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“Really Good but One Small Problem”

Northern Alaska Tour Company
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3-Day Arctic Circle of Alaska Northern Lights...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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. During the Summer we are open 6:00 AM to Midnight 7 days a week, during the Winter we are open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 19 June 2014

We took the Arctic Ocean Adventure - Northbound. In a nutshell, it is two days driving from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay and a flight back to Fairbanks. This is one of those things that we wanted to do very much and (rightfully) realized that renting a car and heading out on the Dalton Highway was not a good idea. This trip with Northern Alaska Tour Company emphasized the risky nature of doing it yourself.

We set out in a large van with 9 tourists and a driver. It was certainly tight but not unbearable. Our driver had a lot of things to tell us and did quite a good job in that respect. You have to realize that accommodations along the way are not up to Hilton standards but are up to working people's standards. We stayed in camps which were originally intended for the construction crews for the Aleyeska Pipeline. That said, they were clean and the food was very good. In Coldfoot we had a private bath, but in Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) there were bathroom facilities "down the hall." All very clean. Another thing to understand is that the weather can be terrible (we had rain and snow) and that the road is more gravel than pavement. As a result you travel slowly and pick up tons of mud. The driver stopped often to clean the windows so that people could see. All along the way you are on the lookout for critters, and we saw moose, caribou and red fox as well as lots of different waterfowl in the lakes of Prudhoe Bay.

There was only one flub on our trip. As we were approaching Finger Mountain, the driver casually mentioned that the Check Engine light came on. I thought he was joking because I couldn't see the instrument panel. He joked that when that happens, he puts a piece of duct tape over it forgets about it. Well, in this case it was no laughing matter. When we prepared to leave Finger Mountain the van failed to start. The driver had a satellite phone (cell phones are USELESS along the road) and was able to arrange for a replacement van to come down from Coldfoot. We ended up spending about three hours total until the van arrived and we could continue our drive. I realize that the trouble with the van was probably a random occurrence. I really wished that the driver had leveled with us about the situation and explained his plan to recover from the problem. That would have made my wife a lot more comfortable.

Van troubles aside, we had a great time on this trip. We got to see stuff that was really cool. We had our picture taken at the Arctic Circle. We got to tour the production facilities at Prudhoe Bay. We got to walk on the ice of the Arctic Ocean and stick out toes in the water. We met some really nice people. We learned a lot about this part of Alaska. I think one of the neatest things was stopping in Wiseman (population 12) and spending some time listening to a lifelong resident tell us about living that far out of touch with civilization. It is amazing what people do when they are pretty much on their own.

Bottom line, this is a good trip. I would have given a 5 rating except for the driver's response to the van problem. I recommend it to anyone who wants an interesting adventure and a chance to see what it is like to live in remote places like Coldfoot, Wiseman, Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay.

Thank swift98b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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335 - 339 of 470 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2014

My family just did the Arctic Circle Adventure this week and we really enjoyed the experience. The people in the office that greeted us in the morning were very helpful and informative. They gave us an overview of the day and how many people would be on our bus that day. Yes, it is a long day, so be prepared with snacks and water. Bring layers of clothes, because it got really cold at certain stops. Read their information, because this is how we prepared for the trip. We brought lunch with us, but wish we had not. The food at the Yukon River was great. We did order dinner for the return back and loved it. They even had a surprise for us at the arctic circle to celebrate our arrival. Getting our certificates at the end of the long day was like a graduation ceremony. So Much Fun! Our guide, Sam, was fabulous!!!

2  Thank M R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

The tour starts really early at 5.30am, but you soon realize just how much there is to see.
Our guide, Michael Dean, was great, he knew every inch of the road and explained every mile and answered every question we had.
They use a large van which comfortably seated 8 people and made us swap positions in the van at every stop, which was usually every hour and half. We followed the dalton highway along the pipeline all the way past the Arctic Circle into Coldfoot.
We stopped for lunch at the Yukon River.
On the way back, we took a Chieftan plane back..
The tour was great and we saw so much stuff...

1  Thank Lou L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

This is a MUST do if you are in the Fairbanks Area. We did the early morning flight over the Arctic Circle, landing in Coldfoot then drove over to Wiseman, a self sustaining town of 17 people, including one 21month old child. Jack, who lives in Wiseman gave a very informative talk about what it is like living there. The plane ride was awesome, with 5 passengers, plus the pilot. The weather was great so we were able to get incredible views of the scenery. The pilot was also very informative and gave wonderful descriptions of what we were flying over. This is a don't miss attraction.

Thank spoiledrotten1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2014

Did the Arctic Circle air adventure. Did not have a clue what to expect or how to dress. (Perhaps more info available on that would be helpful.). Wow. How unique. The employees and guides were all so pleasant and efficient. Nick, the pilot, was great. I sort of wish he had been allowed to explain more of the area as we flew over. Also, since the passengers did not have microphones on their headset, we could not communicate with each other which would have made the trip more interesting. The guide/van driver, Jen, was just the opposite - full of knowledge and facts. It went so quick. Would have loved to have had more time to ask questions and look around. Another plus for the tour company is that everyone loved their jobs!! Great job.

1  Thank 1TravelerVaUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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