I recently talked with Out in Alaska owner Tim Stallard about his company and the services they provide. Here's a look at what Out in Alaska has to offer:
1. First, a few basics about the company:
A: How long are the trips you offer, typically? 7 to 10 days.
B: How many travelers in a group? Typically 5 to 10.
C: Do you also offer customized trips for individuals/couples planning their own vacations? Yes.
D: What is the pricing for the different kinds of trips you offer? (If you offer multi-day tours, please mention any applicable pricing related to airfare/transportation, meals, accommodations, etc.) Camping tours start at $1,800 for 6 days including all meals, accommodations (2 hotel nights), internal transportation, activities, and camping gear. Hotel-based tours start at $2500 for 7 days including most meals, all accommodations (locally owned, 2-3 star), internal transportation, and various activities.
E: What's your phone number and Web address? 907-374-9958, and toll-free at 877-374-9958. Website is Out in Alaska.
2. Please state your name and title:
Tim Stallard, Lead Guide, Out in Alaska.
3. Describe the types of tours or trips you offer - the destinations you serve, and the themes or interests you cover?
Hotel-based tours and Adventure trips – surveys of Alaska highlights including Kenai Fjords National Park, Denali National Park, Prince William Sound, Wrangell St Elias National Park, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. Our sightseeing Tours include minimal required activities, while our Adventure Trips include ocean kayaking, hiking, glacier trekking, and rafting.
Wilderness Expeditions – include backpacking, sea kayaking, and rafting in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Denali State Park, Yukon River, Copper River, and Kenai Fjords National Park. None of trips require prior experience, although the more active trips do have fitness requirements.
We also organize small LGBT and allies groups on mainstream Alaska Cruises. These give LGBT travelers the option of cruising with a local company and traveling in a gay-friendly, but not party atmosphere. We have discovered that many gay-men take their mothers on Alaska cruises. So rather than leaving the guys and their mothers to face this alone, we wanted to help them team up with other guys and their mothers, plus other LGBT folks! Also, with our local knowledge, we pick the best cruise itineraries that see the most of Alaska while helping our guests avoid the tourist traps.
Themes or interests include all things Alaskan – history, culture, nature, wildlife, climate change, politics, local seafood, etc. Our business is somewhat unusual in that our guides are year-round Alaskan residents.
4. What's the typical profile of your clientele, in terms of age, background, interests or other demographics you'd care to mention? If you cater primarily to GLBT travelers, please say so.
We cater primarily to LGBT travelers. Our clients are primarily gay men and lesbians. About half and half single and partnered. Our guests are generally between 35 and 60. They tend to be very well educated, widely traveled and very fun, interesting people! Due the active nature of many of our trips, our guests tend to be active, healthy, and fit.
5. Is there anything about your company or the services you offer (or destinations you cover) that are of particular interest to GLBT travelers?
Alaska is a world-class and unique destination. Alaska’s wildlife and unspoiled natural beauty is phenomenal and people cannot help but be moved by this amazing place. We are somewhat unusual as a locally based LGBT travel company showing guests our home turf, so in addition to getting an insider’s tour of Alaska, our guests enjoy knowing that they are benefiting the local LGBT community.
One of the guiding philosophies of our trips is the “jaded local” standard. Every trip we offer needs to pass the “jaded local” test and be something that we and other locals would enjoy. That way we ensure that we offering authentic Alaskan experiences - and that our guests and guides are always having fun!
6. What are the qualifications or background of the guides who lead your tours? And what's the typical ratio of staff to client on a given tour?
Our lead guide, Tim Stallard, spent nine years running the outdoor education program at the University of Alaska before establishing Out in Alaska. He and his guides have shared the wilderness of Alaska with thousands of people in every month of the year! All of our guides have extensive experience leading tours and/or adventure guiding. Tour guides are local Alaska residents with knowledge of Alaska’s history, culture, nature, and way of life. Wilderness guides are trained in wilderness emergency medicine, rescue techniques, and activity specific skills. Our guides are skilled at patiently teaching outdoor skills, so guests do not need any prior experience.
Typical guide to client ration is 1-6