Alaska Rail Trip/Good for 1st trip to Alaska?

Old Jan 21st, 2004, 02:20 PM
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Alaska Rail Trip/Good for 1st trip to Alaska?

We are looking at the Alaska Railroad package trips for the summer. Probably the "Alaska by Daylight" 10 day trip that goes from Anchorage to Seward, Anchorage to Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks, then Anchorage to Whittier and return. Looks like a good way to see lots of country. Anyone have any experience with this or similar trips?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 05:25 AM
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This does offer you a lot, but in my opinion you are at a disadvantage without a car in some areas. That is a lot of rail travel- slow rail travel, it is 8 hours Anchorage- Denali Park, 4 hours- Fairbanks. Frankly- I have ridden the entire routes- and by far the Anchorage- Seward portion is the most scenic. Not near as much scenery on the other 2 legs and very similar to the road. 10 days is a great amount of time- certainly time to enjoy the destinations. Head to your library and take out all the Alaska travel books and look over the areas included and see if this is right for you.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 08:42 AM
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I agree with the previous poster both about the car and the length of the train travel. If it were me, I'd take the train from Anchorage to Seward, stay overnight and do the 8 hour glacier boat tour. The second afternoon take the train back to Anchorage. Then get your car and go touring. My personal preference would be a couple of days between Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali and the rest of the time on the Kenai Peninsula but everyone has their own ideas about how to spend their time in Alaska.

I would also echo the sentiments I've seen on other posts - don't overplan. I've made a couple of trips where everything was planned to the nth degreee and a couple of others on the spur of the moment. All of my travel in Alaska has been great but the spontaneous trips have been the best.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:43 AM
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For further info on Seward- Not sure if the 8 hour reference is the Northwestern Fjord tour??? But you can do a LONG day trip via the rail with the 11:30 Kenai fjords boat trip- 6 hours then return on the 6pm train.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:28 PM
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I was recommending the Kenai Fjords tour. I haven't checked schedules recently but in August 2002, there was a departure about 9AM that got back in time to catch the evening train back to Anchorage.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for your help! We're now re-thinking the Anchorage/Fairbanks rail trip. Looking at a small ship cruise along the Inside Passage and then the shorter rail trips. How difficult is it to get between Juneau and Anchorage-plane, train or??
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 12:34 AM
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Juneau- Anchorage- has Alaska Airline service.
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