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Cruise to Alaska

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W have never been on a cruise before. Looking at Alaska in the summer. We have been to the Canadian Rockies. Is Denali National Park a repeat of this? Is it worth the extra thousands of dollars?

Also-Seattle to Seattle does not sail as far north as Vancouver to Vancouver. Does this make a difference? Will we be missing something that we should not be missing?

Also-any other ship recommendations other than Holland America?

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    www.cruisecritic.com/princess-alaska-cruises/cr

    Have done Princess Glacier Bay Denali the high points

    worth it for me different from Banff pretty more

    rugged amazing wildlife...

    So worth it for me... HAL more upscale formal for blue hairs

    if you like that sort of stuff... which I do not.

    Happy Hunting find best value usually on www.priceline.com

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    Okay, here is the deal. If you have seen one mountain and you will say you have seen them all, then yes, they are very much the same. ;) No two scenery is alike. They are totally different!

    You can see Denali by flying into Alaska and go explore it on your own. Book a car & the lodge and the way you go. Depending on the weather, you may or may not see Mount McKinley even if you stay there for a few days. You can even RV it if you want. You can drive through Canada to get there. The Alaskan highway is pretty decent driving.

    Typically weather would be 2/3 rainy/cloudy 1/3 daylight. You have only a 33% chance of sunlight.

    Another point to consider. Cruise ship can't take you to Denali. It is inland. You will have to take a crusie tour or book your own land tour. You can do it either before the cruise or after the cruise. But you will have to take either the North bound or South bound passage and not the return round trip. The round trip cruise will only take you to the inside passage, maybe as far North as the Glacier Bay National Park and that's it.

    Not all Alaska cruises are equal. Glacier Bay National Park is a protected area. There are cruise ship quotas (permits) and only certain cruise line has bid on the permits and get permission to sail into the Park. Princess and HAL owns the majority of the quotas and they paid dearly for it, thus their cruise maybe slightly more expensive. I know Celebrity and RCL do not sail Glacier Bay. I have heard Disney bought permits for their single ship, but I am not sure how many entries they were allocated.

    If you have never cruise before, this would not be a bad place to start. The high-lite for me (Alaska Crusie) is Glacier Bay/College Fjord, the inside passage, the whale watching, Eagles, bears and the rest of the wild life. Add on the land excursions, and you will have a great time. There are views that you not be a ble to see except from a ship, short of hiring your own private boat, crusing is it.

    You will have to decide how bady you want to go to Denali. If it is a deal breaker for you, then you have to go one way north or south. A lot of people enjoyed the south bound better as the crusiing is more relaxing than the Denali adventure, and you will see the inside passage more during the daylight hours.

    If Denali is not a deal breaker, inside passage round trip from Vancouver is better. Make sure it stops in Glacier Bay and College Fjord. For Alaskan cruise, Galcier Bay is a MUST stop for me. So your top chocies would be HAL or Princess. You can't go wrong with either one. (I did cruise on Celebrity to Alaska and missed Glacier Bay but I wanted to go to Sitka, and the price is right.)

    If you want to see some pictures before you make your decision, here is a link to some pictures from Alaska that I have taken and posted on webshot. You can clikc on the pictrures and see full size images. Here is my shameless self promotion ... http://travel.webshots.com/album/570808260xIpXIT

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    Denali is an Alaskan highlight. Chances are you will see much more wildlife than in the Canadian Rockies. You will need to take a one way cruise plus a cruise tour to see Denali. I would recommend Holland America because they are more likely to include the wildlife tour that goes deeper into Denali than Princess. Personally I think Hubbard Glacier is just as spectacular as Glacier Bay, but either provides great viewing. College Fjord is a must. Hope this helps.

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