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“Favorite part of our entire trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Northern Alaska Tour Company - Day Tours

Northern Alaska Tour Company - Day Tours
Fairbanks, AK 99708
1 907-474-8600
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Ranked #12 of 49 Activities in Fairbanks
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Owner description: Experience Alaska’s Arctic! Northern Alaska Tour Company pioneered Arctic Circle touring on Alaska’s Dalton Highway. We invite you to experience for yourself the legendary hospitality and authentic interpretation that made our Arctic Circle Adventures famous.
Fitchburg, WI
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Favorite part of our entire trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

August 2012: My family of four did the 3 day 2 night northbound tour. Of all the things we did while in AK, this was by FAR our favorite and most memorable. There are some of the negatives: First, loooong days in a van. We were so late arriving in Deadhorse, the restaurant had packed up the buffet and set aside only a few foam containers for us to choose our food from. Second, the accommodations are exactly what the brochure tells you. They are clean…but they are at best primitive. Coldfoot we had a small bathroom in our room and a restaurant with either a limited menu or a buffet. Deadhorse we had a room with a bathroom down the hall and a restaurant that was just a buffet. And, the food in both places was a bit underwhelming and a bit over priced (even by AK standards). Those negatives aside, the tour was more than worth it. The tour guide (Barb) was absolutely excellent. She went out of her way again and again to make my children feel involved. The long days in the van were made enjoyable by frequent stops: chances for all of us to see and experience new things. We skipped stones in the Yukon River, climbed on rocks, bounced on tundra, picked and ate blueberries and learned a million things about the tundra and the land above the Arctic Circle. I would recommend this tour to any adventurous person who is willing to put up with a little discomfort to have a once in a lifetime experience. I would recommend packing in a little bit of food for the long days on the bus. Tour provided some light snacks, and made box lunches available, but it was nice to have a few things of our own … especially as we were traveling with kids.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company - Day Tours, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you for joining us in August. We appreciate how you did explain the cons were something you did expect - "exactly what the brochure tells you.". We do our best to inform guests of the remote nature of the tour experience and the limited services in this area. We do not want it to be a surprise the accommodations they are staying at are indicative of the industrial heritage of the area they are visiting. Thank you again for travelling with us and taking the time to share your review.
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165 reviews from our community

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Pretoria, South Africa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellent Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I was met in the hotel lobby, introduced to felow travelers, bus driver Micheal was full of information, making the trip to Artic Circle and to see the Northern lights an interesting trip. He really understood the need for a touring group who followed the sights and went out of his way that they got to see as much as they could. 12-13th October I was told later was the best sight seen this season. Bus was comfortable and clean.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company - Day Tours, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you for joining us in October. We appreciate you sharing how you were treated on the tour. Our guides take pride in making the experience unique for each visitor as they share information about Alaska's Arctic both while you are in motion and at the stops along the way. So very glad you had a chance to enjoy the magical northern lights.
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Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Arctic Circle Aurora Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

The Aurora version of this tour departs from a centralized location in Fairbanks at 10:30am; with a scheduled return of 2am the following morning. (The non-Aurora tour departs at 6:30am.) There were a few smaller groups combined to total 19 people. The tour vehicle was a 24 passenger tour bus; very comfortable and equipped with a lavatory. The majority of the trip is spent riding on the bus to the Arctic Circle approximately 200 miles north-west of Fairbanks. The route took us along the Steese Highway to the Elliot Highway then on to the Dalton Highway. The Steese and Elliot Highways are minimally traveled paved roads while the Dalton Highway is a partially paved, mostly gravel road. Our Driver/Guide was Michael, who most definitely made the trip enjoyable and educational. Michael provided a brief history of Fairbanks followed by a running narrative of the route and sights we encountered as we made our way to the Arctic Circle. Brief stops were made at least every 2 hours to stretch our legs and take in the sights. A stop was made at the Yukon River and one stop was made to watch the sunset. Arrival at the Arctic Circle was slightly after full dark. By the time everyone had taken pictures in front of the Arctic Circle sign and Michael provided an explanation of what exactly the Arctic Circle is, the lights of the Aurora Borealis began to appear in the sky. We remained at the Arctic Circle for approximately 90 minutes viewing the lights and eating dinner. On the way back to Fairbanks we made four more stops to view the Aurora Borealis as they seemed to getter brighter and more active the further south we drove. Arrival back in Fairbanks was around 4 am. I had an opportunity to take an Arctic Circle tour during the summer but decided to wait until winter in hopes of viewing the Aurora Borealis, I’m glad I waited. My daughter was able to join me in Fairbanks for a short time and accompanied me on this tour. This is without a doubt one of the best tours I have ever taken. If you decide to take this tour, dress warm and expect many well rewarded hours on the bus.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Works only with "business partners." Coldfoot National Parks Visitor Ctr Off Limits!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Northern Alaska Tours is, to put it simply acted for us like a scam.

A minivan drive from Fairbanks to Coldfoot with a stop at a restaurant with 20 tables and 4 people in it in the middle of nowhere, but we had to eat in the van because we the driver says "we can't impact their business by bring 8 people in. My wife and I ask for a small change in what was provided, and the response from the restauranteur, "Well, that wouldn't be what was contracted, so we can't give it to you without pissing off Northern Alaska Tours."

Arrival in Coldfoot --a truck stop-- We asked to go to the Interagency Visitor Center 1000 years away. The driver REFUSED, saying that Northern Alaska Tours "has no relationship with them." So Northern Alaska Tours takes you into the Arctic Circle but refuses to allow you access to the National Parks Visitor Center????

Avoid this outfit. Ask them about going to whatever the National Park entity is where you're headed and see if it's possible first. Northern Alaska Tour Co. gets an emphatic thumbs down from us!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“The People who try to squeeze 10 people into that itty bitty van (and keep them there for 9 hours)”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We took the Arctic Circle Fly/Drive Adventure. This is a 12 hour tour departing from Fairbanks at 1 PM returning at 1 AM. The late arrival comes with the hope of seeing the Northern Lights.

The good points.

1. The flight. Steve, our pilot for the flight from Fairbanks to Coldfoot, was a retired airline pilot, competent, professional and a very good aerial tour guide. The plane was a 9 passenger Piper Cheiftain.

2. Laura, our guide, was also competent and interesting and made the trip as enjoyable as possible. We enjoyed the stops she made (which provided some relief from the cramped conditions in the van). I returned with some great pictures even the weather was not the best.

The huge and ever-remembered bad point (and the reason for my poor rating):

Most folks understand that a 10 passenger van does not mean there is room for 10 adults. The bench seats that are rates for 3 people seat 2 1/2 adults at best. This means that one person sits with half of their butt hanging over the edge and the other two are constantly find themselves with little space to call their own. To be held captive in this type of conveyance is torturous. Only the driver and front seat passenger (the lady in that seat on our tour refused to give up that position and take a turn to share our misery. So much for the promised seat rotation.)

Here's my advice.

1) The tour itinerary is worthwhile, the guides are worthwhile, BUT ASK before you go about the vehicle and DON'T GO IF they are using a van.

2) If the weather isn't great, don't bother with the late trip to see the Northern Lights. You can also check online to see if the conditions are such that they are visible since clear weather does not guarantee that you will see them either.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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