The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, seven nights' accommodations, and a rental car, from $1,820 per person—plus an estimated $300 in taxes.
When: June 1-Sept. 10, 2009. Departures are available any day of the week.
Gateways: L.A.; add $112 for Boston, New York; $206 for Atlanta, Chicago; $384 for Miami; other gateways are available.
The fine print: Included are a seven-day, midsize automatic-transmission rental car with unlimited mileage from Budget, a city tour of Whitehorse, an evening at the Rendezvous Dinner Theater, admission to Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue and Diamond Tooth Gerties gambling hall, and a White Pass Summit Railway Excursion. The package does not cover federal and/or provincial taxes, airline taxes and surcharges, departure and transportation fees, or rental car taxes, all of which total about $300. Breakfast is not included. Prices are based on double occupancy; single supplement is $769. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: Dec. 31, 2008.
Contact: Maxxim Vacations, 800/567-6666, maxximvacations.com.
Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, round-trip airfare between L.A. and Whitehorse starts at $964 with tax for departures during the first week of June 2009 (Air Canada). For an additional $1,156 (including taxes), which breaks down to an extra $165 a night, Maxxim covers airfare, accommodations, a seven-day car rental, a Whitehorse city tour, a Rendezvous Dinner Theater performance, entrance to Diamond Tooth Gerties gambling hall and Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue, and a White Pass Summit Railway Excursion.
Trip details: The Yukon and Alaska Adventure package includes round-trip airfare on a United Airlines/Air Canada carrier and seven nights' accommodations divided between Whitehorse, Dawson City, Beaver Creek, and Haines Junction in Canada. Plus, you'll have access to a midsize automatic-transmission rental car so you can easily reach each destination and explore them at your own pace.
All accommodation arrangements are reserved in advance. You'll receive a package with vouchers for each property, as well as maps, brochures, and travel information, before you leave for your trip. Upon check-in, you'll simply submit a voucher in return for your stay. Maxxim vouchers are also used for the car rental, attractions, etc.
Your week in Canada's True North begins in the Yukon Territory's bustling capital, Whitehorse, a commercial oasis amid a sprawling and unspoiled wilderness. You'll stay two nights at the 180-room Westmark Whitehorse Hotel in the heart of the city.
On-site amenities include a heated outdoor patio (open seasonally), a fitness center, the Steele Street Restaurant & Lounge, a barbershop, and the Northern Wonders Gift Shop.
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The hotel is blocks from the city's shops, restaurants, and nightspots. Whitehorse is chock-full of historic and natural attractions, including the restoredKlondike, the largest stern-wheeler to ply the Yukon River; Whitehorse Fish Ladder, which tells the story of the world's farthest salmon migration; MacBride Museum; Old Log Church Museum; and Takhini Hot Springs. The package includes a tour of the city and admission to Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue, a live show depicting entertainment that was popular during the gold rush.
Nature lovers can go for a hike in the parks along the banks of the Yukon River, which flows right through town, or explore the network of trails surrounding the city. If you're feeling extra adventurous, check out the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, 25 minutes north of Whitehorse.
Leaving Whitehorse, you'll continue on to the Klondike gold rush town of Dawson City, once the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg. Much of Dawson City remains as it was at the height of the gold rush in 1898—at least on the surface. The streets are lined with wooden boardwalks, many of the buildings have been carefully restored, and you may even run into miners, dog mushers, and other costumed Klondike characters. The actors will make it easy for you to imagine the time when casinos, beer halls, and brothels ruled the town.
You'll spend two nights at the 20-room Aurora Inn, close to the main shopping district and galleries, the Dawson City Museum, and the Palace Grand Theater. The package also includes admission to Diamond Tooth Gerties, a casino which is within walking distance of the hotel.
Then proceed to Beaver Creek, known as the Gateway to Alaska because it sits on the Alaska Highway close to the Canadian border. You'll stay overnight at the 174-room Westmark Inn Beaver Creek, which is open for summer guests from mid-May through mid-September. You'll be treated to a Rendezvous Dinner Theater show, which is a family-style barbecue dinner accompanied by lively songs and skits.
Next on the itinerary is Haines Junction, a mountain village at the foot of Kluane National Park. Sitting at the crossroads of Haines Road and the Alaska Highway and surrounded by a dramatic mountainous landscape, Haines Junction is the perfect starting point for hiking, river rafting, canoeing, and fishing.
You'll stay overnight at the Inn on the Lake before returning to Whitehorse to spend the last night of your trip at the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel.
Need more time to explore? Maxxim is offering a similar package with air and 11 nights, starting from $2,326.
Get the scoop on what to do on your trip by visiting the Web sites for Yukon's Department of Tourism & Culture, the City of Whitehorse, the Klondike Visitors Association, as well as the visitor information Web sites for Beaver Creek and Haines Junction.
Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.