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Old 11-02-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
87 posts, read 124,962 times
Reputation: 25

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I will be visiting Fairbanks in early December. YIPPEE!

I have scheduled a flightseeing trip with North Alaska Tour Company, the Arctic Circle Winter Air Adventure.

Arctic Circle Winter Air Adventure w/ Northern Alaska Tour Company

Has anyone ever taken this route, or had visiting friends or family go on this trip?

I just wanted to know how it was, and if they felt it was a day and money ($389) well spent.

So far, we will be spending our first night at Chena Hot Springs, where we will see the ice museum, drink Appletini's, and hope for the Aurora lights in the hot springs.

The next day we will wake up and head back to Fairbanks for the Flightseeing trip, and we will stay in town for three more days. We will dogsled, visit the North Pole to see the Ice Sculpting competition and shop, visit around town and wander about... and additional tourist stuff. If the lights are not plentiful at Chena we may also take an Aurora viewing tour too...

We have decided to save the lives of those around us and not attempt to rent a car. We are from Southern California, and believe me, everyone should be sighing with relief! I have never seen ice and snow like you experience there, so to drive in it is NOT a healthy choice...

Thank you for any input! I appreicate your knowledge and suggestions!
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:58 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
87 posts, read 124,962 times
Reputation: 25
This is the itinerary listed:

TOUR ITINERARY

10:00 am
Depart by air from terminal in
Fairbanks.
Flightsee north over the
Yukon River, across the Arctic
Circle, and into the foothills of
the Brooks Mountain Range.

11:00 am Land north of the Arctic Circle.
Guided ground tour.

12:30 pm - Depart by air for Fairbanks.
1:00 pm

Approx.
1:30 pm- Arrive terminal in Fairbanks.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:10 PM
 
4,988 posts, read 5,631,762 times
Reputation: 3203
I see these tours advertised quite a bit everytime I go up to Fairbanks. From what I can tell, you are in for quite and adventure, and assuming you get good weather, some of the more spectacular scenery Alaska has to offer. Coming from out of state with limited time, I believe you will probably be getting your money's worth. I've also got some photos in my profile album that will give you a preview of what to expect:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...alton-hwy.html

Good idea about the driving too. Obviously it can be done, just takes some time and practice! Have fun!
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:55 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
87 posts, read 124,962 times
Reputation: 25
Thank you for sharing your photos...they are incredible!
I think you are right about the short time and the opportunity, as I may never be able to visit again!
Beautiful pictures!
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Alaska
273 posts, read 379,552 times
Reputation: 111
It's really not that hard to drive it.
Be sure to leave Chena early to get back to fairbanks by 10am, it can be a long drive.

I didn't know that NP did their own ice sculpting competition. I go to the
one in Fairbanks almost every single year and it's awesome.
I've flown over that region, but not with a tour. Sounds great & hope for
good flying weather!
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:04 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
87 posts, read 124,962 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrennie View Post
It's really not that hard to drive it.
Be sure to leave Chena early to get back to fairbanks by 10am, it can be a long drive.

I didn't know that NP did their own ice sculpting competition. I go to the
one in Fairbanks almost every single year and it's awesome.
I've flown over that region, but not with a tour. Sounds great & hope for
good flying weather!
We were considering the car rental route, but then I was reading about some lady who got stuck in a ditch with her small children and was saved only by the snow clearing people. Sounded a bit daunting!

We are leaving Chena around 7:30a.m., which gives us 2 hours to make it here at 9:30, which is when they want us to arrive.

Yes, I have a 2008 Winter Guide to Fairbanks, and there is an ice sculpting competition called "Christmas in Ice" in NP. They also have a Holiday Bazar and Fireworks display on the 6th of December. I have heard the World Ice Art Championships are amazing in March, but, alas, I will be home then
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:05 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
87 posts, read 124,962 times
Reputation: 25
What do you think about the SpringHill Hotel?
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:23 PM
 
16,106 posts, read 16,101,185 times
Reputation: 7148
Never been there... I really haven't spent much time in Fairbanks at all, but I wanted to say I think you're lucky to be doing the flightseeing trip in the winter.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
8,677 posts, read 10,005,712 times
Reputation: 10171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrennie View Post
It's really not that hard to drive it.
Be sure to leave Chena early to get back to fairbanks by 10am, it can be a long drive.

I didn't know that NP did their own ice sculpting competition. I go to the
one in Fairbanks almost every single year and it's awesome.
I've flown over that region, but not with a tour. Sounds great & hope for
good flying weather!
Ice sculpting is the best, in MN would have the St. Paul Winter Carnival in January and have ice scuptures in the parks...so cool until the kids went and would break... but so much talent and in the cold....
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,271 posts, read 8,038,124 times
Reputation: 3194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajslispee View Post
I will be visiting Fairbanks in early December. YIPPEE!

I have scheduled a flightseeing trip with North Alaska Tour Company, the Arctic Circle Winter Air Adventure.

Arctic Circle Winter Air Adventure w/ Northern Alaska Tour Company

Has anyone ever taken this route, or had visiting friends or family go on this trip?

I just wanted to know how it was, and if they felt it was a day and money ($389) well spent.

So far, we will be spending our first night at Chena Hot Springs, where we will see the ice museum, drink Appletini's, and hope for the Aurora lights in the hot springs.

The next day we will wake up and head back to Fairbanks for the Flightseeing trip, and we will stay in town for three more days. We will dogsled, visit the North Pole to see the Ice Sculpting competition and shop, visit around town and wander about... and additional tourist stuff. If the lights are not plentiful at Chena we may also take an Aurora viewing tour too...

We have decided to save the lives of those around us and not attempt to rent a car. We are from Southern California, and believe me, everyone should be sighing with relief! I have never seen ice and snow like you experience there, so to drive in it is NOT a healthy choice...

Thank you for any input! I appreicate your knowledge and suggestions!
Sometimes when you are around the same stuff every day, you tend to forget how much it impressed you when you first see what you will be doing.

You trip should be quite the adventure, I do stop once in awhile and take stock of where I am at to kind of recharge myself. Sometimes when I am busy and trying to get stuff done at night, I look up and see the Northern Lights, stop and watch them, still amazed, but I forget how much I love to watch them.

You will enjoy the Rock Pond at Chena, if the Lights are out, you will be really impressed sitting in hot water and enjoying the show.

The Ice Hotel is neat too, the first effort that Bernie made at it melted, the second attempt has done very well and it up and running year round.

As far as the dog sled ride, you will be very impressed at how quiet the dogs are and how much noise the sled's runners make sliding accross the snow, all of which is very enjoyable.

Good luck on you tour, if you have time. IM me and we can come up and buy you some coffee if it is a day we are free to go to Fairbanks.
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