Princess Alaska: Off the Beaten Path
The Best of Alaska by Land & Sea
15 Days | June 5-19, 2019
Starting At $3455.00
This 15 day adventure by Princess includes everything the other Cruise Tours offers plus more time in Denali and a visit to Copper River in the Wrangell-St Elias National Park, America’s largest. It’s a full seven-nights on land followed by seven nights at sea.
Prices Per Person
Interior: $3,455 Double…$6,265 Single
Oceanview: $4,135 Double…$7,625 Single
Balcony: $4,385 Double…$8,125 Single
Day 1 – Anchorage, AK – Arrive in Anchorage and get settled in your hotel for an overnight stay. You might enjoy getting out and seeing the shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions of this metropolitan city.
Day 2 – Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge – This morning, board your motorcoach and settle in for a scenic drive to the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. The lodge welcomes you with incredible views of Mt Drum, Mt Wrangell, and Mt Blackburn. You may choose to end your day with a relaxing dinner at the Two Rivers Restaurant.
Day 3 – Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge – Enjoy a full day of leisure. Choose from many optional excursions that let you explore America’s largest National Park.
Day 4 – Fairbanks – Continue your journey by motorcoach to Fairbanks, Alaska’s “Golden Heart” city. Enjoy your evening at leisure.
Day 5 – Fairbanks – A full day in Fairbanks gives you time to get a feel for the unique culture and history of the region. You’ll take a cruise on an authentic Sternwheeler Riverboat down the Chena River then enjoy a Gold Dredge 8 tour with the chance to pan for your own gold. A hearty miner’s lunch is included. The evening is at your leisure.
Day 6 – Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge – This morning, you’ll say goodbye to Fairbanks for the spectacular trip to Denali National Park via scenic motorcoach. You’ll be welcomed to Denali where today’s Natural History Tour introduces you to the park. This evening, relax on the deck and enjoy stunning views of the Nenana River Canyon.
Day 7 – McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge – You are transferred by motorcoach today to the picturesque Mt McKinley Wilderness Lodge. North America’s tallest peak is just outside the windows. You may want to see the attractions around the lodge with an optional activity, hear stories about climbing Denali in the Hudson Theater, or roast a marshmallow at the fireside patio.
Day 8 – Whittier – After a morning enjoying the vistas, you’ll transfer to the historic town of Talkeetna to board the exclusive Direct to the Wilderness Rail for the journey to Whittier and the awaiting Island Princess cruise ship. Upon arrival into Whittier, board the Island Princess and set sail this evening for you southbound Alaska cruise.
Day 9 – Hubbard Glacier Scenic Cruising – Nicknamed the “Galloping Glacier,” this east Alaskan glacier is rapidly advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska into a pristine area known as Disenchantment Bay. In fact, its movement temporarily formed a natural dam that twice closed off nearby Russell Fjord from the bay, but the intense water pressure building within the fjord-turned-lake has thus far been enough to explode through the wall of ice.
The largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier measures 76 miles long and plunges 1,200 feet into the depths of the bay. Its immense beauty and phenomenal blue hues are enchanting, even from afar. But it’s when your cruise ship draws closer that its towering surface really impresses, dwarfing even the uppermost deck on your ship at a whopping 40 stories high. There, with the snowcapped mountains serving as a glorious backdrop, you’ll have a prime viewing spot from which to witness the glacier calving, as it often expels icebergs the size of 10-story buildings-imagine the splash!
The area around Hubbard Glacier is also renowned for its wildlife, where whales, harbor seals and otters swim, brown bears, moose and black-tailed deer roam ashore, and a wide variety of seabirds soar gracefully across the sky.
Day 10 – Glacier Bay National Park Scenic Cruising – Princess Cruises is one of a select few cruise lines permitted to cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, the highlight of your cruise. Just west of Juneau, this breathtaking national park and preserve boasts some of the world’s most spectacular tidewater glaciers, such as Margerie Glacier, which often drops colossal chunks of ice into the sea. Not surprisingly, Glacier Bay National Park and its epic ice giants are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising Alaska’s magnificent park system.
During your scenic cruise, friendly Park Rangers will join the ship to share their knowledge of this amazing place and host a fun Junior Ranger program for kids. They may even be able to help you identify Glacier Bay’s abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and large colonies of seabirds.
Take in the awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy an unforgettable day of sailing through this dazzling park, where you’ll glide along emerald waters and past calving icebergs, and can breathe in the crisp, fresh air to your heart’s content.
Day 11 – Skagway – Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. Skagway may have boasted the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn’t the easiest. Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.
The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska’s largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome. Today, Skagway has less than 1,000 residents. It still retains the flavor of the gold rush era.
Day 12 – Juneau – In 1880, it was slow going for Joe Juneau and Richard Harris as they searched for gold with the help of Native guides. After climbing mountains, forging streams and facing countless difficulties, they found nuggets “as large as beans.”
From their discovery came three of the largest gold mines in the world. By the end of World War II, more than $150 million in gold had been mined. Eventually the mines closed, but the town Joe Juneau founded became the capital of Alaska and the business of gold was replaced by the business of government.
Some 30,000 people live in Juneau. Its total area makes it one of the biggest towns, in size, in the world. Only Kiruna, Sweden, and Sitka, Alaska, exceed Juneau’s 3,248 square miles. Today Juneau is famous not only for gold and government but also for its breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and stunning views of both water and mountains.
Day 13 – Ketchikan – Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City” because it’s the first major community travelers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit phrase that means “eagle with spread-out wings,” a reference to a waterfall near town. In the early 1900s, when gold was Alaska’s claim to fame, fishing and timber industries were established in Ketchikan. The growth of these industries helped make this Inside Passage port Alaska’s fourth-largest city.
You will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, which includes the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Heritage Center. The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city’s colorful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sportfishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Day 14 – Day At Sea – The last full day of your cruise will be spent sailing the Inside Passage. Take your binoculars and camera and grab a chair on the deck or in the Sky Lounge and watch the wildlife and glaciers as you float by.
Day 15 – Vancouver & Depart for Home – This morning, bid the Royal Princess farewell as you disembark. Princess Cruises will provide transportation back to the airport for you journey home.