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About AKStafford

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    Wasilla, Alaska
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  1. The summer schedule has been released. https://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/
  2. AKStafford

    Denali in May?

    Denali National Park never closes. It's the park road that closes in the winter. The road opens up as weather allows. They just opened it to 12.5 mile, but a snow fall could close it again. So even if the road is open, the shuttle buses do not start running until May 20, and then only to Toklat. The run to the Eielson Visitor Center doesn't begin until June 1st. You can see the details here: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm Can I make a suggestion? Skip the pre-packaged tour from the cruise line and put together your own great trip using a rental car. There
  3. The Alaska Marine Highway ferries are still traveling between Bellingham, Washington & Southeast Alaska. No border crossing needed.
  4. As other's have pointed out... It's the Passenger Vessel Service Act that applies to passenger vessels like cruise ships. Not the Jones Act.
  5. Yeah... we need the economic activity Come on up! Wear your mask and there's plenty of room for social distancing.
  6. Or avoid the poor choices of the prepackaged tours from the cruise lines and put together your own great trip. There's nothing the cruise lines offer that you can't book independently and often for cheaper. You can move at your own pace and see what you want to see on you terms.
  7. Yep. We are ready for business. As far as cruises go, I think the easiest answer would be to get Congress to temporarily suspend the requirements of the Passenger Vessel Service Act so ships could go directly between Seattle & Alaska without a stop in Canada.
  8. If it was me, I'd give myself 6 to 8 hours to get from Anchorage to Denali National Park. You might be able to do it faster, but I'd allow the extra time. Visiting Talkeetna & the Matanuska Glacier going or coming works. So yes, 7 days will be enough time. But, Canada just closed their ports for the rest of the year, so Alaska cruises aren't happening.
  9. I grew up riding the ferries in Southeast Alaska. They run at inconvenient times, most ferry docks are way out of town. Cabins are basic, but you don't even really need a cabin if you don't mind sleeping in the lounge or up in the solarium. They aren't cheap though. But if you want to see Southeast via the water and avoid the cruiselines, then they can work.
  10. Maybe this will help force an altering of the Passenger Vessel Services Act that requires the stop in a foreign port...
  11. Your dates should work out just fine. You should get the last of the fall colors. I would put Denali National Park at the beginning of your time. Remember, it takes the better part of a day to get to Denali National Park from Anchorage. And then I'd use the shuttle buses (not a tour) to spend a full day going into the park: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm . And then a day back to Anchorage. Going and/coming, you'd have time for maybe Talkeetna or Hatcher Pass or the Matanuska Glacier. And all of that is assuming you'll have a rental car. If you are looking to rely on trains
  12. When in September is your trip? After the first couple of weeks, many of the summer visitor season activities begin to shut down. So whether you are travelling independently or as part of a cruisetour, some things will not be available if you wait until too late in September. There's nothing a cruise tour offers that you can't do on your own. I drove motorcoach for those cruisetours for two summers and based on that, I recommend people do their own trip with a rental car.
  13. Cruise season and it being dark enough to see the Aurora don't have much overlap.
  14. The TripAdvisor forums for Alaska travel can be pretty helpful: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28923-i349-Alaska.html And www.TheMilepost.com has some good info. Each port city has their own visitor's information site. You didn't list which ports you are visiting, so I'll guess at a few: https://www.traveljuneau.com/ https://www.visit-ketchikan.com/ https://skagway.com/ https://icystraitpoint.com/
  15. Here's the local news source. https://www.chilkatvalleynews.com/ It's pretty bad. The Governor has declared a disaster and all kinds of state & federal agencies were on scene. They've ended the search & rescue effort for the two that are still missing and moving into recovery stage: https://www.juneauempire.com/news/state-calls-off-active-search-and-rescue-operations-in-haines/
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