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Although we originally announced this back in November, this deserves a second run now that it is February. Many of us have our sites set squarely on Alaska this summer, and why not? It remains one of the most breathtaking cruise destinations in the world, and one that is immensely accessible to North Americans and even Europeans, thanks to direct flights into Vancouver International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International. So why not join me in person this July? We’re going to have a lot of fun!
Of all the places I’ve had the privilege to sail to, Alaska is still planted firmly at the top of my list. I never get tired of visiting this stunning locale, and next July, I’m headed back there again. And this time, you can all come along with me – in person!
I’m honoured to announce that I will be personally escorting Vancouver-based Cruise Expert Travel’s exclusive, 11-Day Best of Alaska Ultimate Cruise Tour departing from Fairbanks, Alaska on July 6, 2013.
The adventure begins in Fairbanks, Alaska. Home to just under 100,000 residents in the overall metropolitan area, the northern city of Fairbanks serves as a fantastic jumping-off point for the adventures that lie ahead of us.
After an overnight stay and breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off for a journey aboard the Riverboat Discovery for a look at how travel to Fairbanks was accomplished in the late 1880’s. Some of the most beautiful scenery in Alaska is yours to enjoy on this relaxing morning cruise, showcasing just how remote much of this great state really is. In the evening, we’ll head to Pioneer Park for an authentic Alaskan Salmon Bake dinner – an event not to be missed on any trip to Alaska (the salmon is delicious!)
But Alaska’s true beauty is arguably most evident in Denali National Park, which is why we’ll spend an entire day and overnight stay in what is affectionately referred to as the Crown Jewel of the North. Here, we’ll travel deep into the pristine wilderness of the park in search of bears, moose, caribou, and dall sheep on a half-day tour.
After an overnight stay in Denali, we’ll head to Anchorage. On the way, we’re stopping at the home of a man named Martin Buser, a four-time Iditarod Musher. He’s going to teach us the ins and outs of mushing sled dogs in Alaska, as well as sharing some of his Iditarod experiences. For those unfamiliar with it, the Iditarod is a massive annual sled dog race that runs every March from Anchorage to Nome. It takes between nine and fifteen days to finish successfully, over some of the harshest conditions in the state.
There will be time to explore Anchorage as we spend the night here before setting off for Seward and Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess!
Once onboard, a week of fun, relaxation and adventure are in store for us. One of the key features of this cruise itinerary is that it visits not one, but two, of Alaska’s most spectacular glaciers: the 122-kilometer Hubbard Glacier and the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Glacier Bay, Alaska. Along with Denali National Park, these two picturesque days will likely leave you speechless.
In Skagway, Alaska, those who have never been to this Gold Rush town should definitely take in an excursion aboard the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, a narrow-gauge rail system built in 1898 to transport prospectors from Skagway to nearby Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon. While it transports tourists today, this amazingly scenic journey was literally the lifeline for Skagway for decades.
The next day, Coral Princess arrives in the Capital of Alaska, Juneau. Here, you can visit nearby Mendenhall Glacier, take the tram up to the top of Mount Roberts, or simply explore some of the city’s numerous shops and attractions, like the tongue-in-cheek Red Dog Saloon.
Finally, Ketchikan is one of my favorite ports of call in Alaska. Why? It’s quaint and accessible, yet bustling with personality and culture. It’s also the self-proclaimed “Salmon Capital of the World”, so be sure to indulge in some of Alaska’s locally-caught seafood while you’re ashore; you won’t regret it!
For our last day aboard Coral Princess before she arrives back at Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise ship terminal, we’ll get to take part in one of the most scenic cruising experiences anywhere in the world: a journey through the glorious Inside Passage running parallel to the Alaskan and British Columbian coast.
It’s also a great opportunity to spend one last day enjoying all the comforts that the elegant Coral Princess has to offer, like Movies Under the Stars, the Sanctuary, or the unique Bayou Café & Steakhouse.
The full itinerary:
|July 6, 2013||Fairbanks, Alaska||Meet and Greet; Transfer to Hotel||Overnight in Fairbanks|
|July 7||Fairbanks, Alaska||Cruise the Chena River; free time; Salmon Bake Dinner at Pioneer Park||Overnight in Fairbanks|
|July 8||Denali, Alaska||Rail journey to Denali National Park; six to eight-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour||Overnight in Denali|
|July 9||Anchorage, Alaska||Visit Iditarod musher, Martin Buser at Happy Trails Kennels; continue on to Anchorage for dinner.||Overnight in Anchorage|
|July 10||Whittier, Alaska||Depart Anchorage for Whittier; enjoy a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center; Embark CORAL PRINCESS||Coral Princess sails at 8:30 PM|
|July 11||Hubbard Glacier, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)||3:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|July 12||Glacier Bay, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)||10:30AM||8:30 PM|
|July 13||Skagway, Alaska||7:00 AM||8:30 PM|
|July 14||Juneau, Alaska||6:30 AM||4:00 PM|
|July 15||Ketchikan, Alaska||10:00 AM||6:00 PM|
|July 16||Inside Passage (Scenic Cruising)|
|July 17||Vancouver, British Columbia||7:30 AM||Disembark|
So come along with myself and Cruise Experts Travel next July on this exciting adventure to the Last Frontier! Can’t be there in person? No worries – we’ll be covering the entire Cruise Tour here in an exciting Live Voyage Report!
Click here for full details and pricing on this exclusive Cruise Tour offered by Cruise Experts Travel! Other dates are also available in both North and Southbound directions.
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