DATES - Open
This is no longer a group trip with WAT
We can customize this trip for individuals & groups!
An inspiring and truly transformative trip in the Alaska Wild
Grab your best boots, rev up your sense of adventure and head to what feels like the edge of the earth. On this epic Alaskan adventure you’ll find yourself in the midst of breathtaking beauty and a blanket of steely silence as you hike through the Alaskan wild, glide across chilled lakes in kayaks, scrambling across glaciers, fly across parks for your bear watching and hop between a stand-up paddle-board, a fat bike and an ATV for your local transport.
The journey continues through the night, in conversation, through camaraderie, over meals, in perfect pairings and while watching the late night sun finally set. Local Women of Influence that are defying all of the odds in Alaska and beyond are sure to inspire and empower with their lodge talks. At day’s end, you’ll rest your pampered head at the local yet luxe Alyeska resort in Girdwood, south of Anchorage and at the serene Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove. Get ready for some deep, sweet dreaming...
July 5-11, 2020
Group Size: 12-22
Deadline to book - Dec 31, 2019
This is no longer a group trip with WAT.
If interested, call to have a similar trip customized for an individual or group!
About the Trip
This intrepid adventure in the Alaska wild includes kayaking across lakes, riding ATV's through the backcountry, flightseeing and bear viewing, doing plenty of stand up paddle boarding, hiking, biking on fat tires and glacier trekking together with yoga on the deck, massages at Stillpoint, gourmet food all the way around, award-winning wines, wildlife and surreal scenery throughout.
All of this is topped off with Inspiring and empowering female speakers and incredible company throughout while in the wild and over your many meals.
Dates - OPEN
This is no longer a group trip with WAT. If interested, call for a similar trip for an individual or group!
Days - 7 Days/6 Nights
Size - Minimum of 12, Maximum of 22
Style - Adventure, Empowerment & Wellness
Needs - 100% deposit needed to hold a spot.
Deadline to book this trip - Dec 31st, 2019.
Treats - Yoga, Hikes, Glaciers, Kayaking, SUP
Accommodations - Luxury Lodges
Host - Karen Loftus
Fees - TBD
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 | July 5, 2020
Arrive into Anchorage by 2 pm or before. A private greeting and transfer will follow taking you to Girdwood, just south of Anchorage. Girdwood, previously called Glacier City was once a gold mining town. Just 40 miles south of Anchorage and set in the world’s northernmost temperate rainforest, Girdwood is known for its extensive trails, hanging glaciers, mountain peaks, and water views.
Once at the lodge, you will have the remainder of the day to yourself. You can venture out on your own, picking up hiking or biking trails right from the hotel courtyard or take a slower approach and simply explore the resort and visit the pool, spa or sauna before freshening up in time for the welcome dinner. Ride the aerial tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for stunning views and fine dining at 2,300 feet, at the Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant, Seven Glaciers.
Day 2 | July 6, 2020
Image Courtesy of Alaska Railroad Corporation.
Your first day of adventure starts with a picturesque ride on the iconic Alaska Railroad. Keep cameras handy as the scenery is stunning throughout the ride. Departing at the whistle stop in Portage, you will be transported to Spencer Lake where you meet your kayak and glacier guide.
You’ll kayak across the icy lake amongst floating glaciers before climbing onto the ancient Spencer Glacier. It’s an otherworldly experience to spend hours looking into ice caves and crevasses and hiking across the expansive glacier.
We return to Girdwood to dine off-property at the local favorite and ever-popular Jack Sprat restaurant, where both carnivores and vegans alike can satisfy their taste buds.
Day 3 | July 7, 2020
Today you venture into the Alaskan backcountry to the Chugach National Forest via ATVs. This US National Forest located in south-central Alaska is the second largest forest in the US. It covers portions of Prince William Sound, Kenai Peninsula, and Copper River Delta. Beyond the forest, the Chugach also includes glaciers, rivers and a very active shoreline abundant with wildlife. Keep your binos handy to capture the wildlife activity across the opposite ridge.
Image Courtesy of Alyeska Resort Hotel
After a pampered picnic-style lunch, we’ll hike to a waterfall for salmon viewing before finishing off the day. Tonight, you dine privately in the Sakura Asian Bistro with sushi, sake and more; you also will experience the first women’s presentation of the trip with the acclaimed Cindy Abbott, a local Woman of Distinction.
Day 4 | July 8, 2020
Today you depart Girdwood for Homer, a few hours drive and 200 miles south of Anchorage. Along the way, watch for wildlife, stop for photo opportunities and take in the beautiful Alaskan scenery. The long time Halibut fishing capital of the world is also known for its hiking, bear viewing and kayaking and quickly becoming known as the eco and adventure capital of Alaska.
Once in Homer, we board a water taxi for the ride across the bay to Halibut Cove, and Stillpoint Lodge. The luxe property is set across from the impressive mountain fjord of Kachemak Bay. The afternoon is open to hit the trails, practice yoga, SUP or simply go sea kayaking. Your adventure enthusiasm may be shared with sea otters, whales, birds or bears. A group dinner will follow.
Day 5 | July 9, 2020
Today, you will want your camera battery charged and your memory card empty. Hop aboard a small float plane for your flightseeing trip to Lake Clark National Park for your bear viewing excursion where you get to watch bears in their natural habitat as they graze on grass, dig for clams, play or fish. Behind the bears, the backdrop of beauty borders on overwhelming from steaming volcanoes to the turquoise lakes and jagged peaks.
Upon your return to Stillpoint, you can relax, practice yoga or hit the lake prior to the group dinner. Tonight, you will experience the second Woman of Distinction, Janine Oros Amon who has climbed Denali twice, among other accomplishments, will share her story.
Day 6 | July 10, 2020
Image Courtesy of Mark Edward Harris
For those who went bear viewing on the 19th, today provides an opportunity to choose from a multitude of activities. Explore some of the 100+ miles of trails through Alaska’s first state park and only wilderness park, Kachemak Bay State Park. There’s plenty to do on the 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, forests, and ocean. Ride a fat-tire bike along the beach, go stand-up paddle boarding, or schedule an optional add-on activity of fishing.
If hiking above the timberline, you’ll come across miles of glaciers and snowfields. A few points of interest in the park are Grewingk Glacier, Poot Peak, China Poot Bay, Halibut Cove Lagoon, Humpy Creek, and China Poot (Leisure) Lake. When the bear viewing group returns to Stillpoint, the group will enjoy a spirited farewell dinner in the lodge.
Day 7 | July 11, 2020
Rise early for one last optional yoga session and one last chance to soak in the view from your room before you board the water taxi for Homer. Once in Homer, you will repeat the drive to Anchorage; again, keeping an eye out for wildlife and great photo opportunities along the journey. Guests will be dropped off at Anchorage airport for domestic and international connections unless staying extending on their own.
Until we travel again...
Located in the small quaint town of Girdwood, the premium Alyeska Resort is truly a rustic chic retreat and Alaskan through and through. Just South of Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm, Alyeska is the perfect base camp for all of your activities in and around Anchorage and the Kenai. Dark cherry woods, high lofty ceilings, blazing fireplaces, and native Alaskan art and artifacts add to the local allure and ambiance throughout. A phenomenal food and wine program, a top-notch spa and one of the best beds you will ever sleep in makes for a very spoiled sojourn.
Situated in the idyllic small port of Halibut Cove, Alaska, Stillpoint is Alaska Luxury Lodging at its finest with its pristine beauty and upscale ambiance. Nestled between snow-capped mountains and the lovely treasure of Kachemak Bay, it is surrounded by a bounty of beauty. The tiny town itself is a mix of both a fishing village and an artist enclave.
Stillpoint is an oasis unto itself, tucked away on a private peninsula and surrounded by nature. The floor to ceiling windows and natural light showcase the cutting edge architecture, Alaskan artistry, Scandinavian styling, topped off with a Zen-like ambiance throughout. The food is fresh, local, organic and Alaskan with vegetables and herbs sourced from an organic garden on site. Oysters are freshly harvested, fish locally caught and craft brews are Alaskan, of course. They are served side by side with fresh craft cocktails and fine wines. Oh and did we mention it’s all-inclusive? Prepare to be spoiled...a lot.
*All images of Alaska are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations and if otherwise stated.
Accommodations, Rates, Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION: TBD
A 100% deposit is required to hold your spot on this Alaskan adventure.
(Spots may fill up as it is a first-come basis.)
Our exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 22 travelers with a minimum capacity of 12.
This is no longer a group trip with WAT. If interested, call for a similar trip for an individual or group!
Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus
Karen Loftus - Adventuress in Chief
Prior to her journalistic endeavors, the award-winning playwright and Tennessee Williams Fellow cut her travel teeth as an international comedian.
‘Lofty’, as she is globally known, toured The US, Middle East, Europe and Asia entertaining the troops and international audiences at military bases (US military in Korea with MWR), comedy clubs around the world (Comedy Cafe in Amsterdam & The Comedy Store in London) at theaters (La Goya in Barcelona, Ars Nova in NY), festivals (Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Singapore Comedy Festival), hotels (Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Crown Plaza in Abu Dhabi) ), colleges (Sewanee, University of the South in Tennessee, Arkansas State University), conferences (WITI - Women in Technology in San Francisco) and at several private clubs (American Club in Hong Kong & in American Club in Singapore) and at corporate (Sony, Microsoft, Tyco Toys & Ford) events throughout the world.
After ten years of juggling her groundbreaking global tours together with her non-profit program, The Body Comedy Project, (sponsored by Comedy Central) where she used humor to heal, both survivors of violence and domestic violence offenders, in several shelters in LA and in LA jails, Lofty took a break and worked as an entertainment reporter interviewing film, TV and reality stars. One year on Hollywood’s raging red carpet later, had her running for the global door.
As a travel, luxury lifestyle & adventure writer, Karen has since written thousands of articles for 90+ media outlets including Vogue, Architectural Digest, American Way, Hemispheres Magazine, Forbes, Robb Report, NY Daily News, The Globe & Mail (Canada), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Gulf News (Dubai) Grazia Magazine (US & UK), NUVO Magazine (Canada), Lucire (New Zealand), New Woman (Australia), Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, AskMen, InsideHook, Travel Weekly, Huffington Post, Food & Beverage Magazine, Societe Perrier, Zink Magazine and Sherman's Travels among others.
This savvy traveler has been to all seven continents and 70 countries and counting. Today she speaks at conferences around the world about women and travel, the transformative power of travel, empowerment travel and trends in travel, be it luxury, adventure, solo or women’s travel.
She created and co-hosts #WATC - Women’s Adventure Travel Chat on Twitter, a Twitter chat garnering as many as 10 million impressions in the hour and she runs travel (From the Path to the Page) and creative writing (One Voice & What’s So Funny?) workshops.
She also co-created & co-hosts ReVerbs a live storytelling platform for the global travel, adventure and apparel industry, a vibrant conference alternative where executives, and industry leaders break from tradition and tell a personal tale versus a corporate story.
Karen is very excited to be launching her company, Women’s Adventure Travels, and to be leading her female-driven trips. It’s a full circle moment, one long in the making, a marriage of her many interests and experiences with itineraries based on many of her favorite places, people, and passions. The unique elements of the trips reflect Karen's varied background.
Her all-female trips have a feminine thread throughout as she and guests will be visiting top women tastemakers, the women of distinction and influence in each market, be it a hotelier, chef, artisan, athlete and or a village woman defying the local or global odds.
There’s also a storytelling component with women speakers and or storytellers. It is seamlessly woven into the trips with women and a few good men speaking over dinner, drinks or by the fire sharing their triumphs and tales. Karen and guests may tell a tale or two as well.
Last, there is a community immersion element with authentic interaction with local women and children, where they visit the villages, schools, co-ops and workplaces to share an activity, an experience, a meal and a moment with the local women to get a genuine look into their lives. It’s about digging the hands into the sand.
Set in stunning landscapes, the trips will also provide a mad mix of outdoor and adventure activity at various levels throughout. Their stays will be in top spots that showcase exceptional local artisans, food, and beverages as well as an element of wellness. No two itineraries will ever be alike and you will be hard-pressed to find anything quite like it online.
For more information on Karen, go to her LinkedIn profile, email her directly with any questions or simply click on one of her social media pages below to follow her on The Global Road.
Karen in Alaska
Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus
Your Tour Operator
We are working with a small local tour operator based in the area that specializes in bespoke tourism in Alaska. They set their adventure and their five star service bar at a high level. They provide personal, friendly, immersive service. They know that there are a lot of options to choose from in Alaska. So, they work hard to set themselves apart from others, as they take their to each traveler seriously. They serve rugged Alaska on a silver platter for a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan adventure. They also adhere to environmental, sustainable and responsible tourism practices, as do we at WAT, which is why we choose them as our local partners.
From the world’s tallest mountains, across thousands of miles of Alaskan wilderness, Cindy Abbott captivates audiences with tales from the trails. With amazing stories of perseverance and resilience, she is the personification of true grit. In 2017, after 14 years of experiencing the frightening symptoms of an unexplained illness, Cindy was diagnosed with a serious and rare disease. That, however, did not stop her from reaching for her dreams. At the age of 48, she took up mountain climbing with the single goal of standing on top of the world. And, at age 51, she took up sled dog racing, with the single goal of completing the 1,000-mile Iditarod. She was told it was impossible, but it wasn’t enough to stop her. Currently, Cindy (59) lives with her husband in Willow, Alaska. Retired from teaching Health Science and Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, she has appeared on CBS’s ‘The Doctors’, ‘The Dennis Miller Show and ‘World News with Diane Sawyer’; NPR’s ‘Take Two’ and ‘All Things Considered’; as well as ABC News.
JANINE OROS AMON
Janine was born in the suburbs of Chicago to an adventurous and entrepreneurial father and an artistic, travel-loving mother. Everything in her life changed when she was a young teen and her parents took the family to visit Eleuthra Island in the Bahamas. When it was time to return to the Midwest, little Janine announced, “This is the place I belong; I can’t leave here. I want to sail around the world!”. After some negotiating, Janine returned home to school, and became a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner, thinking her skills would be welcomed on boats making long journeys. In her 20’s, Janine cooked and sailed her way around much of the world, crossing ocean after ocean. Bit of advice: never underestimate the ability to cook a delicious meal culled from local markets and fishing nets! She grew up SCUBA diving, and has explored underwater from the Red Sea to the Caribbean, to Galapagos and Fiji. She was the navigator of a 44-foot sailboat that crossed the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, Hawaii to Prince William Sound, Alaska. The plan was to spend only the summer, but it began her long love affair with Alaska, which continues to this day. Janine has worked in tourism and has explored the great state using boats, kayaks, snow machines, skis, snowshoes and hiking boots. Janine has climbed Denali twice, both times as fundraisers, and climbed Mt. Rainier to scatter the ashes of a beloved mountain guide at the summit. She has traveled to 105 countries, practicing yoga in many of them, something her mother shared with her. Janine welcomes everyone, because friendship is everything…in the world of adventure.
So, what’s the big deal about Alaska? I know I was definitely curious about Alaska and had heard great things about it from super savvy travel friends of mine; but it was never tip-top on my list and I was in no rush to go.
So much so I was embarrassed that I lived on the west coast, in Seattle no less and in LA for several years and never made the trip before. What a shame!
It was shortly after my trip to Antarctica, an opportunity arose for me to go to Alaska. I couldn’t imagine Alaska could come anywhere close to Antarctica, but it did. Alaska is all that and then some. Although it can’t be compared to Antarctica or Antarctica to it, you do see some similar things while there like glaciers, snow-capped mountains, icy beauty everywhere and an abundance of whales.
Alaska is different as it’s not all ice and glaciers. The hiking, biking, horseback riding and the charming tiny towns only add to its overall allure.
I liked Alaska so much that I went back for a second spin in two years ago. That is when I fell truly madly deeply for the place. The seemingly endless landscape and the unspeakable beauty simply stopped me in my tracks...every day.
I find there is no better way to embrace local beauty than to get up all in it which is what I did last time--hiking, glacier walks, ice kayaking and horseback riding. It truly was one of the best times and one of the best trips of my life.
That first trip was handled by Midnight Son Tours—they know Alaska inside and out. Our group gathered on a nightly basis around a roaring fire where we shared serious and silly stories with each other and the bevy of horses that surrounded us. It was then that I told Jake from Midnight Son that I was going to come back and bring some women with me. And so a seed was sown and a trip was planned.
I am thrilled to be doing this trip with Midnight Son. As far as the level of adventure, if you are active you will be fine. For starters we are hiking, kayaking and riding ATV’s. If you’ve never driven an ATV, it’s easy and comes with a quick learning curve. We’ll also have guides in tow.
Jake and I went back and forth on the horse versus ATV’s for a while as I wasn’t initially convinced. I love ATV’s and I have seen insane landscapes in my day on an ATV mainly in New Zealand; but I loved the horseback riding experience in Alaska. It is something we may do in the future but due to logistics, the ATV won out this time around.
I was not only sold by Jake on the ATV angle but by many other friends as well as their friends who swear by it as we will be witness to wildlife and an unimaginable beauty while cruising through the Alaskan outback.
If you have never kayaked, it too is an easy skill to pick up. There are double kayaks as well so you may have a coach in tow if kayaking with another. So fear not.
As far as the glacier hikes, chances are you may not have done that before. I have cruised up to glaciers in a ship and I have flown very closely over them, but walking on one and looking into crevasses is a completely different experience and by far my favorite. You will love it. That too is like walking only in an otherworldly place. You may be blown away, but you’ll be fine.
Once at Stillpoint, similar to many Women’s Adventure Travel trips, you can dial the adventure up or down and play with the frequency as well. Days begin with yoga on site. The plethora of adventure options will remain right outside your door. You’ve got fat bikes, hiking trails, stand up paddle boards, canoes and your own deck to reflect on. You are also privy to a bear viewing experience while there.
As far as the price, I have long been a luxury travel writer so I favor and know the upmarket travel very well. However, with my trips, I am committed to getting my travelers the best value for their money. I want my trips to be accessible, so much so that I have changed the dates to shave off a chunk of the cost of and when necessary.
Now Alaska is expensive, more than you might imagine. There is no getting around it as their season is only a few months long—running between June and September--so the lodging, purveyor, tour ops companies, only have those few months to do their business. Imagine if we had to do that? .
It’s a bit more difficult to get to Alaska than other destinations, even for most Americans it is a journey up (north) and over (west). It is so worth it, on several levels. I can’t say this enough I hope you join us on this trip. If you come this time, I guarantee it won’t be your last time to Alaska. I know it won’t be mine.