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Old April 23rd, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Default Tundra Wilderness Tour

We are going on a land tour starting in Fairbanks on May 21st and then a cruise on the Sapphire Princess on the 27th. Our land tour includes the history tour in Denali and I am reading bad things about that tour. Does anyone know if we can switch to the wilderness tour and how and when do we do that. Someone said they thought you could book excursions on the train on the way to different stops. I wonder why they book us on the history instead of the wilderness tour if one is so much better than the other. Is it a matter of timing? Anyone who has been on the history tour and liked it??? Our first trip to Alaska and our first Princess Cruise. I am very excited but overwhelmed. Thanks for any help out there
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 11:42 AM
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We are on the same Princess Sapphire cruise and originally we had picked up the pre-cruise tour on the train but then cancelled to rent a car and do the trip on our own to save $$. We booked the Tundra Wilderness tour on our own. Even though the National Park Tour is much cheaper, we wanted the guarantee of getting tour information.

If you booked through Princess check their other options and see if you can switch tours without a penalty.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
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You have a few problems here, first your included Natural History tour and second going too early. I'll assume you are in Denali Park May 22/23? The road isn't even open to the Tundra Wilderness tour full length usually, anyway- mile 53. The Natural history tour only goes to mile 16. This is the reason, why it is never recommended, distance is what you need in Denali Park for scenery and wildlife. More is always better. Another problem- if you are on a short cruisetour- you won't have time for anything else. How are you arriving? via train with one night has the only option of booking the Toklat shuttle but tough to get transportation lined up as Princess shuttles usually aren't running late enough for your return.

If you provide me more information on your cruisetour routing, I can perhaps offer other option? As for the "tour" options, the Denali Park tour is usually fixed and not what they are referring to. Tours would be the add ons at the destinations- flights, rafting etc.

With no disrespect, I completely disagree with the above in reference to purchasing the Tundra Wilderness tour independently. I don't know what "tour information" they are expecting, but the key to Denali Park is VISUAL, not any commentary. Farther is always better here for scenery and wildlife and the Tundra Wilderness tour milage misses completely prime bear habitat between Toklat mile 53, (same mile of the Tundra Wilderness tour) and Fish Creek, mile 63. Paying triple cost for essentially a bad "snack" too. Fish Creek is my min. recommended distance in after June 1 (when this shuttle starts).

I have taken the Park shuttle many many times, and never had a driver who did not know Denali Park extensively, providing plenty of superb information.

If you really want the most information, do your reading about Denali Park before you go, get to the visitor center once there as well.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Default Tundra Wilderness Tour

T.hanks for responding. Didn/t know what info you needed. We are in Fairbanks the 21 %22nd. travel to Denali Princess lodge by train on the 23rd. Arrive by train at 12:00. Have a history tour included in the trip from 3 to 8. We go to Mckinley Princess on the 24th, leaving at noon and staying over night there. Then we go to the Kenai Princess for two nights the 25th & 26th and then Catch the ship in Whittier on the 27th and cruise down to Vancouver. So we are in Denali for an afternoon and then the next morning til noon. Any info would be appreciated
Hopsy- have you been on the Sapphire before and did you like it. Have you cruised Princess before?? Thanks for the info, am sure that what ever we see will be great since I'm coming from NJ.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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With only one night at the Denali Princess, it is very difficult to change your tour, because of transportation.

IF you want to consider picking up the Toklat Shuttle- at 2pm. You can get to the transportation center for the bus pick up, but would have to befriend someone on the bus to drop you back off at the lodge. Very very likely you would find someone. Reservations are necessary in advance. You aren't going to get walk up space. Only you can decide- if it is worth it to you. It certainly is, if you came to Alaska for scenery and wildlife.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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I am also interested in doing the shuttle. What is the deal about getting back to the Princess lodge? I am scheduled to be there at noon which should allow me time to take the shuttle bus. I am also booked on The Natural History tour but would rather do the shuttle for the wildlife.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitty
I am also interested in doing the shuttle. What is the deal about getting back to the Princess lodge? I am scheduled to be there at noon which should allow me time to take the shuttle bus. I am also booked on The Natural History tour but would rather do the shuttle for the wildlife.
As I have already stated- the Princess shuttle buses from Denali Park visitor center to the lodge stop running long before the Park service shuttle buses get back from Toklat. So as I mention- you would be best to befriend someone on the bus for a ride. You have a 50% chance of someone going by the lodge as it is north of the Park entrance less than 2 miles. I've seen plenty of people walking,- if that is an option.

Realize that you have already paid - $60pp for the Natural History tour. There have been some posts in the past that people got refunded?? No way to tell if true certainly, but you may want to inquire if possible?
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