2015 Excursions

June 2 - 6             Yukon Island (near Homer)
July 30 - Aug. 2    Talkeetna
Aug. 30 - Sept. 3   Sheep Mountains (on the Glenn Highway)

Check back later for details, including costs.

2014 Excursions

May 27 – 31        Invertebrates Discovery in Kasitsna Bay
June  2 – 9          Birthplace of the ’64 Earthquake: Prince
                           William Sound
July 23 – 27        Historic Valdez
Aug.  8 – 15        Eagle to Circle by Canoe
Nov.  6 – 10        Sitka WhaleFest

Do participants need travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that all excursion participants purchase travel insurance from an insurance carrier of their own choice. If you must cancel your trip due to health or other problems, OLLI cannot refund payments unless the travel vendor agrees to refund what OLLI has already paid in advance. 

Here are links to two carriers that were recommended by our vendors:

Invertebrates Discovery in Kasitsna Bay

Picture showing a Hermit crab
Hermit Crab

May 27 – 31, 2014
Activity Level: Moderate

Mandatory pre-trip meeting Monday, May 19 in room 156 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the old U-Park Building. 

Explore the beautiful coastal locations of Seward, Homer and Seldovia while learning about the rich and productive ecosystems and natural surroundings of the region. After meeting in Anchorage, caravan to Exit Glacier for a ranger-led walk; the continue on to Seward for a one night stay (Nocturne program) at the SeaLife Center including educational programs delivered by the staff. The second day includes travel to Homer, a tour of the Oceans Center and a water taxi ride across Katchemak Bay for a three-night stay at UAF’s Kasitsna Bay Research Station. Activities will focus on exploration of the marine environment with walks around the rocky shores, sandy beaches, muddy inlets and coastal forests. The group will be on the lookout for nesting marine birds, marine mammals and invertebrates. You may want to fish or go clamming. Note: Road travel round trip from Fairbanks to Seward and Homer is with your own vehicle. OLLI will help coordinate carpooling.

Cost: $500 includes all tour fees, shared accommodation and meals at the SeaLife Center, meals and bunk room accommodations at Kasitsna Station, water taxi and transportation in Kasitsna Bay.
Not included: Meals on the road on Tuesday and Saturday, transportation by road Fairbanks to Anchorage, Seward and Homer and back from Homer to Fairbanks.
$150 non-refundable deposit due March 17; remainder due April 28. No refund for cancellation after May 9.

For more information explore these links :

Birthplace of the '64 Earthquake: Prince William Sound

M/V Discovery with mountains in the background
M/V Discovery

June 2 – 9, 2014

Activity Level: Moderate to Active

Begin with check-in at the B&B in Anchorage 6/2 (6/8); end with breakfast 6/9 (6/15).

This once-in-a-lifetime cruise aboard the M/V Discovery will blend history, natural history and earth sciences observations with photo opportunities. Edges of the Pacific and North American Plates actively converge beneath islands through which M/V Discovery will sail. The Pacific Plate here is “diving” beneath the North American Plate. Geologists measured crustal movements—subsidence, uplift and lateral translations—in upper Cook Inlet, the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound for several years after the earthquake. En route to or from Whittier (M/V Discovery’s home port) there are opportunities to see effects of the earthquake in Anchorage, Girdwood, and Whittier. Once aboardDiscovery, the itinerary is optimized with weather and tides to explore how geologists made key field observations that helped hasten the 20th century revolution in earth science known as plate tectonic theory. Three interpreters will be aboard Discovery to help participants see and appreciate the wonders of Prince William Sound: Dean Rand, Captain of the M/V Discovery Voyages; A naturalist and former geology instructor; and Dave Norton of OLLI.

Total cost: $3,180. Full payment is non-refundable and due by March 31. We strongly recommend private travel insurance. 

Includes 2 nights at the B&B in Anchorage, 6 days/5nights on the M/V Discovery (double occupancy in onboard cabins), meals, professional guiding, and round trip transportation Anchorage to Whittier.
Not included: Gratuities to the crew, round trip transportation from Fairbanks to Anchorage, lunches and dinners in Anchorage.

 Additonal amazing pictures

Historic Valdez

2 people hiking on a Worthington Glacier in Valdez
Worthington Glacier Hike

July 23 – 27, 2014

Activity Level: Active

If you love history, museums, hands-on art and the outdoors, this is an excursion you won’t want to miss. Settle in at the conveniently located Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC) housing apartments. Take part in a workshop at the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum and tour the Valdez Museum Historical Archive. Take a guided walking tour of the historic homes of Valdez. Visit the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery for a presentation. One evening will feature a gathering with local residents who want to form a lifelong learning group in Valdez. Hike with guides from Pangaea Adventures to the Worthington Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska; then relax on the ride home over Thompson Pass and Keystone Canyon. Finish your Valdez adventure with an optional sea kayaking tour.

Cost: $440 for shared apartments or $540 for a private one-bedroom apartment (limited availability). Includes 4 nights lodging, museums and workshop fee, walking tour, fish hatchery presentation and Worthington Glacier hike.
Not included: Round trip transportation Fairbanks to Valdez, meals. There are kitchens in all apartments and a grocery store across the street. Optional: Duck Flats Sea Kayaking Tour, add $80.
$120 non-refundable deposit due April 21; remainder due June 16. No refund for cancellation after July 16.

For more information explore these links:

Eagle to Circle by Canoe

A group of people sitting by a campfire on the Yukon
Relax by the Campfire on the Yukon

August 8 – 15, 2014 
Mandatory pre-meeting August 7 in Fairbanks

Activity Level: Active. Requires basic knowledge of paddling and average physical endurance.

Combine a wilderness canoe trip with the Yukon’s history. We’ll head northeast from Fairbanks to the village of Eagle. We’ll explore the village and pack the canoes. Paddle a short distance downriver to the first campsite and the rest of the day is yours to do what you please. The next morning we can climb the bluff behind camp, or head out early and watch the glassy river slip beneath the canoe, passing by an old cabin with a garden still producing rhubarb. We will be on the water for five to six hours each day, but the schedule allows plenty of time for exploring from camp or making side trips. Side streams offer fishing opportunities. As we near our final destination the river bluffs disappear and we enter the Yukon Flats, a fantastically productive area for waterfowl. We leave the main river for a smaller, willow-lined side channel. After a few miles we see the log buildings of Circle, Alaska. After disassembling our canoes and packing our gear we will load into our van for a four-hour ride back to Fairbanks.

Cost: $2570 includes round trip transportation from Fairbanks, professional guided service, safety equipment, meals and snacks, group cooking tent, kitchen gear and water purification.
Not included: Non-camp food, tent, sleeping bag and pad, waterproofed river bags and personal equipment per Arctic Wild equipment list.
$350 non-refundable deposit due March 17; remainder and completed paperwork due May 22. No refund for cancellation after May 22.

For more information explore this link

Sitka WhaleFest

November 6 – 10, 2014

Activity Level: Moderate

This excursion is packed with sightseeing, learning, entertainment and relaxation. It is a wonderful way to end OLLI’s 2014 excursion season. Settle in at the Westmark Sitka Hotel. Attend WhaleFest program activities, take guided walks to learn about Sitka’s history, and observe wildlife from aboard the Allen Marine cruise. Join the town for a celebration of the maritime lifestyle in music and verse. Attend receptions, symposium presentations and meet scientists and students. The Sea Chanty Concert by Don Sineti and the Farewell Dinner wraps up the 2014 WhaleFest.  

Cost: $800 double occupancy or $1034 single room occupancy includes 4 nights accommodation, lunch on Nov. 6, 4 dinners, WhaleFest registration, wildlife cruise, guided tours and tour coordinator.
Not included: Round trip transportation Fairbanks to Sitka, breakfasts, lunches Nov. 7 – 9, and snacks.
$100 non-refundable deposit due August 4; remainder due August 28. Cancellation after September 30: $200 non-refundable.

For more information explore these links:

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