, including gratuity and general admission fee
  • Fairbanks city tour
  • Reindeer Ranch Tour
  • Transfer and admission to Chena Hot Springs
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, all drinks
  • All applicable taxes and fees
  • Free wifi at the lodge
  • Presentations by Paul D. Maley

Price Excludes

  • Gratuity for Taste of Alaska Lodge staff
  • Airfare to/from Alaska
  • Items not specifically listed in “tour includes” above
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, travel insurance
Cost, Registration, & Payment

Pricing Information

STANDARD ROOM: $3195 per person twin sharing;  one single room *may* be available at $3795.
SUITE ROOM: $3795 per person twin sharing; no single rooms permitted.

Payment Information

Before September 1, 2024 $525 deposit required.

September 1, 2024 full payment required. No refunds after this date.

Registering for the Tour

Complete one registration form per person. You will be confirmed only after BOTH a deposit AND registration form have been received by Direct Travel.

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