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Seward Bus or Train to Anchorage


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I am trying to decide on either taking the bus or train from Seward to Anchorage once we dock in Seward. If we take the bus, we have 3 options with ACT (Alaska Cruise Transfer): Direct transfer for $45/person , Narrated Wildlife Tour for $76/person  or Narrated Full Day Tour  for $167/person . Has anyone taken any of these options? What are your thoughts?

 

If we do the bus, we won't be able to do the Kenai Boat Tour in Seward. Is that worth going on the Kenai Boat Tour? I see that it leaves Seward at 8am. Would we have time when departing our Ship? Norwegian Jewel says that it docks at 5am. Would we be able to get off the ship before 8am? We will be bringing off our own luggage. Is there a place to store our luggage once off ship? Is there anything else to do in Seward if we decided to stay overnight there?

 

I see there is a 6pm train from Seward to Anchorage with the Adventure Class for $113/person. Is it worth the extra money for doing the Goildstar service instead of the Adventure Class? I will be doing the Goldstar service from Anchorage to Denali.

 

thanks

Melissa

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Between Anchorage & Seward, my first choice would be a rental car. The train would be my 2nd choice. A bus would be my third choice. 

 

And I know you didn't ask this, but between Anchorage and Denali, at rental car is way better than the train.

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2 hours ago, meliss35 said:

we won't be able to do the Kenai Boat Tour in Seward. Is that worth going on the Kenai Boat Tour?

 

The Kenai Fjords Tour is most assuredly worth the time and money.  I was not able to take it until 2019 and am thankful that I finally did it after my several trips to Alaska.

 

2 hours ago, meliss35 said:

Is there anything else to do in Seward if we decided to stay overnight there?

 

Yes!  Seward is an interesting little town quite unlike Anchorage.  The Alaska SeaLife Center is worth a visit.  

 

1 hour ago, AKStafford said:

Between Anchorage & Seward, my first choice would be a rental car. The train would be my 2nd choice. A bus would be my third choice. 

 

And I know you didn't ask this, but between Anchorage and Denali, at rental car is way better than the train.

 

The above poster offers excellent advice.  Having a rental car opens the possibilities of so many other places to visit en route to Anchorage and beyond.  

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5 hours ago, meliss35 said:

I am trying to decide on either taking the bus or train from Seward to Anchorage once we dock in Seward. If we take the bus, we have 3 options with ACT (Alaska Cruise Transfer): Direct transfer for $45/person , Narrated Wildlife Tour for $76/person  or Narrated Full Day Tour  for $167/person . Has anyone taken any of these options? What are your thoughts?

 

If we do the bus, we won't be able to do the Kenai Boat Tour in Seward. Is that worth going on the Kenai Boat Tour? I see that it leaves Seward at 8am. Would we have time when departing our Ship? Norwegian Jewel says that it docks at 5am. Would we be able to get off the ship before 8am? We will be bringing off our own luggage. Is there a place to store our luggage once off ship? Is there anything else to do in Seward if we decided to stay overnight there?

 

I see there is a 6pm train from Seward to Anchorage with the Adventure Class for $113/person. Is it worth the extra money for doing the Goildstar service instead of the Adventure Class? I will be doing the Goldstar service from Anchorage to Denali.

 

thanks

Melissa

 

How much more is the Goldstar service and what do you get for the money.  We obviously can  not give you an answer to that question until you give us that information.  My gut reaction is that the goldstar service is probably not worth the money.

 

DON

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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

 

How much more is the Goldstar service and what do you get for the money.  We obviously can  not give you an answer to that question until you give us that information.  My gut reaction is that the goldstar service is probably not worth the money.

 

DON

 

I agree. For the short distance between Seward and Anchorage, what is the benefit?  For a longer journey on the Alaska Railroad?  Yes.  It might be worthwhile if one would choose to book that service.  

 

I still think that the best option is to get a rental car because it increases one's options and flexibility to do "what one wants to do, whenever, wherever".  

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We have done the RCI cruise booked railroad when we had a flight after 2:00pm cruise end day and also done the ACT when we had a noon flight...both worked out fine for us...when having limited time.

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On 11/12/2020 at 9:26 AM, meliss35 said:

I.....

 

If we do the bus, we won't be able to do the Kenai Boat Tour in Seward. Is that worth going on the Kenai Boat Tour? I see that it leaves Seward at 8am. Would we have time when departing our Ship? Norwegian Jewel says that it docks at 5am. Would we be able to get off the ship before 8am? We will be bringing off our own luggage. Is there a place to store our luggage once off ship? Is there anything else to do in Seward if we decided to stay overnight there?

 

.....

 

thanks

Melissa

 

 

Melissa:  When I read your post I bumped up the very helpful list of planning resources thread which has been prepared by "mapleleaves."  You should find the Seward Visitor's Bureau website on that thread.

 

Regarding train versus bus transfers, while scenery is very subjective, a number of folks find that the Alaska Railroad route to be more scenic.  While much of the RR route and road are parallel, the RR diverts into a different valley which is very scenic.  That being said, you will also be happy with the drive.  And if you rent a vehicle you would have the option to drive into Girdwood (the tram to the top of the mountain at the Alyeska Resort offers stunning views on a nice day), stop at some of the scenic viewpoints along Cook Inlet and also visit Potter Marsh.

 

I have never been on a NCL ship, but unless the crossing through the Gulf of Alaska is incredibly rough, the ship should be docked in Seward well before 8 am.  Actually, the cruise line contracted ARR train departs early in the morning so the ship will be docked before 8.

 

Seward is a community where Alaskans go for recreation.  It feels very different from the cruise oriented ports in SE Alaska.  The Seward economy is not dominated by the cruise industry.  In addition to the already mentioned SeaLife Center other popular visitor attractions include Exit Glacier and day cruises into the Kenai Fjords National Park.

 

I don't know if what you mention as the "Kenai Boat Tour" is the name of a NCL post cruise excursion, but there are two major vendors offering day cruises into the KFNP.  My favorite is Major Marine, but folks are also happy with the other vendor too.  Just understand that the shorter 3 hour cruises don't leave Resurrection Bay; I think it is important to take the longer 6 or 8.5 hour tours as those tours leave the bay.  The owners of Major Marine also own the Harbor 360 Hotel, and at times they have a offered package deals.

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The kenai fjords folks have a kiosk in the terminal building.  They will take you and your luggage to their dock and store the luggage for you.  

IMO, the gold star class on the train is worth it.  It’s no more expensive than any four hour excursion in Alaska, and you get a much better view.  It’s like first class vs economy on a plane.

If the train is too pricey, you can take the Park Connection bus after the kenai fjords tour. 
https://www.alaskacoach.com/

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18 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

Just understand that the shorter 3 hour cruises don't leave Resurrection Bay; I think it is important to take the longer 6 or 8.5 hour tours as those tours leave the bay.  

 

I agree.  I would have been disappointed if I had chosen the short cruise in comparison to the longer one that I took.  

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On 11/14/2020 at 6:35 AM, Suzanne123 said:

The kenai fjords folks have a kiosk in the terminal building.  They will take you and your luggage to their dock and store the luggage for you.  

IMO, the gold star class on the train is worth it.  It’s no more expensive than any four hour excursion in Alaska, and you get a much better view.  It’s like first class vs economy on a plane.

If the train is too pricey, you can take the Park Connection bus after the kenai fjords tour. 
https://www.alaskacoach.com/

Agree completely with taking the Kenai Fjords tour.  I do this tour whenever I have the chance.  They will hold your luggage and you can make the train.  I prefer the goldstar train since I missed the best scenery in the silver.

 

Car rental is ideal but look at the one way cost before counting on that too much. 

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We did the Kenai Fjords tour and LOVED it. We did the shortest of the all day options so we could leave Resurrection Bay but didn't know about spending so many hours on the boat. Our ship left from Seward and we took the bus. We booked it as a package with our Kenai Fjords tour. The bus was fine- it was basically just a way to get from point a to point b. The train seemed more like an "event." However, I wouldn't give up the boat tour to take the train as the boat was awesome. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure which Kenai tour you are looking at but we did the 6 hr one with Major Marine. Saw a lot of wildlife and an amazing glacier BUT part is very rough and 2 of the 6 of us were seasick. 
 

I used Bear Paw Transportation (similar to ACT) and did a private half day. We really enjoyed the Wildlife Conservation center. 

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