A mountain meeting in Alaska has a special quality. It’s a state firmly located on many peoples’ must-see lists, so when an incentive trip, executive retreat, or small meeting is announced with this state as the locale, you can be sure it will brew interest. Here is news of note for groups regarding two small lodging properties with access to Fairbanks and Denali, a shorter cruising option with Windstar Cruises, and new activities ideal for experiencing unique facets of Alaska.
Known for its glass-domed igloo accommodations and aurora viewing opportunities and located 25 miles from Fairbanks, Borealis Basecamp is now open in both summer and winter. Examples of available activities include guided drives to the Arctic Circle, UTV rides in White Mountain Recreation Area, reindeer hikes, visits to a sled-dog kennel, dog-sledding, and snow machine and helicopter tours. Five new “cubes” with floor-to-ceiling windows are now available as another lodging option during winter.
Now operating as a fly-in lodge for 2022 and 2023, Camp Denali is a remote property within Denali National Park and Preserve that dates back to 1952. The property has 19 guest cabins and a main lodge, offers guided hiking and activities led by staff naturalists, and schedules guest speakers such as storytellers and biologists.
Coldfoot Camp, located in Alaska’s Arctic region at the foot of Brooks Mountain Range and near the Gates of the Arctic National Park, is offering two new activities. The Fat Bike Adventure involves riding 6 miles along Slate Creek on a maintained gold-mining trail, stopping for a snack and water break along the water, and biking back to Coldfoot on a slightly different route. The Packraft Adventure involves driving with a guide to a scenic spot near Sukakpak Mountain, hiking in and taking an optional lunch break, floating the Koyukuk River, and hiking back out to Dalton Highway.
Alyeska Resort in Girdwood has completed the first phase of the state’s only Nordic spa, offering three hot pools, three cold pools, a sauna, wellness bistro, and massage services. Nordic spas offer a style of hydrotherapy that has long been popular in Scandinavia. Nordic spas are based on the idea that taking the body from very hot to very cold temperatures is purifying, strengthens the immune system, and soothes aches and pains.
Go Hike Alaska has launched a Backcountry Eats & Foraging Treats tour with two options available: Chugach State Park in Anchorage or near Montana Creek outside Talkeetna. Participants spend two hours foraging for in-season items like wild greens, mushrooms, and berries, and the guide provides instruction about how to prepare these items using backcountry stoves.
For the first time, the small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises is offering a shorter seven-day sailing option, Scenic Alaska, making it easier for groups and working professionals to get away for an epic adventure. The itinerary along the Inside Passage includes visits to Sitka, Juneau, Haines, and Ketchikan, and wraps up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kayaking, zodiac tours, railroad excursions, photography classes, and ATV and wildlife adventures are among the many available activities. The recently revamped Star Breeze, an all-suite yacht with two new restaurants and a spa/fitness center, is sailing all of Windstar’s Alaska itineraries in 2022.