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Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Sydney, Australia
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Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Hi Everyone

Would love some advice for a small dilemma we have. My husband and I (mid 50s) and friends are planning a trip next May/June 2014 to the US and Canada. The holiday ends with a fantastic Alaskan 7 night Celebrity cruise, departing from Vancouver and ending in Seward on Friday morning13 June. Our flight back to Australia is from LAX on 16 June at 2200.

We would like to spend a couple of days after the cruise in either Seward or Anchorage (not sure if some of the friends will do this). Flight schedules indicate that we could fly from Anchorage at 5pm on a direct 5 hour flight to Los Angeles on 15 June, then we would stay the night in LA for our 2200 flight home on 16 June.

We were wondering whether to stay in Seward mainly or else Anchorage for this short time? We are happy to rent a car.

I am leaning towards Anchorage as we need to get there anyway to fly to LA and if there were any holdups getting from Seward to Anchorage, at least the pressure would be off. However would we regret not spending the extra time at Seward instead of Anchorage? We enjoy walking, photography, seeing animal life and great scenery, having some fun, and are reasonably active but not into extreme sports.

We were also considering the 4 hour scenic rail trip from Seward to Anchorage but as this doesn’t leave until 6pm it might be too difficult .

Would appreciate any opinions thank you very much!

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

I'd do a one-way car rental from Seward to ANC. Spend the 13th and 14th in Seward (lots to see/do there). Spend the day of the 15th slowly driving to ANC making sure to enjoy the Girdwood/Portage area (see: http://goo.gl/lSnN2 for a post about this area). Get a great dinner in Girdwood at one of its many fun retaurants and then pending the night in ANC. On the 16th tour ANC, get another great AK dinner and head to the airport.

Edited: 12 July 2013, 15:36
Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Returning to Sydney did you consider flying via Honolulu, which is closer than via LAX. We did the SFO-SYD flght a few years ago and that was LONG. Wish we had gone via Hawaii

Sturgeon
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3. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

I'd agree, the scenic beauty of Seward is amazing and there are just so many things to see there. We spent several hours over two days, on the drive from Anchorage to Seward at all the scenic spots. I know you will just be off the cruise, but I'd also recommend a Kenai Fjords boat tour from Seward. You just see so many different things and from so much closer than you do on the cruise ship. We actually had a pod of about 30 orcas, some within 3-4 feet of the boat, when we went out on our tour. Saw lots of other wildlife, up close and personal with glaciers. I don't think you will regret spending more time in Seward, than Anchorage.

USA
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4. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Love sdpryde's idea-- a nice sampling of 3 areas, first Seward for exit glacier, seal life center and even a sea life cruise. Seward is a great bay side town.

Girdwood has easy access to Portage glacier, the wildlife center, the tram, great restaurants, a stroll on an old growth rainforest trail etc

In Anchorage there is the museum, native cultural center, stroll on the coastal trail, etc

Michigan
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5. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Jane, With your interests, I suggest staying in Seward. I don't think you will regret it. If you stick with your flight plans, and want to take the train (amazing views), you could still manage it. On the 13th you could take a Kenai Fjords Tour after getting off the ship. On the 14th you could visit the Sealife Center and Exit Glacier and then take the 6:00 p.m. train to Anchorage. Spend the night in Anchorage on the 14th. On the 15th you could take in some of Anchorage's highlights before heading to the airport for your 5:00 p.m. flight.

Have an amazing holiday in Canada and the USA.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

Thanks everyone for the great advice. It sounds like Seward has got the thumbs up! It sounds like a beautiful port town and driving to Anchorage stopping along the way does sound very appealing. My only complaint is that we won't have more time to spend in Alaska. The more I look into it the more I want to see!

Dear k2iks - thanks for the suggestion to go via Hawaii however we have already booked our flights to take advantage of a Qantas special that ended a couple of days ago. It will be good to keep in mind for any future trips.

7. Re: Tight schedule - Seward or Anchorage for a couple of days?

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