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Cross It Off Your Bucket List: See the Northern Lights this March

Posted by on January 18, 2015


Seeing the Northern Lights is definitely one item on my Bucket List to see.  When this deal crossed my inbox I knew I instantly had to share it with you.  For those of you who want to make something extraordinary happen in 2015.

This upcoming march, The Old Farmer’s Almanac is offering you to chance to see The Northern Lights with them, with astronomer Bob Berman.

What the tour entails:

March 17: Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska, in its most magnificent season, when the Sun is low in the sky and the snow is deep on the mountains. Guests arrive at all times of the day. With each arrival, we meet fellow travelers and the tour begins.

In Fairbanks the group will be staying at the Westmark Hotel. This evening, we will dine at the hotel, get acquainted with each other, and meet our staff, including world-famous astronomy writer, lecturer, and teacher Bob Berman. His entertaining and informative introduction to the week’s events is not to be missed! As midnight nears, we bundle up, climb into our coach bus, and head out of town, away from the city lights, looking for clear skies and our first sighting of the aurora.

March 18 & 19: After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we will board our private coaches and make our way to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks for a private lecture with Dr. Neal Brown. The University of Alaska is one of the world’s leading centers of aurora study, and Dr. Brown, a retired professor, has made the study of the northern lights his life’s work. In addition to being a knowledgeable source about the phenomenon, he’s a delightful speaker who makes the science in this field understandable even to nonscientists. While on campus, we will also visit the Museum of the North, with fascinating collections and exhibits on the history, culture, people, and art of Alaska.

After our visit to the University of Alaska, we will board our coaches and travel to Chena Hot Springs for a 2-night stay. Literally at the end of the road, 60 miles from Fairbanks and set in the midst of the mountains well away from city lights, Chena Hot Springs is a perfect place for observing the aurora and the northern skies. And that’s not all: In your free time, you can ride a dogsled through the forest, take a snowcat to the top of a mountain for sunset, or relax in the hot springs while the air is zero degrees. It all makes for an unforgettable experience.

Chena is one of the “greenest” places on Earth. Scientists from all over the world have visited to see its innovative technology, and you will have an opportunity to tour these impressively progressive facilities: the recycling program (everything is recycled); the self-sustaining power-generation system, which uses the hot springs water to heat all of the buildings and create electricity; and the greenhouses where most of the resort’s food is grown.

Despite Chena’s natural splendor, neither Chena (meaning the property and the management) nor we, your tour leaders, can guarantee that the aurora will appear while we are there. The appearance of the aurora is subject to nature’s whim and timing. However, we can tell you that on six of our seven previous tours, we saw the northern lights spectacularly from Chena—and most of those displays filled the sky.

March 20: Aboard our coach bus, we depart Chena to return to Fairbanks. Along the way, we stop briefly by the oil pipeline to see one of the great feats of building in the harshest of climates.

In the late afternoon Bob Berman will deliver his main illustrated presentation “Light and Color in the Universe”.

If conditions are good, this evening we will charter a coach to take us to a remote spot away from the city lights to attempt once again to see the remarkable lights.

March 21: After breakfasting at the hotel, we walk a few blocks to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. Here we will explore world-class exhibits of Alaskan natural habitats and Native culture. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore this unique and historic city.

At dusk we head to the Fairbanks ice-carving competition, a world-class event that attracts carvers from all over the globe. While stunning in sunlight, the sculptures are especially magnificent at night when illuminated by colored lights.

In the early evening, we will gather at the hotel for our farewell dinner.

March 22: Breakfast available at the hotel. Transfers to the airport for the journey home will be available throughout the day. Guests who choose to join us for the trip extension (see below) will meet in the morning for the train trip to Anchorage through Denali National Park.

*Tour itineraries are subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

The tour includes:

5-Nights Hotel

Motor coaches starting from and returning to the Fairbanks International Airport.

3 Dinners

3 Breakfasts

1 Lunch

Lecture by Neal Brown

Museum of the North

Dog sled ride

Mountaintop Sunset Tour

Fairbanks International Ice-Carving Show Visit

Lecture by Bob Berman

Guide to the Stars by Bob Berman

Fairbanks Cultural Center

Not Included:

Round-trip airfare to Alaska

Items of a personal nature

Meals that are not included above

Trip Costs:

Per person, based on double occupancy: $1,469

Single supplement: $430

Per person, deposit required upon registration: $400

Final payments due: February 13, 2015.



 2-Day Anchorage Extension

March 22: Meet to go to train station for train an all day train trip to Anchorage. The train will take us through the majestic Denalli National Park. If the weather is clear, you will see one of the most magnificent sights in the world—a close-up view of Mt. McKinley. Remember, however, that views of Mt. McKinley are subject to the weather.

March 23: In Anchorage, we will visit the new Thomas Planetarium for a special show on the northern skies conducted by Bob Berman. The planetarium is located in the wonderful new Anchorage Museum, which includes a large, hands-on exhibit area. Visitors of all ages are invited to play in it, making volcanoes that explode, creating bubbles that completely surround you, learning about the dynamics of moving objects, and a whole lot more.

 You have the rest of the day free day to explore this beautiful port city.

March 24: Transfer to the airport for the journey home.

*Tour itineraries are subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.


2-Nights Hotel

1 Dinner

2 Breakfasts

Anchorage-Fairbanks Train Ticket

Planetarium show

Airport transfers

Extension costs

Per person, based on double occupancy: $489

Single supplement: $94

Final Payments Due:  February 13th, 2015.

For more information and if you want to book your trip, you can find more here.

This is the YEAR to make it happen!

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