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Rail or Bus from Denali to Whittier


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Comparing Princess and Holland America Alaska cruise tours.  It seems as though HAL transports you from Anchorage to Denali via Rail, and then from Denali to Whittier via Bus.

 

Princess seems to do it in reverse.  Bus to Denali and Rail from Denali to Whittier.

 

Which seems better?  I think I'd prefer the Rail from Denali to Whittier VS. taking the bus.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

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1 hour ago, LeeW said:

Rail from Denali to Whittier is a very long trip.  Slow and stops in Anchorage.  Good trip, just probably twice as long as a bus.

You know, I think I realized that because I went to Google Maps.  But, what I don't understand is why the rail is slower.  Does it make multiple stops?  Or is it one stop in Anhorage which is a long stop.

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3 hours ago, MudderBear said:

You know, I think I realized that because I went to Google Maps.  But, what I don't understand is why the rail is slower.  Does it make multiple stops?  Or is it one stop in Anhorage which is a long stop.

Train speeds are slow - in some areas.

 

Southbound trip -  quick stop in Wasilla for a crew change - quick stop in Anc to put on some check-in staff

 

Northbound trip - quick Crew Change in Anc.

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Rail is beautiful.  We've gone twice from Denali to Whittier and once on our own from Denali to Anchorage on our own.  The scenery is stunning and the train is very comfortable.  Plus Princess personnel will board in Wasilla to check everyone in so once you arrive in Whittier you just walk right on the ship.  A very nice way to go.

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The tracks are not the greatest and hence the train has to go slow.  Also there are curves and embankments that could be a problem.  I have ridden the train and had a GPS with me.  The train traveled mostly at 20+ MPH but at times reached the harrowing speed of 30 MPH.  The bus is faster of course but the train is a whole lot more scenic and comfortable.  I will take the train any day over the bus.  Also mentioned was the one lane tunnel near Whittier and the train always has the right-of-way while the motorized traffic waits. 

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23 hours ago, paradiselivin1 said:

Have done both on different cruises and much preferred the train. Beautiful ride. I frankly didn't care how long it would take as I love trains!

agreed, when on holiday time and how long it takes, gets little to no consideration from me.

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The train ride from Denali to Whittier was just amazing.  The train ride was on our bucket list and it did not disappoint.  The only very small disadvantage was that we were some of the last people to board the ship as we were on a Princess land tour.  If we were on my own we might arrive in Whittier a day early and enjoy the surrounding area.  We spend an extra full day in Anchorage and drove down before our cruise instead. 

 

Our trip was last June,  but it seems like a long time ago.  Something our family will always remember and cherish.

 

Enjoy
 

 

Edited by jagoffee
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I would look at the overall trip and not just this one portion. I prefer Princess cruises over HAL ones. When we took our cruise tour several years ago, we had an overnight in Anchorage. We were on the train from Fairbanks to Denali and then buses the rest of the way. The buses were comfortable. We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center that morning. The driver had it timed so that we did not have a very long wait to go through the tunnel.

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