A L A S K A

Itinerary - Adventures Ashore & Princess Cruises

7.10.06 - 7.22.06

San Jose to Portland to Anchorage to Fairbanks

Fairbanks, 1 night @ River's Edge Resort - Train to Denali National Park

There is only one road into Denali National Park , and it goes only about 90 miles into a park that is almost the size of the state of Massachusetts. Moreover, all but the first few miles of the road are closed to cars. To go further, it's necessary to take the bus. The bus ride is a leisurely one, with frequent stops to view the scenery, pick up or let off hikers, and to observe wildlife. A trip to Wonder Lake and back takes about 11 hours so it's necessary to take a bus leaving in the morning for that. Visitors wishing to spend only a few hours on a bus can catch buses making shorter round trips later in the day. Bus reservations should be made at least a day or two in advance. Read More

Read More - Pioneer Air Museum - Read More - Bush Planes

By train - Fairbanks to Denali National Park - 1 night @ Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge - Mt. McKinley

At 20,320 feet, Mount McKinley is Denali National Park's biggest attraction. But many visitors to the park leave without having ever seen it. That's because it's often surrounded by clouds. On a clear day, however, it can be seen from a very long way away. It may be visible from Anchorage, 160 miles away (a good observation point there is one of the parking areas in Earthquake Park near the airport).

By Motorcoach - Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge (Byers Lake) to Talkeetna - enjoyed 4 hour visit

Talkeetna roughly midway between Anchorage and the entrance to Denali National Park, is a town of about 500 that swells in size from April through July as mountain climbers gather to prepare for their assaults on Mount McKinley.They are flown from Talkeetna on ski planes to base camp, a large tent community on a glacier about 7,000 feet above sea level. They then face a 13,000-foot climb to McKinley's south summit, 23,320 feet above sea level. Read More

By train - Talkeetna to Anchorage

Anchorage to Whittier - visit Alaska Native Heritage Center en route

The City of Whittier is at the head of Passage Canal, a fjord of Western Prince William Sound.  Whittier is approximately 47 air miles (62 miles by road) southeast of Anchorage.  The nearest major communities to Whittier are Anchorage, Cordova (110 miles to the east), Valdez (97 miles to the northeast), and Seward (125 miles to the southwest).  Whittier is a year round ice-free port and is a focal point for marine activity and freight transfer from sea train barge serving South Central Alaska.

Whittier - Board Diamond Princess - set sail 9:30 PM
Whittier to College Fjord - cruising only - 1 day

College Fjord is located in Prince William Sound. Here, a large concentration of glaciers reach the sea, lined up one after the other. The wide Harvard Glacier forms the end of the fjord, and it may also provide some exciting calvings. The glaciers of College Fjord are named after Eastern schools that helped fund the Harriman Expedition, which discovered this area. Read More

Glacier Bay - crusing only 1 day

Glacier Bay is a vast Y-shaped fjord on the Southeast coast of Alaska, sheltered from the ocean by the Fairweather range. Only two hundred years ago, when Captain George Vancouver sailed by its mouth, the bay was a solid sheet of nearly a mile of ice. One century later, the glaciers had shrunk back 65 miles, the fastest glacier retreat on record. To travel up the bay is to retrace the path of glacial retreat, from the lush mature spruce and hemlock rain forest near the visitor center at Bartlett cove, to the more thinly vegetated areas more recently de-glaciated, and eventually the glaciers which calve icebergs into the water with a sound described by the Tlingit Indians as "white thunder".

Read More

Skagway - Yukon Tour - 1 day

In 1898, this distinctive geography made Skagway Alaska the perfect port destination for gold miners hoping to strike it rich in the mighty Yukon Territory. In the largest Gold Rush ever seen in North America, 100,000 men and women landed on the shores of Skagway Alaska and neighboring town Dyea in a spectacle of greed, lust, and good-old western-style shootouts. Jack London described Skagway Alaska as "a little better than hell on earth." Read more

The Iditarod -  Rachael Scdoris, the first blind musher to take part in the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome.

The Iditarod - Libby Riddles, first woman to win the Iditarod, 1985.

Juneau - Alaska State Capitol - At the base of grand mountain peaks and at the pristine waterfront of the Gastineau Channel is Juneau, Alaska's Peak Experience.
Alaska's capital city, Juneau is located in Southeast Alaska. The Tongass Rainforest climate provides Juneau with lush terrain and vibrant wildflowers. Early settlers included miners during Alaska's gold rush and Russian fur traders. The Tlingit and Haida Indians were the first settlers to the area. Native Alaska influence is prominent today in Juneau.

Ketchikan - 1 day

Known as the salmon capital of the world and a paradise for sport fishermen and naturalists alike. During the summer months, the town bustles with visitors from all over the world. While the rustic boardwalk on Creek Street preserves a distinct historic feel, the town hums with new construction to keep up with the ever-expanding wave of tourism.Ketchikan has a population of 14,500 and is built along a steep hillside, with sections of the town built right over the water on pilings. An outstanding collection of totem poles make a visit to Ketchikan essential for anyone interested in Native art. Ketchikan's name supposedly comes from the native term "Katch Kanna", which roughly translates: "spread wings of a thundering eagle" and rightly named, for you only need to look along the water line and you're likely to see many bald eagles on waterside perches.

At Sea- 1 day

Vancover to Portland to San Jose