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Old September 4th, 2002, 07:13 PM
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Default Celebrity Alaska Cruisetour?

Hello,
We're going to Alaska next summer on Summit--Celebrity's Cruisetour #6 (which is very similar to their current #7). This will be our first cruise and our first trip to Alaska. We're in our late 40s, very active, love outdoor and nature stuff. We also have many questions--my apologies in advance. We know we've got plenty of time on things, but we're also excited about this trip and would enjoy hearing from anyone who might have taken a similar tour this summer.

Our land package:
Fri.--Bus from Seward to Anchorage, then fly to Fairbanks. City tour of Fairbanks.
Sat.--Sternwheeler in Fairbanks, then drive to Denali.
Sun.--Denali Nature Tour in the morning. (We understand that the longer Denali tour is better, but we can't have everything.) Then rail to Talkeetna.
Mon.--On our own in Talkeetna most of the day, then rail to Anchorage. I understand we'll get into Anchorage around 8pm or so.
Tues.--Fly home.

Questions:
1) We're curious about schedules. How long will we have at the various places? How long are we on the road/rail between places?
2) How are the hotels?
3) Any recommendations for what to do in Talkeetna?
4) Given the longer hours of daylight during the summer, are there opportunities for later evening activities? If we get in late some place and it is still light, will there be things for us to do? We know we'll be tired, but we figure we can catch up on sleep when we get home. This will likely be our only opportunity to get to Alaska, so we'll want to do as much as we can squeeze in.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any comments!
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Old September 7th, 2002, 09:07 AM
jimsgal
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Default Re: Celebrity Alaska Cruisetour?

The train leaves Denali to go to Talkeetna at about 12 noon and gets there at 4:40 PM.

The next day it'll leave Talkeetna at about 4:40 PM and get to Anchorage at 8:15 PM.

There are many different optional excursions you can do in Talkeetna, such as a flightseeing plane to see Mt. McKinley.
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Old September 9th, 2002, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default tour

Hello,

We're going to Alaska next summer on Summit--Celebrity's Cruisetour #6 (which is very similar to their current #7). This will be our first cruise and our first trip to Alaska. We're in our late 40s, very active, love outdoor and nature stuff. We also have many questions--my apologies in advance. We know we've got plenty of time on things, but we're also excited about this trip and would enjoy hearing from anyone who might have taken a similar tour this summer.



Our land package:

Fri.--Bus from Seward to Anchorage, then fly to Fairbanks. City tour of Fairbanks.

Sat.--Sternwheeler in Fairbanks, then drive to Denali.

Sun.--Denali Nature Tour in the morning. (We understand that the longer Denali tour is better, but we can't have everything.) Then rail to Talkeetna.

Mon.--On our own in Talkeetna most of the day, then rail to Anchorage. I understand we'll get into Anchorage around 8pm or so.

Tues.--Fly home.



Questions:

1) We're curious about schedules. How long will we have at the various places? How long are we on the road/rail between places?

2) How are the hotels?

3) Any recommendations for what to do in Talkeetna?

4) Given the longer hours of daylight during the summer, are there opportunities for later evening activities? If we get in late some place and it is still light, will there be things for us to do? We know we'll be tired, but we figure we can catch up on sleep when we get home. This will likely be our only opportunity to get to Alaska, so we'll want to do as much as we can squeeze in.



Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any comments!


I am one that totally agrees that the Natural History tour of Denali Park is totally useless. The reason to go that far is to see the wonderful scenery and wildlife that is abundant farther in. You Fairbanks touring doesn't allow much other than what is listed due to the area of Fairbanks without your own transportation- there is a lot to see on your own with a car. The Fairbanks- Denail park drive is about 2 hours- be sure to take advantage of the ranger led activies and the sled dog demo at 4 pm. The train leaves Denali Park at noon and arrives in Talkeetna 4:40pm leaves 4:40pm the next day. My top choice is a summit flight of McKinley. I have gone with Talkeetna Aero and K-2. Has a small museum, ranger station, very small town to spend a day at without transportation. From Talkeetna- about 4 hours to Anchorage. If you really want to do more and squeeze more touring in then consider going independent- you can see twice as much for 1/2 the price. In my opinion- Alaska is no place to be without a car- areas are vast and depending on bus transportation may not allow you enough time at something that interests you. If one of your goals is to see wildlife- then definately rethink this tour- it is greatly lacking.
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Old September 10th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: tour

Thanks to both Karen and jimsgal for the info and suggestions. Karen--When you suggest going independent, do you mean hooking up with an independent land tour, or do you mean renting a car and doing everything on our own? Sorry to sound so dumb, but we're completely new at this.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old September 10th, 2002, 08:36 PM
Just back
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Default Re: Re: tour

Where are you going to be staying in Talkeetna?
We were at the Talkeenta Alaskan lodge, They have a shuttle that takes you into the town and it leaves about every 10 or 15 minutes. There is a great view from the lodge dining room, of Denali, if it is out.
We did the Sundog sled dog tour, and we also did a sunset float tour on the river. We loved Talkeenta...it is sort of a hippie, laid back town.
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Old September 12th, 2002, 03:10 PM
jq
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Default Re: Re: Re: tour

We listened to Karen's advice and that of others in May. We had one week before our cruise and rented car in Anchorage. We chose to go to Seward one day and back the next in order to get the Kenai Fjords boat tour and then had a day plus around
Anchorage and vicinity before leaving for Denali, We stopped in Talkeetna for lunch and didn't see that much there to spend a day. The flight to McKinley if clear would be great.. We drove into Denali in the evening and then went back the next two days on the shuttle bus. One day was great, lots of wildlife closeup, and the second day was mostly a bust in terms of seeing closeups or the mtn. This was partially due to a driver that didn't seem to care whether we saw anything or not.

We didn't make it to Fairbanks due to the two days we spent going to Seward area. Next time we will probably go there too. Don't cut yourself short in Denali, you need at least a full day if not more. Have a great time and consider a car. We enjoyed our freedom to stop or go wherever we wanted.
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Old September 14th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default independent

Thanks to both Karen and jimsgal for the info and suggestions. Karen--When you suggest going independent, do you mean hooking up with an independent land tour, or do you mean renting a car and doing everything on our own? Sorry to sound so dumb, but we're completely new at this.



Thanks again for all the help!


Independent for me is in a car going where I want!!!! Extremely easy to do in Alaska, very few roads and really no way to get lost, excellent services conveniently along the way. A necessary reference is THE MILEPOST, try your local library for a copy. Has everything you need to know about touring and driving in Alaska.
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