We're booked on the Sun Princess for the 7/9-16 sailing, however I can't seem to find anything for transporation from Seward to Anchorage that would leave in the afternoon and get us to the airport no later than 8:30PM. We were hoping to spend the morning in Seward and then go to Anchorage in the late afternoon. The only thing I've found is a $200 one way Hertz rental (yikes!).
The options mostly seem to be early morning transportation to Anchorage. So, I guess I have a multiple part question.
1) Are there other alternatives that would have a late afternoon departure so that we could get to Anchorage no later than 8:30PM?
2) Is it worthwhile to even try to stay in Seward that morning or would you recommend just going on to Anchorage and sightsee there?
Seward is definitely worth seeing, more interesting, IMHO than Anchorage. I wouldn't find anything that got you in before 8:30 either. I e-mailed the Seward chamber of Commerce since there are two companies with bus service plus scheduled air service. The train leaves at 6:00PM and doesn't get in until 10:25, but I'm told it's a gorgeous ride. Haven't done it yet though. When I hear from the chamber I'll post if there's anything.
There are 3 bus companies that transfer Seward- Anchorage and reverse, that I know of. Alaska Backpackers Shuttle- 800-com-toak, Alaska Park Connection 888-277-2757 Magic Bus 800-836-2006, I always drive and would still encourage you to consider this. This will give you much more freedom to see things and stop where you want. For me Seward is interesting but I wouldn't spend my day there if other options were available. Exit Glacier is worth hikeing to. There are many options in Anchorage and you will be very limited without a car.
Thanks for the replies. After researching a little more, it looks like the Seward Hwy, Exit Glacier, Portage Glacier, and other road side stops from Portage to Anchorage make renting a car worthwhile. I called Hertz in Seward directly (907-224-4378) and was able to get a compact for $158 when the 1800-car-gold Hertz number told me they were sold out. Apparently the Seward office isn't completely online with the rest of Hertz yet.
I saw that you booked your car, and am so glad that you decided to do that! Exit Glacier is definitely worth it!!!! After being so close to glaciers on the cruise, it's fantastic to actually walk up and touch one (it's not a difficult walk at all). And, it was the only place we got to see a bear (we were in the car on the road to Exit Glacier).
BTW, we went on Sun Princess last August. I highly recommend spending the money on a helicopter ride in Juneau, especially if you combine it with the dog sledding. It is absolutely fantastic and worth the money. We also enjoyed kayaking in Ketchikan, but were unbelievably lucky with the weather.
Have a great time!
For clairfication Taquan Air is out of Ketchikan not Juneau. The only helicopter company with permits to land on Mendenhall is TEMSCO. I have flow with 3 Juneau companies including TEMSCO and I really liked Coastal the best of all.
We did the Princess tour--helicopter plus dogsledding. It was well worth the money. I do not recall which tour operation Princess booked, however we felt very secure regarding safety. As my mom said as the helicopter rose above a mountain peak--"this is better than IMAX!" The dogsledding was a memory to treasure. There are three to a pair of sleds, plus the guide. You take turns being the brakeperson, which requires standing --it really makes you feel like a true musher! I'm trying to remember how long the dogsledding part was--probably about 15 minutes.
If you have further questions, please email me directly, as I am probably not going to check back. In a week, I'm leaving on my second cruise (Western Europe) and had just checked these boards for some info.