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First time in Alaska

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18 posts
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First time in Alaska

My 3 kids (ages 22, 19, and 17) are thinking of planning a week long trip to Alaska this coming July, and want to do part cruise (to access the glaciers and ocean wildlife viewing) and part land (again for wildlife viewing, possible mild hiking). We love to whitewater raft and are interested in that possibility as well....any and all advice/suggestions about planning our trip will be greatly appreciated!!

Chugiak, Alaska
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1. Re: First time in Alaska

'and want to do part cruise (to access the glaciers and ocean wildlife viewing)'

Actually there are plenty of better ways to take care of both of these than a large cruise ship. Only having 7 days isn't going to be long enough for a land tour and a ship cruise and do Alaska any justice at all. I think the majority of the cruises are nearly a week long just going on direction and with those you only see the Southeast portion of Alaska.

You could go with a cruise to SE and see that part, hoping off at the ports to see some things up close, or you could do a week long land tour and focus on Seward and Denali.

In Seward you can go on a full day wildlife cruise to see glaciers and marine wildlife much closer than you would on a big cruise ship. In Seward you can also go on a guided glacier hike on Exit Glacier with the Exit Glacier Guides for a very up-close look at a glacier.

Denali is really nice for wildlife. There's only one road going in and the amount of traffic on it is limited to a few lodges deep in the park and the shuttle buses that we tend to suggest to people a lot. You can get off them and hike and pick up another one or just ride it in and back out and enjoy the animals and the scenery. We suggest at least two full days on the shuttle in case you have one unlucky day with the animals and weather.

Here are some links to Trip Reports from the past two years. I suggest picking a few out that focus on these areas and let your kids read through them and see what they like best.



Hiking happens essentially everywhere in Alaska so once you know where you are going, you can use this link as a resource to find hikes at the level and mileage that you are comfortable with:


Good luck and if you decide on a land tour, book your car now!! The rates will only go up and the reservations are free as long as you cancel a couple weeks ahead. Best to get something reserved and then continue to try for cheaper rates. Plane tickets tend to go up after February so making some decisions sooner than later will save you money in the long run. Post again on this thread when you have a decision on what you want to do and we can offer up more suggestions on your specific trip.

2. Re: First time in Alaska

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