Travel Factory Blog
OH MY GOODNESS......ALASKA 2017!!!!
You should have been with us!!! We just returned from another fantastic experience to “The Last Frontier”, Alaska, and those who traveled with The Travel Factory Gang enjoyed the chance to see Alaska in all her glory.
Of course, we can't predict what the weather is going to be with any vacation trip, but we can always hope, and picking the right time to visit Alaska gives one the best opportunity to have good weather and good animal sightings. This was our 23rd time to escort/host a group, and we've learned over the years that the last of June and through July gives the vacationer the best chance, weather-wise, to visit our 49th state of the Union. We left on July 3, returned on July 15, and the temperature ranged from 54-65F the entire time. It sprinkled on us one day for a short period of time, and that was it.....so no complaints from the participants on this trip because of the weather.
For several years now, after experimenting with different itineraries, we have settled on the itinerary and schedule that we think gives the traveler the best chance to really see the major sights of Alaska. We do a 5-night land tour of the interior, then take the 7-night Inside Passage cruise from Whittier to Vancouver. Back when we started this group effort we tried Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, and Princess, and settled on Princess as the tour operator and cruise line of choice to present Alaska to our clients. At the time, Princess was building their own lodges in the interior for their passengers, as well as building their own rail cars, and I liked that arrangement; one clean, uninterrupted arrangement with the same tour operator and cruise line for our guests.
We fly to Fairbanks from DFW, usually with a connection in Seattle or Anchorage. We stay in the Fairbanks Princess Lodge for two nights, get two really good tours and a lunch on one of them. Then we motorcoach down to the Denali Princess Lodge for one night, enjoying a 4-5 hour tour into the interior of the Park, looking for wildlife and wildflower. This year we saw bear, moose, snowshoe hare, eagle, ptarmigan (the state bird of Alaska), and surprisingly no mosquitoes!!!
The next day we motorcoach a couple of hours south to the Princess McKinley Lodge, and at that remote location, we are only 35-40 miles away from Denali, the 20,320 foot tallest mountain in North America. This year our group became a part of the 30% Club; only 30% of the folks who visit there get to see the mountain because she is so big, she makes her own weather and often is shrouded in clouds, fog, or one year, smoke. You have to see the scenery; word description doesn't do it justice!!
Then the next day we board the train at a little Northern Exposure type village, Talkeetna, and ride down to Anchorage were they put us up for the night at the 5-star Captain Cook's Hotel in downtown Anchorage...real nice digs. The next morning we tour the Wildlife Preservation Center on our way to Whittier where we get on the ship for the next 7 nights.
Our ship cruises into Hubbard Glacier, then Glacier Bay, makes stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and then on to Vancouver where we disembark and fly back to DFW....with our minds full of extra special memories. You've just gotta go next year....the Gang leaves on July 2-14, 2018 and now is the time to get the best accommodations during one of their best promotions which expire on August 31 that include the all-inclusive beverage package. Just call The Travel Factory at 698-1421 or toll-free 800-760-4040 or drop in for a face to face explanation of what all is included. You can find us at the Plaza at Park Central, 4150 Southwest Drive. Trust me...and a bunch of other guests, it's the best vacation ever!!!
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