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-   -   Alaska Shorex with Princess (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/alaska-port-chat/24473-alaska-shorex-princess.html)

Mich 04-15-2003 04:51 AM

Hi to all,

We will be doing Alaska on Dawn Princess late July. As we were originally booked to do the Med, a last minute change has us sailing to Alaska and I feel totally unprepared. I am frantically looking for information on Helicopter Glacier / Dog mushing info. Should I do this in Juneau or Skagway or where-else?. As we are from Australia, and we do not have to many bears, glaciers, big scenery, and I would like to cram in as much as poss. I am confused. We have to do Princess tours for the simple reason that the psgrs that we are travelling with feel better if tours are organised by the ship we are on, and I am noticing by posts all around the place that these tours book out early.

I also want to do a whale watching tour and also, if poss, get to see some bears. I know this is a lot to ask, but as I have been waiting for Alaska for so long, I want to get this right.

Regards in advance,
Mich

Mich 04-15-2003 04:51 AM

Hi to all,

We will be doing Alaska on Dawn Princess late July. As we were originally booked to do the Med, a last minute change has us sailing to Alaska and I feel totally unprepared. I am frantically looking for information on Helicopter Glacier / Dog mushing info. Should I do this in Juneau or Skagway or where-else?. As we are from Australia, and we do not have to many bears, glaciers, big scenery, and I would like to cram in as much as poss. I am confused. We have to do Princess tours for the simple reason that the psgrs that we are travelling with feel better if tours are organised by the ship we are on, and I am noticing by posts all around the place that these tours book out early.

I also want to do a whale watching tour and also, if poss, get to see some bears. I know this is a lot to ask, but as I have been waiting for Alaska for so long, I want to get this right.

Regards in advance,
Mich

PEB 04-15-2003 07:20 AM

I have cruised Alaska multiple times on Princess, including on the Dawn Princess.

If you want to do a whale watch I would do that in Juneau. You will have better luck seeing whales there than in Ketchikan or Skagway. Seward is also good for whale watching but you do not say if you are going all that way.

You can wear yourself out with tours that Princess can provide. The helicopter tours are good in Juneau and Skagway so either one would be fine but as I said if you are going on a whale watch do it in Juneau and see what times the tours are than decide where you want the helicopter tour.

You can book tours in advance through Princess online. Pick out the tours you want and see if the times work out for multiple things you may want to do in each port. With the exception of a whale watch I have never done the same thing twice in Alaska and I always find something fun and interesting to do.

Alaska is never the same twice even on back to backs.

Mich 04-15-2003 07:11 PM

Hi Peb,

Thanks for your advice and I am going to take it. We will do the Whale watching in Juneau, and the heli/dog thing in Skagway. We are going from Vancouver to Anchorage, then on to a 5 day land tour with Princess. Excited as you can imagine. We have been waiting for Alaska for a long time. We are on Dawn on July 28, and we are hoping for good weather. This is the 3rd Princess tour that we have done and they do wear us out, but it suits our older family members. It gives us time to run around a lot as the family always has something to do. We love it.

Have no idea as to what to do in Denali, and Fairbanks. And there is the Train & Bears. Ah so much to find out.

Thanks again,
Michelene

Karen Knowlton 04-15-2003 08:01 PM

If your options in Denali include a wildlife tour, by all means take it! We spent a remarkable time there a number of years ago and did two wildlife tours, one through the National Park Service and one through the hotel we stayed at. Both were wonderful - incredible scenery, bears, Dall sheep, ptarmigan, moose... The wildlife tours stop for almost every animal sighting (whether first spotted by the driver, guide or passengers on the bus). Denali is one of the most unspoiled national parks - fantastic place! Enjoy! http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif

Mich 04-16-2003 02:27 PM

Hi Karen, Peb

Thanks for the info on Denali. We spend 2 nts Mt McKinley, 1 night Denali, and 1 night in Fairbanks, all at Princess Lodges. This will be brand new territory for me. I will definately take your advice and do a wildlife tour, sounds fantastic. I am assuming that Mt McKinley is in Denali National Park and as we have 2 days at Mt McKinely should I do the tour here. I am not a big history buff, and I see that Princess do a history tour of Denali, should I dump this and do something else instead. Fairbanks, could I get any further away from home! As this is the end of the cruise, we could stay if there is something really neat to do out of Fairbanks. How cold is it up there?..

Sorry to ask so many what must seem silly questions.

Karen Knowlton 04-16-2003 04:34 PM

Mich, the Denali Princess Lodge is closer to the road into the park (named Denali) than McKinley is. The McKinley Princess Lodge is along the southern border of the park, with no direct access to the main road in the park. Therefore, the wildlife tour (or the "natural history" tour) would be best from Denali P. Lodge. McK P would be good for river rafting or jetboat rides, or perhaps a hike or bike ride (if available). You might still be likely to see some good wildlife there too, but I haven't been there so can't really say for sure. Check the Princess website or talk with your T.A. for excursion & activity choices - I think there will be a good variety.

Fairbanks in late July can be anywhere from 50 degrees F. to 90 degrees F. (Really!) Not likely to be actually cold, except perhaps at night if daytime temperatures are relatively low. The interior of Alaska has more temperature extremes than the coastal areas, by far - probably a lot like some parts of Australia! Best dress code - layers, layers, layers!

Have a great trip! I'm jealous! http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif
Karen

Karen Knowlton 04-16-2003 04:37 PM

Further info re: the names Denali & McKinley. Denali is the name given by some of the Alaska natives (Inuit, I believe) to the mountain, and is supposed to mean something like "The Great One." The mountain was named after the US President William McKinley early in the 20th century, and the name stuck as far as official maps etc. were concerned. When the area including the mountain was made a national park, it was called Mt. McKinley National Park after the mountain, but sometime after 1970 the name of the park was changed to the native name, so it is now Denali National Park. The name of the mountain remains McKinley, but there are movements afoot to change its name back as well. That's probably not imminent.


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