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mapleleaves

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About mapleleaves

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  • Location
    Redmond WA
  • Interests
    DIY land travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    ncl
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    W Med

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  1. The Alaska Marine Hwy (ferry) is still taking reservations . There are 2 ferries that leave from Bellingham WA and the first stop is Ketchikan; ends in Skagway. I did this many yrs ago and it was a great experience. I considered it as an option for my 3 month RV trip this summer, but it's just too expensive to take a 22ft motorhome on the ferry. Plus my 2 dogs would be uncomfortable being cooped up in the RV except for their timed potty breaks which is the only time I can see them. So I've cancelled my trip. Too many things are up in the air ..... border crossings, availability of state and provincial parks, and will Denali be open past Milepost 42. Spending a week in Denali to ride the bus every day was one of the things I was most looking forward to. If this can't be the trip I want, I don't want to settle. I still say that people who had their heart set on visiting Alaska this yr, should fly into Anchorage, rent a car or RV, and explore on your own. You'll see far more of Alaska than you would on a cruise. For a sea adventure you can take a Kenai Fjords day cruise out of Seward or a Prince William Sound cruise out of Whittier. OR, fly into Juneau and on to Gustavus to spend a few days at Glacier Bay.
  2. If you want feedback, you'll need to post a link or copy/paste a description. The hike that came up when I googled, indicates a 4hr trip and you go to Russian River Falls. If this is your hike, no you can't do it from the Lodge. The Falls are about 10 miles from the Lodge. The Kenai Princess is a beautiful property and a beautiful setting, but it's very isolated. IIRC it's about 2 miles from the hwy.
  3. mapleleaves

    Vancouver port

    So instead of cruising, adjust your ticket and fly into Anchorage then rent a car or RV and drive around Alaska for a week or 2 !!! And you'll see much more of Alaska ! To get your sea fix you can take day cruises out of Seward or Whittier, and as a bonus you'll also see more of the inland scenery and wildlife. Or fly into Juneau or Gustavus and stay at Glacier Bay for a few days. The GB day cruise is wonderful. You can stay at the GB Lodge or other accomodations around Gustavus. Use the ferry system to visit another small community on the inside passage. Think outside the box; there are other opportunities to explore.
  4. Which excursions ? Some vendors will close down because their help has gone back to college. And some excursions, like heli dog sledding, will end because the snow at their base camp has melted away by mid Aug or Sept. And some vendors just want to clean up, close up, and head to their winter home in Mexico or Hawaii. There are reasons why shoulder-season cruises are cheaper .....
  5. The train is the most scenic. Check the COASTAL CLASSIC ... https://www.alaskarailroad.com/ It leaves Seward around 6pm, a 4 hr journey. That allows you the day to sightsee around Seward ... enjoy a 6 hr day cruise to the Kenai Fjords, hike/walk at Exit Glacier, fish, or just wander around the harbor. Most flights to the east coast are red-eye out of Anchorage, so you'll need to see if this train gets into Anchorage too late for a same day departure. OR, you could spend the night, sightsee around Anchorage, and catch a flight the next day. For bus options, there's the Park Connection Bus with 2 or 3 departures per day depending on the day. I think it drops you at the Museum. Details on their web site. https://www.alaskacoach.com/schedule/ . And Seward Bus lines. http://www.sewardbuslines.net/
  6. I don't recall what time we left the ship, but we were very lucky with our timing .... the shuttle bus left the pier shortly after we boarded, and the city bus arrived at Largo della Pace a few minutes after we arrived. Both bus trips were about 10-15 minutes, so from ship to train station was about 30 minutes. So .....if you factor in missing each bus and having to wait 10-15 minutes for the next, plus the length of each ride, you'd give yourself 50-60 minutes. BTW, when we arrived at the train station there was a LONG line at the ticket machines and office for people buying tickets. I happened to notice a sign at the store next door " Round Trip tickets only". We planned on taking the train to San Pietro but on the return trip leave from Ostiense. We bought RT tickets to Ostiense and hopped off early. This was for the 9:30express. There were hardly any people on our train, coming or going. Very nice. https://civitavecchia.portmobility.it/en/civitavecchia-train-station
  7. longer port times and a Vancouver departure would be the winning factors for me. (and Vancouver is a fun and scenic place to visit .... rent bikes and peddle around Stanley Park, then go to Granville Market )
  8. Maybe I'm wrong but your response to Glaciers makes me think you're calling the Princess cruiseline number. The Fairbanks Lodge is closed for the winter so you can't contract their direct line, but you can call the Princess Lodge number 800 426 - 0500. https://www.princesslodges.com/princess-alaska-lodges/fairbanks-lodge/
  9. I assume you're getting TO Denali by train? The most efficient way to travel is via car so you have complete control over your schedule, but if you prefer to travel by train, I'd suggest the Park Connection Bus for the Denali - Anc - Whittier portion. The bus leaves Denali around 7am and arrives at the Anchorage Museum around 1:30. Their bus to Whittier leaves at 3pm also from the Museum. https://www.alaskacoach.com/schedule/ The company also sells pkg tours by train and/or bus, so you might want to talk to them about a pkg.
  10. Try googling each excursion to find the actual tour operator. Their web site might provide more details. Also, look on youtube for video of each. Being able to see the excursion might help you with the decision. Good luck !
  11. Based on prices listed on the Denali reservation site, the upgrade SHOULD cost about $60. The TWT costs $162 and the NHT is $ 102. The catch will be .... do you have time for a longer tour? You might also consider asking for a refund, then book a transit bus to Eielson Visitor Center (EVC) for $45, instead of the TWT. Both buses travel the same road, make the same stops for wildlife and bathroom breaks. The EVC is a lovely destination in itself.... awesome views if the mountain is out, exhibits, ranger hike at noon, trails, a bus dispatcher if you choose to take a different bus back, flush toilets, drinking fountains. Another advantage is the scheduling: the EVC buses leave every 30 minutes so you can choose a departure that works well for you. With the tour buses your departure is assigned and it might be as early as 6:40am or 1:40pm. Worth considering .... Details about the TWT and EVC transit in the following links: https://www.reservedenali.com/tours-transits/the-denali-tour-experience/tundra-wilderness-tour/ https://www.reservedenali.com/tours-transits/transits/eielson-visitor-center/
  12. You didn't post the GB4 itinerary but from what I can tell it only has 1 night in Denali: - Day 4 bus from Fairbanks to Denali - Day 5 train from Denali to Whittier. Typically with a one-night stop, you only have time for the Natural History Tour which only goes to Mile 30 of the park road. There are almost 90 miles of park road to travel!! Only going to mile 30 means you will miss out on the wildlife and scenery. ie prime bear viewing starts around mile 50. To be blunt, if you only go to mile 30, it's not worth going. I suggest you contact Princess and ask which Denali tour is provided. If it's the Natural History Tour, ask what time you will arrive to Denali. If you arrive early enough in the day you could upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour to mile 62, or better yet, take the transit bus to Eielson Visitor Center to 66. https://www.reservedenali.com/tours-transits/the-denali-tour-experience/tundra-wilderness-tour/ Since this is only a 4 night land tour, you could have easily done this as a DIY trip. DIY gives you more control of where to go and how long to stay. DIY doesn't mean you have to drive, you can travel by train the entire trip. If you won't want to bother with the research, Alaska Railroad offers pkg tours by train, an Alaska Tour & Travel offers tours by train and/or bus. https://www.alaskarailroad.com/travel-planning/packages/summer-packages https://www.alaskatravel.com/vacations/packages/
  13. Sitka ... without a doubt. (if you had your heart set on a fly in bear viewing tour, I'd say Ketchikan and go in July ) Sitka is not as visited as the other alaska ports so it's still quite charming. Lovely location, interesting Russian history, and stuff to see and do depending on your interests..... Russain Archangel dancers, the Raptor Center, Fortress of the bears. Check out the town web site for more info: https://visitsitka.org/things-to-do/placestovisit They used to have a free shuttle. Download the town Visitor Guide to see. https://view.joomag.com/visit-sitka-magazine-2019-20/0247774001549006184?short Ketchkan also has a town Visitor site and Visitor Guide to download: https://www.experienceketchikan.com/
  14. I'm assuming there are 4 people travelling based on all the luggage...... There is an additional fee if there are more than 4 of you sharing a cab. The additional fee for excess luggage seems to have been dropped. (When we're travelling we always ask the driver for an approx cost before we get in ) 30E is what people were reporting for the airport to Pl Catalunya area hotels. Fees in this doc: https://docs.amb.cat/alfresco/api/-default-/public/alfresco/versions/1/nodes/b0775b7a-3228-4567-b2e2-27d0e39c55c2/content/Tarifes 2020_14.12.2019.pdf?attachment=false&mimeType=application/pdf&sizeInBytes=79828
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