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Whales running/Denali National Park

dayton, ohio
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Whales running/Denali National Park

I would like to take my 75 year old Mom to Alaska to watch the whales run. She has always wanted to see it and I would like to give her that for her Birthday. Any help would be appreciated. I also saw a program on the Denali National Park. Could I do both of those with her? ?Thank you!

jq
Sacramento, CA
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1. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

If you are talking about a cruise, you could do by taking a one way cruise from/to Anc-Vancouever, along with four or more days to include denali between June 1st-Sept 7th or so. You could take rental car, bus, train to denali from Anc, spend 2 nights, take the park shuttle bus to at least Fish Creek or Toklat River, and you should see plenty of animals in denali. All the ships go to Juneau which has 100% sitings during this time period for whalewatching tours. Capt Larry of Orca Enterprises is highly recomm and provides a good tour on a smaller boat with less crowding. Don't do cruiseline cruise tour with land portion included unles they include at least two nights at denali np

Eagle River, AK
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2. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

bluefield

Take her on a Kenai Fjords tour out of Seward. She can see Gray, Humpback and Killer whales (although Killer whales are really in the dolphin family).

In Denali they have two kinds of tours. One, is on a school bus type bus that is operated by the park service and two, one that is operated by a tour company. The second is much more comfortable and expensive but its for your Mom, so pay the extra and have a good time.

jq
Sacramento, CA
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3. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

I don't know where MTB got their info re the denali buses, but the only difference in the buses is the color. Tan vs green!!! They are all school buses. I think they are now all run by same company for park service. The Tour bus is booked heavily by the cruisetours and includes a bad lunch and drink, while on the shuttle bus, you need to bring your own food and water. One is $80, the other is $28-30. Go to the denali site for full explanation and schedules. They go on the same road and the shuttle bus goes further into the park if you want to.

For Seward, Kenai Fjords NP tour is not a whalewatching tour and whales are only seen about 50% of the time. There had been none for 3 days when we took our tour in early Sep.

Bristol, Connecticut
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4. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

There is a tour company that has a contract to run nicer buses into Denali Park, the buses that you speak of are the Park Service buses and yes they are just glorified school buses.

jq
Sacramento, CA
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5. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

I still beg to differ with you re the "nicer tour buses"!! I don't normally try to tell locals about their area, but I have done this trip three times in last couple of years, and was there in late Aug. The buses are all the same. If anyone else has been on both and agrees that they are different, I would sure like to hear from them. If you go to the denali website, I think you will see this confirmed. Some of the buses are slightly bigger than others but I have seen both with the shuttle service also.

Eagle River, AK
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6. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

We visited Denali with my parents some time ago. It was about 10 years ago now and I thought we were told that there were private sector buses and park buses but we ended up going on the park buses....so I cant speak first hand about the bus thing...its just what we heard at the time.

As far as whales around Seward. We go fishing with charter boats twice a year with my father-in-law who comes there from outside. We go in June and early July and every time we go out, we have seen whales. I wouldnt go so far as to say that everyone who goes out of Seward would see a whale, I can only speak to our experience.

The whales we see in Seward come from somewhere else where they winter...Baja, Hawaii and so on. They arrive here at different times but I've heard that they are seeing gray whales there now. Those same whales head back to their winter places after the food supply here starts to dwindle and Im not sure when that time is...I think it probibly varies by the year.

Hopefully, while you are here you may see on if you decide to go out with whomever you choose to sightsee with.

Good luck and enjoy your stay, even if you dont see whales the scenery is worth the trip.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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7. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

Yes there are school bus shuttles but there are also the privately run tour busses that are the motorcoach type. Perhaps they were not running last time you were here.

jq
Sacramento, CA
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8. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

1stTime

Have you ridden these fancy motor coaches? We were last there in late Aug and as with all previous trips, THERE are NO deluxe motor coach buses used on denali np tours. There are some school bus types that are the flat front that hold a few more passengers, but thats it. Both the shuttles and tundra tour buses are the SAME. One is tan, the other is light green. I have plenty of video tape of both. I realize you live much closer and may go there every weekend but something isn't right with the info.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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9. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

Yes I know which ones you are talking about. The ones I am talking about, I think are ones that take people up to the lodge at Kantishna. No, I've never been on one, not being a tourist... They are not park busses.

jq
Sacramento, CA
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661 posts
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10. Re: Whales running/Denali National Park

OK, that is what I was wondering. I started to say that and since there are so few buses or vans going back there, I didn't think it was germain. I have mostly seen vans for the backcountry lodges there. I'll leave that discussion to those on here that have been there. Have a good day.