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Old April 16th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8
Default got my packet - HELP

I am going to Alaska -- first time -- in May. Got packet from Princess last night. Need help with packing ideas, not necessarily what to pack, but how. We leave Anchorage and go to Talkeetna by rail (3 hours), then by motorcoach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge (1-1/2 hours.) Princess says they have a direct to ship program for luggage where your luggage will be delivered to ship on sailing day. They also say they will ship all of your luggage to Mt. McKinley Lodge if you choose not to do this. Any suggestions from someone that has been there, would be greatly appreciated.

Also on the train it says you can only take a small bag (9x14x22) with change of clothes, toiletries, documents, meds, etc. Do you need a change of clothes on the train for three hours or is this just so if your luggage is lost?

From Mt. McKinley lodge, we go by motorcoach to Denali, take afternoon history tour and then on to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Any suggestions on this leg of trip would also be apprectiated. Don't know if we should book something other than Natural History tour, etc.

Next to Fairbanks by rail for one night. Then Fairbanks to Copper River at Copper River Princess Lodge (8 hours by motorcoach). That's a long time to be on a bus, but maybe it's the only way. After two nights here, on to Valdez and then on to Whittier for cruise portion.

As you can tell, I have a lot of questions about this precruise portion of my trip. Thanks in advance for any help and information. It's coming soon and I'm trying not to get in a panic. I am soooooo excited and just can't wait to go.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 16th, 2004, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 35
Default Re: got my packet - HELP

We're doing this same tour in August. Let me know all about your trip when you get back. We scheduled the Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali. Everyone on the boards say it is a much better tour than the history one. I just called Princess and they changed it for me. We did have to pay extra for it, but people say you will not see any wildlife if you take the history tour!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 16th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: got my packet - HELP

we took the history tour a few years ago it was ok but not long enouft.
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Old April 17th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,353
Default Re: got my packet - HELP

I believe that the overnight bag IS your luggage for the overnight in McKinley. So, put in it what you will need for that overnight.

Also, general rule of packing for Alaska - LAYERS....so you can be warm if it is cool, but can easily take off a layer if it warms up.
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Old April 17th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: got my packet - HELP

If you have formal wear- send it to the ship- you won't need it interior. AND yes- definately change from the Natural History tour IF you want to see wildlife. Big difference in the tours- mile 16 vs mile 53. PLUS the park service offers a shuttle to mile 16 for FREE with ranger activities. You don't mention what you are doing in the areas??? I would greatly suggest you stay in Talkeetna rather than going directly to the McKinley princess- if available. It is a 50 mile transfer and there is NOTHING at the lodge, unless McKinley is visable- rare. Talkeetna is excellent for McKinley flights with summit flights my preference. Same for Copper Center- nothing at the lodge. Best in my experience is the flight to Kennicott. As for Valdez- they have an excellent museum on Egan. AND yes 8 hours on the bus is the ONLY way. Since your train portion is so brief- it won't matter what you take. It is more a concern for passengers Anchorage- Denali Park. The reason for the restriction is SPACE. Seats are assigned table style, so 2 people ride backward the entire trip. There is no over head racks and only space is under your seat. On a tour of your length- as mentioned- you would only want to ship bags to the ship that you will not use. Have everything else go with you.
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