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Trip Report Alaska Cruise and Land Tour August 2010 with Pics

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Short Version: Flew to Seattle Aug 6th from Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania via Newark. Boarded a bus Aug 7th to Vancouver to our ship.We took a Princess Cruise out of Vancouver on Aug 7th for 7 days on the Coral Princess. We disembarked at Whittier Aug 14, took the 9 hour Denali Express Train to our Denali Princess Hotel Room. Toured Denali Aug 15 and traveled to Fairbanks Aug 16 via bus. Flew to Anchorage and on to Seattle Aug 17th. Flew Seattle to Newrak to Wilkes Barre Aug 18th.

Hopefully, you can view some of these pics. There are a ton.

Some Highlights along the way:

First, our cruise was arranged through Cruise One out of Scottsdale AZ by a lady named Addie Edwards. I would recommend her to anyone planning a cruise anywhere from anywhere. I would also receommend Princess Cruise lines very highly. This was our first cruise, but if this is any indication of their quality, thay are hard to beat.

Ports of Call:
Monday Aug 9th - Ketchikan - We arranged a Ketchikan Taxicab tour on our own with Dave Freeman, Owner. Moderately priced and very informative. Toured Potlatch Park, Totem Bight, a few other locasl points of interest along the coast and dropped off at the upper end of Creek street to see the awesome Salmon run. Dave was great, got us out to placed before and away from the bus tours. I would do this again.

Tuesday Aug 10 - Juneau- Did a pre arranged bus tour or Juneau Museum, Green Angel Gardens, Mendenhall Glacier and the McCauley Salmon Hatchery. The tour and tour guide were fantastic. If I had to do it over again, I would schedule a little more time at Mendenhall Glacier. We hiked to Nugget Falls, but could have spent some more time at the visitor center and other exploring. After this tour we took Roberts Tramway to the top of Mt Roberts. It was very foggy and we were not going to go but could not get a refund easily, so decided to chance it. We were very pleased we did. It was uncrowded due to the fog and mist. We hiked on of the shorter trails and the fog and mist created some very surrealistic photo opps. Spent about two hours there.

Wed Aug 11 - Skagway. Had a full day here so booked two tours. The Goodtime Girls and Ghosts walking tour and a bus tour up and through White Pass into Canada and to the Yukon Suspension Bridge over The Tutshi River. When my wife booked the walking tour, I was skeptical as it souded a little hokey. Far from it, it was great. Our Guide was "Miss Ella", a drama student who played the part of a working girl to the Tee. Very informative of the local gold rush history and the part the Girls and Madams played. A few ghost stories thrown in along the way. Champange Toast at the Red Onion concluded the tour. The bus tour was very good also. Had a great guide. The bus stopped at several good photo opps along the way and the time at the Suspension Bridge was wonderful. Saw our first bear here. Stopped at Liarsville Camp on the way back for a Salmon bake. The Salmpn was frsh caught and grilled over open flames and tasted fantastic. Another nice tour.

Thurs Aug 12th - Cruised Glacier Bay - All I can say is awesome!!! It was cyrstal clear Blue sky day and the sights were wonderful. Spent hours on the top deck just soaking it all in..

Friday Aug 13th - Cruised College FjordShould have known by the date that it may be a bad day. This was our only bad weather day, very very foggy and misty. Not many good pictures taken this day.

Sat Aug 14th - Disemarked at Whittier and took the 9 to 9 1/2 hour train to Denali. I thought it would be a pain to be stuck on a train that long, but the time flew by. Scnery was great, had a good tour guide to pint out local interest points. Arrived at Denali, checked into teh Denali Princess. we were given an upgraded room at the newer upper building and had a fantastic view. Met up with an old frined of ours who was working in denali for the Summer and had dinner with him at a local pizza joint, Prospector's was the name I think. Sandwiches wewre very good.

Sun Aug 15 - Took the Park Shuttle bus to Eilson Center - 4 hours out, 4 hours back. Once again, words can never do it justice. The weather was sunny, but breezy, warm about 75 to 80. Had a great bus driver who provided wonderful knowledge about the park and saw many animals up close. Saw all of the Big 5, Dahl Sheep, Grizzlies, Moose, Caribou and Wolves. Driver said that was very rare to see all 5. The only bummer was the Mt McKinley was Not visible the day we toured, but that sounds like the norm.

Mon Aug 16th - Bus to Fairbanks - Stopped along the way for a few photo opps, Got dropped off in town for some time on our own. Had lunch at a great Italian place and samped some local Blueberry Ice Cream. Hot day near 85 in Fairbanks. After lunch did the River Paddle boat tour which was a lot of fun, saw the Kennels of Susan Butcher and toured a replica of an indian fish camp.

Tues and Wed were travel days - Not very much to tell.

All of our flightsd were good and we even got some free food on Continental Flights.

I would do an Alaskan Cruise and tour again in a heartbeat. I would love to spend more time touring the land next


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