Whittier to Vancouver first time

Jul 8th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Whittier to Vancouver first time

We leave July 20th, have 2 days in Anchorage then to Whittier down the inside passage to Vancouver. Is there a better side of the ship for scenery heading southbound? Also, while in Anchorage, we're taking a 3 hr floatseeing tour to Denali. If budget permits, I was wondering if we should we also do the helicopter ride landing on the glacier out of Juneau, or should we consider something else since we're doing the floatseeing tour. Thanks!
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Jul 8th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Is the floatseeing tour a flight around Denali's peak and the Alaskan range with a landing on water or a glacier? 2 years ago we lucked into a gorgeous day and flew up-close to Denali and glaciers. It was so beautiful I had to keep pinching myself to prove it was real! (We did not do a glacier landing. Sorry I can't help you with the helicopter in Juneau question. You will have a fantastic trip.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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deladeb...Thanks. It's a flight around Denali's peak with a couple of water landings. Also, our cruise departs from Whittier at 9 in the evening, have to board by 7. I'm wondering about going to Seward during the day, or else taking the train to Whittier and maybe a boat tour of Prince William Sound before we leave. It might be easier to go to Whittier. Any thoughts, thanks!
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Jul 9th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Seward is 4-5 hours away from Whittier and deserves a few days. We took the glacier viewing cruise out of Whittier and saw otters, eagles (hundreds near a hatchery) puffins and some great calving action. You should be seeing similar scenes on your cruise so it would be repetitive. Before the turnoff for the Whittier tunnel is the Alaskan Conservation Center. We spent 2 hours there watching the animals. Stop at Turnagain Arm and look for the Belugas, take the ski lift up at Aleyeska resort and check out Portgage glacier and it's visitor center.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 04:31 PM
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sounds good dela, thanks for the helpful tips!
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Jul 9th, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Any suggestions for the best transportation from Anchorage to Whittier...train, car rental?
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Jul 10th, 2013, 09:42 PM
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port side
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Jul 11th, 2013, 02:37 AM
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Car rental is expensive. Check train schedule carefully - we did Princess cruise Whittier-Vancouver and the train schedule did not conveniently fit into cruise check-in schedule. We ended up buying the over-priced but convenient cruiseline "transfer" - you dropped your luggage off at the Convention Center in the AM, checked in, and then returned later in the day to board a bus for Whittier. The bus ride was actually nice, driver gave decent commentary, and we made 2 short stops for photos.

I was ambivalent about the glacier landing out of Juneau. I don't have good balance on ice, hate small aircraft, and it was really expensive. So glad I gave in and went. You get packed by weight (don't lie - they have a scale) into a tiny helicopter with the youngest pilot imaginable. The helicopter lifts off, tips terrifyingly over Juneau towards the glacier. At this point my eyes were closed and I considered opening the door and jumping out. Then I decided if I was going to die, I might as well enjoy the view. It was incredible. As was walking the glacier - only wish we could have stayed longer. Back into the helicopter and back to helicopter station.

Have a good trip.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Whittiershuttle.com is who we are using in August. We chose to make the stops that I had suggested above since we enjoyed them 2 years ago...but they also offer a direct shuttle from ANC to Whittier too.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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May I suggest the Alaska cruise shuttle, the one that stops at the wildlife conservation center. it also makes a few other stops as well for photos of points of interest. It is one of the least expensive shuttles between Anchorage and Whittier, picks you up from many hotels or the airport, and comes with commentary from the driver as you travel along. We were just on it a few weeks ago, and were very pleased that we were able to see so much more than many others, such as the train and direct shuttle passengers, and for the most part, between Anchorage and Whittier, the roadway and rail line run beside each other. Keep in mind that Whittier has little to see or do. Port side is IMO the best side for a cabin, but you may chose to spend much of your time on open deck, moving back and forth from either side as sights, and marine life come into view.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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I might also add this...........In Juneau, the far least expensive, yet worthwhile shore excursion is the Mendenhall Glacier bus, costing less than $20 roundtrip. It's a nice hike to the foot of the falls, and as close to the shrinking glacier face as you can get on foot, as well as numerous other short hiking trails around the area. You may certainly see plenty of wildlife on any of these trails as well, including migrating salmon during the proper time,(mid-July to Sept) and maybe even the bears feeding on them.
Take advantage of this least expensive excursion while you can. There are also combo whale watching/glacier trips available, and might I suggest you try to negotiate pricing at one of the sales booths located on the docks, as we did.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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Great tips...thanks all!
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