Our first trip to Alaska, clockwise or counterclockwise?
When I first realized that it would make a great trip to take a cruise to Alaska, I decided that because of the expense of air travel to get from Florida to Vancouver, we might as well make the most of it. Not having ever cruised before, but having had travel experience on many mountain roads, a longer tour appeared to be a good idea. Holland America became our choice because of recommendations made by others who have done the trip and so, I got their tour booklet and proceeded to dream on.
Tour #27 and tour #28 came to the surface as having the most days of action. Now how to do it – clockwise or counterclockwise? At this point, we have already booked into it, with side trips and shore excursions falling into place. We have chosen tour #27 in a clockwise direction on the map. Don’t ask me why, but I think it was because of getting the unknown (cruise) out of the way first.
It is Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Seward, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok, Eagle, Dawson City and Whitehorse. Excitement is abundant at the start, with of course the cruise experience, but then the real fun begins. The Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour, Meeting with a good friend in Juneau, taking the rail and coach tour to Carcross from Skagway, scenic cruising in Glacier Bay, College Fjord cruising and another cruise in Kenai Fjord National Park. After a day off in Anchorage to catch up with ourselves, then it’s on to the Alaskan Railroad via the McKinley Explorer and Denali National Park with the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Fairbanks is next with a sternwheeler cruise on the Chena and Tanana rivers.
Exciting, right? Here’s where it slows down just a little bit: After another night in Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Museum tour, Gold Dredge #8, and the bus to Tok. Then if the spring thaw river flooding gets under control, the Yukon Queen II river boat to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory for two days. Then it’s on to Whitehorse for two more days. WHAT? Either this will be a welcome rest or a big let down after a wild trip. I get the feeling that maybe this part should have been the beginning while saving the cruise as the best for last.
Can you imagine planning all of this without the internet?