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8 day land tour prior to cruise

Long Island, New...
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8 day land tour prior to cruise

My husband & I are going to Alaska on July 18th. We plan to do a 10 day land tour prior to a cruise. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or comments regarding this itinerary

Day 1 - arrive in Anchorage (evening) p/u rental vehicle stay at Fairfield Inn Anchorage.

Day 2 - Drive to Homer stay at Lands End Resort find an activity for this day. (any suggestions)

Day 3 - Bear viewing Homer (any suggestions) drive to Seward stay at Best Western

Day 4 - kayaking Fox Island Overnight in Seward

Day 5 - activity for either Seward or Coopers Landing - drive to Coopers Landing Overnight Princess Lodge

Day 6 - Float Trip - Drive to Denali - Overnight Denali Princess

Day 7 - Day Trip into Denali Park Overnight Denali Princess

Day 8 - Activity Denal Park (any suggestions) drive to Talkeetna Overnight McKinley Princess

Day 9 - M2 Flight w/ Glacier Landing - Drive to Anchorage

Overnight Anchorage Fairfield Inn

Day 10 - Morning in Anchorage Return rental vehile shuttle to Whitter for cruise.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Am I trying to fit to much into my time period?

Manitoba, Canada
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1. Re: 8 day land tour prior to cruise

Hi, welcome to the forum.

A couple of comments:

First, I don't think you're going to want to do a 4 hour drive after your bear-viewing tour.

Second, day 6 is an awfully long drive.

Third, is there some special reason you are staying at the Princess Lodges? You'll be stuck in with the cruisetour people. Fine if that's what you prefer, but there are lots of nice places to stay that aren't so crowded.

Have a look at this and see what you think:

Day 1 - arrive in Anchorage (evening) p/u rental vehicle stay at Fairfield Inn Anchorage.

Day 2 - Drive to Homer (5 hrs) stay at Lands End Resort. Lots of stops along the way, such as Potter Marsh, Beluga Pt., Wildlife Conservation Center, etc: http://alaska.org/driving/homer-drive.htm . In Homer, see Pratt Museum (closes 6 pm), walk along the beach, maybe the 5 pm Danny J to Halibut Cove for dinner at The Saltry.

Day 3 - Bear viewing (Emerald Air & Bald Mt. Air are highly recommended on these forums). Overnight Homer.

Day 4 – drive to Seward (4 hrs), stopping at Cooper Landing for an afternoon river float (2 or 3 hr tours). Outside of Seward, walk to the face of Exit Glacier (1 hr). Overnight Seward Best Western.

Day 5 - kayaking Fox Island (Is that the 9 to 6:30 tour?) Overnight Seward.

Day 6 – Drive to Talkeetna (5.5 hrs), stopping in Anchorage or Wasilla to pick up supplies/snacks for Denali. Late afternoon or early evening flightseeing. Overnight Talkeetna.

Day 7 – Maybe the 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. river float? Drive to Denali (3 hrs). Possible activities: visitor center displays & film, the free Ranger sled dog demo at 10, 2 or 4, drive the 14 miles into the park that cars are allowed to see if you can spot any wildlife (can hike from there if you’d like to), hike an entrance trail, whitewater rafting, dinner theatre. Overnight Denali.

Day 8 – shuttle to Eielson (8 hrs) or Wonder Lake (11 hrs). You might like to get off on the trip back to hike or just walk along the road for a while, then catch another shuttle to resume your trip. Be aware that mosquitoes can be bad at the lake, so take a headnet if you go that far. Bring food & drink as none is for sale in the park. Reservations at www.reservedenali.com .

Day 9 – drive back to Anchorage (5 hrs). If your flightseeing was cancelled on day 7, try again on your way by. Otherwise, in Anchorage do some of the following: Native Heritage Center, hike/bike part of Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Earthquake Park, Pt. Woronzof, watch the floatplanes on Lake Hood, Alaska Wildberry, zoo, etc. Overnight Anchorage Fairfield Inn

Day 10 – 10 a.m. train to Whittier. Either an afternoon glacier cruise (I’d suggest 26 Glaciers, since it has a good chance of seeing wildlife too) or the 1 pm to 4 pm kayaking to the kittiwake rookery (http://www.alaskaseakayakers.com/prince-william-sound-day-tours.html ). If it's too early to get your luggage on the cruiseship, the tour offices will hold your bags for you.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Long Island, New...
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2. Re: 8 day land tour prior to cruise

Thank you. I appreciate your suggestions. The only reason I was considering Princess Lodges is because it is a name I know. I am open to trying a cabin or another hotel. I have never stayed in a B&B and don't know if I would be comfortable. I did look at some cabins online and I thought Denali Grizzly Bear Resort looked good and had positive reviews. Do you have any suggestions on lodging in Talkeetna or near Denal?

I was planning on doing the 9 AM Fox Island kayaking tour in Seward. I am going to go with your suggestion; spend two nights in Holmer then stop at Coopers Landing on my way to Talkeetna.

I was planning on renting a car at the airport. Then returning it back to the airport and taking a shuttle to Whitter. You suggested taking the train to Whitter. I like the idea of taking the train to Whitter. Would I be better off renting the car outside the airport?

Thanks again for your help.

Manitoba, Canada
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3. Re: 8 day land tour prior to cruise

I don't know anything about Grizzly Bear Resort. Perhaps post over in the Denali forum and ask the local expert Coalminer.

As for car rental, often it can be cheaper off airport, but not always. Plus, one day one company is cheaper, a few days later another is. I suggest you make a reservation NOW, be sure it is cancellable. Then keep your eye on prices between now and your trip, and if you see a better deal, grab it. Normally prices only go up as summer approaches; however, with the economy so bad, things might be different this year. Time will tell. A handy site to compare prices is www.carrentals.com.

on the lake...
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4. Re: 8 day land tour prior to cruise

Day 3. Bear Viewing - we used Emerald Air and LOVED every minute of it. I can't recommend them enough. It was a long day, though. We were physically and emotionally drained after our day out with the bears. You definitely won't want to pile in the car and drive. Do yourselves a favor and just stay in Homer. We went to Fat Olives for dinner and drinks, then back to our cabin and sat on the porch, discussing the events of the day.

Grizzly Bear - we stayed there. It was ok. We rented one of their cabins. Nothing extravagant, but clean and convenient. We also stayed at My Alaska Cabin, which is just outside of Talkeetna. Super place! Also, we stayed at Gate Creek Cabins by Trapper Creek. HIGHLY recommend them. I have photos in my trip report here shellistravel.com/TravelogueViewer.aspx… If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Have a great trip! We're going back in September.

5. Re: 8 day land tour prior to cruise

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