I will be on a HAL cruisetour June/July: Fairbanks-Vancouver. Seven days on land and seven sailing. I'm single female, mid forties, outdoorsy. Yikes. Possibilities are overwhelming. Anyone know about Arctic fly/van tours? I think I'll nix the Gold Dredge/sternwheeler in Fairbanks for something more exciting, and "natural history tour" in Denali for same (ATV's or dogsleds?). Shall I add a day in Anchorage and go fishing (stream), or explore Kenai? Also interested in bear viewing at Katmai. Other stops are at Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan. I'm hearing Misty Fjord is the thing to do. What about Haines?
Given the fact that you're already nixing some of the tours that you're paying for on the cruisetour, have you considered traveling independently? A "single female, mid forties, outdoorsy" is far from the norm on a HAL cruisetour in particular.
I agree with Murray. Your cruisetour has some high cost options you are paying for that aren't of interest to you?? You want to go to places you can NOT- like Homer without adding several days?? On this cruisetour leaving from Fairbanks, doesn't add up well to going early several days and touring out of Homer for bear watching. Seward is also a gem you are missing, BUT will be there since your cruise leaves from there- a missed opportunity perhaps.
Not sure of your "taken care" of priority??? It seems to conflict with your "exciting" mention. I wouldn't be compromising here on the itinerary, just my opinion. You can plan, easily, far better on your own.
As for the Arctic Circle touring, I have done this several times with fly ins, and also a combo tour, twice as you mention. All day, but very worthwhile for what you can see.
Do your homework on Denali Park. "Exciting" is getting IN it. Which you aren't with the NHT or ATV tours.
I did consider that, but would like to relax and be "taken care of" for a portion of the trip. I just like the inclusiveness of a cruise, and of being on the water for a while (in luxury!).
Neither Karen nor I are suggesting that you shouldn't take the cruise - we both love cruising. But traveling independently for the land portion will get you precisely what you want when you want it. It's easy to plan, whether you rent a car or take shuttles by bus or train.