Alaska Cruise Tour
I spoke with Vicki, who was interested in a cruisetour to Alaska. She wanted a seven day cruise between Vancouver and Seward in addition to a tour from Seward north to Fairbanks. She really wanted to see Denali National Park, Mt. McKinley, and Fairbanks. I suggested Princess Cruise Lines Diamond Princess, which departed from Vancouver and stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, and cruised College Fjord and Glacier Bay. The land tour included a rail tour to Talkeetna, two night stay in Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, tour of Denali National Park, one night stay at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, and a riverboat cruise in Fairbanks.
Vicki’s thoughts about their cruisetour:
Cindy, EVERYTHING was so beautiful!! Our flights could not have been more perfect! Really wish we would have gone early to see Vancouver – I would recommend not repeating our mistake! – what we saw was absolutely beautiful!!
In Ketchikan we went to Totem Bight State Park. It was a good trip and at 2 hours gave us enough time to walk around Ketchikan.
In Juneau we went to the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Hatchery. We really loved the glacier – and wish we had a little more time here. We didn’t have time to walk to the fantastic waterfall that was near the glacier. We had all day here – we walked a lot – saw the state capitol, Governor’s Mansion, oldest church etc. and Red Dog Saloon. We also went to the library in Juneau to use the internet (really pricy on the ship).
In Skagway we ran into a gal who had taken about 20 tour groups to Alaska, and she recommended the trip called “To the Summit” Travel by mini-bus on the original gold rush Trail of ‘98 to the Summit of White Pass. This was a 1 ½ hr trip with plenty of photo stops and a fantastic narration by the tour guide. The gal who recommended this said” It’s a lot less time invested than the train, costs significantly less than the train ($39 vs. $125), you get to stop to take pictures (not so on the train) and you really get to see just as much. The train goes a little further but you see plenty on the bus ride. It was great!! We still had plenty of time to stop at the Red Onion Saloon and the visitor’s center etc.
The days of cruising on Glacier Bay and College Fjord were awesome. A shuttle driver advised us to upgrade our Denali park tour for a longer Tundra tour if we wanted to see wildlife. I’m glad we took that advice. We saw caribou, moose, fox, a wolf, coyote, several grizzly bears and a musk-ox. Well worth the extra $53! The trip was even better than we could have imagined!! I think I would have liked starting in Fairbanks and cruising last – may not have been so worn out at the end. Talking with native Alaskans (we don’t know any strangers!) they said the weather is best in May. Granted, they did break some records while we were there, but we had 2 days in the low 80’s, the rest in the upper 60’s and 70’s. Sprinkled on us 1 day – the weather couldn’t have been better – I was still glad I too ear-muffs and mittens, for those mornings of whale watching! ~Vicki