The Travel Factory Blog
We have just returned from our 19th year of escorting a group to Alaska, “The Last Frontier”, and from personal testimony, and among the 38 who went with us, it was a very successful adventure experience.
A common response when we tell folks this was our 19th year to be up there they always want to know if we get tired of doing the same old thing. I can honestly say that we see something different every year, there are improvements to the lodges, the tours have been tweeked, they have added attractions, and on some of the vistas from the bus or train, we see things from different angles. .. . bottom line, it’s all good!!
All the cruise lines in Alaska do much the same thing; they use the same buses, they have the same train engine, ships are similar in presentation and approach. I’ve just chosen to use Princess Cruises and Tours all these years because initially I thought they had the right idea. They built their own lodges for the guests on their tours, they built the prototype rail car for travel in Alaska with the glass domed sides and ceilings, and their drivers and guides just seemed a little more mature in their presentations. The ships we travel on have been quality ships with excellent food and entertainment packages. In all these years, I’ve not been disappointed in anything for which Princess is responsible. That’s why I’ve kept using them, and will do so again next year.
Our initial 5 days on land is a pretty busy experience, but not so busy that you don’t have time to do some things on your own. We will typically start with two nights in Fairbanks and two really good tours; one on a riverboat, another to a gold mine and the Alaska pipeline. Then we’ll travel by bus a couple hours down to Denali Princess Lodge and take a tour into the park for about 4 hours, looking for wildlife and wildflower. The next day we travel by bus down to McKinley Princess Lodge for a day of rest or excursion of your choice. On Friday we are bused to Talkeetna where we get on the train for a ride down to Anchorage. After spending the night, we visit a Wildlife Preserve for an hour or so on our way to Whittier where we board our ship. This year we were on the Sapphire Princess; next year we will be cruising on the Crown Princess.
Cruising the next 7 days is a real delight, especially seeing the glaciers in Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. Stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan are interesting and really different than those in the Caribbean or lower 48.
Plan to go with us next year. Check the plans out on our website, www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com. You’ll be in for a trip of a lifetime!!! Contact us by phone at 698-1421 or toll-free 800-760-4040, or drop in for a serious visit at 4150 Southwest Drive, Ste.120 at the Plaza at Park Central between Rosa’s and Chick-fil-A.