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Alaska Travel Planning Series


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The first video in a series on Alaska Travel will premiere tonight on my YT channel.  This video provides an overview of Alaska, and then subsequent videos will cover planning for an Inside passage cruise, a north or southbound cruise, and a cruise tour.  This series will cover all the cruise ports in Alaska, and also the land options pre or post cruise.  This goes live at 6:00PM EDT on Wednesday 6.10.2020. 

 

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No, this one is all research, other than my trips to Fairbanks, Anchorage, and 2 inside passage cruises, 1 including Seward and the train to Anchorage.  I did a lot of research, trying to put this together because I see so many people asking questions.  On my channel, I have information from port experts, either tour providers, or visitors bureaus, and individuals with more experience than I have.  In the next month, I have representatives from the visitors bureaus from Seward, Vancouver, and Skagway, I have a local provider in Sitka that will be on my show, and more for July.  My goal is to make this series useful, accurate, and comprehensive.

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2 hours ago, misguy said:

No, this one is all research, other than my trips to Fairbanks, Anchorage, and 2 inside passage cruises, 1 including Seward and the train to Anchorage.  I did a lot of research, trying to put this together because I see so many people asking questions.  On my channel, I have information from port experts, either tour providers, or visitors bureaus, and individuals with more experience than I have.  In the next month, I have representatives from the visitors bureaus from Seward, Vancouver, and Skagway, I have a local provider in Sitka that will be on my show, and more for July.  My goal is to make this series useful, accurate, and comprehensive.

But,  in my opinion a lot is to be said for first hand experience- with no other agenda than being a visitor. .   Your "speakers",  sometimes have sales slant,  that is very one sided.   

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In general they don't because I let them know ahead of time that I am not doing commercials for them.  The visitors bureaus are obviously trying to encourage visitors.  I ask about what should a first time visitor do, and what should returning visitors do and what is available for those that travel with challenges.  

 

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2 hours ago, misguy said:

In general they don't because I let them know ahead of time that I am not doing commercials for them.  The visitors bureaus are obviously trying to encourage visitors.  I ask about what should a first time visitor do, and what should returning visitors do and what is available for those that travel with challenges.  

 

I fully understand the challenges,  and an excellent service to have details with.

 

Again,  my opinion.   I never make any claims separating first time visitors.    The touring options aren't any different.   Do your homework and choose your touring priority.    There are no MUST dos that I ever suggest.   I typically suggest-  not being steered into the "common" bulk tours and look beyond.    The options are endless,  and even with 20 trips,  you will always find something new.  🙂

 

Have a great return visit-   it's paradise.   

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I suggest that there are things that done once may not need or want to be done on the next visit, so that is why I ask the questions that way.  For example in Ketchikan, if they have done the Lumberjack show, and they are coming back for another trip, they might want to do the Deadliest Catch, or in Juneau if the went to Mendenhall the first time, they might do something else on the next visit.  

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Looking forward to see the cruise tour video as our 8nt land portion is going to Fairbanks, Denali, Copper River and Kenai.  Any and all suggestions will help in finalizing our excursions. 😊

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We will eventually look at all the different ports and things to see and do.  I am sure your land portion is going to be amazing.  This week's show will feature the Seward Visitors Bureau.

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11 hours ago, szubieta said:

Looking forward to see the cruise tour video as our 8nt land portion is going to Fairbanks, Denali, Copper River and Kenai.  Any and all suggestions will help in finalizing our excursions. 😊

Are you 2 nights at each location?     Very nice ,  just be prepared for a lot of transit time.  🙂    There is not much going on at the Kenai and Copper River properties,   but superb-   for wildlife is a Kenai Fjords tour-  needing at least 6 hours on the water.    It should be offered through your lodge.    My reason for being in the Copper River area is for Kennicott// McCarthy.   But, not known what tours are available for you,  via the lodge.   It's basically impossible to do anything independent in either of these locations.     You're not staying at the McKinley Princess?    Fairbanks is best gotten into,  early as you see little of the area on tours.   A car is necessary in my opinion,  or consider flying or a Coldfoot fly/road combo tour above the Arctic Circle.  

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6 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Are you 2 nights at each location?     Very nice ,  just be prepared for a lot of transit time.  🙂    There is not much going on at the Kenai and Copper River properties,   but superb-   for wildlife is a Kenai Fjords tour-  needing at least 6 hours on the water.    It should be offered through your lodge.    My reason for being in the Copper River area is for Kennicott// McCarthy.   But, not known what tours are available for you,  via the lodge.   It's basically impossible to do anything independent in either of these locations.     You're not staying at the McKinley Princess?    Fairbanks is best gotten into,  early as you see little of the area on tours.   A car is necessary in my opinion,  or consider flying or a Coldfoot fly/road combo tour above the Arctic Circle.  

Yes, we are staying at each lodge for 2 nights.  We are flying into Fairbank early and we will not be doing the dredge/river tour as we have a dredge here in Idaho that we have seen. I'll keep flying to that Artic Circle in mind for Fairbanks. Currently, at Kenai we are hiking to the Exit Glacier.  At Copper River we are doing the Kennicott mines/McCarthy (12.75 hrs🙃).  9 hours on the road to both Copper River and Kenai will be a lot, but we have traveled on vacation up to 12 hours in a day quite often.  Hopefully we might see some wildlife and they do stop every 90 minutes.  Sadly we are not staying at the McKinley, but maybe next time. 😊  Since we are just over a year out, things can change.  I'm already planning on an Alaskan road trip with our trailer, after I retire in two years, so we can really enjoy Alaska and Canada over a few months time.😄 

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11 minutes ago, szubieta said:

Yes, we are staying at each lodge for 2 nights.  We are flying into Fairbank early and we will not be doing the dredge/river tour as we have a dredge here in Idaho that we have seen. I'll keep flying to that Artic Circle in mind for Fairbanks. Currently, at Kenai we are hiking to the Exit Glacier.  At Copper River we are doing the Kennicott mines/McCarthy (12.75 hrs🙃).  9 hours on the road to both Copper River and Kenai will be a lot, but we have traveled on vacation up to 12 hours in a day quite often.  Hopefully we might see some wildlife and they do stop every 90 minutes.  Sadly we are not staying at the McKinley, but maybe next time. 😊  Since we are just over a year out, things can change.  I'm already planning on an Alaskan road trip with our trailer, after I retire in two years, so we can really enjoy Alaska and Canada over a few months time.😄 

Exit Glacier is ok.  🙂   It has receded so significantly.  It isn't all that impressive any longer.  Not sure but you are all day hiking of  the Harding Field?   

 

Kennicott Mine is excellent.   BUT,  flying in is spectacular which I mostly do.   The road is via the old rr bed and sometimes not in the best of shape.     

 

Currently-   were these bookings via Princess?     

 

I highly recommend Northern Alaska tours  for their fly/road combo out of Fairbanks to Coldfoot-   But-  I never recommend the round trip road tour.   IF you want to go above the Arctic Circle it is a very well run,  long established company,    I have used them several times.  

 

You aren't likely to see much wildlife in transit.    Alaska is a big place.    And if it is seen-   buses don't typically stop.    IF you can manage it-  Denali and Kenai Fjords are your top two jackpots.   I typically enter Denali multiple times.   You never know what you'll see.    Depending when you get there-   considering the transit buses is something I take advantage of every time I'm there.   Eielson-  is my minimum distance. 

 

The dredge-  is nothing like what you've been to.   This also usually includes a stop at the Pipeline which is very interesting-   and you have paid for this tour,   may want to rethink your idea of skipping it.     As I mentioned-  being your arriving early-   I'd suggest for as long as you possibility can.    Especially with a wildlife priority,  you could add additional time at Denali/

 

Kennicott Mine-  is extremely interesting and I'm sure you will enjoy it.  It is a short uphill trail climb then back through the mine.     If you are given free time  visiting the small museum is also worthwhile.    

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On 6/12/2020 at 8:44 AM, Budget Queen said:

Exit Glacier is ok.  🙂   It has receded so significantly.  It isn't all that impressive any longer.  Not sure but you are all day hiking of  the Harding Field?   

 

Kennicott Mine is excellent.   BUT,  flying in is spectacular which I mostly do.   The road is via the old rr bed and sometimes not in the best of shape.     

 

Currently-   were these bookings via Princess?     

 

I highly recommend Northern Alaska tours  for their fly/road combo out of Fairbanks to Coldfoot-   But-  I never recommend the round trip road tour.   IF you want to go above the Arctic Circle it is a very well run,  long established company,    I have used them several times.  

 

You aren't likely to see much wildlife in transit.    Alaska is a big place.    And if it is seen-   buses don't typically stop.    IF you can manage it-  Denali and Kenai Fjords are your top two jackpots.   I typically enter Denali multiple times.   You never know what you'll see.    Depending when you get there-   considering the transit buses is something I take advantage of every time I'm there.   Eielson-  is my minimum distance. 

 

The dredge-  is nothing like what you've been to.   This also usually includes a stop at the Pipeline which is very interesting-   and you have paid for this tour,   may want to rethink your idea of skipping it.     As I mentioned-  being your arriving early-   I'd suggest for as long as you possibility can.    Especially with a wildlife priority,  you could add additional time at Denali/

 

Kennicott Mine-  is extremely interesting and I'm sure you will enjoy it.  It is a short uphill trail climb then back through the mine.     If you are given free time  visiting the small museum is also worthwhile.    

At this time just the Exit Glacier hike of the Harding Field.  We are doing things that my sister and brother-in-law haven't done also.  But things can change.  Only the Kennicott Mine and the Denali Tundra tour are thru Princess.  And of course the dredge/riverboat.  I appreciate your suggestions and will review with my sister since she has been to Alaska a number of times, she is our tour guide this trip, so to speak. 😊

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