Travel Factory Blog
Alaska - The Rest Of The Story........
.....in the beginning, I was impressed with the beauty, awesome handiwork of God and man, and had a desire to try to get others to appreciate a much different environment than the Big Country. I got that impression of Alaska on an educational journey through the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. That was on a 5-day trip from Juneau to Seattle with Holland America. The next year I took a little group on an Inside Passage from Seattle and back to Seattle on Norwegian Cruise Line.
It was a great initial experience but I felt like I had cheated my clients by not giving them the opportunity to see the Interior of Alaska. So I started studying the many different tours that each cruise line had and which one might be the best one to promote. I finally settled on Princess Cruise Line which had been in the market for almost 50 years. I liked the fact that they built their own lodges for their own guests, they had their own fleet of motorcoaches, they had their own rail cars on the Alaska Railroad Line, and many of their guides were mostly school teachers from the lower 48.
Early on we tried which way was the best; doing the land first and cruise next or doing the cruise first and the land last. Doing the land last gave us an experience we didn't want to have personally or one for our clients to experience. On that land-last trip we ended up in Fairbanks, then they flew us and our luggage to Anchorage fairly early in the morning. We then were bused from the airport to a downtown civic center and we had the opportunity to explore downtown Anchorage until they picked us and our luggage up around 6PM to transfer to the airport to board the 9PM flight to DFW....got there about 5AM the next morning....a truly whipped puppy!!!!
After that we settled on the 5-night land, 7-night cruise schedule, most of the time in late June or early July because generally the weather has moderated, the salmon start their run in mid-June so wildlife opportunities abound, and the July 4 holiday gives some folks an extra vacation day. Starting on the Sun Princess in July '97, we experienced an Alaska Gang trip every year with Princess Cruise & Tours through 2019. I checked our rosters over the years and we have had the pleasure of watching almost 1,000 folks enjoy the many experiences of Alaska.
For some reason, Princess canceled the land itinerary for '20 and '21, so I refused to schedule a group for those two years. However, we've just discovered that they have reinstated that itinerary for 2022, so we have reserved some space on that itinerary and on the Sapphire Princess. We were on the Sapphire Princess with a group of 50 in 2008.
So now you know the “rest of the story”!!!
We encourage you to consider going with The Travel Factory Gang, June 27-July 9, 2022. Contact Russell Berry at 4150 Southwest Drive, Ste. 202, or call at 325-698-1421. Also you can go to our website, www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com, and under the subject “cruises”, we have a flyer showing some detail of the trip.
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