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Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Bridge City, Texas
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Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

We are going as part of a large group on a Princess Land/Cruise June 9 - 12, 2014. As part of the "package", some excursions are already included. This is our itinerary:

Mon, 06/09/14 Fairbanks

Tue, 06/10/14 Fairbanks with Riverboat Discovery/Gold Dredge

Evening is on our own................ideas?

Wed, 06/11/14 Coach to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Nat'l Park with Natural History Tour from 2 - 8:30 p.m.

Thu, 06/12/14 Denali Nat'l Park Morning our own....ideas?

Thu, 06/12/14 Coach to McKinley Princess Lodge and Talkeetna with evening on our own.............?

Fri, 06/13/14 Talkeetna Morning on our own........: Take rail at 2:30 p.m. to Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook at 5:30 p.m.

Fri, 06/13/14 Anchorage, Alaska.

Sat, 06/14/14 Anchorage, Alaska and Alaska Wildlife Conservation

Sun, 06/15/14 Hubbard Glacier, Alaska (scenic Cruising)

Scenic Cruising 3:00pm – 8:00pm

Mon, 06/16/14 Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska (scenic Cruising)

Scenic Cruising 9:15am – 7:30pm

Tue, 06/17/14 Skagway, Alaska

7:00am – 8:30pm

Wed, 06/18/14 Juneau, Alaska

6:30am – 4:00pm

Thu, 06/19/14 Ketchikan, Alaska

10:00am – 6:00pm

Fri, 06/20/14 At Sea

Sat, 06/21/14 Vancouver, British Columbia

View general port information

7:30am

Sat, 06/21/14 Vancouver, British Columbia

We are two women in our 60s and this is a one time trip to Alaska and would like to see wildlife and scenery and as much as we can. Some of the fishing excursions are appealing, as well as jeep/atv ones. We are not particularly the museum type. Any advice would be appreciated as to excursions, weather, etc. Will it be to late to see the northern lights? Will we see whales and other wildlife on the cruise itself? Thank you.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 04:02
fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Welcome to the forum.

so are there two of you or a large group of you? I an confused.

Princess cruisetours are woefully deficient. Contact you are booking agent immediately and switch the natural history tour for the tundra wilderness tour. You will see way more acenery and wildlife in Denali.

You will only see wildlife from the ship if you commit yourself to hours being at the bow. Even then they will only be fleeting sightings. To see whales it is best to take a tour in Juneau. I recommend Harv and Marvs.

The morning of the 12th you can go to the sleddog demo and the visitor center (exhibits and film).

No chance to see the Northern Lights in June. You need darkness.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 04:33
Bridge City, Texas
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2. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

This is a group tour that my sister-n-law and I will be a part of, but everyone will be able to do what they want. Sorry to hear we won't see the Northern Lights but after reading some posts here, I thought it would be the wrong time of the year. Thank you for your input.

Sturgeon
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3. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Be out early morning on one of the "secret decks" on Glacier bay day. I saw over 20 humpbacks and several pods of orcas that day. However, I was out early with good binoculars and stayed out. Had a couple within 100 yards. But even that did not compare to whale watching in Juneau. Orca enterprises is another good choice in Juneau. Not much chance to see wildlife with our existing tour of Denali, you just don't get deep enough into the park. Get it changed as suggested above

Edited: 25 April 2014, 12:29
USA
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4. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Yes, be sure to cancel the Natural History tour which barely makes it 15 miles into the park and upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness tour.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 15:15
Michigan
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5. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

You don't mention budget, but there are some great tour options in your ports which will get you away from the town and into some beautiful scenic areas if you can afford them.

Juneau: As mentioned, this is where you want to go whale watching. The two vendors mentioned both get excellent reviews. Both will drop you off at Mendenhall Glacier after the whale watch. This is a great area to explore and take some easy hikes. There is also an excellent Visitor's Center, which is not to be missed in my book.

http://www.harvandmarvs.com/

http://www.orcaenterprises.com/

Skagway: For scenery, the train to Carcross should be on your agenda. Many take the train as far as Fraser, but if you go all the way to Carcross the scenery after Fraser is not to be missed. Also, there is a stop at Bennett Lake which is a gorgeous area, as well as a historical stop. Chilkoot Charters does a great job with this tour:

http://www.chilkootcharters.com/carcross.htm

Ketchikan: Again for scenery, include the Misty Fjords Flight if it is in the budget. If not there is a boat tour to Misty Fjords. I did the boat tour and it was great, however, I wish I had splurged so I could have seen the fjords from above as well as from below.

As for your land tour, I cannot stress strongly enough, that you SHOULD CANCEL your Natural History Tour and Book the Tundra Wilderness Tour as already suggested. The TWT will go at least 53 miles into the depths of Denali. The Natural History Tour will go 17 miles into the park. Although you might see some animals in that first 17 miles you also might not. The day we went, we saw 2 caribou up to the 17 mile mark. It was after that that we saw the rest of the wildlife. I am not sure if your timeframe would allow you to take the Eilson Shuttle, but that would be an ever better option as you would get still further into the park (66 Miles). I just don't have time to check it out right now. For the priorities you listed in your post, you really need to get busy and cancel that Natural History Tour. You are missing out the gem that Denali is if you stick with the Natural History Tour. Since this is your only trip to AK, don't shortchange yourself.

Talkeetna is best known for flights over Mt. McKinley. I understand the Summit Flights are awesome. I hope to do one my next trip. Talkeetna is a quaint town which we enjoyed exploring. There is a NP Visitor Center with a movie. The cemetery is worth a walk around. Many hikers who died climbing the mountain are buried there. There is a river in town with some type of raft rides.That could be a time-filler if needed.

Enjoy your time in AK!! Feel free to ask any other questions.

Bridge City, Texas
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6. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Thanks all for your suggestions. I have rescheduled he NP tour for the Tundra tour and scheduled a whale excursion out of Juneau.

Bridge City, Texas
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7. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Trying to decide between White Pass Scenic Railway (most popular) and the Rail, Summit, Suspension Bridge & Garden Lunch which goes to Fraser. I read some post that said to go all the way. Has anyone been on both and which would be the best?

Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

Suggest you go to www.princesslodges.com and pull up Denali and Mt McKinley and click on tour options to see what is offered. It is interesting to note (unlike booking shore excursions) that the cost of booking through the lodge is not much different then doing it on your own.

9. Re: Princess Land/Cruise Tour in June

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