The Travel Factory Blog
Alaska Again!!!......For Number 25!!!
We've just returned with The Travel Factory Gang group on our 25th time to Alaska....and it was as great as ever!!
We discovered several years ago that the best way to visit that giant state was to set aside enough vacation time for 10-12 days. That allows one time to see some of the interior as well as the Inside Passage or the southeast panhandle of Alaska. And another discovery was to do the land portion first then the cruise portion second; it's much better on your body that way.
So we visit Fairbanks for two nights and get two real good excursions in that city; a riverboat tour experience as well as a working gold mine adventure. Then the next day we bus down a couple of hours to Denali Princess Lodge and are introduced to that massive national park, hearing the history and looking for real wildlife on a 4-hour tour into the park. The next day we bus another couple of hours further south to McKinley Princess Lodge for another night. We don't have an excursion planned for that area, but they have built a giant tree house that opens up directly to view the 23,320 foot mountain now known as Denali, or “The Great One”. Sometimes we see her, sometimes we don't, and this time she was covered with smoke from the wildfires that were consuming the Alaskan range.
The next day we travel by train from a neat little Alaskan berg called Talkeetna to the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage. Our accommodations are right downtown, close to both the railroad and the ocean. The next morning we bused down to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where if you haven't seen any Alaskan animals yet, there you are!!!! After that couple hours experience we are then taken down to Whittier through a 2-mile tunnel through a mountain. The tunnel was built during World War II, and the amazing thing is they started from each end and when they met in the middle, they were only a couple of inches from being exact.
Our ship was waiting for us, the Royal Princess. We boarded and sailed through Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay the next two days, then enjoyed the stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. We end our trip in Vancouver, a great Canadian city, and since it is considered a “foreign” port, everyone sailing on this itinerary has to have a valid passport.
This is considered a tour/cruise, so the excursions, hotel, and bus transfers on the land portion is included in the cost of the tour. Meals are not included on the land portion, but depending on your eating habits, you can expect to spend around $175-200 a couple for food that week.
We typically suggest folks take this experience in late June to mid-August. The salmon start their run around this time, so wildlife sightings are more probable, and the weather is generally very nice at this time of the year; lows are typically in the 60's, highs in the 70's.
I always suggest that folks make their Alaska reservations in September or October for the next summer. That way the prices are always less expensive, the flights to Alaska are more readily available and less expensive at that time too. So we are waiting to hear from you in a little over a month.
This year there were a lot of families traveling at this time and it is a great family vacation experience. The experienced travel advisors at The Travel Factory would be more than excited to help you plan an Alaska vacation for 2020...... a celebration of birthdays or anniversaries. So contact us at 698-1421 or come by for a face-to-face visit at 4150 Southwest Drive. Alaska vacations are real cool!!!