ALASKA--help!!

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  1. I'd love to go to Alaska in March or April and am wondering if anyone has been on a cruise to Alaska they'd recommend.

    HELP!

    I've never been on a cruise, so I have no idea what to start looking for. I'm not too interested in cruises with all the water slides, etc. but am rather looking for an Alaskan cruise that will show me the most beautiful places and sights.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Can't cruise AK in March or April w/ the large cruise lines like HA, RC, Regent, etc--they don't start until May. May find one that starts last week of April. This is due to ice conditions for the big cruise ships.

    That being said if you drive down to Homer, Glacier Bay or Sitka can find local cruises that go out for a day and some go all year round. There are a few local companies that go out longer but if this your first trip to AK--there is a lot of ground to cover and a lot to see.


    There are also one day cruises out of Juneau. I'm a big fan of day cruises from the shores of AK and venture along the state by train or car. But will need a lot of time to see all there is to enjoy in AK.

    The Iditarod is the first to second week of March and is not to be missed. It's great fun to follow the teams along the trail. For most of the trail, this is done via float plane, can't drive to get around to the remote locations--no highways.
     
  3. I always say after living there that a cruise is the worst way to see the state.

    You're much better off renting a car and driving, and taking scenic trains. You'll get a feel for the culture and people, see more animals and have a cooler, more authentic experience that way.

    When we lived there and had guests, we started in Anchorage, stopping in Girdwood/Aleyeska) to take the tram to the top (or in March, skiing is still a possibility) drove to Homer- stopping along the Kenai River for lunch- took a halibut charter out and hung out on the Homer Spit, then drove up to Seward, taking the Kenai Fjord day cruise out (saw tons of whales up close and glaciers calving), went over to Exit Glacier for a short hike (and a lesson on global warming! Then, back up through Anchorage, then up to Talkeetna, where you can take a flightseeing plane to Denali. On the way to Talkeetna, stopping in Wasilla at the Iditarod museum. If you can time it to be in Anchorage or Wasilla for the Iditarod- DO IT. It's the quintessential Alaskan experience!

    Remember-- March is still REALLY REALLY REALLY cold there. It's not Spring by any means.
     
  4. Wow, thanks longchamp and sharkbait!

    I've always wanted to visit Alaska (only state I haven't seen!) and am so glad I asked. I know it's impossible to see the entire state in a week but would like to go a few times to get it all.

    It sounds like the Iditarod is a MUST so I'll definitely be planning around that. YAY!

    Will keep you updated on my plans...please feel free to give me more suggestions!
     
  5. We went 2 years ago, but we did not take a cruise. We also are planning another trip in May this year to take my parents. I really agree with everything Sharkbait had to say. This was pretty much our itinerary. I always say Alaska does not "open" up until the middle/end of May. That is when everything opens and the tourism starts up. Like this year Denali does not open its tours until May 20th. And in Seward the 14th of May they start their harbour cruises. It is still pretty cold in May so keep that in mind. Also, we start booking everything in December because they book up fast!
     
  6. Oh and if you take a flightseeing tour - do it with Talkeetna Air Taxi. Best in the business!

    And yes, in March, you're dealing with snow/ice/cold big time, still. It's still the heart of Winter then. So, bundle up!
     
  7. Hmmm...this California girl is going to have to plan a trip later in the year! ;)
     
  8. Hey, March in Alaska is a GREAT excuse to buy new scarves, boots and a big awesome puffy jacket! :biggrin:
     
  9. sharkbait, i like the way you think! LOL!

    and michael schumacher is pretty foxy!
     
  10. We took a cruise to Alaska a few years ago. It was so much fun. We went on Holland America. I was very happy with the cruise line.

    Check out the site cruisecritic.com. It is like tpf for cruises