My DH and I are going in 08 either on Princess or HAL. We did just the cruise about 10 years ago but want to do the land tour also this time. He wants to do the Artic Circle tour. I am OK with this as long as it doesn't cause us to miss other sights that are seen on the other land tours. Has anyone done this tour or can anyone give us any advice?
Can't speak for a cruise line, but if you want to try something different, do the tour on a Russian Icebreaker. You'll get inside more than you will on a cruise ship because their hulls are not designed to break ice.
Look at Quark Expeditions to see what I mean.
Serenade of the Seas - '05
Sovereign of the Seas - '07
Cruisetours leave little time for much of anything to the Arctic Circle. I do not recommend the round trip bus trips, too long for getting a photo at a sign.
You also have to realize, there are probably a hundred "Arctic Circle" options. I think a very good one is the one way fly up to Coldfoot and return by shuttle- or reverse. Again, you need a full day to do this, which the cruisetours, usually do not give you. I have done many flights and tours going over the circle, for scenery Anaktuvak Pass can't be beat.
So I suggest you look at the overall itinerary you want to consider, and consider a one way with Fairbanks- then add at least another day or two. BE very selective in your cruisetour anyway, and know exactly what you are purchasing, most people do not.
OMG seeing the dalton hwy was the BEST part of my alaska trip! we did a princess tour... 1 week cruise, flight from anchorage to prudhoe bay, drove down to fairbanks, train to denali, train to anchorage...
seriously, the dalton hwy was so beautiful... it was neat to see how the landscape changed throughout our journey... we had some real up close wild life spottings... and our tour guide was awesome! it is not for those looking for a luxuriously experience though... it's 450 miles of unpaved road, outhouses, and about 10 bazillion mosquitoes that rarely see human flesh and are very excited to see you. i would not have traded the experience for any other alaska vacation though.
We booked the Princess one, except we are traveling up from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay, then flying back and taking the cruise second. I talked to someone else who has done this on Princess and it sounds like a neat experience. Thanks for everyone's imput.