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Alaska Railroad trip

Dallas TX
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Alaska Railroad trip

My Husband and I are in the planning stage of a Sept 2006 vacation to Alaska via rail. Any suggestions on the best bang for our bucks. We have been told you will see more on the train than a cruise,is this true? Should we book online or go thru a travel agent? Any hints would be helpful.

Thanks

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Chatsworth, Georgia
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21 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Alaska Railroad trip

Rail and cruise are very different in Alaska. The Alaska Railroad goes through the heart of Alaska and you can see Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Mt. McKinley, and on south to Anchorage, and Whittier. The cruises are normally the Inside Passage which takes you through Southeast Alaska with Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchican being the normal ports of call. You can combine the two with a cruise tour. We recommend a cruise tour with Princess. We did an 11 day cruise tour in May of this year and it was great. We did 4 days on land and then a 7 day southbound cruise. We were on the train for two legs of the cruise tour and I think that is enough for me. Traveling on the train is exciting and a great way to see Alaska, but I'm not sure I'd want to build my whole vacation around it. Spending 8 hours on a rail car for more than a day or two could get confining. Pricess and HAL both have their own rail cars on the Alaska RR and they are top notch. Their equipment and service seems better than the ARR service and equipment. If I were going to do the rail tour as my vacation, I think I'd start in Fairbanks and then come down to Denali for a couple of days and make sure I went deep in the park on either the shuttle or tour bus. Our tour was on a tight schedule and we were only able to go maybe 15 miles into the park. The road is 97 miles long and we wish we'd seen more. Talketna is another good stop as it is the jumping off place for Mt. McKinley climbers so you can get a flight over the mountain easily. Our excursion actually landed on a glacier below McKinley. I'd then spend a day or two around Anchorage as Turnagain Arm has some of the best scenery in Alaska. For first timers to Alaska as we were, I think if I had to choose the best overview trip, the cruise tour is a good start. When we go back we may try to lay out our own trip, but Princess is in the business of touring Alaska and having it all layed out for the first time visitor was comforting and suited us well.

Whatever you do, you'll love Alaska!

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Skagway
Skagway
Alaska
Juneau
Juneau
Alaska
Denali
Denali
2,179 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Chatsworth, Georgia
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21 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Alaska Railroad trip

One other thing. We used Carloyn at the Cruise Place in Arizona. They specialize with Princess cruises and Carloyn is a pro.

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Arizona
Arizona
United States
Carcross, Yukon
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84 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Alaska Railroad trip

The best way to see a lot is to fly to Anchorage, tour the interior of the state working your way down to Seward, and then cruise south from there. There is such an amazing amount of information (and great deals) online now that I see no reason to use a TA, but to each their own. Be very careful to look at tour itineraries in great detail so you get what you want - or tour the interior independently by RV or rental car. There's no need to book onto a tour that is tight so you feel rushed or miss stuff (such as the heart of Denali Park).

Murray

ExploreNorth.com

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Seward
Seward
Alaska