In May, I had the privilege of escorting a group of clients from Travel Haus on a Princess land and sea tour to Alaska. The land/sea package we selected allowed for a four night land tour followed by a 7 night cruise. If you’ve never been to Alaska, one of these packages is the way to make the most of your visit!
Princess took the worry out of the trip as a packet of information with all of the needed details awaited us at each hotel and lodge. Princess has their own lodges in multiple Alaskan locations. After spending our first night in Anchorage, we boarded a comfortable motor coach and headed to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, with its inviting fireplace and surrounding hiking trails. The main attraction, Mt. McKinley, was hiding, though we were able to get a glimpse of it for a few minutes when the clouds lifted. Salmon, freshly caught in the Copper River the night before, was one of the many delicious menu options served in one of their on-site restaurants. Another bus ride took us further north to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge where we again enjoyed beautiful scenery and great food. The real treat was the tour into Denali National Park where we saw moose, caribou, and dall sheep. The bears, however, must have been hiding.
We were transported from Denali to our cruise ship by train on an all-day trip with breath-taking scenery from our domed train car. Even if you’ve cruised before, an Alaskan cruise is so unique because of the gorgeous scenery that can be, almost constantly, seen from the ship. Whale sightings from the ship were a regular occurrence. Scenic cruising in Glacier Bay and by Hubbard Glacier was a highlight, especially when we observed the glaciers calving.
The ports of Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchican each had their own unique flavor. Shore excursions added to the excitement of each port. My favorite excursion involved a helicopter ride to the top of Mendenhall Glacier where we got out and walked. Other members of our group went on wildlife excursions and actually got to see the elusive bear! When not enjoying the ports, we loved participating in the many activities on board our ship, the Star Princess. Line dance class was my particular favorite. Some members of our Travel Haus group have some impressive moves! Each evening our group gathered together for a delicious meal served in the dining room. Nightly entertainment amused us until it was time to go fall into our comfortable beds.
Alaska is one of those “bucket list” destinations I highly recommend that everyone see at least once!