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No/Low Frills Alternative?


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On 2/19/2021 at 7:44 AM, kochleffel said:

I'm seriously considering this. The barrier to planning is that the AMHS doesn't publish schedules or take reservations more than about 90 days in advance, which could be a problem if you want to go places with few hotel rooms, such as Skagway (more rooms are available in Haines).

 

In the current schedule, it would be possible to board the Matanuska in Bellingham, arrive at Ketchikan on Sunday morning, stay a day and night, then board the Kennicott on Monday morning and arrive in Juneau on Tuesday (there is only one week in April when this works) and stay several days. From there I would probably fly to Sitka, where there is also enough to warrant several days, and fly home from Sitka. Ferry from Juneau to Sitka is possible but the sailings are infrequent and some depart in the middle of the night.

 

So I'll be watching for the summer schedules to be released.

There is a nice Westmark Hotel in Skagway that HAL uses for their Yukon cruise tours.  If they are open they may have availability for 2021.  

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On 2/20/2021 at 4:18 PM, oaktreerb said:

There is a nice Westmark Hotel in Skagway that HAL uses for their Yukon cruise tours.  If they are open they may have availability for 2021.  

 

Thank you. All Westmark properties except Fairbanks and maybe Sitka are closed. The Denali location will open on May 28, but there is no forecast reopening date for any others. The Historic Skagway Inn is open and has rooms for the most likely dates.

 

The whole difficulty of this plan is needing to book hotels as soon as possible, without being sure what the ferry schedules will be. The Bellingham departure of the Matanuska on Fridays is unlikely to change, but everything else will stay up in the air until the summer schedules are published. One helpful thing about Skagway is that there is a lot of ferry service between there and Juneau.

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Update: the summer AMHS schedule is usually released at the beginning of March; last year it was on March 2. I learned on another site that the proposed schedule, however, was published in January.

 

It has the Matanuska leaving Bellingham on Wednesdays--for as long as I remember, the Bellingham departure has been on Fridays--and arriving at Ketchikan on Friday, Juneau on Saturday.

 

In alternate weeks, the Kennicott leaves Bellingham on Saturdays, arriving at Ketchikan on Monday and Juneau on Tuesday. (From Juneau the Kennicott continues across the Gulf of Alaska toward Homer.)

 

https://www.krbd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Summer2021TeleconferencePacket.pdf. The proposed schedule is in a different format from the multicolor grid used on the AMHS website and a bit difficult to interpret.

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2 hours ago, AKStafford said:

The summer schedule has been released. https://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/

Yes! I've been checking twice a day, and by the second time today, it had been. I've booked.

 

For anyone who's considering this, know that it's almost the opposite of cruise travel; cabins are very basic, no luxury at all. In fact, on the Kennicott, one option for cabins is a "roomette" with no services (not even a sink) and no linens, just bunks. There is no requirement to book a cabin for overnight travel. Many passengers sleep on loungers, often with sleeping bags, and it's possible to pitch a pup tent on the upper deck.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/4/2021 at 4:02 PM, diesel1973 said:

Have done some ferry trips in the past .1 out of Whittier to  Cordova r/t  and 1 from Homer to Kodiak r/t on the Vomit Comet. 16' seas on way to Kodiak causing some passengers heading to Dutch Harbor to turn around at Kodiak. Trip to Cordova was a whistle stop trip so we stopped at Chenega  to allow a resident to bring needed  supplies home( pick-up truck full of Miller Lite) She was met wih a crowd hugging and kissing her. Very interesting trips. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Supplies are important to a lot of folks in Alaska. I noticed the beer on a trip to Denali base camp in May of 2019.

Base-Camp-Denali-Supplies.jpg

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20 hours ago, masterdrago said:

Supplies are important to a lot of folks in Alaska. I noticed the beer on a trip to Denali base camp in May of 2019.

Base-Camp-Denali-Supplies.jpg

That looks like PBR. Seems like that is a premium beer up there. Down here, not so much.

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8 hours ago, diesel1973 said:

That looks like PBR. Seems like that is a premium beer up there. Down here, not so much.

 

Your eyesight must be better than mine to see that!  Alaska has some wonderful brews made in Alaska!

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5 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Your eyesight must be better than mine to see that!  Alaska has some wonderful brews made in Alaska!

I'll drink to that.  Growler, don't leave home without it! One of my favorites is Oatmeal Stout from Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage. Not very fond of IPA's.

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Yes, Alaska some really great beers. (I DO like IPAs and the No Woman, No Cryo from Girdwood Brewing tops my list. But I digress.) When visiting a real Alaskan Bar (an activity I highly recommend). you will find the locals often drinking "the cheap stuff" (PBR, Bud, Coors, etc.) while the tourists are drinking  "the good stuff" - Alaskan craft beers. It all boils down to economics: the PBR is probably $2-$3 while the Alaskan beers will $5-$6 or more. If you're hanging out there year round, your beer budget goes a lot farther with PBR.

 

I was afraid this thread was getting off topic, but I thing this fits perfectly with the No/Low Frills Alternative title.

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6 hours ago, kennystwin said:

Girdwood Brewing

 

My Alaskan citizen Nephew introduced me to this company.  Don't recall the beer, but we had lunch at a small restaurant in Girdwood and I had one of their beers.  Very good and I'll pay whatever the price may be.  

 

6 hours ago, kennystwin said:

while the tourists are drinking  "the good stuff" - Alaskan craft beers. It all boils down to economics: the PBR is probably $2-$3 while the Alaskan beers will $5-$6 or more. If you're hanging out there year round, your beer budget goes a lot farther with PBR.

 

Not surprising at all.  The good people of Alaska are being sensible with their beer budget as I am with my daily preferred beverage of Sauvignon Blanc.  I prefer the "better stuff" such as The Crossings or Villa Maria.  I keep them for a "treat".  I have found a quite acceptable more inexpensive wine.  Not sure what my Nephew's regular beverage of choice is, but, I think, it an Alaskan brewed beer or a whisky (but not one that I like).  

 

To each his/her own!

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