We are planning a trip to (mainly) Alaska this year, around end of Aug, early Sep. The plan is to stay for around 3-4 weeks. However, we discovered that our usual method of travelling doesn't really work here. Usually we rent a car and just drive, getting off whenever/wherever both with prebooked as well as spontaneous activities. In Alaska, it seems though like we miss out on a big part of the country if we'd do that. Looking at the ferry system, it seems quite complicated to get all the way from e.g. Washington or BC to Whittier or Anchorage without bringing a car along.
The huge cruise vessels and herding people around do not appeal to us. We would like to see the fjords, glaciers, icebergs, mountains and the special nature rather than the indoor pools and shopping. Would like to visit some native villages as well if possible. Want to see the wildlife (especially bears, whales, seals and eagles), experience the nature on horseback, go all the way up north and enjoy the scenery and what is specific for Alaska, Yukon and perhaps the NorthWest Ts, etc. By boat, airplanes, train and car.
We did find a company that seems to arrange some trips for smaller groups (I think, can't really find that info) but they do not run their own vessels, they use the marine highway ferries. A couple of their packages look good, at least what can be read between the lines but the prices seem too high and also it seems to cover just a small portion of what we'd like to do with too much organized transportation, too short time in ports and so on.
So now I wonder how you guys who have been doing this kind of travels for a while would put together something like this? We are 2 adults, do not require regular beds and our own pillow, sleeping in car/tent/boats, etc is OK. Food - not picky, no need for 3-course meals at Michelin star restaurants, the locals' hang-outs are often the most pleasant places. So what do you think? Recommandations? The tours we looked at are the ones arranged by Viking Travel, called "Heart of Gold" - 14 days and "Gems of Alaska" - 15 days. On alaskaferryvacations.com/Ferry_FerryRoutesan…
Greateful for all help.