Denali - DIY or CruiseTour
We are planning to hit Alaska with friends who will be going on their first cruise. I think the plan will be to fly to Alaska, spend some time in Denali SP and maybe do some additional touring, then cruise back to Vancouver or Seattle.
The initial questions that come to mind are, what are the relative advantages of doing a cruise tour vs. DIY travel? Obviously DIY gives the most flexibility and possibly cost savings - I haven't tried to price things out.
Do most cruise line packages offer single check-in?
Do bags go from your hand in Denali to your cabin?
We went on a cruise tour at Denali after our North bound sailing.
Your main luggages will be transported from one lodge to the other every day by the CruiseLine.
You might want to check out our blog for more details. :)
First, you'll want to talk to a Cruise Specialist who has been there done that. Do not book directly with the cruise line.
Also, one-way cruises either northbound or southbound will start or finish in Vancouver not Seattle, so take that into consideration as it will affect your airfare.
There are some really good cruise tours being offered and for most people those work best over doing your own tour and then doing a cruise. The cruise lines will take very good care of you during the tour part of your cruise tour and while they are a bit more expensive than doing your own thing, some people find it reassuring to have everything taken care of for them.
But Alaska is awesome and definitely some place you will absolutely love seeing! We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 weeks on a cruise tour and can't wait to go back. It's a magical place, the people are awesome, the food is great, and the experience is awesome!
With that in mind, Holland America has been doing Alaska longer than any other cruise line and have more ships there than anyone else. However, they do tend to attract an older more sedate crowd, so they may not be what you're looking for. Second on my list would be Princess, followed by Celebrity.
Again, it's important to talk with someone who knows all about it and can help you work within your budget, timeframe, and itinerary.
We have sort of a travel planning triangle going on. The DW and I are in Indian, our travel partners for this trip are in Florida and they are working with a family member who is a TA in Washington state.
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