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Alaska Cruise Land Tours- Questions


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Going on the Celebrity Millennium on 8/5/22 out of Vancouver to Seward then we are doing a land tour though Denali, etc. after the 7 night cruise- New to this experience and wanted to know what is typically included in the Land Tour portion-  Meals, Excursions, free time, Tips, Any extra costs, etc.??  Any info is appreciated or any other experiences that you may want to share.   Thanks Much-  Stay Safe

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5 hours ago, Cruising to Retirement said:

Going on the Celebrity Millennium on 8/5/22 out of Vancouver to Seward then we are doing a land tour though Denali, etc. after the 7 night cruise- New to this experience and wanted to know what is typically included in the Land Tour portion-  Meals, Excursions, free time, Tips, Any extra costs, etc.??  Any info is appreciated or any other experiences that you may want to share.   Thanks Much-  Stay Safe

Tips and meals are not included. And dining prices are higher in Alaska than the lower 48. Lodging and some excursions are included but you can add excursions at your own cost. Did the 3 day land tour 4 years ago and doing it again this summer. You will have some free time. I don’t think Celebrity is real forthcoming with info on these land tours. But trust me, they will explain it all before you need to know it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have done the Alaska land tour with Celebrity/RC twice.  It was a wonderful tour both times.  And your "tour guide" will provide you with all the info as you go.   

 

If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer.   

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We are going on 8A also (8/19). Go to Celebrity's Website and look at the Alaska 2022 brochure. Has at least some detail. No included meals. Included excursions in Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. Found details about other "land tour" excursions in port-by-port guide on C's website.

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On 6/28/2022 at 9:47 AM, itsanita said:

We have done the Alaska land tour with Celebrity/RC twice.  It was a wonderful tour both times.  And your "tour guide" will provide you with all the info as you go.   

 

If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer.   

Just was looking for some general info- accommodations, transportation, extra costs, free time.. Thanks for any info-- 

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Basic hotel lodgings and transportation to and from excursion events.

Meals - some may be included i.e. box lunch - water and maybe some

soft drinks.

As for TIPS - token tip to room steward/maid at the hotel - anyone handling

your heavy excess luggage - bus tour guide based on information  presented

this done at the end of travel. No rule of thumb or mandatory amount.

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On 6/29/2022 at 8:51 PM, Cruising to Retirement said:

Just was looking for some general info- accommodations, transportation, extra costs, free time.. Thanks for any info-- 

 

We were treated very well!   We packed what we needed for the land part in one suitcase and the other suitcase they kept for us on the bus.  We could get to it if we needed, but did not have to deal with it while on land.

Not sure if they are still doing this, but we were given our room keys for the hotel before we even got off the bus, so no waiting around in the hotel lobby.  

 

The excursions were given to us and explained when we met up the first day.  We did not need to make any decisions until it got closer, so we could decide based on weather etc.

 

NOt sure if you are going on the train.  The train ride was incredible; we enjoyed Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers while waiting for our turn for a meal.  The leather bucket seats on the top floor (accessible by an elevator or spiral staircase!) were very comfortable and the car had 2 restrooms, one w/c accessible.   The staff was so very knowledgeable about every area we traveled through.  The dinning room was on the bottom floor of the train car, and we all took turns going down for our meal.  The food was excellent, but not included.  You paid for what you ate and drank. 

 

Not sure what your stops are?  Going as far as Fairbanks/  A really neat little city.  Stopping in Talkeetna?  Anchorage/Girdwood?  I don't want to rattle on if your not stopping there.  

 

Your going late in August, so depending on how far east you go...you may get to see the Northern Lights.  If so, ask for a 'wake up call' at your hotel's front desk and if they are 'out' they will call your room and wake you up.  We spent some time in jammies outside with fellow travelers several times!!  

We tipped the bus driver and our tour guide at the end of the tour.  Both deserved it !!  I can't remember how much, but I think on the information papers that they gave us the first day outlined a suggested tip per person per day.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, itsanita said:

 

We were treated very well!   We packed what we needed for the land part in one suitcase and the other suitcase they kept for us on the bus.  We could get to it if we needed, but did not have to deal with it while on land.

Not sure if they are still doing this, but we were given our room keys for the hotel before we even got off the bus, so no waiting around in the hotel lobby.  

 

The excursions were given to us and explained when we met up the first day.  We did not need to make any decisions until it got closer, so we could decide based on weather etc.

 

NOt sure if you are going on the train.  The train ride was incredible; we enjoyed Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers while waiting for our turn for a meal.  The leather bucket seats on the top floor (accessible by an elevator or spiral staircase!) were very comfortable and the car had 2 restrooms, one w/c accessible.   The staff was so very knowledgeable about every area we traveled through.  The dinning room was on the bottom floor of the train car, and we all took turns going down for our meal.  The food was excellent, but not included.  You paid for what you ate and drank. 

 

Not sure what your stops are?  Going as far as Fairbanks/  A really neat little city.  Stopping in Talkeetna?  Anchorage/Girdwood?  I don't want to rattle on if your not stopping there.  

 

Your going late in August, so depending on how far east you go...you may get to see the Northern Lights.  If so, ask for a 'wake up call' at your hotel's front desk and if they are 'out' they will call your room and wake you up.  We spent some time in jammies outside with fellow travelers several times!!  

We tipped the bus driver and our tour guide at the end of the tour.  Both deserved it !!  I can't remember how much, but I think on the information papers that they gave us the first day outlined a suggested tip per person per day.  

 

 

Going out of Seward after disembarking, Then Talkeetna to Denali to Anchorage- We will be taking the Train also. 

Few questions- what types of Side excursions were available during the Land Tour (heard there might be a supplemental land excursion of Denali?)  We would love to see more of Denali- if possible.  How were the hotel accommodations?  Meal options? Was the Train car exclusive to Celebrity land tour guests?  Any free time to explore the towns?  Any paperwork that you can post would be great.  When did you take the Cruise Land Tour, recently?   Were you on Millennium, that is what we are cruising from Vancouver... any impressions from the Cruise itself or tips along the way... Thanks for the invaluable info.. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 1:16 AM, don't-use-real-name said:

Basic hotel lodgings and transportation to and from excursion events.

Meals - some may be included i.e. box lunch - water and maybe some

soft drinks.

As for TIPS - token tip to room steward/maid at the hotel - anyone handling

your heavy excess luggage - bus tour guide based on information  presented

this done at the end of travel. No rule of thumb or mandatory amount.

I assume all Tips had to be done with Cash?  Thanks   When did you take your trip?  On Millennium?  Any impressions along the way... Thanks again.. 

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2 hours ago, Cruising to Retirement said:

Going out of Seward after disembarking, Then Talkeetna to Denali to Anchorage- We will be taking the Train also. 

Few questions- what types of Side excursions were available during the Land Tour (heard there might be a supplemental land excursion of Denali?)  We would love to see more of Denali- if possible.  How were the hotel accommodations?  Meal options? Was the Train car exclusive to Celebrity land tour guests?  Any free time to explore the towns?  Any paperwork that you can post would be great.  When did you take the Cruise Land Tour, recently?   Were you on Millennium, that is what we are cruising from Vancouver... any impressions from the Cruise itself or tips along the way... Thanks for the invaluable info.. 

We started at Fairbanks and went toward Seward...the opposite of what you are doing.  

 

Yes, the Train car is exclusive to Celebrity land tour guest.  The Celebrity train car is The Wilderness Express.  Both RC and Celebrity use the same train cars.  Each cruise line seemed to have their own train cars, which were attached to the Alaskan rail cars, ours being the newest and largest.  We were traveling with another couple and our train car allowed us to turn the two seats in front of us around, and put a table between the four seats, making a kind of "booth".  We had read about that possibility on these boards.  We had to ask them to do this, but they were very willing.  There is a constant influx of information and history about the areas we were traveling through.   The bar was open the entire time, and dining in the bottom level.  All extra $.

The car had outside viewing areas that were also great for picture taking.  

 

In Denali we got off the train, boarded our bus at the train station and were given our room keys.  The hotel, the Grand Denali, was nice, great views; rooms clean and new but nothing real fancy. It did have a restaurant and snack area.   We were there before 'urber eats', so you probably have more meal options.  Upon arrival at the hotel, we went straight to our room, luggage already there.  The 8-hour tour in Denali N'l Park, the Tundra Wildlife Search, was included in our tour, so with a quick grab at lunch at the hotel, we boarded the park bus, right at our hotel (wheelchairs were accommodated here as well, and the restroom stops were very frequent).  If you don't have the 8 hour tour, you may want to see if you can add it instead of the shorter tour.  The bus itself is a school bus, they had a TV set hooked up to a ‘scope’ that the driver had so she/he could zoom in on the animals we came across and we could see them on the TV screen.  The tour into the park was incredible.  We saw 5 different grisly bear, moose, elk, sheep, etc.  The only thing we did not see was Mt. McKinley, as it was in the clouds.  Great trip, with a nice snack and a bottle of water given to us to enjoy anytime during the ride, and frequent stops at very clean, well-maintained rest rooms.    The few children on board seemed to have a wonderful time, taken in by the scenery and animals.  We got back around 9:30pm, had dinner at the hotel on our own, and straight to bed.  We should have just ordered pizza, as we were too tired to enjoy what was a very expensive meal at the hotel.  On our second time there, we just ate cheese and crackers that we had brought with us, had a drink and then straight to bed.  We had a wake up call for the northern lights, but no luck. 

 

The next morning was “free” with several excursions offered, such as rafting and flights.  My husband and I were up at the crack of dawn to do the river-rafting trip, as we did not need to catch the train till around 1pm. (We did the same rafting trip on both of our trips and it was great both times!) It was great, but cold!  They gave us dry suits, gloves, boats, hats, etc.  There was ice in the bottom of our raft when we got in!  The rapids were 3-4 and the scenery was incredible.  I was offered Vaseline for my face but declined.  What a mistake, as it would have protected my skin from the cold water and wind.  I used it on the 2nd trip…live and learn!!

 

 In Talkeetna we stayed at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.This hotel was great.  Brand new at the time, rooms were large and comfortable with wonderful views of Mt. McKinley.  The afternoon had multiple things to choose from, horse back riding, river rafting, hiking with rangers, flight seeing, or sitting out on the huge porch of the hotel, staring at the incredible view of Mt. McKinley.  The mountain was viewable for over 5 hours that day!  We were told that was most unusual.  We took an incredible flight to the top of the mountain, walking on the glaciers etc.  This is not to be missed.  We had not made reservations to do this trip, nor had several in our tour.  But to our delight, the flight companies just kept flying.  They added on as many trips as were necessary to allow everyone a chance to view the mountain from the air (I'm sure $$ were also a large part of their willingness to keep flying!).   Dinner that night was on our own.  Some ate at the hotel but we choose to use the free shuttle to Talkeetna and we ate at the Rib Pub in Town.  We all tried different game meat sitting outside under beach umbrellas.  Much better than eating in the hotel, in our opinion.  The town is tiny, basically one road.  Another wake up call was left at the front desk, and we were lucky enough to be awakened to the beautiful Northern Lights.  We sat out on the expansive lawn...perfect viewing spot!

The next day was spent on our own.  There were several different excursions that were offered by Celebrity including fishing, more flight seeing, walking on a glacier, horseback riding etc.  We started our day with breakfast at the Roadhouse Inn in Talkeetna (great food, huge pancakes!), we did some sightseeing utilizing a free shuttle bus from the hotel, did a hike with the rangers, washed clothes in "downtown" Talkeetna ( laundromat)  and spent the late afternoon and early evening at the Fairview Tavern sitting at a table that was directly under a huge bear rug that was on the ceiling!  The second time there the guys did a private fishing trip: Guys=fly fishing

$105+25 rental + 25 license = 155 + tip

 

Seward we did the Exit Glacier.  There was a shuttle from town, or you can get a taxi that will drop you off and return for you in an hour or two.  It was an easy, relatively short walk to the glacier.  

 

Are you staying in ANchorage or Girdwood?  

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4 hours ago, Cruising to Retirement said:

I assume all Tips had to be done with Cash?  Thanks   When did you take your trip?  On Millennium?  Any impressions along the way... Thanks again.. 

Pre-Cruise land tour on NCL SUN years ago - 2013 - - -

First time trip on tour - OK - all right 

In review would DIY on future cruise/tours

Yes TIPS by $cash$ - 

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On 7/1/2022 at 1:18 PM, itsanita said:

We started at Fairbanks and went toward Seward...the opposite of what you are doing.  

 

Yes, the Train car is exclusive to Celebrity land tour guest.  The Celebrity train car is The Wilderness Express.  Both RC and Celebrity use the same train cars.  Each cruise line seemed to have their own train cars, which were attached to the Alaskan rail cars, ours being the newest and largest.  We were traveling with another couple and our train car allowed us to turn the two seats in front of us around, and put a table between the four seats, making a kind of "booth".  We had read about that possibility on these boards.  We had to ask them to do this, but they were very willing.  There is a constant influx of information and history about the areas we were traveling through.   The bar was open the entire time, and dining in the bottom level.  All extra $.

The car had outside viewing areas that were also great for picture taking.  

 

In Denali we got off the train, boarded our bus at the train station and were given our room keys.  The hotel, the Grand Denali, was nice, great views; rooms clean and new but nothing real fancy. It did have a restaurant and snack area.   We were there before 'urber eats', so you probably have more meal options.  Upon arrival at the hotel, we went straight to our room, luggage already there.  The 8-hour tour in Denali N'l Park, the Tundra Wildlife Search, was included in our tour, so with a quick grab at lunch at the hotel, we boarded the park bus, right at our hotel (wheelchairs were accommodated here as well, and the restroom stops were very frequent).  If you don't have the 8 hour tour, you may want to see if you can add it instead of the shorter tour.  The bus itself is a school bus, they had a TV set hooked up to a ‘scope’ that the driver had so she/he could zoom in on the animals we came across and we could see them on the TV screen.  The tour into the park was incredible.  We saw 5 different grisly bear, moose, elk, sheep, etc.  The only thing we did not see was Mt. McKinley, as it was in the clouds.  Great trip, with a nice snack and a bottle of water given to us to enjoy anytime during the ride, and frequent stops at very clean, well-maintained rest rooms.    The few children on board seemed to have a wonderful time, taken in by the scenery and animals.  We got back around 9:30pm, had dinner at the hotel on our own, and straight to bed.  We should have just ordered pizza, as we were too tired to enjoy what was a very expensive meal at the hotel.  On our second time there, we just ate cheese and crackers that we had brought with us, had a drink and then straight to bed.  We had a wake up call for the northern lights, but no luck. 

 

The next morning was “free” with several excursions offered, such as rafting and flights.  My husband and I were up at the crack of dawn to do the river-rafting trip, as we did not need to catch the train till around 1pm. (We did the same rafting trip on both of our trips and it was great both times!) It was great, but cold!  They gave us dry suits, gloves, boats, hats, etc.  There was ice in the bottom of our raft when we got in!  The rapids were 3-4 and the scenery was incredible.  I was offered Vaseline for my face but declined.  What a mistake, as it would have protected my skin from the cold water and wind.  I used it on the 2nd trip…live and learn!!

 

 In Talkeetna we stayed at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.This hotel was great.  Brand new at the time, rooms were large and comfortable with wonderful views of Mt. McKinley.  The afternoon had multiple things to choose from, horse back riding, river rafting, hiking with rangers, flight seeing, or sitting out on the huge porch of the hotel, staring at the incredible view of Mt. McKinley.  The mountain was viewable for over 5 hours that day!  We were told that was most unusual.  We took an incredible flight to the top of the mountain, walking on the glaciers etc.  This is not to be missed.  We had not made reservations to do this trip, nor had several in our tour.  But to our delight, the flight companies just kept flying.  They added on as many trips as were necessary to allow everyone a chance to view the mountain from the air (I'm sure $$ were also a large part of their willingness to keep flying!).   Dinner that night was on our own.  Some ate at the hotel but we choose to use the free shuttle to Talkeetna and we ate at the Rib Pub in Town.  We all tried different game meat sitting outside under beach umbrellas.  Much better than eating in the hotel, in our opinion.  The town is tiny, basically one road.  Another wake up call was left at the front desk, and we were lucky enough to be awakened to the beautiful Northern Lights.  We sat out on the expansive lawn...perfect viewing spot!

The next day was spent on our own.  There were several different excursions that were offered by Celebrity including fishing, more flight seeing, walking on a glacier, horseback riding etc.  We started our day with breakfast at the Roadhouse Inn in Talkeetna (great food, huge pancakes!), we did some sightseeing utilizing a free shuttle bus from the hotel, did a hike with the rangers, washed clothes in "downtown" Talkeetna ( laundromat)  and spent the late afternoon and early evening at the Fairview Tavern sitting at a table that was directly under a huge bear rug that was on the ceiling!  The second time there the guys did a private fishing trip: Guys=fly fishing

$105+25 rental + 25 license = 155 + tip

 

Seward we did the Exit Glacier.  There was a shuttle from town, or you can get a taxi that will drop you off and return for you in an hour or two.  It was an easy, relatively short walk to the glacier.  

 

Are you staying in ANchorage or Girdwood?  

Anchorage-

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On 7/1/2022 at 1:18 PM, itsanita said:

We started at Fairbanks and went toward Seward...the opposite of what you are doing.  

 

Yes, the Train car is exclusive to Celebrity land tour guest.  The Celebrity train car is The Wilderness Express.  Both RC and Celebrity use the same train cars.  Each cruise line seemed to have their own train cars, which were attached to the Alaskan rail cars, ours being the newest and largest.  We were traveling with another couple and our train car allowed us to turn the two seats in front of us around, and put a table between the four seats, making a kind of "booth".  We had read about that possibility on these boards.  We had to ask them to do this, but they were very willing.  There is a constant influx of information and history about the areas we were traveling through.   The bar was open the entire time, and dining in the bottom level.  All extra $.

The car had outside viewing areas that were also great for picture taking.  

 

In Denali we got off the train, boarded our bus at the train station and were given our room keys.  The hotel, the Grand Denali, was nice, great views; rooms clean and new but nothing real fancy. It did have a restaurant and snack area.   We were there before 'urber eats', so you probably have more meal options.  Upon arrival at the hotel, we went straight to our room, luggage already there.  The 8-hour tour in Denali N'l Park, the Tundra Wildlife Search, was included in our tour, so with a quick grab at lunch at the hotel, we boarded the park bus, right at our hotel (wheelchairs were accommodated here as well, and the restroom stops were very frequent).  If you don't have the 8 hour tour, you may want to see if you can add it instead of the shorter tour.  The bus itself is a school bus, they had a TV set hooked up to a ‘scope’ that the driver had so she/he could zoom in on the animals we came across and we could see them on the TV screen.  The tour into the park was incredible.  We saw 5 different grisly bear, moose, elk, sheep, etc.  The only thing we did not see was Mt. McKinley, as it was in the clouds.  Great trip, with a nice snack and a bottle of water given to us to enjoy anytime during the ride, and frequent stops at very clean, well-maintained rest rooms.    The few children on board seemed to have a wonderful time, taken in by the scenery and animals.  We got back around 9:30pm, had dinner at the hotel on our own, and straight to bed.  We should have just ordered pizza, as we were too tired to enjoy what was a very expensive meal at the hotel.  On our second time there, we just ate cheese and crackers that we had brought with us, had a drink and then straight to bed.  We had a wake up call for the northern lights, but no luck. 

 

The next morning was “free” with several excursions offered, such as rafting and flights.  My husband and I were up at the crack of dawn to do the river-rafting trip, as we did not need to catch the train till around 1pm. (We did the same rafting trip on both of our trips and it was great both times!) It was great, but cold!  They gave us dry suits, gloves, boats, hats, etc.  There was ice in the bottom of our raft when we got in!  The rapids were 3-4 and the scenery was incredible.  I was offered Vaseline for my face but declined.  What a mistake, as it would have protected my skin from the cold water and wind.  I used it on the 2nd trip…live and learn!!

 

 In Talkeetna we stayed at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.This hotel was great.  Brand new at the time, rooms were large and comfortable with wonderful views of Mt. McKinley.  The afternoon had multiple things to choose from, horse back riding, river rafting, hiking with rangers, flight seeing, or sitting out on the huge porch of the hotel, staring at the incredible view of Mt. McKinley.  The mountain was viewable for over 5 hours that day!  We were told that was most unusual.  We took an incredible flight to the top of the mountain, walking on the glaciers etc.  This is not to be missed.  We had not made reservations to do this trip, nor had several in our tour.  But to our delight, the flight companies just kept flying.  They added on as many trips as were necessary to allow everyone a chance to view the mountain from the air (I'm sure $$ were also a large part of their willingness to keep flying!).   Dinner that night was on our own.  Some ate at the hotel but we choose to use the free shuttle to Talkeetna and we ate at the Rib Pub in Town.  We all tried different game meat sitting outside under beach umbrellas.  Much better than eating in the hotel, in our opinion.  The town is tiny, basically one road.  Another wake up call was left at the front desk, and we were lucky enough to be awakened to the beautiful Northern Lights.  We sat out on the expansive lawn...perfect viewing spot!

The next day was spent on our own.  There were several different excursions that were offered by Celebrity including fishing, more flight seeing, walking on a glacier, horseback riding etc.  We started our day with breakfast at the Roadhouse Inn in Talkeetna (great food, huge pancakes!), we did some sightseeing utilizing a free shuttle bus from the hotel, did a hike with the rangers, washed clothes in "downtown" Talkeetna ( laundromat)  and spent the late afternoon and early evening at the Fairview Tavern sitting at a table that was directly under a huge bear rug that was on the ceiling!  The second time there the guys did a private fishing trip: Guys=fly fishing

$105+25 rental + 25 license = 155 + tip

 

Seward we did the Exit Glacier.  There was a shuttle from town, or you can get a taxi that will drop you off and return for you in an hour or two.  It was an easy, relatively short walk to the glacier.  

 

Are you staying in ANchorage or Girdwood?  

What time of year did you go- we will be there in Mid August.. Thanks for the great info

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1 hour ago, Cruising to Retirement said:

What time of year did you go- we will be there in Mid August.. Thanks for the great info

 

Both times were in late August, early September.  We chose that time as we felt it would not be as busy, as most kids were back in school, no mosquitos, and we were told the animals were active as they were all preparing for the winter season. 

We are going again in 2 weeks!!  Taking all our kids/grandkids.  But only the cruise.  Very excited.  

 

Anyway, Anchorage.   

Not sure if its even open post covid, but you may stop at Millers General Store on Park Highway on the way to Denali from Anchorage.  It was a bathroom stop but they have great ice cream.  Probably the best homemade ice cream I've ever had!   

We had a fair amount of free time in Anchorage.  I remember we had a Anchorage City Tour & visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center as an included excursion.  We asked some cops and locals about places to eat....I think all meals were on our own.  We chose to have lunch in a little local bar called Paris, that a police officer suggested and visited the museum that was nearby.  We enjoyed, but would probably bore small children.  We stayed at the Anchorage Marriott,  located in the middle of town.  Everything was walkable.   We had lunch at Humpy's bar, again a local sent us there.  Great good, battered halibut and local brews.  We had breakfast at Snow City Cafe, highly recommend again by locals for breakfast.  It was 1 block away from the Captain Cook statue in Resolution Park.   This was an area where you could hook up with the trail that seemed to wander around the outskirts of Anchorage…biking, walking etc.

If you have the time and extra $$ in Anchorage, our friends did the “26 Glacier Tour”and said it was wonderful.  They got a package out of Anchorage that included round trip via train or a bus (can't remember which).  I think it was an independent tour but might have been offered by Celebrity.   6 hour glacier boat trip (with lunch).  Because the boat was smaller then the cruise ship they were able to get very close to several glaciers and saw lots of wildlife.  They said it was well worth the money.   Something to look into if you have the time in Anchorage.       

 

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We just did land tour first then cruise on Princess. Fairbanks to Whittier. Denali Wilderness tour doesn’t go all the way in due to a landslide, but we went as far as there. Saw moose, caribou, their state bird, Dall sheep.Bus looks like school bus and is but is luxurious inside with drop down screens to see the animals close up. Did Denali atv, excellent! We rode on the Alaskan rail cars, Gold level with Princess with breakfast provided. We were part of the 30% and saw Denali, she is spectacular. McKinley lodge and shuttle to dusty Talkeetna. Motor coach to Kenai. Incredible Kenai Fjords with humpback whales, orcas, puffins, seals!

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