Alaska small group holiday

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2018: 30 May, 11 Jun, 25 Jun, 16 Jul, 30 Jul, 13 Aug, 28 Aug

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Alaska small group holiday


In terms of nature and wilderness environment, there can be few places on Earth as carefully managed as Alaska’s National Parks. America’s largest state is blessed with a remarkable range of landscapes varying from rainforest in the south to tundra in the north. Such diversity also delivers a huge variety of flora and fauna which need to be managed and protected across the state. In addition, Alaska is resource rich and considerable attention is paid here to protecting the rights and future interests of the native people from large “outside” corporations. Consequently, there is much to be considered when setting up holidays in Alaska, not least, adherence to the laws that protect both its environment and the interests of its people. The state has become a year-round choice for lovers of the Great Outdoors and as a result, ecotourism is very much at the forefront of tourism planning here.

This holiday is based largely on rail and small boat travel which we hope further reduces our carbon footprint compared to using vehicles for to cover the long distances necessary here in Alaska. When vehicles are used in the likes of Denali then it is always to transport small groups, never large as clients enter one of the world’s most highly protected National Parks. Denali is home to and an amazing array of wildlife: Grizzly and brown bears, wolves, caribou, fox, to name but a few, as well as an impressive range of birdlife. We employ local guides who are wildlife experts and fully versed on the Denali environment which allows them to both inform and educate about the delicate balance and how it is preserved here.


In such a vast wilderness, accommodation options are pretty limited so we have searched high and low for the most environmentally and socially responsible establishments we can find. For example, Seward Windsong Lodge is part of the CIRI group which is one of 12 regional corporations established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act - the company is owned by 8300+ Alaskan Natives and aims to foster social responsibility and responsible tourism.

The CIRI Group is worth looking at in closer detail because it illustrates how the interests of the native Alaskan’s are being very carefully protected and managed for existing and future generations. Their mission statement below sums up the thinking behind the organisation:

MISSION: The mission of CIRI is to promote the economic and social well-being and Alaska Native heritage of our shareholders, now and into the future, through prudent stewardship of the company’s resources, while furthering self-sufficiency among CIRI shareholders and their families.

VISION: A corporation rooted in the heritage and culture of our shareholders, working toward a future where Native people thrive.

VALUES: CIRI pursues its mission by honoring the following values:

The owners of the other accommodation during this holiday are also deeply aware of their responsibilities. Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, for instance, is committed to environmental responsibility; all its activities are run directly from the lodge reducing the need for excess travel, guests receive a 'leave no trace' talk and activities are only run in small groups in order to reduce footprint.

In Anchorage where the accommodation choices are wider, we recommend that our clients stay in a privately-owned bed and breakfast establishment rather than a large chain hotel. Similarly, whilst in the city, our trip dossiers strongly suggest that our guests visit places like the Alaskan Native Heritage Centre in order to learn more about the native people’s traditions and way of life.

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