Reading this thread makes me think some are under the impression that the cruiselines and vendors are gouging for Alaska excursions and other things. Think about how they have to get supplies there. Unless it's something crafted or native to the region it has to come a long way by ship, plane or other means. With fuel and other transportation costs what they are today I'm amazed things aren't higher cost there. The more remote the area the higher the cost of things in general will be.
I remember in the 70's, a neighbor of mine who's dad worked in Alaska. The complaint then was a hamburger costing over $5. and fuel then was under a buck a gallon. Translate that to today and you have a really expensive burger.
As Neil says, a great deal of the price is involved in the costs of doing business or simply living in a certain area. Some places require virtually everything to be imported - even drinking water, such as many islands which do not have natural drinking water supplies. A burger is cheap in Dallas but not so in Nome. And likewise, a pound of walrus blubber probably goes for a premium in Dallas, both because of lack of demand and the shipping!
Posted June 04, 2007 04:58 PM Hide Post
Reading this thread makes me think some are under the impression that the cruiselines and vendors are gouging for Alaska excursions and other things. Think about how they have to get supplies there. Unless it's something crafted or native to the region it has to come a long way by ship
Most of the stuff that was not hand crafted was from China. It can not cost it more to get there that it cost to get it to the East Coast!!! Same goes for the everyday supplies they need.
With that said, The cost of living is different that that in Mexico, so I would expect to pay more.
jdj, you are mistaken in your assumption that it can't cost more than to get it to the east coast. They ship products and supplies in mass from China, via container and ships that sail to capacity with such containers. The major destination for these containers are major ports in the continental US (East caost, west coast & gulf coast, depending on the region being supplied). From those major shipments the containers are transported via rail and truck to distribution facilities for companies like Walmart, Ethan Allen, etc. and some to be distributed to smaller networks that can't buy entire container loads of white gym socks or end tables.
Alaska is supplied for the most part from these same shipments that arrive, mostly at the Port of Seattle. It's a long way from Seattle to the mom & pop store in Skagway for your hamburger buns which are delivered not by the container load but as needed along with other supplies that by then have been off loaded, shipped to a distribution facility, ordered, pulled loaded onto another truck, shipped again, off loaded, stocked... you get the point by now.
Logical assumptions don't always apply in the real world like, "If it's the same distance or closer from China to Alaska, it must cost the same."
I recall shopping at Walmart in Alaska... at a cheaper rate than the other "Mom and Pop stores". Same like it is the same story all over mom and pop can not keep up with Walmart!
At the end of the season the tourist stores are selling their good for a fraction of the cost... I bet they still make money on them.
We have been to Alaska. We flew/rented car...but every thing we did had "cruisers there as well. We took the train from Anchorage to Seward....beautiful! Saw sheep, a baby black bear, awesome views. We went the first week of June and there was little snow left (which I didn't realize) Being from FL you think ALASKA=SNOW. In Seward we did the half day Resurrection Bay Tour and All You Can Eat Salmon lunch /Worth every dime. In Fairbanks- Discovery Riverboat cruise/activities- worth the $, El Dorado Gold Mine- panning...great fun.
Denali paid big bucks to fly a plane to Mt McKinley and do a glacier landing. Not enough sunlight to do the landing, but the flight itself was awesome and they gladly refunded the difference in $ for not being able to do the longer flight/landing.
Anywhere we go, we do everything we want to because we'll probably never go back (toooo many new places to explore)...
Enjoy life, live it to the fullest.
We also did the Denali Princess Lodge Dinner Night-Show. Great fun (husbands thought it was a little hokey) But they ate their entertainments worth.
We also did ATV Riding, And a covered Wagon Dinner Ride through Black Diamond! AWESOME!