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Old August 15th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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We are going on the Princess (Coral) Cruise May 21-21, 2007. We are wondering if we are better of to take a pre-cruise day or two in Vancover or the post-cruise in Alaska and go to Denali Park. If we choose to go to Denali, can we rent a car from Whittier on May 28th? I contacted Hertz; they have no office in Whittier. Avis has an office but my online inquiry reported that it is off-season for that office on May 28.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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How much time are you allowing if going interior Alaska??? June 1 is the start of the Fish Creek Shuttle into Denali Park, otherwise only the Toklat Shuttle will be running earlier.

If you plan a week, my definate recommendation. I would route south to Seward for a couple days and do the top tour there- Kenai Fjords boat tour. If of interest add a couple days for Homer, again an excellent option. THEN go north, consider an overnight in Anchorage or Talkeetna, then 2 nights at Denali Park. Time is necessary for Alaska touring, be sure to budget enough, it shouldn't be a marathon trip. You have paid a lot of money for the cruise and flights, take advantage of being there.

Avis will be open next year. I would call the Anchorage local office direct. Speak to a manager. You are too early for reservations at this point. But in the past they did have one way cars from the third week of May into Sept.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Bob,

We are going on the Princess (Coral) Cruise May 21-21, 2007. We are wondering if we are better of to take a pre-cruise day or two in Vancover or the post-cruise in Alaska and go to Denali Park. If we choose to go to Denali, can we rent a car from Whittier on May 28th? I contacted Hertz; they have no office in Whittier. Avis has an office but my online inquiry reported that it is off-season for that office on May 28.

Karen is right. You are going very early in the season, so some facilities probably will not be open. Nonetheless, Alaska's interior is worth seeing.

If you don't wish to book a full land tour through your cruise line as a cruise-tour package, there are a couple other options that make sense.

>> The first option is to fly into Fairbanks and rent a car "One Way" to either Anchorage or Whittier. You could spend two or three nights in Fairbanks, a night or two in either Denali or Talkeetna, two or three nights in Anchorage, a night or two at the Mount Alyeska Resort (on the road to Seward from Anchorage), and a night or two in Seward as you wish.

>> The second option is to fly into Anchorage, rent a car at the airport, and make that your base for several days. Anchorage is a really neat city with a lot of good restaurants (I have yet to find a restaurant there that was not good!), a great downtown where you can walk the streets at any time fo day or night, and a lot of street festivals, an open air market, and other events during the summer (again, you might be a tad early). Talkeetna, with its view of Mount McKinley (spectacular on a clear day!) and Seward are reasonable day trips from there. You also could take a side trip for two or three nights in the middle of your stay, if you wish.

In either case, you might want to consider booking your hotel in Anchorage through your cruise line. The cruise line's hotel package includes transfers from Anchorage to Whittier, so you could drop the car off at the Anchorage International Airport rather than trying to find a car rental company whose location in Whittier will be open on the date of your cruise. If you fly into Anchorage, this also would also eliminate the surcharge for a "one way" rental.

I strongly recommend confirming reservations for your accommodations in advance, as some facilities might not be open at the time of your visit.

Vancouver is also a nice city, so it would be nice to spend a couple nights there after your cruise. The Crowne Plaza Georgia Hotel is one of Vancouver's "grande dames" that the present owners have restored. IIRC, it's situated between the Fairmont and the Four Seasons in a great downtown location.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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My opinion only. Seward is not a day trip. Allow at least an overnight.

Also cruiseline booked lodging is your highest priced option, you can ALWAYS do much better booking direct and it is NO big deal to make your own transfer arrangements, with Alaska RR a great option.

There are also very few one way Fairbanks Anchorage rentals available, and the drop fees are even higher than dropping in Whittier.

It isn't all about money, traveling Alaska. If short on time, it is well worth the high cost of one way drops. Determine- what is the priority, paying more and seeing way more, or cost savings that eat up valuable time that you don't have.
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