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Advice please

Brisbane, Australia
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Advice please

Hi there,

My husband and I (aged in our early 40's, fit and healthy) will be arriving in Anchorage on the 2nd of September 2014 about 0500 from Australia.

We then have a cruise departing (Whittier) on the 6th around the 5pm.

We would dearly love to see the Northern Lights but realize ths would be a long shot even if we made the trip to Fairbanks, given our tight schedule and the time of year.

We will maximise day trips on the cruise as much as possible but would really appreciate your advice on whether to go to Denali NP for a couple of nights or divide our time between Anchorage and Seward.

We love animals and would dearly love to see as much as we can in the short amount of time we have.

We also realize the 2nd will be a bit of a right off (due to a long flight ad we don't sleep on planes) and the 6th also with a trip to Whiitier.

Your advice would be very much appreciated so we can plan an itinerary where we see as much as possible but without spending the whole time travelling.

Thanks heaps in advance.

Lake Tahoe...
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1. Re: Advice please

If you travel to Denali I would allow a day of driving each way. The train will take longer and you will adapt to their schedule as there is only one each day.

On the day of your cruise out of Whittier you could do a Prince William Sound cruise prior to boarding your ship. Princess actually doesn't leave until after 8 p.m. so this would allow for the day cruise.

Alaska
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2. Re: Advice please

To add to Fritz comments, if you rent a car for the Denali trip you could stay in Healy, just north of the park (12 miles / 20km). This will put you on the north side of the Alaska Mountain Range and in the best position to look out in the middle of the night for the Northern Lights. This will put you in the best position to see wildlife in the park and northern lights, if they happen to be active. There are web sites and locals to tell you what the prospects will be at that time. On top of it, Healy is a pleasant place!

71

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Advice please

Getting off a plane, dealing with jet lag, and also driving for hours for a chance to see wildlife is not something I recommend. Remember you also need to figure the time to get back from Denali.

Each cruise offers excursions that offer an opportunity to see wildlife. For example, whale watching is pretty much guarenteed in Juneau.

There is plenty to see and do both in Anchorage & Seward. Get some guidebooks, see what interests you and then make your plans.

I think the prior posting was spot on about taking the Prince William Sound cruise

Anchorage, Alaska
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4. Re: Advice please

With just 3 full days on the mainland I'd skip heading to Denali as, IMO, you'd be spending way to much time just in getting there & back.

I'd concentrate my efforts between Anchorage an Seward.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Advice please

Thank you all so much for your replies. I think with only 3 full days Denali might be out this time as it would be a shame to spend all our time on the road. A good excuse to come back though.

Thanks again I really appreciate you all takig the time to reply.

Lake Tahoe...
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6. Re: Advice please

You didn't say how you were flying here, but after traveling from Alaska to Tasmania January 2011 that was a nightmare (ANC-SEA-SFO, overnight at SFO; 14-hour plus flight to SYD, then two more segments). It would have been better to fly direct to Honolulu, overnight, then direct to Sydney. Perhaps, you could go via Honolulu (overnight there), then direct non-stop to Anchorage with no jet lag (I believe only an hour time change).

Being that have driven in Tasmania I kind of find it like driving in Alaska, except for driving the other side of the road (in your case keep to the right here) and don't feel embarrased if you turn on your wipers when signalling for a turn :-).

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Advice please

Hi K2iks

How bizarre, we are from Tasmania so it sounds like the driving would be ok other than it being on the other side of teh road.

We will be flying from Brisbane to Sydney to Honolulu on an overnight flight and the we have about 16 hrs in Honolulu. We then leave Honolulu at 9.15pm and arrive in Achorage about 0500 -( therefore missing another nights sleep. So we think we will probably just try and check into the Hotel as soon as possible and get a few hours sleep and then have a look around Anchorage rather than hire a car or take the train to Denali NP. If we do decide to do that it will be the next day but it all honesty it will probably be too tiring and we may just have the next day in Anchorage too and then head down to Seward and then to Whiitier to do the Prince William sound cruise you suggested before boarding the cruise ship that night (the 6th).

Thanks so much for your help and it's lovely that you have been to Tassie.

Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Advice please

Lv Honolulu at 9.15 p.m. and arrive Anchorage at 5.00 a.m.? It takes that long for a nonstop flight? The end of March we did a non-stop ANC to LAX flight and that only took around five hours.

We enjoyed driving around Tassie. Drove down one road several miles to find barriers (closed road) and there were no warning signs of pending road closure. Also Google routes can be misleading as some roads are 4WD types. Did not care for Queenstown and only reason we went there was to ride that rack railway.

Bristol, Connecticut
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9. Re: Advice please

There is a two hour time difference right now so the flight is 5 hours 45 minutes, still seems a bit long but not too bad considering.

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: Advice please

Isn't Hawaii one of the states that does not observe daylight time. Just did a cruise there with all the time changes (including Samoa). And, I think they are due south of here.