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“Railroad Alaska ! WOW !”
Review of McKinley Explorer

Ranked #18 of 99 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.
Naples, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Railroad Alaska ! WOW !”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

We LOVED the train ride ! So comfortable and we felt like royalty ! A must do when you're traveling in Alaska !

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

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Morganton, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Top Drawer”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Again, I can't say enough about Holland America's organizational skills. This was our last leg of the cruise/land tour from Denali Nat'l. Park to Fairbanks and what an experience. Comfortable as my lazy-boy chair and the view was spectacular. Late afternoon sun shining on the changing leaves and sparkling on the rivers and lakes was awesome. Didn't eat a meal in the lower level dining room but our friends did. They said it was the best salmon they ever had. Did have a Bloody Mary made by Debbie at her bar in the front of our car and it was great; not too hot, just right. All in all a wonderful experience and I suggest a trip on a dome train if you've never tried it. This one is owned by HAL and part of our package deal.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank luckeyedie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spanaway, Washington, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great train, delicious food, super staff”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

The train is comfortable and well appointed. The dining is superb but I only gave 4 stars because it is difficult for a person using a cane to go down the narrow spiral staircase to reach the restrooms and dining. We were lucky enough to have a clear day and I was able to take gorgeous photos of Mt. McKinley as well as many other scenic views. The guides on each car are well versed in history and knowledgable about the area. They told us of things coming up that we might want to photo and let us know in advance when good vantage points were coming up. We rode the train from Seward to Anchorage where we stayed overnight, then to Denali Park. After our stay in Denali, we rode from Denali to Fairbanks on the train. It's a great way to see interior Alaska.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 5 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 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.

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