Princess Denali Explorer Cruisetour
Enjoy Three Nights in Denali National Park
12 Days | May - August 2024
Starting At $CUSTOM
With Princess, you won’t just explore Alaska’s landscapes, you’ll live amidst them in our custom-built wilderness lodges. Located riverside next to some of the most renowned national parks, these warm and welcoming lodges are the perfect spot to bask in Alaska’s best attractions. As a part of your Alaska cruisetour, explore and unwind with comforting amenities and breathtaking scenery.
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2024 Dates Available:
May 25, June 4, June 25, July 9, July 16, & August 20, and August 27
Add a Tour Meal Plan for $339 per person. Includes 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, & 3 dinners.
Day 1 – Arrive Anchorage
Arrive into Anchorage Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to your overnight downtown Anchorage hotel. The rest of the day is on your own.
Day 2 – Anchorage/Denali
This morning, you’ll head for the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge via a scenic motorcoach drive. Located just a mile from the entrance to Denali National Park, the lodge is the perfect base camp for exploring the area.
Day 3 – Denali/Natural History Tour
Explore Denali National Park on a Natural History Tour watching for glimpses of Denali and Denali’s “Big Five”; moose, bears, caribou, Dall sheep and wolves. Later today, you may want to simply relax with a glass of wine on the deck overlooking the Nenana River. Visit the Grizzly Burger to indulge in the Ernesto Burger, or grab a slice at Lynx Creek Pizza.
Day 4 – Denali
Check in with the Guest Service Desk for help in planning your own Denali adventure. You have a full day to enjoy a variety of excursions like a husky homestead tour, river rafting, hiking, glacier flightseeing and an off-road ATV adventure. Or you may enjoy the spectacular main lodge, river view deck, and Princess Village with the popular Christmas cottage and sugar shack. Be sure to check out Fannie Q’s Saloon, named after a famed local homesteader, or sit outside at a fireside patio.
Day 5 – Rail to Whittier/Board Your Princess Cruise
Enjoy the scenic rail journey through some of the best wilderness in the Great Land on the Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service. Once in Whittier, you’ll step from the train onto your ship for the beginning of your unforgettable cruise. (D)
Day 6 – 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. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising
Princess is one of a select few cruise lines permitted to cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, the highlight of our 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers 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. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – 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. (B,L,D)
Day 9 – 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. (B,L,D)
Day 10 – 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.
Visitors to Ketchikan 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. (B,L,D)
Day 11 – Day At Sea
Today is spent sailing the calm waters of the Inside Passage. Grab your camera and binoculars, find a deck chair, and enjoy the fabulous scenery of glaciers and wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day 12 – Arrive Vancouver
This morning arrive into Vancouver. Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport. (B)