By Shannon and Tom Renick
Hopefully, you had a chance to read our post from yesterday about Alaska at Sea. I will tell you again that this is a must at least once. During the summer, the weather in Alaska is pretty warm with some rain. The most we needed was a light jacket!
If you have more than a week, I recommend a one-way cruise so that you can venture out into Alaska a little more.
Typically itineraries are northbound and southbound. If doing a northbound cruise, you would plan to do your land tour after your cruise portion. With southbound voyages, you would do them before.
We did a northbound itinerary on the Royal Princess, which docks in Whittier.
Whittier is close to Anchorage. However, it is remote. We recommend a prearranged transfer. If you opt for a cruise tour through Princess, your transportation to your destination will be on the train. Princess truly makes the cruise tour stress-free. They take care of lodging, transfers, and luggage.
Because we had a large group, we booked a private transfer to Anchorage to drop off some of our group at the airport and pick up our rental for our land tour. Our transfer included a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The driver was knowledgeable about the area. He shared some history of Alaska on our journey. They do have concessions here if you want to grab a snack. We had the reindeer sausage, which is an Alaskan specialty. You have to try it while you are in Alaska.
Once we picked up our rental, we headed to Talkeetna. While in Talkeetna, we took a flightseeing tour of Denali with a glacier landing. If you include Talkeetna on your land tour, this is a must-do! I have included some pictures below. The flight tour was by far our favorite experience! One of the photos is a picture of “base camp” at Denali. This location is where people acclimate before or after climbing the mountain!
The final part of our trip was driving to Denali National Park. We stopped at the Mt McKinley Princess Lodge on the way for lunch. This location provides spectacular views of Denali. If you are a fan of the show Treehouse Masters, you can visit one of their treehouses with a stunning view of Denali. The lodge is beautiful as well. The lodge would be a perfect place to stay on your Alaskan journey.
Once in the Denali area, we took a guided 8-hour bus tour through the National Park Service. They do offer shorter and longer versions of the tour.
There were plenty of bathroom stops along the way. We did get a snack box, but I would recommend bringing some food. We packed sandwiches, fruit, and waters. The park is beautiful. We saw lots of wildlife and stunning views of Denali. If you have more time, you can come back into Denali and hike on your own. There is a bus route that goes through the park for drop-offs and pickups!
We highly recommend Alaska and can help you in visiting this beautiful location. Feel free to reach out with any questions!
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