It’s all WalleyLJ’s fault.One point- you really need to plan your Homer bear trip day 5- if I am reading this correctly- 2 days are an absolute min, to allow. Cancelations happen. I met someone last year who couldn't get a flight out for 3 days and they missed their cruise. Of no concern for you, but you have some hefty cancelation fees or no refunds for some reservations.
When I sat down to start planning our next cruise, Alaska was on our horizon. As we already love cruising, it seemed like a natural choice given that we would be seeing Alaska from the bow of a ship. But then I saw WalleyLJ’s review. It STARTS with a flight out of Homer to fly 100 miles even more remote, and then literally have lunch with Grizzly bears in the wild. When I saw his amazing pictures, I kept hearing that voice in my head, the one that won’t go away: “You HAVE to do this”.
And the more I have researched about Alaska, which is already a lifelong dream, it seems that going land-based may be the better way to do. We love cruising for all the advantages it offers, especially being able to see so much in such a short period of time.
But Alaska seems to be a place that lends to a much more immersive experience. As I continued my research, I came to realize that you obviously can’t do it all in one trip, and I would have to be selective. Even with that, I realized that, to do all the things we want to do, a week isn’t going to cut it. After further research I managed to whittle it down to 10 days:
Day1 - Flights from Nashville – 1300(round trip)
Day1 - Anchorage B&B - 150
Day2 - rental car from Anchorage, 3 days - 210
Day 2 - Hike Portage glacier(Portage pass) - 0
Day2-4 - Bear Lake Lodging, Seward 3 nights - 645
Day3 - Ultimate Aialik Kayak, Liquid Adventures - 798
Day4 - Hike Harding Ice Field - 0
Day5 – Seward to Homer, need activity (Major Marine cruise?)
Day5-6 - Homer lodging - 200
Day6 - Kbay Air bear viewing - 1300
Day7 – Transit Homer to Anchorage, flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska Air - 400
Day7-10 - Alaska's Capital Inn, Juneau - 800
Day8 - Harv and Marv whale tour - 300
Day8 - Mendenhall shuttle bus - 40
Day9 - Above & Beyond ice cave hike - 200
Day10 - Salmon fishing(TBD) - 600
Day11 – return home
Now, I know this is an ambitious (and expensive) itinerary, and not relaxing in the least. I also know that weather and logistics can and most likely will prevent at least one of the above from happening. But this would meet all of our priorities for Alaska, which include scenery, wildlife including brown bears and whales, “active” excursions including hiking, kayaking and fishing. This also provides plenty of opportunities for glacier viewing. And it does all of these things in a way that I haven’t been able to match up to any researched cruise itinerary.
Obviously this is a very rough itinerary that needs a lot of work, but certainly is a good start to what I am looking to do. I am interested in opinions and feedback as to the feasibility of this admittedly ambitious plan.
I am one to think people are too quick to find out what "others" have done, and tend to duplicate, even when they aren't real taken by a tour/location etc.
Good for you, thinking for yourself, and taking this planning where YOU want to go. Continued fine tuning will only make it better.