7 Days in Alaska After Cruise

May 4th, 2010, 11:18 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2010
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7 Days in Alaska After Cruise

Hi. My family and I (5 adults) will be in Alaska for a week after a cruise in early August 2010. Our cruise ends in Whittier. I am considering taking a Prince William Sound cruise right after disembarking from the cruise ship but I'm not sure if there is a place to store luggage for 5 hours. The next two nights were are spending in Anchorage. After that we plan to head to Denali. Is 2 nights enough in Denali if we are doing the 13 hour tour or should we plan for 3 nights? After Denali and Whittier what else should we see?

My dad suggested we stay two nights in Denali, then drive the Denali Highway to Paxson, stay one night in Paxson, drive to Glennallen, spend a night near Glenallen and then back to Anchorage. I think that may be too much driving in one week.

Thanks for all suggestions.
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 10:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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The boat tours in Whittier will store your luggage. I would suggest you contact AVIS and see if they happen to have a van available. Will be a big drop fee, BUT, with 5 people, you are looking at money anyway. Otherwise, take the Alaska RR to Anchorage after your boat tour.

If you do get a car, then turn it in for a round trip Anchorage car within 24 hours, for some savings.

What "tour" are you doing in Denali?? As only my opinion, if considering the Kantishna day trip, it is definately NOT worth the money. All you are getting is a grossly over priced lunch. Kantishna is for OVERNIGHT visitors. Taking the SHUTTLE to Wonder Lake, is 1/3 the cost. Problem is, in your timeframe, there can be a signficant BUG problem.

Two nights are enough, IF you are driving there.

You are GREATLY underestimating the Denali Highway, first off, you ideally need 4WD for the clearance of this rough road, and most important, you need an approved car. MOST of the rental companies do not allow you to drive it. Then add to your routing, you aren't "doing" anything but driving. In my opinion, going this route is superior to spend time in Kennicott and Valdez, of which you have no time for.

As an alternate, if you get that AVIS van from Whittier, I would suggest going direct to Seward and spend your extra time there. THEN do your Anchorage plans, ending up with Denali Park.
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 10:36 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for your help. I will try to get my tour tickets changed tomorrow. Is it best to go out on the first shuttle of the day (it goes to Wonder Lake at 5:30am and transfer somewhere) or to take the first shuttle to Kantishna (at 7:45am)? The first day we will probably stay on the shuttle all the way to Kantishna and then hop off on the way back. I am thinking of buying shuttle tickets to Wonder Lake on the second day.

From 10 miles north of Denali is it too much to drive to Paxton one day, stay the night, and then drive to Anchorage the next day? Is it worth the drive?
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 06:35 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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The SHUTTLE bus to Kantishan is not a good idea. It is most all private property, and it is best to have somewhere to go, for multiple days, like staying in the lodges.

By your "transfer" comment, I think you need to understand more of what getting into Denali park means?? The Wonder Lake Shuttle bus, does round trip Wonder Lake. The only "transfer" you are going to do is hike somewhere, than hike back to the bus stop. It is 85 miles into the park, you can get off the bus, anywhere, and "hike". There are NO TRAILS. www.nps.gov/dena

I am always on the first bus out. My preferences to make the most of my day. As I already mentioned, you do need to be WELL aware of the significant bug problems in early August, and well prepared, meaning full strength Deet, and I've used bug hats. Otherwise, don't go past Eielson, signficantly better.

Do you ALREADY have an "approved" car rental set up for the Denali Highway?? Have VERIFIED costs and insurance?? (my particular auto policy would NOT cover anything on this unpaved road. Do not count on going over 25 mph. So you add up your time, and see if this is how you want to spend it. Yes with the overnight it is doable.
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 07:23 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
Don't know where you are cruising to, but if you have a chance, take the helicopter ride and land on a glacier. It was awesome and worth the money.
mrscpa10 is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:32 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for your help. Where is the best place to buy bug hats? Should we buy them at REI in California or wait until we get to Alaska? Do you think there will be a bug problem on our stops on the cruise?
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 08:09 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Walmart has the bug hats. I never have encountered any significant bug problems Inside Passage.
BudgetQueen is offline  

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