Greeting from Alaska and Princess Cruises Coral Princess! This gal is currently on the go on a hosted Princess Cruises Cruisetour through Alaska and it has already exceeded my expectations. We started off last week at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. I didn’t get to spend much time at the lodge or exploring Fairbanks, but we did have a fantastic dinner where we met the other travel bloggers and our Princess hosts. The next day we ventured several hours by the Midnight Sun Express railway (see photo on left). We dined in style aboard the train, relaxed in the glass viewing car as we sipped Blood Marys and took numerous photos of Alaska’s wilderness and beautiful landscape.
After our train adventure we spent two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. I love this lodge! I could have easily spent a couple more days there exploring the area. Even waking up was a pleasure as we could hear the sound of the nearby river that our room overlooked, the same river we saw a mother and baby moose munching on some leaves. The on site King Salmon restaurant offers an extensive locally inspired menu with some of the favorites being halibut and salmon. My mom’s favorite is the salmon chowder and I loved the crab cakes (be prepared to eat a lot on your cruisetour, but make it up by walking the lodge’s pretty grounds).
One of the things I learned during this cruisetour was that Princess Cruises offers various packages with differing lodge stays and pricing. The premium package is the most expensive, but when you add up all of the frills and compare them to the cheaper packages, you will find the luxury choices are the best value. For one, you receive meal vouchers. You also get the premium seats on the train and are served first. These tours have a private guide who is with you every step of the way, which is ideal for some travelers. If you can afford the extra dollars, I think it’s worth it.
As for excursions available on the cruisetour, there are so many choices and depending upon your personality you may choose anything from white water rafting to mellow nature hikes to ATVing. My mom and I think we made the best choice for the Denali stop by selecting the helicopter glacier landing. It was one of the most memorable moments of our lives. Despite the number of hours I’ve spent in aircraft, I’ve never flown in a helicopter. The sensation of rising up and flying across the scenery was thrilling, but landing on the sprawling Yanert Glacier is what really took my breath away. We hiked around looking up and down in awe. The sound of crackling ice below our feet and pools of turquoise water is something best experienced.
I had heard from numerous people that many times the plane and helicopter landings don’t happened due to poor weather. So we weren’t surprised when the next day our glacier landing by plane was canceled. But we had another remarkable experience. We took a summit flight of Mt. McKinley. There is nothing like seeing this grandiose mountain “up close” but what really amazed me was seeing the 14ers camp below. It was small, but the colorful, round tents were easy to spot. The day we were in the area there were 383 climbers on Mt. McKinley!
The adventure continues, so stay tuned for more details about this memorable experience with Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour.
Thank you to Princess Cruises for hosting this trip.