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Old 10-15-2017, 06:28 PM
Location: Eastern NC
18,101 posts, read 16,645,847 times
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My wife and I did a 2 week car trip driving from Anchorage to Homer to Seward to Talkeetna to Denali and back to Anchorage. Stayed in B&B's the entire time and ended up spending about 7 grand total on our trip and that was in 2010. That included all meals, car rental, t-shirts and gifts, and airfare. Expensive but we had a great time. I am sure it would be even more costly now.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Well, I don't think you can lose no matter what you decide to do. Valdez was a good suggestion, and so was Wrangell/Elias. Personally, I've always wanted to go kayaking in Kenai Fjords.

You also might want to rent a car, drive up to Talkeetna, and spend a night or two. The flightseeing tour up to Denali is incredible.
This is an excellent idea, I'd love to go kayaking here! Mikey, it sounds like something you would enjoy!
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:03 PM
Location: interior Alaska
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I did that! It was lovely. Sea otters and icebergs right up by the kayaks.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:31 AM
Location: Alaska
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Options out of Juneau will depend on where your small ship will be traveling. Thereís always the ferry system which you can take up to Skagway. You can take the White Pass & Yukon Railroad and do other touristy activities. You can take a day trip to Tracy Arm if your ship doesnít already do so. If you want to fish you can fly/boat out to a lodge. You can probably hit the main attractions in Juneau in a day. My suggestion would be to go out on your ship first and then spend time in Juneau. That way you can cancel out on any of the above if you end up thinking itís just more of the same.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:36 PM
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Good suggestions here. My personal advice is to work on accepting that you can't see everything, the state is too big. Pick a few things and really enjoy them, and don't worry about the ones you couldn't get to. If you're always worried about missing something, you won't enjoy the things you do see. If you stay out of Anchorage you really can't go wrong.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mike1003 View Post
We just booked a Juneau to Juneau small ship cruise next August for our anniversary. I don't want to ly all the way to Alaska without seeing more of the state.
Hard to beat a small ship cruise in Alaska. If you're going with UnCruise you're in for a treat.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
Hard to beat a small ship cruise in Alaska. If you're going with UnCruise you're in for a treat.
American Cruise Lines
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Old 11-04-2017, 06:02 PM
Location: Washington State desert
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If you want to save some money, The Alaska Marine Highway system covers mostly the same routes as the cruise ships, but they don't linger. Their job is to get from point A to point B, but that doesn't lessen the scenery. You can bring your car on board too for an extra charge.

Timing is important. With the cruise lines, early and late season have discounts, but the weather can be dicey. The best weather and the most daylight occurs from early June to early August. There is usually a summer rainy season in August and early September in Southcentral (Anchorage and environs).

Alaska State Ferry | Alaska Marine Highway System
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:51 PM
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The American Constellation gets very good reviews. A much better experience than the mass lines. Petersburg was a wasted port, though. Weíve been twice on small ships.

The Alaska Railroad has packages at this site.

If you rent a car which would be my choice for more flexibility, you might consider someone like GoNorth. They have multiple locations and allow their cars to be driven on gravel roads, most of the majors donít. This will allow you to go to places like McCarty/Kennicott or driving the Denali Highway which is different than the National Park road that is restricted to shuttle busses. GoNorth also has RVs for rent.

If you do Denali National Park, get a shuttle that goes at least as far at the Eielson Visitor Center. The park service did a study on wildlife sightings and the bulk of them were from mile 30 and beyond. Donít bother with the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Not worth the almost $100 extra and it follows the same route as the shuttle bus. Eielson Visitor Center Shuttle | Denali National Park & Preserve AK | ReserveDenali.com Kantishna would be a wonderful experience, as mentioned. Better for an overnight or two although a bit pricey. You can fly in/out there as well. Weíve stayed a couple different places near the park entrance but like the Grande Denali Lodge the best.

Matanuska Glacier 2 hours north of Anchorage is the most easily accessible glacier in Alaska. From the parking lot you are on the glacier in a 10-15 minute walk. A guide enhances the experience and provides for safety. NOVA & MICA are both very good guiding services and they provide all gear. One of the nicer lodges in the area is Sheep Mountain Lodge, about 15 minutes from the glacier.

For an alternative trip, you might consider going to Barrow/Utgiaqvik and see how the Alaska Native population lives in the farthest north community in the US. There are also tours to Prudhoe Bay.

Thereís some very good information on this thread. The most difficult part is to narrow things down. It will be inevitable but try not to backtrack too much. The state is huge and you donít want to spend all of your time driving. There are some sections of road with no views other than a bunch of trees.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:41 PM
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We are taking the American Constellation for their Juneau to Juneau cruise. (We did the Columbia and Snake Rivers on American Cruise Lines this past August.

My problem is the more I dig into next summer, I see that Alaska is so damn expensive.

We can fly Cincinnati to Anchorage and Juneau to Cincy on miles. I can cover our room in Anchorage and even Fairbanks on points. But everything else adds up to as much as the cruise. The lodges are extremely pricy. We do not camp and are really not RV people. Plus we still need to fly to Juneau from Anchorage, and my miles don't cover that.

Chilkoot, your info kinda matches with with my ideas. Fly into Anchorage for a night or two. Then to wherever (Seward?) and take a boat RT to Kenai Fjords. Or Valdez than north to ?????? ending in Denali and back to ANK.

Kantishna and Denali Lodges all seem to be 200-400 a night. We haven't started looking at Bed and Breakfasts

I know that I can find us day trips and excursions from several cities

Problem is that the pre booked cruise is in peak season

I have no idea what we are going to do. Plan B is a week in Pacific Northwest then fly to Juneau open jaw. But, we really want Alaska.

What to do? What to do?
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