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Staying in Girdwood night before Whittier cruise.. Bad idea?


tranceFusion
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We were thinking of getting off the train in Girdwood the night before our cruise in Whittier.

 

Is this a bad idea? I would like to take the Girdwood Transportation co shuttle to Whittier but I am afraid of missing it or them forgetting us or some other screw up, and not making it to Whittier.

 

The only other form of transportation from Girdwood to Whittier other than that one shuttle company that I can find is the railroad, however when I called them, they said that they typically sell out and that it would not be a reliable backup plan to try to get tickets last minute.

 

Are there any other transportation methods that would be suitable as a backup plan? Or is it just not worth the risk and we should stay in Anchorage that night instead?

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where and why were you planning on staying in gridweird? w/ ted stevens? i really like the town but i usually have transportation. just not a whole lot to do in a town that's pretty spread out. there is hiking/hang gliding/tramway out of alyeska, but i could never stay there if it was my money.

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I also would never stay in Girdwood without my own transportation. Why not just go on to Whittier and spend the night at the Inn if you don't want to stay in Anchorage?

 

The reasons for wanting to stay in Girdwood are:

 

1) Not having to backtrack from Seward to Anchorage and then back to Whittier.

2) Getting to stay in a nice B&B instead of a dumpy motel

3) Seeing something other than Anchorage

 

I am not against going on to Whittier, but as I mentioned, it is difficult to get there. Most people going there are for a cruise ship, and therefore the shuttles/train/etc. all run in the morning.

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Why not just book yourself on the Alaska RR to begin with?? You do realize that there is only one train a day?? Are you just one night in Girdwood?? Overall you really have no time here, unless you do get a late leaving shuttle.

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Why not just book yourself on the Alaska RR to begin with?? You do realize that there is only one train a day?? Are you just one night in Girdwood?? Overall you really have no time here, unless you do get a late leaving shuttle.

 

I have absolutely no reason to stay in Girdwood other than to avoid going to Anchorage for the night. It is the only place other than Anchorage that I can find that has any transportation option to Whittier.

 

We could book on the Alaska RR but it pretty darn expensive to go just the short distance to Whittier. Also, we can take an early shuttle to Whittier and do the 6 hour PWS tour that we won't be in time for on the train.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am thinking I will stay at the Hotel Alyeska (which has a shuttle from the train station) and take the Magic Bus to the cruise terminal the next day.

 

Is there any fear of getting stuck in Girdwood and not being able to get transportation to Whittier?

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I am thinking I will stay at the Hotel Alyeska (which has a shuttle from the train station) and take the Magic Bus to the cruise terminal the next day.

 

Is there any fear of getting stuck in Girdwood and not being able to get transportation to Whittier?

As long as you have a company that will transport you then there should be no problem.

 

No structured transportation system in Girdwood, I mean even no cabs. Though last time I stayed at Alyeska they had tacked on a resort fee which include their shuttle that would take you to places in Girdwood. This was January though so I'm not sure if they run it in the summer or not. It was great, checked into the hotel and we had reservations at the Double Musky (http://doublemuskyinn.com/framed.html) so we caught the shuttle, they took us over, we had dinner and then the restaurant called the shuttle to get us. Loved it as it let me drink and not worry about driving.

 

Susan in Anchorage :)

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We stayed in a really neat b and b in Girdwood and enjoyed walking around the town (it wasn't ski season)............the place had huge windows that looked up toward the ski runs, etc.

If transportation is your problem, though, I don't know.........we had a rented car.

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As long as you have a company that will transport you then there should be no problem.

 

No structured transportation system in Girdwood, I mean even no cabs. Though last time I stayed at Alyeska they had tacked on a resort fee which include their shuttle that would take you to places in Girdwood. This was January though so I'm not sure if they run it in the summer or not. It was great, checked into the hotel and we had reservations at the Double Musky (http://doublemuskyinn.com/framed.html) so we caught the shuttle, they took us over, we had dinner and then the restaurant called the shuttle to get us. Loved it as it let me drink and not worry about driving.

 

Susan in Anchorage :)

 

This has now changed. Thanks to our friend Uncle Ted, we now have a federally subsidized shuttle bus that runs a loop through Girdwood from the Seward Highway to the resort and points in between. The cost is $1 per trip and includes the restaurants on Crow Creek Road like the Double Musky and Maxine's. The Hotel Alyeska still maintains a van service, but no longer runs a shuttle around the village because of the new public transportation system.

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Are there any place's like PJ's taxi that will pick us up on short notice if we run into a problem with our scheduled shuttle company?

 

Folks, there is no question in my mind that the Magic Bus or other shuttle companies will fail getting you between Girdwood & the ship. I bet they would even provide you some peace of mind by giving you the driver's cell in advance.

 

If an act of God were to destroy your shuttle plan, I can think of a dozen non-commercial locals who would run you to Whittier for free just to be nice. I'll even throw in my private car as a back up if that helps. It's a small enough town that nobody is going to let you miss your ship.

 

Come to Girdwood and reply to this thread upon your return with your positive experiences. I'm certain you'll have them here if nowhere else in Alaska.

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This has now changed. Thanks to our friend Uncle Ted, we now have a federally subsidized shuttle bus that runs a loop through Girdwood from the Seward Highway to the resort and points in between. The cost is $1 per trip and includes the restaurants on Crow Creek Road like the Double Musky and Maxine's. The Hotel Alyeska still maintains a van service, but no longer runs a shuttle around the village because of the new public transportation system.

Thanks Uncle Teddy. Love the option that I can go enjoy my beverages and meal at Double Musky and get safely back to the Resort without me having to drive.

 

Susan in Anchorage :)

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This has now changed. Thanks to our friend Uncle Ted, we now have a federally subsidized shuttle bus that runs a loop through Girdwood from the Seward Highway to the resort and points in between. The cost is $1 per trip and includes the restaurants on Crow Creek Road like the Double Musky and Maxine's. The Hotel Alyeska still maintains a van service, but no longer runs a shuttle around the village because of the new public transportation system.

This shuttle bus will get me from the train to the resort? I'm planning on taking the early train to Girdwood then hopping the 11:30 to Whittier. As long as there's a reliable shuttle I should be able to make it up in the tram and get back to the RR in plenty of time (I'll have over 3 hours). I was worried when in an earlier thread someone told me my only way there was to arrange for the hotel to get me, since I'm not staying there.

 

And yes, I know this is an expensive side trip, but I really wanted to check out the resort and go up in the tram. The girl I talked to from the RR thought I was a little crazy too, but she priced it for me.

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And yes, I know this is an expensive side trip, but I really wanted to check out the resort and go up in the tram. The girl I talked to from the RR thought I was a little crazy too, but she priced it for me.

 

might want to check on the tram hours. I noticed they were more restricted in the summer to the times that the restaurant is open.

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The reasons for wanting to stay in Girdwood are:

 

1) Not having to backtrack from Seward to Anchorage and then back to Whittier.

2) Getting to stay in a nice B&B instead of a dumpy motel

3) Seeing something other than Anchorage

 

I am not against going on to Whittier, but as I mentioned, it is difficult to get there. Most people going there are for a cruise ship, and therefore the shuttles/train/etc. all run in the morning.

 

We've really enjoyed Girdwood. This last August we stayed in a nice B&B: Glacier View B&B...however w/o a rental we would not have considered staying in there, or for that matter anywhere in Girdwood. On our first trip to Alaska we did stay at the Alyeska Resort as part of a cruisetour. It's a nice place to stay; however I would NEVER pay the price they charge. A B&B is much nicer; but w/o a car????

You mention not wanting to backtrack from Seward to Anchorage and then back to Whittier. I'm a bit confused: Do your plans include time in Seward? If so, why not stay there, since you mentioned good transportation options for getting from Seward to Whittier. Seward is really easy to get around; and a Kenai Fjords cruise is amazing plus so many other options to experience!

 

You also mentioned wanting to stay in a nice B&B rather than a dumpy motel. Are you referring to Seward? If so, there are so many places to stay in Seward including some really nice B&B's.

 

With all that said: I'm just adding a different perspective to give additonal options that you may want to consider!

 

I find when plans start getting complicatedl, it's often time to step back and re-think things.

Edited by SEPyle
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This shuttle bus will get me from the train to the resort? I'm planning on taking the early train to Girdwood then hopping the 11:30 to Whittier. As long as there's a reliable shuttle I should be able to make it up in the tram and get back to the RR in plenty of time (I'll have over 3 hours). I was worried when in an earlier thread someone told me my only way there was to arrange for the hotel to get me, since I'm not staying there.

 

And yes, I know this is an expensive side trip, but I really wanted to check out the resort and go up in the tram. The girl I talked to from the RR thought I was a little crazy too, but she priced it for me.

 

Sorry, this is not a workable plan. Unless they change the tram hours, it doesn't start running winter or summer until about 10:00AM. As someone else posted, the tram operates in conjunction with the restaurants in the summer. And Glacier Express doesn't open until 10:30AM.

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We've really enjoyed Girdwood. This last August we stayed in a nice B&B: Glacier View B&B...however w/o a rental we would not have considered staying in there, or for that matter anywhere in Girdwood. On our first trip to Alaska we did stay at the Alyeska Resort as part of a cruisetour. It's a nice place to stay; however I would NEVER pay the price they charge. A B&B is much nicer; but w/o a car????

You mention not wanting to backtrack from Seward to Anchorage and then back to Whittier. I'm a bit confused: Do your plans include time in Seward? If so, why not stay there, since you mentioned good transportation options for getting from Seward to Whittier. Seward is really easy to get around; and a Kenai Fjords cruise is amazing plus so many other options to experience!

 

What I said was that there are NO transportation options from Seward to Whittier unless you hire private transportation (which seems to run around $450?).

 

There are ways to get to the B&B's without a car - many of the hosts will pick you up/drop you off at the train stop. Additionally, the shuttle will bring you within a half mile of most of them.

 

My question really revolves around, in the event that I need a backup plan to get to Whittier, will I have any options? In Anchorage, I can get a one-way car rental, get on one of the 10 other shuttles that are doing cruise transfers, or maybe get a taxi. But I really, have no reason to go to Anchorage.

 

I don't know what options I have in Girdwood. I am not necessarily saying that a shuttle company will forget me, but there are lots of things that can go wrong that result in me missing the shuttle. Any other day I wouldn't mind improvising, but I sure don't want to miss the ship.

Edited by tranceFusion
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What I said was that there are NO transportation options from Seward to Whittier unless you hire private transportation (which seems to run around $450?).

 

There are ways to get to the B&B's without a car - many of the hosts will pick you up/drop you off at the train stop. Additionally, the shuttle will bring you within a half mile of most of them.

 

My question really revolves around, in the event that I need a backup plan to get to Whittier, will I have any options? In Anchorage, I can get a one-way car rental, get on one of the 10 other shuttles that are doing cruise transfers, or maybe get a taxi. But I really, have no reason to go to Anchorage.

 

I don't know what options I have in Girdwood. I am not necessarily saying that a shuttle company will forget me, but there are lots of things that can go wrong that result in me missing the shuttle. Any other day I wouldn't mind improvising, but I sure don't want to miss the ship.

There are no other options in Girdwood. I looked up Transportation options in Girdwood and the Chamber of Commerce site came up and under Services http://www.girdwoodchamber.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?product=Services&cart_id=1237744116.13971 Which shows Glacier Transit which is the local shuttle that stays within Girdwood and it also mentions the Magic Bus, but again that's a shuttle service.

 

There are no taxis. The only way you'd get a taxi would be to call one of the companies in Anchorage and then of course they would be on the meter from there to Girdwood and then the trip to Whittier including the cost of the tunnel and I imagine they'd want a fee back.

 

Susan in Anchorage :)

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Sorry, this is not a workable plan. Unless they change the tram hours, it doesn't start running winter or summer until about 10:00AM. As someone else posted, the tram operates in conjunction with the restaurants in the summer. And Glacier Express doesn't open until 10:30AM.

Really? Last year they said their summer tram hours began at 9:30. They don't have the summer schedule posted yet, I just assumed it would be the same.

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What I said was that there are NO transportation options from Seward to Whittier unless you hire private transportation (which seems to run around $450?).

 

There are ways to get to the B&B's without a car - many of the hosts will pick you up/drop you off at the train stop. Additionally, the shuttle will bring you within a half mile of most of them.

 

My question really revolves around, in the event that I need a backup plan to get to Whittier, will I have any options? In Anchorage, I can get a one-way car rental, get on one of the 10 other shuttles that are doing cruise transfers, or maybe get a taxi. But I really, have no reason to go to Anchorage.

 

I don't know what options I have in Girdwood. I am not necessarily saying that a shuttle company will forget me, but there are lots of things that can go wrong that result in me missing the shuttle. Any other day I wouldn't mind improvising, but I sure don't want to miss the ship.

 

I really don't think $450 from Seward to Whittier is accurate. You mentioned PJS Taxi...why not email them or give them a call for a quote...unless of course you are set on staying in Girdwood.

 

You mention wanting to have a back up plan. A back up plan isn't realistic since any provider would not want to want to wait for your call...just in case. Unless I'm missing something, you need to feel confident with your transportation and then go with it.

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I really don't think $450 from Seward to Whittier is accurate. You mentioned PJS Taxi...why not email them or give them a call for a quote...unless of course you are set on staying in Girdwood.

 

You mention wanting to have a back up plan. A back up plan isn't realistic since any provider would not want to want to wait for your call...just in case. Unless I'm missing something, you need to feel confident with your transportation and then go with it.

 

I wasn't expecting anyone to wait on my call. I just thought it would be nice if there was SOME other way to get from A to B. There's a hundred reasons why I might miss my planned itinerary, and it seems like staying somewhere that you can only get transportation to/from when you book well in advance isn't the smartest when it means missing the first half of your cruise.

 

Anyway, I had contacted several shuttle companies and they were all willing to send a van for us for the $450-$480 range.

 

I heard back from PJ's taxi and they hooked me up though! Much cheaper.. So we will just stay an extra night in Seward. Thank you Renee!

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the night before the cruise. PWS cruise will pick us up in the morning, keep out luggage for that day and then drop us off at the ship after the PWS cruise at around 5:50P. If that works for you it is a great way to use your time before boarding.

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Sorry, this is not a workable plan. Unless they change the tram hours, it doesn't start running winter or summer until about 10:00AM. As someone else posted, the tram operates in conjunction with the restaurants in the summer. And Glacier Express doesn't open until 10:30AM.

I wrote to the Aleyska Resort to ask them about the difference in the times that were up for summer last year and the winter times and received this reply:

 

The tram will be operating from 9:30am – 9:30pm in June. We are currently changing our website, so the new info should be there fairly soon. In the winter tram operations don’t start until 10:30am. If you have more questions, please call the ticket office or email me.

Thank you very much. I hope you’ll enjoy your Alaska vacation!

So I should be fine. Thanks for your concern though.

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  • 7 years later...

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