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Each year, the Alaska Media Road Show links Alaska tourism businesses with select travel media from around the country to display the best in Alaska tourism.
Here are some highlights from the 2019 event for the upcoming year.
Alaska RailroadAccording to Meghan Clemens of Alaska Railroad (ARR), the company is partnering with Big Swig Tours to offer Hops on the Rail, a new day trip for 2020. Tour passengers head north via train from Anchorage to Talkeetna, and enjoy lunch and a visit to a brewery. The return trip to Anchorage by van stops at three additional breweries for taste-testing more local beers. Clemens says the tour is unique because ARR has never before offered a winter day trip.
Also, ARR is offering a new, online travel agent webinar for advisors. The course is recommended for those who want faster, streamlined commission.
Alaska Rainforest IslandsThe Tongass Toughman Challenge, which takes place in late June, has been fine-tuned for travelers who love hitting the country’s top triathlon events. At the request of athletes, the event will now include an open-water swim in the icy ocean outside Wrangell.
JuneauThe new Thrillseeker tour out of Douglas offers one helluva ride. Clients on this journey experience a 270-degree spin in a jet-propelled, specially constructed and fortified boat — a maneuver said to feel like a “roller coaster on water.” Guests enjoy speed donuts, wave jumping and surfing whitecaps. The tour also includes stops to view wildlife and absorb an abundance of local history and culture.
KetchikanAllen Marine is offering the Danger Island Tour, which indulges clients in a variety of culinary delights. Once on the island, guests are served seafood chowder and sourdough rolls made from an old family recipe. They’ll also learn how to make smoked sockeye salmon dip. Once fed, clients can kayak, fish, beachcomb, learn about Alaska Native storytelling and crafts and more.
Elsewhere, Hump Island Oyster and Kelp Farm is the newest tour offering a variety of farm-fresh oyster tastings. And Ketchikan is enlarging its cruise ship berths with a new, two-ship berth and terminal facility operated by Ward Cove Dock Group.
Mat-Su Valley Mat-Su Valley’s newest attraction for 2020 will be the grand opening of Musk Ox Farm, which has completed a $1.2 million restoration of its facilities that will include enhanced programming, lectures and visitor workshops.
SkagwayCody Jennings, tourism director for Skagway Visitors & Convention Bureau, says eco-minded clients will enjoy the new Klondike Electric Bicycle tour, in part because the bikes are recharged via clean power from the nearby Dewey Lakes hydroelectric project.
Burro Creek Waterfall Lodge just opened its doors across the bay from town, with a soft-adventure tour that includes a crab/shrimp boil and a historical tour of Burro Creek.
Waterfall Resort AlaskaWaterfall Resort Alaska has completed numerous improvements focused on maximizing guest comfort and service, says Mark Dooley, marketing manager for the property. These include Wi-Fi access that covers guest quarters; resortwide monitors that update clients on current weather conditions; and a remodeled dining room, kitchen, buffet line and salad bar, as well as new furnishings and lighting.
At the recent Alaska Media Road Show, several cruise companies shared a preview of what to expect in Alaska in 2020.
Alaskan Dream CruisesThe company has introduced its newest vessel, the Kruzof Explorer, a Bering Sea crab fishing boat, turned into a premier Alaska expedition vessel. The craft will visit communities that are rarely if ever seen on cruise itineraries. The new itineraries — Ultimate Glacier Bay, Wilderness and Wildlife; Remote Alaska Adventure; and Alaska’s Grand Coastal Discovery — include stops at under-the-radar destinations such as Klawock, Yakutat, Pelican, Lituya Bay, Dall Island and Baranof Warm Springs.
CunardCunard has extended its assignment of Queen Elizabeth to various Alaska sailings in 2020, with 10 roundtrip Vancouver voyages ranging from 9 to 12 nights, and one get-away cruise to San Francisco for an overnight stay on Independence Day.
KetchikanKetchikan is enlarging its cruise ship berths with a new, two-ship berth and terminal facility operated by Ward Cove Dock Group.
Uncruise Adventures In 2020, Uncruise Adventures will offer a full, six-month season in Alaska, with itineraries beginning in April and staying open longer than most other cruise lines. The company is offering another first: A $1,200 early-bird savings discount per couple on select cruises.