Short Pre Cruise Land Tour

Dec 13th, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Short Pre Cruise Land Tour

I am looking to take a southbound Alaskan Cruise in May 2008 and was originally thinking of doing an 11 day cruisetour package but after reading this boards decided that may not be the best way to go. Instead I would like to do an independent 3 or four day tour starting in Anchorage and somehow ending in Whittier for the cruise. Any suggestions on itineraries for this short time period would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
rdhed is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 06:21 AM
  #2  
 
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If you have 4 days, AND arriving end of May, you can do Denali Park. You need two overnights there, and a shuttle bus to at least Fish Creek/Eielson. First night could be Talkeetna- IF you have an afternoon arriving flight?? Otherwise stay in Anchorage on the outside 2 days. However, I would not consider this before the third week of May- you are too early.

As an alternative- head to Seward, if you have 3 days, again, spend a day in Anchorage. A Costly one way Avis car rental definately makes the best use of time and in this case most likely very worth the added cost. You really don't have time to back track Anchorage for a car return.

Do your homework and pick which place is of the most interest. You can also consider Homer instead of the other 2.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 11:18 AM
  #3  
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Thanks BudgetQueen. I am almost beginning to think that with my short time frame I may be better off skipping the land tour part and saving the extra $$$ for exucrsions at the ports.
rdhed is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 11:26 AM
  #4  
 
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I really recommend doing the train thing - and I would look at see what options your cruise has. We were Northbound, and went from Seward - Fairbanks (cruiseline was Celebrity). They have amazing train cars that are attached to the Alaskan railway cars - and it is an amazing part of the experience. They picked us up in Seward, by bus (really, really nice bus) took us to Anchorage, spent the night, then took us to Takeetna to pick up the train. Train ride (about 4 hours) to Denali, spent the night there, then caught the train to Fairbanks (another half day). It was SO amazing, and worth every single penny.....
Debi is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Sorry, but I do not agree with the above train recommendation. This mode of travel takes up even more time. Frankly, with only 4 days, being on the train for 8 hours for 2 of them is not a good deal in my opinion, especially when the Anchorage/Denali Park/Fairbanks portion just about parallels the Parks Highway the whole way. The most scenic portion by far is Seward/Anchorage.

More important here, is Denali Park and the distance you can get in. As an addition to my above post- prior to June 1 you can only get to Toklat mile 53. June 1 starts the Fish Creek/Eielson shuttle.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 07:32 PM
  #6  
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Thanks Budgetqueen and Debi.

Budgetqueen,

I am not considering Denali, I already knew it was to much traveling for such a short period of time. Still debating about going to Seward for a short visit and making it back to Anchorage to get to the ship. I know it will be hectic but at least we will have the cruise to relax on.
rdhed is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 08:10 PM
  #7  
 
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I don't know that I would want to be on a train that long. But the 4 hour train ride from Seward to Anchorage was amazing. It was one of the highlights of our trip. If you have 3 or 4 days here is my suggestion. Take train from Anchorage to Girdwood, there you can connect by train to Seward or Whittier also. You could rent a car in Seward if you wanted to.

Here are a few suggestions while at Girdwood
Stay @ Alyeksa Resort
Dog Sled on Glacier-Fantastic
Winner Creek hike-must do bridge
paragliding off of mountain
tram ride to top of mountain
eat lunch or dinner on top
glacier hike on top of mountain

while in Seward
Sea Kayaking
dog sled on glacier there
Sealife Center
Kenai Fjords tour (all day)

you should consider a flyout
fishing/bearviewing while in
Alaska (may may not be best time for this)

A lot of the cruises have optional tours, so be sure and check all of those out.

If you have 4 days that is plenty of time to head to Seward and back.
Drive to Seward and turn car in and take train back. Hertz is only car rental in Seward to my knowledge. They will shuttle you to the train. You may get to see enough glaciers and sealife on your cruise that you may want to skip Kenai Fjords. It is beautiful though.
spirobulldog is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 08:14 PM
  #8  
 
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You could do Denali in the 3-4 days. I don't know that May would be great there, however.
spirobulldog is offline  
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