I have been reading the boards for months and have narrowed down some options based on the theory of cover less land and spend more time in a smaller area. Considering this, I would love some advice based on the south central area.
We are coming in 5 days early prior to a southbound cruise out of Whittier (RSSC) in August of 05. Considering my husbands bad back and low tolerance for long drives, I am leaning toward skipping the Denali all day bus tour. Instead thinking of a flight summit tour out of Anchorage or Talkeetna.
Other ideas would be Girdwood/Alyeska and a drive down Seward highway. Also the Kenai Fjord boat tour. Other thoughts?
With 5 days only, you are on the right track. I would overnight in Talkeetna and also be sure to see some of Anchorage- very worthwhile city. There are many sites along the way to Talkeetna to include also. Get a copy of THE MILEPOST from your library and read the Parks Highway. Heading to Seward is a great idea but with a Whittier cruise departure- you are going to lose some time- even consider a cruise from there would be my recommendation. Just a superior option with HAL. Anyway- don't consider any less than 6 hours on the water on a Kenai Fjords boat tour- the shorter ones simply aren't worth the time. Ideally best is the all day Northwestern Fjords trip. If you go with a www.toursaver.com purchase - this has a 2 for one coupon and a 2 for one Talkeetna McKinley flight. Be aware of the different flight options- my clear preference are the summit flights (not the summit view) which can be had with a cost upgrade on the coupons. You need to consider HOW you are going to get to your ship? There is a shuttle service Seward-Whittier, but then you would be without a car in Seward or a round trip Seward Hertz car is recommended. Other option would be a costly one way Anchorage- Seward car via Hertz. For a one way Anchorage- Whittier- only option is Avis. Both these save backtracking to Anchorage- which if planned right- not a bad option. Then you have the option to train to Seward and or Whittier. So many things to consider. Keep fine tuning this plan- you'll come out with a great vacation.
Thank you for the feedback. I have continued investigating and think that I just ABOUT have it narrowed down. I have many, many travel books to include the Milepost and have spent hours pouring over them all. The more I read the more difficult it becomes to make a decision.
We are traveling with another couple so I am trying to come up with some options. I am leaning towards:
2 nights at the Talkeetna lodge with the summit flight to Mt McKinley (with possible landing) followed by 2 nights at the Alyeska Resort with activities to be determined. Once I sort out activities/day trips from Girdwood, I think I just about have it wrapped up. I am looking for recommendations.
We don't want a crazy busy schedule, but more of relaxed incredible experience. I have high expectations for the RSSC line and plan on excursions off the boat as well so don't feel the need to cram everything into our land portion.
Thank you again. I visit the boards weekly and appreciate your experienced and endless advice.
I personally disagree with your choices. Talkeetna isn't a 2 night stay area, especially with not enough time for traveling overall. For clairfication you can NOT do a summit flight and glacier landing combo- 2 different aircraft required- it is one or the other. Having done both- I give a big edge to a summit flight and a glaicer helicopter landing which lands on more ice. The ski planes are on mostly "snow". As for Girdwood- again an area- I would not spend two days. My clear preference would be Seward with one overnight if desired in Girdwood. Especially excellent and unavailable elsewhere is a Kenai Fjords trip offering VARIED close up views of wildlife.