Whale Watching Cruise

Q: How far is Prince William Sound from Anchorage hotels? Will we be able to do a whale watching tour there?

A: To do one of the Prince William Sound day cruises the closest town to Anchorage you could do that out of would be Whittier, which is about 60 miles south of Anchorage. There are several wildlife and glacier cruises you can choose from. If you wanted to do a day cruise you could rent a car and drive, take the train, or there is van transfer from Anchorage to Whittier. The day cruises from Prince William Sound focus on glacier viewing and occasionally whales are spotted but there are no cruises specifically geared to whale watching.

Seward to Anchorage Train

Q: What time does the morning train leave Seward for Anchorage?

A: The Alaska Railroad train leaves Seward at 6:00PM and arrives in Anchorage at 10:15PM. There is no morning train from Seward to Anchorage. The Park Connection motorcoach does offer a morning departure from Seward that arrives in Anchorage about 1:30PM.

Seward to Anchorage Transportation

Q: I plan on taking the Alaska railroad from Anchorage to Seward. Is there a bus or train that will take me back to Anchorage the next day?

A: I would recommend taking a bus back to Anchorage as it follows a different route than the train for a portion of the trip. This will allow you to see the most scenery. The Park Connection Motorcoach departs twice daily from Seward, once at 10:30am and once at 6:30pm. The train runs back to Anchorage once per day at 6:00pm.

Fairbanks to Vancouver

Q: How can I get from Fairbanks to Vancouver BC without driving or flying?

A: I would recommend taking the Alaska Railroad between Fairbanks and Whittier and a 7-day Alaska cruise between Whittier and Vancouver. You would need two days to do the rail travel with an overnight in Anchorage. The rail from Fairbanks to Anchorage is a twelve hour trip arriving into Anchorage at about 8pm. The next morning you could take the rail from Anchorage to Whittier to board the cruise ship.

Seward Rail

Q: What time does the train from Seward arrive in Anchorage? Can we make a 12:30am flight out of Anchorage?

A: The Seward train arrives at the Anchorage Depot around 10:15pm. If you are booked on a 12:30am flight, you will have enough time to make it to the airport but it is certainly going to be a tight connection. There will be taxis at the depot waiting to transport passengers to their final destination. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the Anchorage airport. If you are not comfortable with that connection I would recommend taking the Park Connection Motorcoach from Seward. This bus arrives in Anchorage about 9:30pm and would drop you off directly at the airport.

Driving time Anchorage to Talkeetna

Q: What is the distance from downtown Anchorage to Talkeetna?

A: Talkeetna is about 115 miles from Anchorage. Driving time is about 2.5 hours. Talkeetna is a great place to do a flight seeing trip to Mt. McKinley!

Transportation between Anchorage and Denali

Q: What is the cost to get to Denali from Anchorage?

A: The Park Connection Motorcoach runs 2 daily services from Anchorage to Denali. The morning departure is $80 and the afternoon departure is $90. The railroad offers multiple classes of service and departs once daily from Anchorage at 8:15am. The Standard Class is $150 per adult and the Gold Star Dome service is $235 per adult. You can also book the McKinley Explorer Rail, which is very similar to the Gold Star Dome but at a lesser cost of $218.00 per adult.

Anchorage to Chena Hot Springs

Q: I want to go from Anchorage to Chena Hot Springs. I’ve already been to Denali and points in between. How do you suggest I travel?

A: You have several options depending on your schedule, your preferred mode of transportation and the number of nights you would like to spend in Fairbanks.

The most direct route is to rent a car in Anchorage and drive to Chena Hot Springs. The Chena Hot springs are located about an hour and a half from Fairbanks on the Chena Hot Springs Road. The drive between Anchorage and Fairbanks is 360 miles and will take about 6-7 hours. It is 419 miles total between Anchorage and Chena Hot Springs.

I would recommend either flying into Fairbanks (50 minute flight) or taking the train from Anchorage. The train ride is beautiful but takes about twelve hours. We offer a day tour to Chena Hot Springs and the Ice Museum. This tour departs from local hotels at about 11:30am and returns to Fairbanks at 6:30pm. It includes narration in route and entrance to the Ice Museum and the hot springs. Snacks and lunch are available at the resort’s restaurant. If you take the train, you would need to spend two nights in Fairbanks. If you fly, this trip could be done as a day trip from Anchorage if you could get an early morning flight to Fairbanks and a later departure back to Anchorage.

Hotel Shuttle Service to Whittier Port

Q: Do any hotels offer shuttle service to the cruise ship terminal in Whittier?

A: The cruise ship terminal in Whittier is an hour and a half from Anchorage, so none of the hotels shuttles will go that far. You would have to book transportation by bus (such as the Park Connection motorcoach) or train from Anchorage to Whittier.

Day Trip from Anchorage

Q: We want to take a day trip from Anchorage. Would Portage Glacier or Prince William Sound be better?

A: I would suggest doing a day trip to Prince William Sound via a glacier cruise out of Whittier. You can take the Alaska Railroad to Whittier in the morning from Anchorage, take a day cruise, and return by train that evening. The only way to get to Portage Glacier is by rental car. Portage Glacier is very scenic but it is just one glacier whereas a day cruise out of Whittier will allow you to see many glaciers.

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