I have a friend who is a nun and therefore on a very limited budget. For her 40th anniversary as a religious woman, she would like to travel to Alaska with her mother next year. Having taken a cruise myself this summer (July 14-21) and thoroughly enjoying it, I would like to see her be able to have that same experience with coastlines, glaciers, good food, and pampering. I would also like to see them go during the summer when the salmon are running and wildlife viewings are easy. Since this will probably be her only trip to Alaska, would like to see them go into Denali and maybe even ride the train to Fairbanks or anything else that is worthwhile. She can take as long as a two week vacation. Any suggestions on the best way to do any or all of this on a limited budget? Please give me as many details as possible, i.e., names of places, phone #s, prices, etc.
Thanks so much!--Bonnie
Could they do their own driving? We just got back and expenses were approx $650 for Celebrity Cruise and $300 for 5 nights inland including car rental. Excursions were extra but sometimes we spent only $20 a day. Email me if you want more info. It can be done pretty cheap.
I am Budget Queen on Cruise Critic and am a master at cost saving ideas for Alaska travel. A lot of experience after 10 trips. Most important is to go independently as the costly tours only gloss over the highlights. You will see twice as much for half the cost on your own.
Doing all on your list would require careful scheduling and probably not possible. All cruises are 7 days and at least 2 overnights are needed in Denali. I highly recommend getting a copy of THE MILEPOST , try your library. For starters, I recommend a one way Hertz car for Seward- Anchorage then for cost saving turn it in for a round trip Anchorage car- $30 for econony car vs the $100-200 for the Hertz. Fairbanks is at least one overnight and an overnight somewhere on the way back to Anchoratge- Healy would at least give them most of a day in Fairbanks as it is 2 hours south of Fairbanks.
You must be a good friend to be so thoughtful. I live in the Denali area in the Interior. There are two good websites to help you out with making some soliddecisions for a great time and for saving money.