In a city known for beautiful glaciers, abundant wildlife, rich Alaska Native culture and access to vast national parks, there’s always something exciting on the horizon. With a new year near, there are already new ways to enjoy Alaska for 2017.
Museum Expansion on Track for 2017
The Anchorage Museum is expanding, with 25,000 square feet of new gallery space for the permanent collection. The expansion will include four new galleries as well as event space. It will bring more works in the collection into public view, and tell a compelling story about life in Alaska in particular and the north in general. The expansion opens in September 2017.
Simultaneously, the museum is re-envisioning their history gallery. The Anchorage Museum unveils the new 12,000 square foot Alaska exhibition in fall 2017.
Seabourn Cruises & Seward
Seabourn’s Sojourn opens a new eleven-day, one way Alaska cruise for the luxury cruise line. The 450 passenger Sojourn visits Misty Fjords National Monument on eight sailings between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Orca Quest Casts Off
Major Marine Tours sets sail on a new whale watching day cruise out of Seward, Alaska. The Orca Quest Cruise departs mid-May through mid-June, when orca whales are most frequently found feeding in local waters. Rather than following a set route, the Orca Song will explore recent hotspots for sightings as orcas shift around the region’s bays and fjords.
Denali National Park Celebrates 100 Years
First established as Mount McKinley National Park in February 1917, Denali National Park marks 100 years in 2017. Park officials are planning a full slate of events. The "Human Hundred" challenges intrepid travelers to log 100 miles using human power in Denali during centennial celebrations; whether hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or dog sledding.
More Ways to See Denali in a Day
Alaska Park Connection’s expanded service between Talkeetna and Anchorage makes exploring Denali and its surroundings even easier. Starting in 2017, the Park Connection is doubling motorcoach trips to and from the small town of Talkeetna from Anchorage. With new round trip service, travelers can take a rafting, flightseeing or jet boat tour in Talkeetna and explore the historic storefronts before returning to Anchorage in the evening.
Another Talkeetna favorite, Denali Zipline Tours, is unveiling new winter product. Winter Wonderland tours open Feb. 9 through April 2, making zip lining an easy addition on a visit during Iditarod, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous or spring skiing.
Hotel & Lodging News
Hyatt House Anchorage opens in April 2017, the newest addition to a burgeoning cluster of hotels in midtown Anchorage. The hotel has 145 guestrooms, business center, athletic room and airport shuttle service.
Do aurora views count as an amenity? Knik River Lodge is now open during winter. Just 20 minutes north of the city, the 22 cabins at Knik River Lodge are perfect for glacier tours by helicopter. The lodge’s winter availability means another nearby retreat primed for northern lights viewing from September through April.