After traveling to, in and around Alaska via cruise ship twice now, once with Princess Cruises and once with Holland America Line, the thought of a vacation in the land of the midnight sun without the cruise ship comes to mind as a very viable vacation option. To linger a while longer in Denali or explore Ketchikan a few days sounds like it might be a good idea. We have been blessed by traveling with two cruise lines that are really into the whole Alaska experience and we thank them for it. Still, looking beyond a cruise ship vacation to get deeper into the state, staying longer at places we have been to before and discovering new favorites via train or car is intriguing.
“No matter how long the trip or how much of the state you cover, Alaska is an ideal destination to explore by road,” says TravelAlaska, the website of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. The message came via our subscription to My Alaska News, a periodic email we get all about all things Alaska. We signed up for it after meeting Alaska Governor Sean Parnell last March in Miami. He was there for the SeaTrade show, promoting Alaska to cruise lines and he listened attentively to the request and concerns of cruise line executives. A really nice guy, Parnell seriously considered our request to see why Alaska Brewing Company can’t ship Alaska Summer Ale in Florida too. (Thank you Princess Cruises and Holland America Line for having plenty on hand.)
“Any one of Alaska’s major routes offers scenery that leaves even the most hardened city dweller wide-eyed with amazement,” continues TravelAlaska, adding “And with the flexibility afforded by independent travel and plentiful rest areas, campgrounds and state and national parks, you’ll enjoy the ability to set your own pace and go where your wanderlust leads you.”
OK, we’re intrigued.
Exploring the TravelAlaska site, gives answers to just about any question one might have about the state. Sections on Places To Go, Things To Do and Getting To And Around go a long way to satisfying the most ravenous hunger for Alaska information. Sample Trips get us headed in the right direction and it does not take long to see that an Alaska vacation on our own is indeed entirely possible.
Will we actually do one? Hard to say, our experiences on both Princess Cruises and Holland America Line were both stellar and pretty hard to beat. But just as we were surprised that a 7-day round-trip Seattle cruise ship sailing could rival a south-bound 7-day cruise ship cruisetour with multiple days tacked on the front end, a land version might very well add even more depth to experiencing this great land.
Governor Parnell puts it best:
“Alaska is different from every other destination in the world,” says Parnell. “Every day offers an unforgettable memory.”
Some other articles we have written about Alaska while sailing with Princess Cruises and Holland America Line:
- Whale Watching In Alaska Takes Concentration, Luck
- Alaska sneaks up on us
- Holland America Line Brings Alaska Home, Tastefully
- Stories make Alaska
- Princess Cruises Continues Alaska Domination With Onboard Exhibit
- Seven Day Alaska A Good Cruise Option
- Your cruise questions answered: What about Alaska?
- Alaska did not just happen