Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > Alaska
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2006, 03:10 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default Whittier/Anchorage for 2 days before going home

Hi, we'll be crusing in May 2007 with Princess. We'll be ending the cruise in Whittier and would love some suggestions on traveling around Whittier/Anchorage for 2 days. We'll be renting a car, and I'm wondering if we should go to Seward, Homer, or just head up to Denali. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I can't wait to cruise!!!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisee,

Hi, we'll be crusing in May 2007 with Princess. We'll be ending the cruise in Whittier and would love some suggestions on traveling around Whittier/Anchorage for 2 days. We'll be renting a car, and I'm wondering if we should go to Seward, Homer, or just head up to Denali. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I can't wait to cruise!!!

Ah, how abour all of the above?

Seriously, that's way too ambitious. If you only have a couple days, the easiest option is to reserve a post-cruise hotel package (which includes the transfer from Whittier to Anchorage) through your cruise line to use as your base. You can reserve a rental car at the Anchorage International Airport for day trips.

>> If you get a clear day, Talkeetna is a reasonable day trip. There's a scenic overlook that offers great views of Mt. McKinley and the valley below. There's also an inn named "Latitude 62" just beyond the overlook that's a great place to stop for lunch.

>> Seward is also a reasonable day trip, but don't plan this one for your day of departure.

>> The Mount Alyeska Resort, just south of Anchorage, also would be worth a visit. This is close enough so you would not be taking undue risk if you pay a visit on your day of departure.

>> Anchorage's downtown is also a great place to spend a couple days, especially if you are there on weekends. It is one of the cleanest and safest downtown areas that I have found anywhere, and I have yet to dine in a restaurant there to which I am not looking forward to returning. The city also has a lot of activity on weekends, including an open air market and some sort of festival most weekends. Last year, for example, I encountered a street festival called "Galway Days on G Street" wiith several bands and musicians playing free concerts almost continuously throughout the daytime and early evening. Downtown Anchorage also has plenty of shops, including quite a few that sell Alaskan products, where you can get "last minute" souvenirs.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 08:38 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default

Thanks for the information! I was hoping to rent the car in Whittier and return it in Anchorage so that we could enjoy the drive up on our own rather than take a bus or train. I knwo we'd have a drop-off fee, but it might be worth it if we try to drive up to Talkeetna. Do you think it's better to spend both nights in Anchorage, or would it make sense to spend our first night in Seward and second night in Anchorage? I hear so much about Seward, and it's so close to Whittier, I was thinking we should just see it before heading up to Anchorage. Is Seward any nicer than Talkeetna? Thanks again for all your info!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

With 2 days definately consider a one way car rental Whittier/Anchorage and get to Seward direct from Whittier. It makes the best use of time to go directly there and very EASY to do. You can easily be out the 9am tunnel and in Seward a couple hours later. If of interest- head to Exit Glacier, Seavey's Sled dogs, Sealife Center. Consider an afternoon boat trip to Kenai fjords, you need at least 4 hours on the water, but my top pick here as a must do. Overnight in Seward. Leave next am, take your time, consider Girdwood, Hope, Portage, plenty of stops along the Arm. Tour Anchorage, be organized, the city is big and spread out. Request visitor guides www.anchorage.net www.sewardak.org

I totally disagree with the cruiseline hotel option listed above- this is the most costly option doing the least. You waste time, with the transfer to Anchorage and all the wait/loading involved.


As for Talkeetna- I give the edge to Seward, although I tour both every trip. This is the place for flightseeing McKinley, not likely to see it otherwise. Great funky town, I like the Roadhouse for lunch and Latitude for dinner. Plenty to do on the way there, Eklutna Spirit House tours, Eagle River Nature Center, Sled Dog Museum, Hatcher Pass/Independence Mine. Farther- Mica guides glacier trekking www.micaguides.com

I would not do Talkeetna as a day trip out of Anchorage, stay there.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default

AHHHH...what a sigh of relief. I was hoping that I was on the right track and it seems I am. I really appreciate the input, and I think we'll do exactly what you said! I don't think we could handle a ship transfer to Anchorage becuase we are impatient and love to tour on our own. Your comments are perfect! thanks again!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 01:05 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisee,

I was hoping to rent the car in Whittier and return it in Anchorage so that we could enjoy the drive up on our own rather than take a bus or train.

Hmmm...

It's not clear that you would save much. Rental cars in Whittier are likely to carry premium pricing due to the low volume of rental business there and you'll also pay the "one way" surcharges. You can check pricing, but the difference might not be cheaper than the transfers unless you have three or four people in your party.

If your interest is sightseeing, the rail transfer actually is a tour with guides who provide a narration along the route. I don't know whether the bus transfers provide a similar narration or not. The train also offers full food and beverage service, and you can get up to stretch while en route.

If you really want to go to Seward, though, it does make sense to rent a car and go there from Whittier rather than going to Anchorage and back. The cutoff to Whittier is about midway from Anchorage to Seward.

Your choice....

Do you think it's better to spend both nights in Anchorage, or would it make sense to spend our first night in Seward and second night in Anchorage?

It's certainly a lot less hassle to spend both nights in one hotel rather than staing at a different hotel each night since you go through the process of checking in, moving in and unpacking, repacking and moving out, and checking out only once. OTOH, you also need to consider your sightseeing objectives in formulating your plans.

I DO recommend booking your hotels in advance, regardless of what you decide to do. The summer is the peak tourist season trhoughout Alaska, and smaller towns like Seward and Talkeetna tend to have very limited accommodations with organized tours having priority for the larger lodges, so "No Vacancy" signs are likely to be the rule rather than the exception.

I hear so much about Seward, and it's so close to Whittier, I was thinking we should just see it before heading up to Anchorage.

Seward and Whittier are primarily commercial shipping ports that spare ships a long pilotage up the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm to Anchorage. There are some historic buildings in both towns, but I doubt that either is worth more than a couple hours of your time. Seward is a bit more quaint, though, as it has typical Alaskan buildings. Whittier was originally built as a naval base, with concrete high rise structures on a relatively small plot of land.

That said, I would not say that Whittier is "close" to Seward. Practical driving times, depending upon traffic, road and weatherconditions, and the frequency and duration of your rest stops, are something like this.

>> Seward to Whittier: 2-3 hours

>> Seward to Anchorage: Downwton 4-5 hours

>> Whittier to Downtwon Anchorage: 2-3 hours

>> Downtown Anchorage to Talkeetna: 4-5 hours

Bear in mind that the roads are mostly two lanes, not divided, with high speed limits and very few guard rails. Also, there are no practical alternate routes, except in the vicinity of Anchorage. An accident can close a road for several hours and you pretty much have to wait until the road reopens because it' snot practical to take another route.

Is Seward any nicer than Talkeetna?

The main attraction of Talkeetna is the view of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in the world, and the valley below, which is quite spectacular on a clear day. The principal distinctive feature of Seward is the commercial port. Other than that, both are typical Alaska Railroad towns with a lot of buildings that are characteristic of the pioneer construction of the initial settlements. Of course, this architecture is fairly typical of most of Alaska so you'll also see a lot of it in Ketchikan and Skagway.

The bottom line here is that two days are not enough to see very much in Alaska because the attractions are quite spread out. When superimposed over the a map of "lower forty-eight" on the same scale, Alaska literally spans from border to border and from coast to coast. There is no way to see everything if you can stay for only two nights after your cruise, so you have to choose what's most important to you and defer the rest for another trip.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Karen,

I totally disagree with the cruiseline hotel option listed above- this is the most costly option doing the least.

It's no worse, price wise, than booking a room on your own at the same hotel and purchasing the included transfer separately.

Of course, the cruise lines do tend to bok the better hotels, like the Hilton in Anchorage. You certainly can save a lot of $$$ by staying at the Days Inn instead....

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 02:20 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default

thanks everybody! Unfortunately my husband and I are not the type to deal with bus tours or organized tour groups. We're from NYC so we get a little impatient and are younger so we might just end up freaking out while waiting to board a bus to Anchorage . I think we'll pay the extra for the drop off fee and free our minds of dealing with other tourists and bus schedules. I think i'm convinced to just spend the night in Seward because it would be too much rush and driving to get to Anchorage for the first night. I'd rather take our time getting there the second day with a fresh start. I'm getting sooooo excited!!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2006, 05:47 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisee,

Unfortunately my husband and I are not the type to deal with bus tours or organized tour groups. We're from NYC so we get a little impatient and are younger so we might just end up freaking out while waiting to board a bus to Anchorage . I think we'll pay the extra for the drop off fee and free our minds of dealing with other tourists and bus schedules.

If that's your choice, make sure that you have a confirmed reservation for your rental car in Whittier. It's a very small town.

I think i'm convinced to just spend the night in Seward because it would be too much rush and driving to get to Anchorage for the first night. I'd rather take our time getting there the second day with a fresh start. I'm getting sooooo excited!!

As Karen pointed out, you probably will have no trouble getting out of Whittier by 9:00 and thus getting to Seward before lunch on disembarkation day. I doubt that you'll want to spend more than three or four hours in Seward, including lunch, so driving up to Anchorage that afternoon/evening would be pretty reasonable so long as you have a hotel reservaton that's guaranteed for arrival after 6:00 PM - but your choice. If you are going to spend the first night ashore in Seward, though, scratch Talkeetna off the list because you won't have time for it.

Also, as I noted earlier, make sure that you have confirmed reservations for lodging wherever you decide to stay.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2006, 10:18 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Karen,

I totally disagree with the cruiseline hotel option listed above- this is the most costly option doing the least.

It's no worse, price wise, than booking a room on your own at the same hotel and purchasing the included transfer separately.

Of course, the cruise lines do tend to bok the better hotels, like the Hilton in Anchorage. You certainly can save a lot of $$$ by staying at the Days Inn instead....

Norm.
You are wrong. All the hotel add on pricing is PER PERSON. Every time, you can book direct yourself at significant savings. Easy to get shuttles Whittier/Anchorage for around $40. Plenty of companies that do it.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Lisee,

I was hoping to rent the car in Whittier and return it in Anchorage so that we could enjoy the drive up on our own rather than take a bus or train.

Hmmm...

It's not clear that you would save much. Rental cars in Whittier are likely to carry premium pricing due to the low volume of rental business there and you'll also pay the "one way" surcharges. You can check pricing, but the difference might not be cheaper than the transfers unless you have three or four people in your party.

If your interest is sightseeing, the rail transfer actually is a tour with guides who provide a narration along the route. I don't know whether the bus transfers provide a similar narration or not. The train also offers full food and beverage service, and you can get up to stretch while en route.

If you really want to go to Seward, though, it does make sense to rent a car and go there from Whittier rather than going to Anchorage and back. The cutoff to Whittier is about midway from Anchorage to Seward.

Your choice....

Do you think it's better to spend both nights in Anchorage, or would it make sense to spend our first night in Seward and second night in Anchorage?

It's certainly a lot less hassle to spend both nights in one hotel rather than staing at a different hotel each night since you go through the process of checking in, moving in and unpacking, repacking and moving out, and checking out only once. OTOH, you also need to consider your sightseeing objectives in formulating your plans.

I DO recommend booking your hotels in advance, regardless of what you decide to do. The summer is the peak tourist season trhoughout Alaska, and smaller towns like Seward and Talkeetna tend to have very limited accommodations with organized tours having priority for the larger lodges, so "No Vacancy" signs are likely to be the rule rather than the exception.

I hear so much about Seward, and it's so close to Whittier, I was thinking we should just see it before heading up to Anchorage.

Seward and Whittier are primarily commercial shipping ports that spare ships a long pilotage up the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm to Anchorage. There are some historic buildings in both towns, but I doubt that either is worth more than a couple hours of your time. Seward is a bit more quaint, though, as it has typical Alaskan buildings. Whittier was originally built as a naval base, with concrete high rise structures on a relatively small plot of land.

That said, I would not say that Whittier is "close" to Seward. Practical driving times, depending upon traffic, road and weatherconditions, and the frequency and duration of your rest stops, are something like this.

>> Seward to Whittier: 2-3 hours

>> Seward to Anchorage: Downwton 4-5 hours

>> Whittier to Downtwon Anchorage: 2-3 hours

>> Downtown Anchorage to Talkeetna: 4-5 hours

Bear in mind that the roads are mostly two lanes, not divided, with high speed limits and very few guard rails. Also, there are no practical alternate routes, except in the vicinity of Anchorage. An accident can close a road for several hours and you pretty much have to wait until the road reopens because it' snot practical to take another route.

Is Seward any nicer than Talkeetna?

The main attraction of Talkeetna is the view of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in the world, and the valley below, which is quite spectacular on a clear day. The principal distinctive feature of Seward is the commercial port. Other than that, both are typical Alaska Railroad towns with a lot of buildings that are characteristic of the pioneer construction of the initial settlements. Of course, this architecture is fairly typical of most of Alaska so you'll also see a lot of it in Ketchikan and Skagway.

The bottom line here is that two days are not enough to see very much in Alaska because the attractions are quite spread out. When superimposed over the a map of "lower forty-eight" on the same scale, Alaska literally spans from border to border and from coast to coast. There is no way to see everything if you can stay for only two nights after your cruise, so you have to choose what's most important to you and defer the rest for another trip.

Norm.
Again, not accurate. It is 125 miles Anchorage /Seward allow 3 hours. Whittier to Anchorage is 1 hour 15 min. plus tunnel time. It is MOSTLY 2 lanes each way on this portion. Anchorage to Talkeetna- 2 hours.

It is clear that "Norm" has not done any touring in Seward, there is plenty to see and do with the highlight Kenai Fjords. Easily worth a couple days, and definately does NOT fit into his above "worth a couple hour" description.

McKinley also is NOT the tallest mt. in the world, it's the tallest in North America.

But to answer the poster- this timeframe is NOT about money nor should the high cost one way rental deter you from making the most of your time, which will be to go directly to Seward from Whittier. Here is a photo sample of some Kenai Fjords highlights (including Northwestern Glacier) - see if it's worth it to you to experience it. http://community.webshots.com/user/budgetqueen
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Karen,

Please stop twisting my words.

It is clear that "Norm" has not done any touring in Seward, there is plenty to see and do with the highlight Kenai Fjords. Easily worth a couple days, and definately does NOT fit into his above "worth a couple hour" description.

Kenai Fjords is not IN Sweard.

Again, not accurate. It is 125 miles Anchorage /Seward allow 3 hours. Whittier to Anchorage is 1 hour 15 min. plus tunnel time. It is MOSTLY 2 lanes each way on this portion. Anchorage to Talkeetna- 2 hours.

Your times are realistic for Alaskans, but not for the majority of visitors. Most folks from urban and suburban areas in the "lower forty-eight" -- who make up the majority of cruise passengers -- simply are not accustomed to cruising at 55-60 miles per hour on two-lane roads without median dividers. When they get onto such roads, they tend to drive much slower than the posted speed limits -- especially when they are not familiar with the roads. Tourists also tend to stop frequently -- sometimes to gawk and take photos at a scenic spot and sometimes to check out a country store and get some refreshments -- en route. The times that I posted are probably more realistic for the majority of first time visitors.

McKinley also is NOT the tallest mt. in the world, it's the tallest in North America.

Wrong. You are confusing the concepts of "tall" and "high," which are not the same. Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in the world, but it's only the highest mountain in North America. The peak of Mt. Everest, for example, is just over 29,000 feet, but its base is over 17,000 feet high so it's less than 12,000 feet tall. By contrast, the peak of Mt. McKinley is just over 20,000 feet high, but the base is below 1,000 feet, so it's over 19,000 feet tall.

(Regarding Pricing of Hotel Packages) You are wrong.

I have compared the prices in several cities, and found that my statement is generally accurate.

All the hotel add on pricing is PER PERSON.

Yes, I'm full bloody well aware of that fact.

When a two night hotel add-on is $249 per person, transfers included, the hotel lists for $199 per night for two people, and the transfers cost $50 per person purchased separately, it's a wash. If you opt to stay at a cheaper hotel, you pay less, but then you are not comparing equals.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12
Default

Karen, those photos are incredible!!! Please if you could share with me what excursions you took?? I would love to see everything that you did....i'm a huge animal lover!

Norm, your info is great too. I think it's best for me to take the time to see Seward and surrounding areas though. I might even see if we can book a tour in Whittier and just take our time heading to Seward, enjoy the afternoon and then have a nice dinner and relax.... Any thoughts on tours in Whittier? I hear there's a boat tour? Or would you suggest just heading straight to Seward?

I hate the idea of trying to get all the way back up to Anchorage on the first day. I'm going to skip the tallest/highest mountain, whatever it is. From the looks of the pictures on the alaska.com website it might not be as much fun as Seward. Am I right?
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2006, 08:08 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

The only way to get a Kenai Fjords tour is out of Seward, my top tour recommendation. You need at least 6 hours on the water, but my preference is clearly the 9 + hour Northwestern Fjords tour.


The driving times are accurate, again, HOW many times has NORM driven there???? You do not find much in the way of consistant slow traffic except for RV's and roads do have a 55mph+++ traffic flow. I've driven thousands of miles in Alaska.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2006, 01:16 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisa,

I think it's best for me to take the time to see Seward and surrounding areas though.

That's a very reasonable decision. There won't be time to do everything in two or three days, so you have to decide what you want to see. Whatever you choose, I think that Alaska's magnificent scenery will hook you so you'll go back in a year or two to see more.

I might even see if we can book a tour in Whittier and just take our time heading to Seward, enjoy the afternoon and then have a nice dinner and relax.... Any thoughts on tours in Whittier? I hear there's a boat tour? Or would you suggest just heading straight to Seward?

There are, or at least were, some day boat tours of College Fjord that operated out of Whittier, but your cruise visits College Fjord so I really don't see any point to going back there. I'm not sure about the availability of tours of the town (former naval base), nor am I aware of any significant attractions there, but it certainly makes sense to see whatever is of interest in Whittier while you are there. In any case, I would strongly encourage you to make reservations for you lodging because lodging is limited and you will be there during the peak season.

I hate the idea of trying to get all the way back up to Anchorage on the first day. I'm going to skip the tallest/highest mountain, whatever it is.

Again, that sounds like a very reasonable decision.

From the looks of the pictures on the alaska.com website it might not be as much fun as Seward. Am I right?

That depends entirely upon your interests and the weather. Mt. McKinley is only spectacular on a clear day. Personally, I think that a weekend in Anchorage is as much fun as anything else because there is something happening there just about every weekend of the summer season -- but that's my preference, and not necessarily yours. If you want to spend time in Seward instead, I won't try to talk you out of that decision.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Karen,

The driving times are accurate, again, HOW many times has NORM driven there???? You do not find much in the way of consistant slow traffic except for RV's and roads do have a 55mph+++ traffic flow. I've driven thousands of miles in Alaska.

I have driven enough in the 49th state to know what road conditions are.

I also have driven enough to know the difference between people driving on business, with strict schedules, who are going to maintain posted speed limits, conditions permitting, and people driving on vacation, who are going to slow down and make frequent stops to look at scenery, wildlife, and whatever else might catch their attention en route.

You can tell the tourists on Alaska's roads because they drive like the RV's, even if they are driving standard automobiles.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2006, 01:36 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default

Norm, I believe Kenai Fjords National Park is outside Seward. Is this the same as what we'll see on our cruise? I was thinking it's different? If it's the same as what we'll be seeing on our way to Whittier it might make more sense to just stop in Seward for an hour and then head up to Anchorage for the 2 nights. They have the day tours to the National Park. What do you think of them?

Also, has anyone stayed at the Holiday Inn in Seward or the HOliday Inn in Anchorage? thanks again for all the great info everyone is giving me!
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2006, 08:59 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisee
Norm, I believe Kenai Fjords National Park is outside Seward. Is this the same as what we'll see on our cruise? I was thinking it's different? If it's the same as what we'll be seeing on our way to Whittier it might make more sense to just stop in Seward for an hour and then head up to Anchorage for the 2 nights. They have the day tours to the National Park. What do you think of them?

Also, has anyone stayed at the Holiday Inn in Seward or the HOliday Inn in Anchorage? thanks again for all the great info everyone is giving me!
\]


I don't think Norm has even been to Kenai Fjords??? It is COMPLETELY different from anything seen via your cruise ship. This is a tour loaded with varied wildlife, and a close up extended glacier view. Again way superior to anything from your ship. Some of the above photos were taken there. You need at least 6 hours on the water. Don't consider any less. You need the time and distance. I actually will most always go on the Northwestern fjords trips 9+ hours. Then pick up the shorter one if I'm there long enough, using toursaver coupons.

Boat tours out of Whittier, these are in no way comparable to cruise ship sailing of College Fjords. Again Grossly superior with way closer, and extended viewing. At times you will be right at the glacier face depending on activity. Seward is definately worth more than an hour. If this area is not of interest, don't even bother going there. Spend your time elsewhere depending on your priority.

The Holiday Inn is a brand new property, on the marina. It's a walk to downtown, but doable without mobility limitations and plenty of time. It's right next to the Kenai Fjords boat tour offices.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 40
Default

Thanks! Since it's seeing something new, I think we are going to spend the night in Seward and go on the 8 or 9 hour day tour the following morning. Then drive up to Anchorage on day 2 and spend our last night there. We'll most likely rent a car in Whittier and keep it for the 2 days and drop off in Anchorage. The train seems to cost over $100 per person anyway to go from Seward to Anchorage, so i think we'll go for the car and enjoy the freedom!
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisee,

I believe Kenai Fjords National Park is outside Seward. Is this the same as what we'll see on our cruise? I was thinking it's different?

No, Kenai Fjords is NOT the same as Colllege Fjord. I have not been to Kenai Fjords, so I would not attempt to advise you one way or the other beyond my usual caution of not biting off more than you can chew. If you choose to go to Kenai Fjords, it will mean that you will not have time to do something else, but that's the choice that you have to make when you are staying for only two nights. It would be very reasonable to spend two days seeing the Kenai Peninusla, including the boat tour of the Kenai Fjords, but then you would not have much time to see Anchorage or anything beyond Anchorage.

Of course, there are those who claim that the best feature of Anchorage is that it's so close to Alaska....

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2006, 06:32 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

Lisee,

The train seems to cost over $100 per person anyway to go from Seward to Anchorage, so i think we'll go for the car and enjoy the freedom!

The Alaska Railroad train from Seward to Anchorage, named the "Coastal Classic Train," is only $62 per adult and half that for children. Given that you are planning to rent a car one way, though, I agree that it makes sense to keep it and turn it in at the Anchorage International Airport. You'll need transportatoin from your hotel to the airport even if you don't use the car much while you are in Anchorage (the downtown is quite walkable and has a lot of good restaurants in all price ranges).

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2006, 02:18 PM
Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 90
Default

My group is thinking of this same type of thing with the rental car, Anchorage, Seward and Kenai only in reverse. We are looking at a 3 day pre cruise stay. Our trip is southbound on Aug. 1, 2007 CCL Spirit.
Opinons are so personal but I appreciate them all. Just want to pack in the most can do in the limited time before boarding in Whittier.
We will be doing all our own reservations for hotel and one way car rentals. Do need advise on how to plan the time in each place. Our most want to do is, Kenai boat trip and sucking up the local things in Anchorage and Seward. I know 3 night stay is not nearly enough but that's all we have so want to pack "the best" in that time. Flying from the west coast may leave us half day on arrival with another half day before embarkation...
Thanks
Renee
__________________
Festival 1984
Holiday 1988
Tropicale 1989
Festivale 1990
Tropicale 1992
Holiday 1994
Inspiration 1996
Celebration 1998
Inspiration 2000
Elation 2001
Destiny 2002
Glory 4/24/04
Spirit 10/09/04
Liberty 9/05
Liberty 4/1/06
Spirit 8/1/07 Alaska
Spirit 4/6/08 Mexico
Elation 5/14/09 Catalina
Triumph 9/26/09 New England
Miracle 3/27/11 & 4/4/11 B2B

Next
Spirit 4/28/2012
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old July 29th, 2006, 05:23 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

I would suggest your day and a half in Anchorage, then to Seward, - you need at least 6 hours on the water for a Kenai Fjords boat tour, then direct to your ship in Whittier.

Harleys is usually the most reasonable for short term rentals, only other is Avis. http://www.harleysrentalaska.com/
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old August 15th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 17
Default

Lisee,
Are you certain you can rent a car in Whittier in May?...I tried finding a car rental for May 28, 2007 and so far have not been able to find a rental agency open for the season at that time yet.
__________________
Bob-o
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old August 15th, 2006, 12:14 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Harleys will not be doing business out of Whittier next year. As I have already posted, I would call the Anchorage office of Avis direct. They have had car rental available from Mid May- Sept in the past. Doubt there is a change, you just are too early for next year.
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old August 15th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12
Default

I've spoken to Avis and they said that the computer system will be updated in January with the 2007 rates, so I likely won't be able to book my car until January. I've tried and have spoken to the Whittier location directly. They said they open May 1, but the computer isn't updated to accept reservations yet.
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old October 9th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5
Default

Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old October 15th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12
Default

Avis has opened up their bookings for next year! The funny thing is they don't require a credit card to book the car, so I hope it's still going to be there when I arrive in May!
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:33 PM
photog4fun's Avatar
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: San Diego
Posts: 14
Default

After arriving in Whittier, do a day 6 hr. boat trip to the glaciers. It is worth it to be up close and see otters, sea lions resting on floating ice and other wild life. The big ships just aren't close enough to the glaciers or close enough to the water. I was very disappointed by the lack of wild life viewing on my cruise from Vancouver to Whittier. But the 6 hr. boat tour out of Whittier and also Seward was fabulous, my favorite being the Seward one for scenary & birds. The Whittier 6 hr. trip was better for glacier watching.
If you don't mind paying the high drop off fees, rent from Whittier. Spend one day doing the 6 hr. boat trip then one day driving along the Tournaguin arm then up to Anchorage, stopping along the way. And don't forget to go to the Wildlife Refuge center near the turnoff towards Whittier...highly worth the $7 entrance fee to see close up bears, moose, fox, owls in a natural habitat. It may be the only wildlife that you'll see anyway!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
anchorage, ancorage, avis, car, cruise, days, do, lisee, prior, rent, seward, trem, triumph, whitter, whittier

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anchorage or Whittier amom Alaska 4 May 3rd, 2008 12:13 PM
Anchorage to Whittier jeap Alaska 4 May 16th, 2007 12:23 AM
Whittier to Anchorage 1st timer Alaska 5 March 25th, 2005 04:27 PM
whittier to anchorage octomeow Alaska 2 May 29th, 2004 11:11 AM
How can you go to Whittier, AK from Anchorage, AK? brg7000 Alaska 5 May 17th, 2004 09:23 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:09 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1