Planned Itinerary : Please comment

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Jun 14th, 2004, 09:30 PM
  #1
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Planned Itinerary : Please comment

We've planned our first trip to Alaska from 19th August for 10 days. Primarily wish to see the National Parks - Kenai, Denali and Glacier Bay. Please point out if we're duplicating trips or missing anything. We have one day and are not able to decide what to do.

Arrive in Juneau at night.
Day 1: Take a noon flight to Gustavus, half day whale-watching trip in Glacier Bay (2-5).
Overnight in Gustavus
Day 2: Glacier Bay cruise, fly back to Juneau in the evening
Day 3: Sight-See Juneau, Mendenhall, take the Mt. Roberts Tramway, Alaska State Museum. Overnight in Juneau
Day 4: Fly to Anchorage in the morning, Relaxed drive to Seward stopping wherever we find interesting drive to Exit Glacier. Overnight in Seward
Day 5: Full Day NorthWestern Glacier Cruise in Kenai, Overnight in Seward
Day 6: Hike, Take the Alaska RailRoad evening back to Anchorage, Overnight in Anchorage
Day 7: Drive to Denali National Park, drive into the park, overnight in Denali
Day 8: Shuttle to Wonder Lake, overnight in Denali
Day 9: Drive Denali to Anchorage, catch the flight back at 9PM.

We can spend the extra day in Juneau, Seward or Denali or any place on the way or in between. One option is the full day Tracy Arm Fjords Cruise in Juneau.

welcome any suggestions/comments. Thanks.

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Jun 15th, 2004, 05:34 AM
  #2
 
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I would add a day cruise to Kenai Fjords out of Seward, or a half-day "26 Glaciers" cruise out of Whittier.

Otherwise sounds busy but fine.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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...I should read more carefully. You're already doing a day cruise out of Seward... sorry.

Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, Hatcher Pass mine visit, Eklutna cemetery, shop at AK Native Hospital gift shop - add some people places around Anchorage.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Good plan. Auke Bay (Juneau) whale watching is historically superior than Icy Strait (Gustavus) if that is a priority- consider that. I too would suggest seeing Anchorage, perhaps an overnight in Talkeetna? Then a nice drive- back to Anchorage- hitting what is of interest? Be certain to get a copy of THE MILEPOST, a necessary reference for Alaska driving. Are you renting a one way Hertz car- Anchorage-Seward??? Then rail back??
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Jun 15th, 2004, 04:57 PM
  #5
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Thanks for your replies. Really appreciate the feedback. We will definitely switch to the Auke Bay whale watching . We don't want to do much of city touring, so we're not keen on Anchorage, unless you recommend it highly.

Hatcher Pass on the way to Denali or 26-Glacier Cruise on the way to Seward are great suggestions.We can overnight in Talkeetna or in Whittier. Both sound very good.

We will be taking a one-way rental from Anchorage to Seward and take the Alaska RailRoad back - a friend of mine did this recently and said it was terrific.


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Jun 16th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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Is the Glacier Bay National Park Cruise an out of the world experience in Alaska ? Or doing one of the cruises out of Whittier or Kenai to see glaciers/wildlife a comparable one ? We don't want to go all the way and miss something out, but at the same time wondering if its worth all the money since its quite a pricy affair. Appreciate your response. Thanks.
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Jun 17th, 2004, 04:55 AM
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First off, in Alaska there are just too many "not to be missed" touring. So you can't do it all. (even in 10 trips) Compare costs with a one way Hertz car vs renting it for the entire time OR as I do, only for the day (s) you need it and a cheap round trip Anchorage rental for the rest? You will NOT be able to drive Hatcher Pass the entire distance due to it being unpaved past Independence Mine on the Palmer. Most if not all of the major rentals forbid it. But the mine is very interesting. You don't want an overnight in Whittier compared to other areas?? As for Glacier Bay- yes it is excellent IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA. I wouldn't make a special trip there to see it. If you want more and better intense glacier viewing going out of Whittier is the top area. For more wildlife and a glacier view then go out of Seward.
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Jun 17th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. After you pointed out, I did check the one-way rental to Seward and its very high! I should have anticipated that. Probably will take a bus/rail to Seward since we don't want to miss the rail and rent a car for 1 day in Seward for Exit Glacier.

I am thinking how to fit Whittier now that we are not renting the car to Seward ...Have to do Anc -> Whittier -> Anc -> Seward or Denali.

Thanks again.
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Jun 18th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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For best use of time, if you want to tour Whittier, then rent a one way car. It will be very useful for getting around Seward too. If you want to go to Exit Glacier- a cab is around $20 and car rentals- if available will still be higher then in bigger cities.
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