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March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

Boston...
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March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

Hello,

I am planning to visit Alaska with my dad in March.He is about 54 years old and cannot partake in any physical rigorous activities(hikes etc).He is pretty adamant about visiting Alaska at that time and I cannot convince him otherwise :).

I know there are not many touristy things to do around there but I desperately need suggestions for a trip in March for about 6 days.

Here are a few more details.

I can make a plan anytime between 12 and 25th of March.We are going to be just two of us.I can rent a car in Alaska but it's something I would like to avoid.

I planned the following for our trip.

1.Whale Watching 2.Aurora Borealis 3.BP World Ice Art Championship

I can land either in Fairbanks or Anchorage .

Also are there any cruises operational around that time?

Help is appreciated.

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

I'm hoping something can change (like dates or activities) because your very limited...

You should not come to AK counting on seeing N. Lights. There also won't be any whale cruises.

In my opinion a car would be a must.

Can you elaborate on your father's wishes or were they what you've posted?

Boston...
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2. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

Yes he is looking for a very laid back trip to Alaska..Very insistent on visiting Alaska not matter what I say.

What are my options for a trip here?

Bristol, Connecticut
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3. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

The whale watching tours don't start up until the last weekend in March from Seward. The Ice Art Championships take place in Fairbanks and if that is something you really want to do then you should go as early as possible.

Maybe if you fly into Fairbanks on a Thursday afternoon, see the Ice Art on Friday Morning and then again Friday Night. You should really go during the day and then again at night to get the best viewings. Then spend Saturday around Fairbanks visiting the Museum of the North, The Morris Thompson Visitor Center etc. Then on Sunday take the train South to Anchorage and in Anchorage I would rent a car if I were you. It is pretty easy to drive and they take care of the roads much better during the snow than they do up here in New England. In Anchorage you could take a ride down Turnagain Arm and visit Girdwood to ride the Tram and visit The Wildlife Conservation Center. Fly out of Anchorage. This should give a you a few ideas of what you can do at this time of year.

It will be winter or it could be breakup, you never know especially the later you get into March.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

You got some great suggestions from spacefry - I would also add a visit to the Fountainhead Auto Museum in Fairbanks if you can fit it in. I think in March they might still be on their winter schedule (only open Sundays from 12-6, so may not be possible if you plan on riding the train), but it's worth a visit if you can manage it. My wife normally hates car museums, but she loved Fountainhead.

-JimG

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5. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

The first weekend in March is the start of the Iditarod sled dog race, the ceremonial on Saturday in Anchorage & the official start in Willow on Sunday, with people coming from all over for both.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 14:26
Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

"I can rent a car in Alaska but it's something I would like to avoid."

It's going to be very difficult to see much in March without a rental car. Salmon Berry Tours does some winter tours: http://www.salmonberrytours.com/winter/

Lazy Otter out of Whittier will do some winter boat trips. But you either have to pay for the whole boat or get lucky and schedule when there's enough people to fill the boat: www.lazyotter.com/alaska-winter-tours.html

The Alaska Railroad runs to Anchorage to Fairbanks on Saturdays in the winter, and then Fairbanks to Anchorage on Sunday: alaskarailroad.com/travel/…Default.aspx

The Alaska Wildlife Center is open in the winter: http://www.alaskawildlife.org/

It's not a "cruise" but the ferry runs out of Whittier to Valdez or Cordova: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

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7. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

Brilliant idea, AKStafford, regarding a ferry trip in lieu of a cruise off season. Dress warmly with warm layers, hats & gloves.

Edited: 21 October 2013, 17:35
Healy, Alaska
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8. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

You do realize that it is winter here, right? Not spring, but still winter, though by mid-March, we do have our daylight back. Most of the whales are still playing in Hawaii at this time . . . but there is plenty to do IF you enjoy winter activities. :)

Boston...
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9. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

@spacefry

Thanks a lot for the excellent suggestions.

@JimGinAtlanta

Nice tip but probably won't be in Fairbanks on a Sunday.

@denalicat

It would have been wonderful to witness the start of Iditarod sled dog race but won't be able to make it on the first weekend.

@AKStafford

Thanks for the cruise trip tip.Checked the distance from Anchorage and its pretty doable.

Also I might just add a helicopter/plane trip of the glaciers around Anchorage if the cost permits.

So summing it up, I have the following planned for My Lazy Alaskan Trip.

Fly into Fairbanks on Thursday.Nothing planned on this day.

Check out the Ice Art championship on Friday morning and night.Explore the city and museums on the day.

I looked at a few packages that offer a day trip for aurora viewing.I know it's not the best idea but it's definitely worth a shot if I get lucky somehow.:)

Take the Alaskan Railroad on Sunday to Anchorage.

Rent a car and visit Girdwood and wildlife conservation center.

Do a helicopter/plane trip of the glaciers if cost permits.

Visit whittier and take the ferry cruise.

Fly out of Alaska on Tuesday packed with happy memories.

Let me know how this looks.

Thanks.

fti
MN
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10. Re: March 2014 Alaskan tour with my dad

What do you mean by "Visit Whittier and take the ferry cruise"? Do you realize that the ferry is a mode of transportation, not a "cruise" or a "tour"? Have you checked the ferry schedule? You would need to take the ferry from Whittier to Valdez then back again, which almost certainly can't be done the same day.