The time is ripe for a trip "over the top" from Alaska to Iceland, giving Alaskans a lesser-known passport stamp to Europe. But there's more: the Icelandair flight from Anchorage to Keflavik International Airport connects Alaskans to more than 20 destinations from Scandinavia to the U.K. and continental Europe. And Icelandair offers a free stop in either direction when traveling from Anchorage to Europe.

Alaska has long enjoyed strong ties to the tiny Arctic island nation, a "Land of Fire and Ice" that is best known for its volcanoes, hot springs and glaciers. Iceland like Alaska offers some of the same natural wonders that attract travelers to Alaska, including the wintertime lure of dancing northern lights. But it's the subtle differences, coupled with its fabulous hot springs, spas and geysers, which make Iceland a worthwhile travel indulgence for Alaskans who take advantage of their new connection to Europe.

If you're looking for a quick, early summer escape from Alaska, grab the "Anchorage to Iceland Inaugural Offer" with Icelandair. The package price includes roundtrip air fare between May 16 and June 20, two nights hotel accommodations, roundtrip air fare Anchorage-Reykjavik, roundtrip transfers from the airport to your hotel and breakfast. The prices start at $899 per person, double.

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Of crouse, my bet is you'll want to spend more than two nights. On the Icelandair.com site, you can add extra nights, upgrade your hotel to a three- or four-star hotel and shop for other add-ons. Don't miss a trip to Blue Lagoon. This giant, two-acre natural hot spring is conveniently located between Reykjavik and the airport -- and the bus schedule makes it easy to include a stop there either coming or going. Or both. Let me be clear: everybody takes a dip in the Blue Lagoon. You're crazy not to do it.

Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based travel marketing consultant who has lived in Alaska for three decades, spending much of that time traveling the far-flung corners of the state. Visit his website at www.alaskatravelgram.com or follow him on Twitter for breaking travel news.