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Y1L vs Y4T


aussiemandy
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I am in the early stages of planning a trip in 2016. I am interested in the HAL cruise and land tours, and have come across 2 that interest me - Y1L and Y4T, and their corresponding reverse tours. I have a found a great review on CC for Y4T but non for Y1L. As far as I can tell from reading the HAL and other websites is a flight from Dawson to Fairbanks (Y1L) instead of the long drive(Y4T). I was wondering what others have thought of the Y1L tour.

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Best to ask this on the Alaskan board.

 

I don't know about that. It's a HAL specific question so I think it may be best to post here. And, most posters there will tell the OP to DIY instead of booking through the cruise line.

 

OP, I can't really help you. When we did our cruise tour in 2006, it was set up differently. We took the river boat from Dawson City to Eagle, Alaska and then went via motorcoach to Tok and Fairbanks.

 

In looking at the two tours, I would say ours was closer to the itinerary of Y4T. We did the cruise first and land second.

 

If I were going to do this again, I would book the Y1L tour. It's longer, and gives you more time in Whitehorse. On our tour, we arrived late in the afternoon, rushed through dinner so that we could get to the show that evening and then left early in the morning for the long drive to Dawson City. Much too rushed and we didn't get to see much, if anything of Whitehorse. You'll also get more time in Fairbanks, Denali and Anchorage.

 

So, if you can afford the extra cost and time, go for the 20 day tour. And, my suggestion would be to do the land first and cruise second. But that will depend on when you're going. If you're going early in the season, do the cruise first. You want Denali to be fully open. (Although, one would think that HAL would know that and schedule accordingly.) Other times, do the land first and the cruise second. You can rest up, on the cruise, after the activity of the land tour. And, it's lovely being spoiled after the land tour. Doing the cruise first and then the land, it's quite a bit of a comedown. The hotels are not luxurious in Alaska.

Edited by Alberta Quilter
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I am in the early stages of planning a trip in 2016. I am interested in the HAL cruise and land tours, and have come across 2 that interest me - Y1L and Y4T, and their corresponding reverse tours. I have a found a great review on CC for Y4T but non for Y1L. As far as I can tell from reading the HAL and other websites is a flight from Dawson to Fairbanks (Y1L) instead of the long drive(Y4T). I was wondering what others have thought of the Y1L tour.

 

The Y1L sounds pretty much like the 19 day Y4T I took last year. The only difference appears to be one additional day in Anchorage (which I would have liked) and now you fly between Dawson and Fairbanks. I didn't mind the Top of the World Highway. The scenery is beautiful.

 

I did a trip report of this and it is in my signature below. It will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect on the Y1L trip.

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We are planning the exact same thing, also for 2016, but have already decided on the Y4T, just debating tour or cruise first.

 

Suggest you do the tour first. The land tour is tiring and you have a chance to rest during the cruise.

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If you have the time you need to spend at least 2 nights in each location so that you have time to see as much as possible. The Y1L sounds wonderful and gives you the full cruise and plenty of time in each location. Does it have the train to Seward and an overnight in Seward? if so, even better.

 

The best part for me of the land tour followed by the short cruise is the ride on the White Pass railroad down the mountain to Skagway. Be sure to include Glacier Bay in your four day cruise.

 

I was fortunate to be able to take the Yukon trip twice before they switched to the flight from Fairbanks to Dawson City but we always took the four day cruise with land first. I knew that we needed two nights in each location and we also got the overnight in Skagway which was really special.

 

Y4 only has one night in Dawson which was one of the highlights of our trip. You will be getting in one day and leaving early the next for a long bus ride to Whitehorse. I think you need two nights in Dawson City. One night in Whitehorse would be fine with me and one night in Fairbanks would be sufficient if you need to cut somewhere but not Dawson City.

 

Did you look at Y2L. It has two nights in Skagway and would give you an opportunity to go to Lake Bennett, rent a car, do some hiking, etc. Check the Lake Bennett schedule as the train does not go there every day and you can only get there by train or hiking (this was included a few years ago and I wish HAL would bring it back). Maybe they will by 2016....there is still time.

 

I am basing my recommendations on the current 2014 schedule In fact, you are looking at 2016 and I'm hoping they may make a few changes for that year as it is two years away.

 

Basically, the more time you can spend in Alaska, and if you can get two nights per location you will have spent your time well.

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Thanks to everyone for their input. I had already thought about doing the land tour first, but that may depend on matching dates with other tours. Shrimpboat, it was your review that I had read and have bookmarked for further study, you did a great job 'selling' the trip, loved all the pictures. It's great to get so many ideas, and helps when looking at the itineraries to really spot the differences.

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I don't know about that. It's a HAL specific question so I think it may be best to post here. And, most posters there will tell the OP to DIY instead of booking through the cruise line.

 

OP, I can't really help you. When we did our cruise tour in 2006, it was set up differently. We took the river boat from Dawson City to Eagle, Alaska and then went via motorcoach to Tok and Fairbanks.

 

In looking at the two tours, I would say ours was closer to the itinerary of Y4T. We did the cruise first and land second.

 

If I were going to do this again, I would book the Y1L tour. It's longer, and gives you more time in Whitehorse. On our tour, we arrived late in the afternoon, rushed through dinner so that we could get to the show that evening and then left early in the morning for the long drive to Dawson City. Much too rushed and we didn't get to see much, if anything of Whitehorse. You'll also get more time in Fairbanks, Denali and Anchorage.

 

So, if you can afford the extra cost and time, go for the 20 day tour. And, my suggestion would be to do the land first and cruise second. But that will depend on when you're going. If you're going early in the season, do the cruise first. You want Denali to be fully open. (Although, one would think that HAL would know that and schedule accordingly.) Other times, do the land first and the cruise second. You can rest up, on the cruise, after the activity of the land tour. And, it's lovely being spoiled after the land tour. Doing the cruise first and then the land, it's quite a bit of a comedown. The hotels are not luxurious in Alaska.

 

The reason I mentioned to check the Alaskan board is because some HAL people post reviews there and not here.

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Thanks to everyone for their input. I had already thought about doing the land tour first, but that may depend on matching dates with other tours. Shrimpboat, it was your review that I had read and have bookmarked for further study, you did a great job 'selling' the trip, loved all the pictures. It's great to get so many ideas, and helps when looking at the itineraries to really spot the differences.

 

I'm glad you found the review useful. I had a great time doing it.

 

My next adventure is going to be in your neck of the woods. New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific and Hawaii, re-positioning on the Oosterdam next April.

Edited by shrimpboat123
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  • 2 weeks later...

Starting to plan a trip for 2015. We are looking at Y2. (Land first) Shows day 8 on a bus after Whitehorse and going to Skagway - is this where you sleep?? Looks like the cruise portion starts on day 11 and ends on day 15. Only 4 days cruising? Also this looks like they do not go to Juneau. Would this be terrible to miss? We will also look at Princess to compare. Any helpful insights appreciated. Although, I probably will get more confused.

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Starting to plan a trip for 2015. We are looking at Y2. (Land first) Shows day 8 on a bus after Whitehorse and going to Skagway - is this where you sleep?? Looks like the cruise portion starts on day 11 and ends on day 15. Only 4 days cruising? Also this looks like they do not go to Juneau. Would this be terrible to miss? We will also look at Princess to compare. Any helpful insights appreciated. Although, I probably will get more confused.

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