Ultimate Alaska - Printable Version

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Ultimate Alaska - Harry7 - 13/12/2018

Really fancy this for 2019 as will be able to meet relatives at same time, has anyone been on it at all?

RE: Ultimate Alaska - AELB - 17/12/2018

Hi Harry

I went on this incredible trip back in 2016. If you put 'Alaska' into the 'Search' function at the top right of the page, you will find my review.

I think the itinerary has changed slightly since our adventure (sadly I don't think the Arctic Circle Fly/Drive is available as an optional excursion any more - it was quite expensive but well worth it). I believe that JY took up my group's suggestion to add the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre as an included excursion and drop the salmon flavoured vodka tasting though.

I also think that you now have the option to fly from Gatwick as well as Heathrow and a shorter route to Anchorage via Iceland rather than Minneapolis (which was a bit of a tiring drag).

Finally, I would recommend the spring dates (when the wildlife is just waking up from hibernation and is out and about looking for food). If you have any questions once you have read my review, happy to help. Alaska still ranks as my favourite JY tour so far.

All the best

RE: Ultimate Alaska - SylviaJ - 18/12/2018


I visited Alaska in May 2016. My fellow traveller Mandy (AELB) did a super review which you should read. The programme might have changed since then, but the review is worth a read. If the link below doesn't work, search for Alaska in the Review section of the forum.



RE: Ultimate Alaska - mikew - 21/12/2018

Hi Harry,
I’ve been wanting to book this tour for some time now. Unfortunately it took so long for the revised itinerary to be released, that there was only one date available this year - in September. And I was disappointed to say the least that there’s only one departure scheduled for 2019; once again in September.

As Mandy has already suggested, spring dates in late May or early June would be seem to be ideal for the reasons she’s outlined, but for some reason JY have seen fit not to offer departures at that time.

This tour in its previous guise did have departure dates in late May, so perhaps Vicky would like to elaborate on why departures are now restricted to a single date at the end of the season. I’d also be very interested to hear what the customer feedback for the Sept 2018 departure actually said, if you could supply that please Vicky - in particular any comments regarding the revised itinerary would be welcome.

In the meantime, until departure dates are offered at a better time of year this is one tour that I’ll probably forgo for the time being.


RE: Ultimate Alaska - AELB - 28/12/2018

Hiya Mike (long time no speak - aren't you coming to Galapagos with us?)

To be fair to JY, I think the lack of dates may be down to lack of previous bookings. It is an expensive tour so perhaps they've reduced the number of departures rather than rest it completely. On the positive side, as you requested a couple of years ago, they have moved it from Gatwick to Heathrow which would make the logistics a lot easier for you. But I notice that they have stopped flying via Iceland and now go out via Chicago and back via Vancouver (BTW - Vicky - you may want to have a word with the web team because the flight information for next September does not explain how the group get from Anchorage to Vancouver - I think there is a plane missing somewhere!)

Sadly though, and I think this is also down to economics, the itinerary for next year seems to have been slimmed down a great deal since our fabulous trip in 2016. Already this year, the included Wilderness Express train trip from Talkeetna to Denali (the Alaskan equivalent of the Rocky Mountaineer) was cut, as was the optional Artic Circle Fly/Drive. As mentioned before that was a pretty expensive day but, for me, the journey from Fairbanks along the Dalton Highway across the Yukon and up to Cold Foot ranks along side panda hugging in China as one of the greatest memories of all my travels. I notice that next year's itinerary has been cut back further and the tour no longer goes as far north even as Fairbanks, let alone the Arctic Circle but instead goes east. This means missing out on Pioneer Park, North Pole and Gold Dredge 8 but I'm sure the new itinerary will offer many new delights instead. Many JY Tours evolve and change over the years, for example America's Golden West has become Western Wonders, so I think it's always wise if you see a tour that you like the look of to grab it while you can in case the itinerary changes or is rested.. Unfortunately, a few years ago, due to circumstances beyond my control I had to cancel a booking for the Holy land at Christmas tour and it has not been run again since. 

There may be a number of pros and cons to the current offering but all I can say is that Alaska is absolutely stunning and the locals are really friendly so if it's on your 'to do list', go for it!

All the best and happy New Year

RE: Ultimate Alaska - BGray - 03/01/2019

Hi Mandy and Mike,

Happy new year and safe travels to you both!  Reading your posts has reignited my interest in this tour!  I'm booked up for 2019 and think I have 2020 sorted as well but I'm still interested in visiting Alaska at some stage...

Vickie, I look forward to reading your comments on the questions raised above.  In addition, could you please tell me how much is the optional excursion - the scenic flight and visit to the NP and ghost town?  I'm still disappointed that the Arctic fly-drive has been dropped, but I have to say the revised itinerary does look very good!  I too would prefer an early summer departure.

Best wishes,


RE: Ultimate Alaska - mikew - 03/01/2019

Hi Mandy,
It’s great to hear from you and to read your thoughts on the new Alaska itinerary - they pretty much mirror my own in as much as this seems to be a very much slimmed down version of the original tour whilst omitting many of the very best parts of that itinerary as a result.
With that in mind, I did ask Vickie in my original post on this thread if she could supply some customer feedback from the departure in September of last year. Sadly I’ve had no response to that request so far. Regarding the single departure, I think we’d agree that late Spring would be a great time to go, but to have the one and only departure right at the end of the season doesn’t seem to me to be very conducive to attracting bookings. I’ll stand corrected if I’m wrong about that.

Regarding Galapagos, I really wanted to do this tour in March but wasn’t in a position to book when it first came on sale. By the time I could commit, the tour was sold out - very frustrating! Anyway, have a great time and I’ll look forward to reading your review.


RE: Ultimate Alaska - Vickie - 04/01/2019

Hi Mike,

Apologies for the delay, I've followed this up with the team again and will get back to you ASAP with some feedback about this trip.

Many thanks,

RE: Ultimate Alaska - Jaya - 04/01/2019

Alaska is on my list and I wish I had done it when it was first on offer but i had other trips booked so was not in a position to do so. Now I am not too sure as the price has gone up and the itinerary has been trimmed so not sure if we are getting value for the money. What a shame!



RE: Ultimate Alaska - mikew - 05/01/2019

Hi Vickie,
Many thanks for following up on this for me. I’ll look forward to reading the customer feedback on the new itinerary with great interest.