We travelled with Holland America Line for this holiday. We flew out to Fairbanks and after spending one night in our hotel enjoyed our first included excursion: a trip on a riverboat which stopped at a preserved Native American village which we visited and found very interesting. We then moved on to Denali. Our stay there included an all-day trip to Denali National Park – this was a memorable experience. We saw all kinds of wildlife, including caribou, bald eagles and chipmunks, but the highlight was when I spotted a grisly quite a distance away. Our driver halted the minibus and advised us all to remain silent. Slowly the grisly meandered towards us until he was less than two metres from our vehicle. All 13 of us in the bus held our breath as we quietly took photos of this huge animal. He seemed totally unaware of our existence and continued his stroll across the narrow road we were on. This really made our day. We had a day at leisure and then took a train to Anchorage. This was a fabulous experience; the train was very similar to the Rocky Mountaineer but this trip was included in the price of the holiday. We had lunch on the train and a running commentary on the landscape which proved very informative and interesting. We spent one night in Anchorage and then boarded another train which would take us down to Seward where we would board our ship. This train journey contrasted with that of the previous day as it followed the coastline and was very relaxing. The train journey ended less than 500 metres from our ship and our luggage had already been sent on so that when we boarded it was already in our cabin.
The rest of our trip included the usual itinerary of Alaska cruises:Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Inside Passage and Vancouver; we sailed to see the John Hopkins glacier and even saw calving of the ice as we remained stationary to observe the scenery all around us. We spotted whales – sadly at a distance – and even saw a couple of bears at some distance on the other shore. The ports of call were all interesting and there was plenty to do in each.
This was a fabulous holiday and one I will never forget.