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Advice about pre/post cruise transportation.


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Hi all. I am enjoying planning our back to back NCL cruise and was looking for some suggestions about pre cruise activities and transportation and post cruise transportation. We are a family of 5 with boys ages 5, 9 & 12. We will arrive in Anchorage at 6 pm on Saturday and need to board the ship in Whittier on Monday evening. We have tenatively booked a room at Alyeska for Saturday and Sunday (although it can be changed.)


I was looking for the best way to spend ~48 hours in the area between Anchorage/Girdwood/Whittier. And any advice about travel... Should we just rent a car? What would you not miss? We can hike, kayak, bike (although a little limited with a 5 y/o- but we are good at dividing and exploring different experiences if we need to too.)


Our return flight is at 5pm on Monday- the day of deportation. We will have been traveling for 16 days and just wanting to get home. (I know I will be!!) How do we get to the airport as efficiently but still enjoying it? Would a train be good? A bus? A car again?


Thanks in advance.


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I'd suggest picking up a rental car at the airport and driving directly to Alyeska ... it's only 40 minutes away. Having a car will give you the ability to explore the many points of interest along the Turnagain Arm .... pan for gold at Crow Creek Mine, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the boardwalk at Potters Marsh, look for sheep along the ridges, the Trail of Blue Ice at Williwaw, Portage Lake, Beggich Boggs Visitor Center. Lots to do!

To maximize your time, get a one-way rental from Avis ( the only vendor in Whittier). Then you can explore to your hearts content until late Mon afternoon then board the ship for dinner; maybe catch the 4:30pm tunnel opening to Whittier. (it's open on the half-hr going into Whittier) Google Anton Anderson Tunnel.

After the cruise ends in Whittier you can take a cruise transfer, Alaska Railroad, Park Connection bus, or private transfer company to Anchorage. See which one meets your schedule. Or rent another one-way car so that you can spend the day sightseeing in Anchorage.

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Spending two days in Girdwood/Alyeska without transportation would certainly be very limiting. The one-way car rental drop fee in Whittier can be a bit steep but is justified with everything you can do in that area, as mentioned. The tram at Alyeska is a great option when the weather is nice. There is also a fairly flat hike called the Winner Creek Trail that starts near the bottom of the tram. Family friendly and the reward is a hand tram that crosses Glacier Creek. The trick might be getting 5 plus two weeks of luggage into a rental. Try this site for transportation and general travel tips in the area.


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I would spend all day Sunday exploring Turnagain Arm. So much to keep you busy there.


You can access the hand tram from the Crow Creek Mine side of the trail. Much shorter hike to the hand tram.


Not too much to do in Whittier except Prince William Sound glacier tours (excellent), Portage Pass trail hike and the small but nice museum

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With your family size, my only suggestion is a car/van rental. Only company available will be AVIS. Vans are VERY limited, so, I suggest you call Anchorage directly, as Whittier is seasonal, if you first can not contact them first.


Staying in Alyeska, absolutely, you need a car. It's no place to be without one. Drive yourself to Whittier, can add a stop at the interesting Portage Visitor Center, and Wildlife Conservatory.


A Prince William Sound boat tour is superb for beauty and close up glacier viewing. This fits in great when in Whittier, either before or after your cruising.


Same transportation recommendations for the return, a car/van rental, is direct and offers good use of time.

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