We are booked on our very first cruise! My family of four will be going to Alaska in early August on RCC. I wanted us to enjoy a little of Alaska before we jumped on the plane home but couldn't afford to add the 5 day land tour to Denali.
So I am thinking about booking a Gray Line tour for the day we arrive and the next day. They said they would take care of everything from the time we disembark until we get to the airport. They will take us on a little glacier cruise the day we arrive in Seward, get us to the hotel in Anchorage, a tour the next day and to the airport on the following day.
I've used gray line many times( here in the USA and abroad) when I haven't had the time to "explore" various cities properly. The last one we did was a couple of years ago in Seattle.
I haven't had any problems with them and the tours (1/2 day & Full day) were informative and we were taken to all the "key" spots.
If you want to see a lot in a short time then that's the route I would take.
As just a suggestion, forget Grayline. Make your own arrangements. I suggest, in Seward, get off your ship early am, and consider a cab to Exit Glacier if of interest/ Seavey's Sled dogs etc, then take a Kenai Fjords boat tour, (just accepting Greyline's included tour is a big mistake unless you know the operator and where you are going) you want at least 6 hours on the water, my top recommended vender is www.kenaifjords.com consider their 11:30am tour, they also will pick you up at the ship, and store your bags, or drop them off at the depot and walk the two blocks to their office. Then take the regular run of the Alaska RR to Anchorage leaving at 6pm, the tour will shuttle you to the depot. Spectacular scenery, bus transfers are my last choice. Gets into Anchorage about 10:15pm. Overnight, then if you wish pick up a local tour of Anchorage.
Thanks Karen16. That sounds like the RIGHT way to go, but Grayline is definitely the EASIEST. Being unfamilliar with the territory, it is scary taking care of all the details going that route. With so many people disembarking in Seward at the same time, I don't want to be running around after we get on land to make these arrangements.
I was just a bit concerned with Gray Line as a company to do business with. Do they have a good reputation in the Anchorage area?
Alaska SB - HA Zaandam - August 2012
Ruby, you have the wrong idea about disembarking in Seward. MOST people are on organized transfers with very few independents. ALL you do is walk off the ship. You will be pointed to the luggage pick up, and just go out the front. The Kenai fjords shuttle bus makes continous pick ups, cabs are lined up if you just want to drop off at the RR depot- less than 1/2 mile away. There is no way to get lost. Seward is a very small town.
As I already recommended- IF You want Grayline for Seward- find out EXACTLY what boat tour is included, IF it is NOT 6 hours on the water- forget it and just transfer to Anchorage.
Thanks Karen 16! It is hard to imagine this whole process! I saw that Seward was small and that's why I thought, 'Wow, 3000 people or more getting off the ship and into town might be interesting!'
The Kenai Fiords tour is 6 hours. I am glad you have stated that that is necessary, because I thougt it sounded really long! I'm thinking, getting off the ship and onto another sea going vessel might be a bad idea, but it's good to hear that this is a trip worth while. I don't have the name of the boat in front of me, but it was a long day, making the evening train to Anchorage.
BTW, will it be dark in Anchorage when the train arrives? I think it gets in at 10 PM or so....
Alaska SB - HA Zaandam - August 2012