Best of Alaska in Denali

When it comes to exploring Alaska, “Denali is what is in demand,” noted Cruise Specialist Matthew Vaughan. That’s no surprise given what one sees and experiences there.

Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali is home to the highest mountain in North America, Mt McKinley.

Denali means “the High One” in the Athabascan language, referring to the tallest peak in North America at 20,320 feet. Officially, the mountain is known as Mt. McKinley, however, locals call it Denali. At more than 6 million acres, the Park and Preserve is home to 156 recorded species of birds and 37 mammal species including the Dall sheep, fox, lynx, hoary marmot, caribou and Grizzly bear.

Denali National Park

Relatives of the bighorn sheep, Dall sheep graze the alpine tundra of Denali.

The dramatic landscape of glaciers, mountains, tundra and rivers is reason alone to visit. So it comes as a surprise when I discovered that about 10% of Alaska land and cruise packages don’t include the park in the itinerary!

Denali

On our exclusive Best of Alaska cruisetour, you’ll arrive into Denali on day 3 around noon. The remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own or participate in an optional tour/activity.

The next day is an early one. After an included breakfast, embark on the Tundra Wilderness Tour lasting 8 hours, taking you up to 45 miles deep instead of the usual 14 offered in other tours. Needless to say, going further into the park greatly increases your chances of seeing wildlife. A snack box lunch is included. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax, explore some more on your own or do an optional activity that’ll have you seeing even more of this majestic destination.

Knowing that Denali is a major draw, that’s why our custom Best of Alaska cruisetour includes two nights there. See the full itinerary here.

Learn more about this beautiful destination by following us on Twitter @AKCruiseExperts.

 

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Best of Alaska in Fairbanks

Cruise Experts Travel’s Best of Alaska cruisetour starts in Fairbanks. The exploring starts pretty much right away. After a night’s rest at the hotel, get ready the next morning for an activity-filled day.

Fairbanks-Alaska

The Midnight Sun in Fairbanks. Photo credit: Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com

What exactly will you be doing in Fairbanks?

Riverboat Discovery Cruise: 3 hours
After an included breakfast this morning, hop aboard an authentic 1800s sternwheeler riverboat to sail the calm waters of the Chena River.

Chena River

Cruising the Chena River on an 1800s Sternwheeler. Photo credit: Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com.

The cruise takes to you to meet a family who has relied on the river for five generations. Make sure you have your camera out and ready to capture a bush floatplane take off alongside the boat.

floatplane Chena River

Photo credit: Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com.

You’ll also visit the home the late four-time Iditarod champion, Susan Butcher, and her kennels where you’ll see her dogs in action.

Best of Alaska cruisetour

Photo credit: Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com.

Then it’s off to a recreated Athabascan Indian Village to learn about the culture on a personalized tour.

Athabascan Village in Fairbanks

Photo credit: Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com

The afternoon is yours to explore (or rest) on your own.

Alaska Salmon Bake in Pioneer Park: 2 hours
In the evening, you’ll head to Pioneer Park to enjoy an included salmon bake dinner, cooked on an open wood grill. A must-try is the beer battered Bering Sea cod and if you prefer or if that’s not enough, there will also be slow roasted prime rib.

Alaska Salmon Bake

For the itinerary, cruisetour dates and prices, click here.

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Comparing Alaska cruisetours

Why is Cruise Experts Travel’s custom cruisetour more expensive than other 12 night land tour and cruise trips?

Actually, it’s not. We’ve put this at-a-glance chart together for your comparing convenience.

Best of Alaska cruisetour

Click on the image.

Want even more bang for your buck? On top of everything that is included in the price, our custom cruisetour offers an enhanced experience, based on a recent survey. The survey found that glaciers, wildlife and mountains were the top three reasons people travel to Alaska.

Glaciers – We go to two glaciers: UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park and the biggest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier. Many tours visit only one glacier during the cruise.

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park. Photo courtesy of Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com

Wildlife – Most tours only feature the Natural History Tour, which is a 6-hour/14-mile journey into Denali National Park. We travel up to 60 miles into Denali National Park, offering a more comprehensive journey and the opportunity to see more wildlife deeper in the park. Plus we spend two nights in Denali and we also visit Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Denali-National-Park

Best of Alaska cruisetour guests last year exploring deep into Denali National Park. Photo courtesy of Aaron Saunders, FromTheDeckChair.com.

Mountains – People specifically want to see Mt. McKinely, North America’s highest peak. With two nights in Denali, where Mt. McKinley is located, you will get more opportunities to experience the largest mountain (by land mass) on earth!

Mt McKinley

Mt McKinley (aka Mt Denali) made an appearance on a few of our cruisetour dates the past couple of years.

Interested in experiencing the Best of Alaska with us? Call 1-800-565-2784 today to speak with an Alaska Cruise Specialist today.

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Kids Sail Free on Norwegian and… You Can Too!

Norwegian Pearl in AlaskaIf you’re flexible with dates and don’t mind sharing your stateroom with two to three other people, then yes, you, the adult can take advantage of this promotion, too. Split the cost on your end any way you like, but here’s how the promo works: The first two people in the room for the cruise plus taxes and the third and fourth person pays only the taxes. And depending on many people your room accommodates, up to the 8th person can sail for free. In other words, it’s just the first two people in the room who pay!

The promotion is on until March 31, 2014 and subject to availability. It applies to all destinations, but only on select sailings. Since you’re here on AlaskaCruiseExperts.com, here are the valid sailings for the 49th state.

Sail Date

Itinerary

May 8, 2014 10-Night Vancouver to Seattle
May 17, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
May 18, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
May 24, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
May 25, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
June 1, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
August 18, 2014 14-Night Vancouver Roundtrip
August 18, 2014 7-Night Northbound Alaska Cruise from Vancouver
August 23, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
August 24, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
August 25, 2014 14-Night Vancouver Roundtrip
August 25, 2014 7-Night Southbound Alaska Cruise to Vancouver
August 30, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
August 31, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
September 1, 2014 7-Night Northbound Alaska Cruise from Vancouver
September 1, 2014 14-Night Vancouver Roundtrip
September 6, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
September 7, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
September 8, 2014 7-Night Southbound Alaska Cruise to Vancouver
September 13, 2014 7-Night Sawyer Glacier Seattle Roundtrip
September 14, 2014 7-Night Glacier Bay Seattle Roundtrip
September 15, 2014 7-Night Northbound Alaska Cruise from Vancouver
September 21, 2014 7-Night Seattle to Vancouver Alaskan Cruise
September 22, 2014 7-Night Vancouver Roundtrip Glacier Bay

Interested in taking advantage of this offer? The promotion ends March 31 and it’s subject to availability, so call to speak with an Alaska Cruise Specialist today at 1-800-565-2784.

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August: Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts

Best of Alaska cruisetour hosts

Alan and Joan hosted one of our tours last year, too!

As with our other hosts, Alan Berry and Joan Felt have cruised to Alaska. Actually, they too, like Lynn, Donna, Heather and Norm hosted one of our Best of Alaska cruisetours last year.

For 12 nights starting August 18, 2014, Joan and Alan will be hosting our clients (and maybe even you!).

Both Joan and Alan have traveled extensively through parts of the western US and Canada. Over the past several years, their travels took them to Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1969, Joan left her hometown on the South Island of New Zealand on a 30 day voyage aboard a Greek cruise liner headed to the United States. This ignited her love of travel. Two years later, she relocated to Japan and the Philippines for seven years. She toured many countries in Southeast Asia during this time before returning to Seattle, Washington where she has called home since.

Joan’s professions fed into her passion for travel as well. Having worked as a sales representative for 15 years, her work took her to Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia. She was also employed in tourism working with tour groups, in destination management and acting as the conference liaison for large groups.

Alan spent the last 15 years in Alaska as a tour bus driver and guide. He is very much looking forward to hosting the Best of Alaska cruisetour again because not only is Alaska one of his favorite places, but also getting to know different cultures and meeting new people is what makes travel exciting for him.

Although Alan has done some traveling before, now that he is retired, his destinations have expanded. Two years ago, he and Joan sold their home, cars and belongings and set off on a 9 month world trip that began in October. The journey included Iceland, England, Dubai, Kenya, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Spain, France, and Italy. Five months of the trip was in Kenya, helping different groups with projects. They went on a safari and came close to lots of wildlife and they not only met locals, but other travelers from around the world as well.

It’s not too late to join these two adventure seekers this August. Visit this page for the itinerary details and call 1-800-565-2784 today.

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July: Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts

Cruise Experts Travel's Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts July 21, 2014If you didn’t know, I’m hosting Cruise Experts Travel’s 12-night July Best of Alaska cruisetour date with my partner Ian. Please join us!

Having both cruised Alaska last year, Ian and I look forward to experiencing the beauty of the Great Land once again. Some of our most exciting times include soaring high above Juneau on a helicopter tour, dog sledding on a glacier, kayaking the serene waters surrounding the Tongass Forest, and hearing the thunderous crash of calving glaciers at Glacier Bay National Park. We can’t wait to create more everlasting memories this time around, exploring the state’s majesty further inland. And we’re pleased to be part of our clients’ Alaskan experience.

dog sledding excursion on glacier

One of the delightful mushing dogs we met at the top of the glacier. This dog sledding excursion helps keep the dogs in shape for the iditarod racing season.

Originally from Ontario, Canada, I’ve been calling Vancouver, British Columbia my home the past 5 years. I’ve also lived in Belgium for a school semester and explored the cobblestone streets of Europe for a summer. Ian was born and raised in Vancouver and spent time in Asia before returning home to start his career in commercial real estate.

Exploring Rome, Italy

Taking a moment in Rome, Italy to… take it all in.

Travel is a passion of ours. Along with those mentioned above, some of our other top travel experiences together include snorkeling amongst tropical fish and green sea turtles in Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay, wandering the streets of Rome and stumbling upon ancient sites, driving around the unspoiled rolling lands of southern Ireland, and exploring Italy’s ruggedly beautiful Amalfi coast. We’re so very excited to add Denali National Park and the White Pass Rail to our top experiences this July!

If you’d like to join us, you can find the details here or call to speak with an Alaska Cruise Specialist at 1-800-565-2784.

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June: Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts

Best of Alaska cruisetour hosts

Heather and Norm Clifton hosted our custom cruisetour last year, as well. Heather is one of our Cruise Specialists.

Last year Cruise Expert Heather Clifton hosted adventure seekers on our Best of Alaska cruisetour and guess what? She’s going baaaaaack! You can learn about her in this video, but ignore the cruisetour date at the end because we filmed it last year.

Heather is hosting yet another Best of Alaska trip this summer on June 23. Join her!

She is a 19 year travel industry veteran and has sailed on major cruise lines all over the world. She is a Master Cruise Counsellor with CLIA, a Freestyle Cruise Specialist with Norwegian, and has reached Commodore status with Princess Cruises and Cunard.

Heather is particularly fond of Alaska, having explored the state several times, with College Fjord being her favourite destination to date. She enjoys the peacefulness, the spectacular scenery, the quaint port-of-calls, and most of all, the charming Alaskan hospitality.

As the Cruise Expert host this June, it would be her eighth visit to the Great Land. She looks forward to spending time with our guests and ensuring that everyone has a great experience on this trip. She will be joined by her husband Norm as her co-host.

Ultimate Best of Alaska

Group shot from last year’s trip that Heather hosted.

You can contact Heather by leaving her a message on her Facebook page or call to speak with her directly at 1-800-565-2784.

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May: Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts

Best of Alaska cruisetour hostsOn May 26, 2014, Lynn and Donna Lambert will be greeting guests at Fairbanks International Airport as the group of adventureres start their Alaskan journey lasting 12 nights. The duo have hosted before. In fact, this will be their third time leading a group on Cruise Experts Travel’s Best of Alaska cruisetour.

Alaska is very special to Donna and Lynn. Since retiring in 1998, they have travelled to the Great Land several times, sharing their experience with those new to the North.

Lynn is the father of Blaine Lambert, Chief Operating Officer of Cruise Experts Travel. Having lived and worked in the Yukon Territory and travelled in Alaska for over 35 years, he has a love for and substantial knowledge of the Great Northern Wilderness, its people, places and animals. He designed the official flag for the Yukon Territory almost 45 years ago. An artist and a carver for many years, Lynn’s carvings in Moose antlers were sold in Skagway, Alaska to travellers from all over the world.

Lynn and Donna have always enjoyed cruise travel. Sharing their experiences and meeting new friends are why they host these adventures. They want to ensure everyone is comfortable and are maximizing their Alaskan holiday. Their travels have always been about the people; that is the true reward.

Best of Alaska cruisetour

Lynn and Donna hosted these adventurers last year!

Would you like to join Donna and Lynn this May? Call 1-800-565-2784 to speak with an Alaska Cruise Specialist today.

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Allow me to introduce our 2014 Best of Alaska Cruisetour Hosts

We don’t just send you on our 12-night Best of Alaska cruisetours. We make sure everyone on the trip is taken care of. That’s why there are hosts on our cruisetours. They are available to answer your questions throughout the 12-night trip in Alaska. This of course, is at no extra course; it’s just part of the value we provide.

Who will be hosting each date? Here they are.

May 26, 2014 – Lynn and Donna Lambert.

Ultimate Alaska Cruisetour

This will be Lynn and Donna’s 3rd time hosting the Best of Alaska cruisetour.

Lynn and Donna have always enjoyed cruise travel. Sharing their experiences and meeting new friends are why they host these adventures. They want to ensure you are comfortable and are maximizing your Alaskan holiday. Their travels have always been about the people and to them, that is the true reward. Lynn is Blaine Lambert’s father, the COO of Cruise Experts Travel.

June 23, 2014 – Heather and Norm Clifton

Best of Alaska cruisetour hosts

Heather and Norm Clifton hosted our custom cruisetour last year, as well. Heather is one of our Cruise Specialists.

Heather is particularly fond of Alaska, having explored the state several times, with College Fjord being her favourite destination to date. She enjoys the peacefulness, the spectacular scenery, the quaint ports-of-call, and most of all, the charming Alaskan hospitality.

July 21, 2014 – Me! Yes, yours truly! My boyfriend Ian will be helping out as well.

Best of Alaska cruisetour hosts

We’re going back to Alaska and doing it right this time — on the Best of Alaska cruisetour!

This will be our first Alaska cruisetour. We did a 7-night cruise to Alaska last summer and were in awe pretty much the whole time, so we’re very excited to return this July. We can only imagine how breathtaking the interior of Alaska is going to be.

August 18, 2014 – Joan Felt and Alan Berry

Best of Alaska cruisetour hosts

Joan and Alan hosted one of our tours last year, too!

They have travelled extensively through parts of the western US and Canada. Over the past several years, their travels took them to Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.

Would you like to learn more about our hosts? We’ll be featuring the hosts of each date each week starting next Friday.

Follow us on Twitter @AKCruiseExperts and Facebook.

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Best of Alaska Cruisetour has 2 nights in Denali

This is the third consecutive year we are offering our very own cruisetour called the Best of Alaska. Since the inaugural season, there has been a Cruise Experts Travel host for each of our trips. This year is no different, but there has been one change this time around though and it’s for the better.

This year, guests will experience an extra night in Denali National Park, home of the highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley.

Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali National Park

Travel deep into Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour.

The national park and preserve also houses a variety of wildlife including mammals such as both grizzly and black bears, caribou, dall sheep, moose, gray wolves, foxes, wolverines, and lynx, just to name a few. What does this mean to you? More opportunity to encounter these inhabitants!

The 12-night itinerary has guests exploring the land first followed by a 7-night cruise on the Crown Princess. Dates this year are May 26, June 23, July 21, August 18.

Land Portion:

Day Destination
1
Fairbanks, Alaska

2
Fairbanks, Alaska

3
Fairbanks, Alaska / Denali, Alaska

4
Denali, Alaska

5
Denali, Alaska / Anchorage, Alaska

6
Anchorage, Alaska

Cruise Portion:

Day Port name Arrives Departs
6
Whittier, Alaska 8:30pm
7
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska 3:00pm 8:00pm
8
Glacier Bay, Alaska 9:15am 7:30pm
9
Skagway, Alaska 7:00am 8:30pm
10
Juneau, Alaska 6:30am 4:00pm
11
Ketchikan, Alaska 10:00am 6:00pm
12
At Sea
13
Vancouver, British Columbia 7:30am

You have the option to extend the trip with one extra night in Vancouver as well. It really is gorgeous and there’s lots to see and do in this 2010 Winter Olympics host city.

Vancouver's skyline from Stanley Park.

Vancouver’s skyline from Stanley Park.

Drop by next week as I reveal who the hosts are for each date. Interested in this cruisetour? Call to speak with a Cruise Expert at 1-800-565-2784.

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