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“A High Point of Our Alaska Vacation”
Review of McKinley Explorer

Ranked #16 of 95 things to do in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A scenic railroad spanning 356 miles, from Fairbanks to Anchorage.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
64 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A High Point of Our Alaska Vacation”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

The McKinley Explorer train cars are simply excellent. Extraordinary view, comfortable seating, nice restaurant in the lower level (with quite good food), quick service from the bar at the front of the car, and good commentary from the staff regarding surroundings. Logistics from Holland America were also done flawlessly regarding luggage transfer, transfers to and from the train, seat assignments, etc. The rides from Fairbanks to Denali, and from Denali to Anchorage were high points of our Alaska vacation.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank acosner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“You have not been to Alaska if you did not ride the McKinley Explorer”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

The Alaska Railway is almost the top 10 railway ride of the world. I took the railway twice, first was from Anchorage to Denali, then from Denali to Fairbanks. The scenery both ways was mind-blowing and awesome. I upgrade to the Gold-class and am glad I did. The gold-class upgrade allows you to be on the top deck of the train with a see-through glass roof and providing you with a 180deg view of the railway and Journey. Also, hot coffee, tea, coco are provided just for the Gold-class passengers. We are also allowed to move around anywhere in the railway with our gold class pin-badge.

We had our lunch on-board, it is recommend to first go for the meals and not wait till you are hungry as the waiting time can be quite long as the dining area has limited seats. The food is average only for the price we are paying. Would strongly recommend for you to bring along your own snacks n crackers to munch.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank Gek T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulf Coast Fla
Level Contributor
228 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“take the train and leave the driving to them”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

The only thing that beats the scenery is the dining car. Excellent food and service. Overall, the train gives excellent service, but tend to oversell souvenirs

Visited August 2013
Thank kleektours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Not your average train trips!”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Seems all trains in Alaska are these lovely big, comfortable well serviced means of transport. If you have travelled on the Rocky Mountaineer, you have a good insight into this trip and other train journeys in the area. Nowhere near as expensive and R.M. and you can choose to pay & travel in 2 levels of seating. We travelled in the cheaper class, lovely! Large, layback seats, and a opportunity to go upstairs to glassed area for better viewing. Café area, you can eat in the café or take back to your seat. Trains arrive late, around 8 - 8.30 pm sometimes later, so we chose to eat on the train before arriving at our destination. Restaurant was very nice, the staff were well dressed, and extremely pleasant. We got to know some of them as we used the trains a lot & my husband enjoyed the banter. Food is good and we felt, reasonably priced. ALL the trains travel slowly with a tour guide on board & along with the driver they spot for wildlife and interesting items, also slow down or even stop for photos. We went Seward/Anchorage + Anchorage/Fairbanks/Anchorage and later Anchorage/Whittier - give us the train every time.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank davmar70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walkertown, North Carolina
Level Contributor
105 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“a delightful view at every angle”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

we travelled from Fairbanks to Denali National Park on this great train. The seats were very roomy with plenty of leg room. The view from any seat was amazing and the trip itself was awesome.

Visited July 2013
Thank Linda_S_King
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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