post cruise itinerary

Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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post cruise itinerary

We have booked with HAL for June 24,2007, our cruise ends in Seward. There are 4 of us, 2 couples. We have another 7-9 days to do inland travel. This is our first trip to Alaska. We like to hike, take pretty pictures, we are all in our early 60's, don't want to kayak or take flight planes. What do you suggest as itineray? We would like to include Denali, and Kenai peninsula. We plan to disembark HAL, do Exit Glacier and then Kenai Fjords, then train to Anchorage our first night, renting minivan in AM. What do we do next? Where should we be for July 4?
wellstnj is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:14 PM
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I forgot to add we prefer b&b's or cabins instead of big fancy hotels.
wellstnj is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Seward is a wonderful town on one side of the KP peninsula. The Kenai Fjords trip varies in time depending on which one you take. Check departure times. We took the longest which was 9 hours. Since you also want to do Exit Glacier you would have to spend a night in Seward.
Kenai, the town next to Soldotna (on the other side of the KP) has a wonderful 4th of July parade is you are still on the KP. It's about 1 1/2 hours from Seward. Anchorage, of course, will have 4th of July festivities. You might also look into the dates for the Girdwood Forest Fair. This year it was after 4th of July but in past years it has been before depending on what day of the week the holiday falls. The fair features crafts, music and food. They also have a parade. It's between Seward and Anchorage. We also enjoyed the visitors center at Portage Glacier but did not take the boat ride to the glacier. Since you will be taking the train from Seward to Anchorage you might not want to backtrack to Girdwood but there's also a tram ride up Mt Alyeska. Depending on your itinerary you might have time to do this on your last day if your flight isn't until evening. But another place for great pictures is Independence Mine. Lots of wildflowers will be in bloom, including large white cow parsley which is very fragrant. You will see large stand of in next to the road in some areas. Independence Mine is north of Anchorage, a short side trip on your way to Denali. Hope you have a great trip!
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Great ideas. I am thinking now about spending Sunday night in Seward, giving us all day Sunday there to take the Kenai Fjords cruise, Monday we can see Exit Glacier and the Sealife Center, then take the train to Anchorage for MOnday night. Tuesday get our rental car and continue...north to Denali or south back to Kenai peninsula?? Which is better? We will have the whole week to see things, are sort of flexible on returning home, either the following Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
wellstnj is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 05:27 AM
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I'd suggest that if this is your first or likely only trip to AK, then head north to Denali. With the time spent in Seward it'll give you a wider view of the state.

If you leave Anchorage on Tuesday you could stop in Talkeetna on the way to the park. There's also a nice stop at the Musk Ox farm you can add en route.

Spend Wednesday and Thursday in the park and return toward Anchorage Friday with a stop at Hatcher Pass. Then spend a couple of days around Anchorage, which has a nice mix of other activities, plus some wonderful hikes.

There the Eagle River Nature Center hike, the Flattop Mountain hike, the Coastal trail and many more -- in a range from easy stroll to climb. Plus there's the great drive and activities down the highway that you passed on the train, including the Alyeska tram, the Dall sheep along the road and Portage Glacier.

The good thing about ending up with a few days in Anchorage is that with the variety of activities, if you get weathered out of outdoor plans there are plenty of other things to do, such as the Museum of History and Art.
repete is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Do we need a car rental in Seward, or can we get to Fjords cruise, SeaLife Center and Exit Glacier with shuttles or cabs, etc? We disembark from our ship, then what? How do we get to our motel? We have no motel reservation yet. Is it important to find a place that offers shuttles to these attractions? We want to avoid renting a car until we train to Anchorage, since rentals in Seward are so expensive. Are there shuttles from motels to the Fjord cruise, Exit Glacier, Sealife Center,etc?
Thanks for great advice, I love Fodors talk, so many of you take the time to answer.
wellstnj is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Wellstnj, I wanted to alert you to these things before you finalize plans: (see the Blackstone Bay kayaking trip).

Homer - worth a trip if you can make the time. Stunningly beautiful spot in Alaska. I can highly recommend the Alaskan Suites Cabins for lodging.

These stops may not work out for you, but they are exceptional and I wanted you to at least be aware of them. Have fun planning!
BayouGal is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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There is not a lot of transportation options in Seward. Only a couple of the larger motels would if any have a shuttle. There are Taxis available, I think PJ's is one of them. The Kenai Fjords Tours will pick up from train station and the parking lot, but not sure about hotels. Exit Glacier is about 14 miles outside of Seward as us Seavey Family Ididarod dog kennel ride and tour.
You could also rent a one way car for Seward and to get you to Anc, then turn it in for Anc roundtrip car. That would give you more options, especially if you take another day in Seward area. Homer would take at least one night and probably two, as it is about 3-4 hrs from Seward. I would also recommend going to denali for a day or two. There are things to see around Anc and on way up there. Talkeetna is worth seeing and the summit flts are something not to be missed, if you change your mind about flying. Denali takes at least two nights. You could take the shuttle as far in as Wonder Lake or Fishcreek and use the second day to hike around or do the dog sled demos, or drive around area.
jq is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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wellstnj -
7-9 days of inland travel is not enough for both Kenai Peninsula and Denali area. It is, of course, doeable physically but you'll spend considerable time driving and it will be just "everything on the go". Concentrate on either Kenai or Denali this time and plan to re-visit Alaska for the one you do not see in June 2007.
You have plenty of time for planning your trip. When you decide what area you want to see in June 2007, I can help you with logistics. Alaska is the largest state in US. Efficiency is the key issue when planning your travel there.
oleg is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 09:27 AM
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As a suggestion, I would recommend you might want to conside a favorite B&B of mine in Seward who will pick you up and drop off in Seward. (but would need a cab to Exit Glacier).

Morning Calm B&B, only has 2 rooms and a shared bath, which shouldn't be a problem for the 4 of you?? Very wonderful hosts and the best bargain in Seward. I suggest you consider your boat trip first, especially is you want to consider the best- Northwestern Fjords. Alaska Heritage- the tour operator, will pick up at the ship, store your bags. Then arrange your pick up with your lodging after the tour. Next day, have the lodging drop off at the train depot- check your bags, then do your touring.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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I will reconsider our lodging in Seward. Right now we have reservation at Breeze Inn in Seward for Sunday night. Our reservation for Monday in Anchorage is Days Inn, chose because of reasonable price and they will pick us up at the train depot. Is there a better option in Anchorage? We have reservations in Healy for 2 nights, Tuesday and Wednesday, but now need help. I was thinking of Thursday in Palmer, so we could see Hatcher Pass, Independance Mine, Musk Ox farm, Matanuska Glacier, the pretty drive on the Glennallen Hwy,then Friday in Girdwood so we could take the tram, see Portage glacier, take some hikes, just drive around the area, then Saturday see Anchorage and surrounding sites, staying Saturday night in Anchorage, and fly home to New Orleans via Seattle on Sunday. As much as we would love to see Homer and more of the Kenai peninsula, it just seems like we don't have enough time without being speedy sams. Any advice???
wellstnj is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Sorry, but the Days Inn in Anchorage should be avoided like the plague, it's a dump. Only you can decide if this is your preference.

You might want to look at the Ramada's they also shuttle airport and depot. Nice properties, especially the Muldoon location.

You have a very doable routing with time for activites.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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I cancelled Days Inn and reserved Comfort Inn near the train station. Thanks for the tip.
wellstnj is offline  

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