Alaska northern lights tour
Description of Alaska northern lights tour
There’s nothing more warm and cosy than a mug of hot chocolate in a small, family-owned lodge in the middle of a snow-covered Alaskan spruce forest.
If you’re heading into the wilderness, just outside the city of Fairbanks, this is exactly what you can hope to discover, alongside numerous opportunities to unique Alaskan outdoor activities. From dog sledding and off-grid farmsteads to curling lessons with the locals and traditional Native American arts; visiting Alaska in the winter is an unforgettable experience.
For many, the highlight of this week away is the chance to see the Northern Lights. Every opportunity will be made to ensure travellers get to see the Aurora Borealis including personal wake up calls made by our ever-vigilant expert guides. Seeing the lights in Alaska is one of those amazing experiences that you’ll never forget and we’ll travel to the darkest aurora areas where this fascinating natural phenomenon is at its brightest and most active.
This small group trip hosts a maximum of 14 travellers and has been designed to cause the minimum disruption to the Alaskan environment and to local communities. There will be opportunities for cultural exchange with the locals so you can learn how people live in this land of extremes. Solo travellers are always welcome and single room supplements are available at the lodge.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and head north to Alaska. Reindeer, ice sculptures, geothermal hot springs and the incredible Aurora Borealis await.
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PlanetGondwana Ecotours is one of very few travel companies that are verifiably 100 percent carbon neutral. Since our founding, we’ve been focused on providing incredible travel experiences for the traveler that are also good for the local environment and planet at large. This commitment is reflected in our name — Gondwana Ecotours.
In addition to designing tours with a soft, local footprint and working with local guides and businesses, we started out by carbon offsetting flights for our guests. Over time we realized that it takes immense effort to figure out what impact carbon offsetting projects have. How much carbon is being removed in a verified way? For how long and at what cost? So we started looking for an alternative and became aware of the difference between carbon offsetting and carbon neutral programs.
In 2021, we signed up with Cooler, which neutralizes the impact of our tours’ carbon footprint by buying permits (away from polluters) in tightly-regulated pollution markets from over a dozen U.S. states. In collaboration with Cooler, we’ve footprinted the carbon use and emissions for each of our tours: what we eat, where we sleep, what we do, and our travel and transportation.
At the end of each tour, we report the number of guests on the tour and pay Cooler to purchase carbon pollution contracts from the open markets to neutralize our collective carbon footprint.
So with Cooler, we’re effectively taking away emissions from smokestacks and we’re gaining full accountability in the process, which is something not seen by the more common carbon offsets. Over time, the idea is that scarcity of permits will make it more attractive for big polluters to find more environmentally—and less expensive—ways to produce their goods.
We operate this tour with a maximum group size of 18 travelers to minimize our impact on the culture and the environment where we visit.
Our guides help guests to view the wildlife in a responsible way (i.e. keeping minimum distances, not using camera flashes and not disturbing the animals).
In Fairbanks water is conserved as much as possible. Many locals have to cart their own water from filling stations miles away from their home. For this reason, we provide BPA free refillable water bottles for guests to use. We visit a local filling station to fill up, and always have filtered water available for refills. We also encourage guests to conserve water in their bathrooms and to reuse towels as much as possible to cut back on washing machine loads.
We work with suppliers who are local families, avid outdoorsmen and cultural guardians. Our tour guides include an environmental engineer, a local photographer and an author who writes about the Aurora. We stay in family owned lodges that conserve energy, recycle and reduce waste, and we partner with a family owned organic farm for educational visits about sustainable homestead living. We also only work with dogsledding outfits that treat their dogs like family and do their best to maintain a small carbon footprint. We tour the cultural center with a member of the native community who teaches us about the history and traditional culture of the local tribes. Our money from this goes to support the native community and local programming. We also get a tour on geothermal energy at a local hot springs resort to learn about this alternative power source and how it fuels their facilities.
PeopleFriends & Neighbors:
We visit small locally owned restaurants that use farm to table practices whenever possible. We partner with independent local guides and family owned lodges that conserve water and electricity, encourage sustainable practices and respect and teach about the local environment and wildlife. There are lots of chances for meaningful cultural exchange through extended small group sessions with local environmentalists, families and culture bearers.
A Fair Deal:
There are limited tourism jobs that pay fairly in the Fairbanks area, so we provide our local partners with competitive pay and scheduled hours that are reliable and livable. We support families, small businesses, community centers, independent guides and local artists. We provide opportunities to buy handmade local crafts like wooden bowls and musk ox yarn, sometimes direct from the craftsperson. We support the local native community through our visits to local museums and cultural centers. We offer many chances for tourists to get to know locals in a personal and educational way. This includes time at a family farm to learn about homesteading, a visit to a reindeer ranch to meet the family that raises these friendly creatures, a curling lesson with local players and a tour with a member of the native community to learn about traditional tribal lifestyles.
We always give back in the areas we visit, including working with local charities that support communities in need and protect the local ecosystems. We also make a donation to carbon offset each guest's trip. This money goes to support reforestation projects and other initiatives that reduce greenhouse gases.
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