Dec 27th, 2001, 08:46 AM
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My friends and I have only 9 days to enjoy Alaska for the first time. We thought perhaps a cruise would best utilize our time but I am not much of a fan of cruises! Can a worthwhile driving tour of Alaska be planned for such a short time period? We have to consider flight times from the east coast in those days as well.
Dec 27th, 2001, 12:15 PM
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My husband, teenaged son, and I visited South Central Alaska for the last two weeks of September 2000 and had probably the best vacation of our lives! And the only cruise we took was six hours - the Kenai Fjords park cruise which included whales, eagles, bears, glaciers, porpoises, otters, sheep, goats, sea lions, and seals - out of Seward.

Because Denali Park was already closed for the season (the only thing we'd like to return for), we started off with a couple of days in Anchorage, then drove to Homer (4 to 5 hour drive) for a few days (where my son caught a salmon from shore), then Cooper Landing for a few days with trout fishing down the Kenai River, then a few days in Seward and back to Anchorage.

We enjoyed traveling around so much - with stops wherever we wanted - I know we would have hated being "confined" on a cruise. Also, although just about everything is half price after Sept 15, almost everything was still open but there were very few tourists.

Another big plus was that we missed the mosquitos except for Eagle River north of Anchorage - we could have been carried away by them there!

Alaska is huge so you will not be able to cover alot of destinations, but the Kenai Peninsula has a little bit of everything and will do you just fine.

Please feel free to write to me if I can be of any help!
Jan 2nd, 2002, 07:45 AM
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Not all cruises in Alaska are what you might think of as "cruises." There are small, expedition-style cruises which are basically wildlife safaris. We went with Special Expeditions 10 yrs ago, and it was one of the best trips ever. We never stopped at population centers, only at uninhabited islands for hikes, bird-watching, etc. There was no hard and fast itinerary, so when we were on the ship, we were usually looking for whales (which we saw in abundance, and up close), rather than trying to get from point A to point B. There are several other companies who do similar trips; a general guidebook should list them (I know the other major "F-named" guidebook does).
Jan 10th, 2002, 10:06 AM
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Cruise West is one of those small ship companies that has a good reputation. In general, I hate the "casino/bingo/cheesy" cruise lifestyle, and being a Florida girl I have no need to "lay out" and sit by the pool deck. So after a lot of research we will cruise and do an Anchorage land tour--13 days.
Jan 28th, 2002, 10:20 PM
Alan Cleveland
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Day one: Fly into Anchorage, get a room and a car and then rest! Day two: Drive the speed limit, but take advantage of every pull out to expend your film as you travel down to Seward. Rest. Day Three: Rent kayaks, go for a day cruise, or hire a landing craft to drop you on a remote shore.... all are inexpensive. Day four: Over to Homer again shooting lots of pictures from the "End of the road." Day five: GO FISHING! Day six: Drive back to Anchorage for shopping/arts/culture/dining/etc. Day seven: Up the Parks Highway to Talkeetna, take a flight see of Denali...REST! Day Eight: Drive to, and enjoy Fairbanks. Day 9: Back down via the Richardson and Glenn Highways and then the airport in Anchorage. Get on the plane and go to sleep.

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