Highlights of Alaska

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Highlights of Alaska

Postby studder76 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:23 am

I got back from the Highlights of Alaska trip a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed the trip greatly, but there were a few people on the tour who didn't. I'd say they didn't go in with proper preparation/expectations so I just wanted to post some tips/comments about the tour for people who are going in the future.

1. The stops made in the tour are mostly in small towns. If you just want to explore the cities and not get out and do optional activities, you'll get bored quickly as you can see most of the towns in a couple of hours.
1b. This really applies in Wrangle-St. Elias National Park. Some of the most beautiful scenery I've every seen, but no wi-fi, no tv, maybe fifty buildings in the two towns in the park, no where to hang out in the hotel and lots of mosquitos. You won't have a good time if you don't either love hiking or go out and play on the glaciers (which I thought was a lot of fun).
2. It rains in Alaska. Not non-stop, but regularly, and comes and goes quickly. Bring full rain gear: water proof jacket, pants and boots. It will make all the difference between spending your day in the park at a cafe or out in the park enjoying the nature and scenery.
3. You will see more wildlife on this tour than most other G Adventures tours, but this isn't the Galapagos or the Serengeti where you're tripping over animals. Have realistic expectations here. On our trip we saw a ridiculously high number of whales on the Seward optional boat cruise but saw next to nothing on our Denali shuttle tour (in both cases the guides were surprised by our luck, both good and bad). Through days 1-11 moose sightings were few and far between... on day 12 we all got our fill of seeing moose. There's a lot of luck involved with Alaska wildlife spotting.

Again, I very much enjoyed this trip, and just want to make sure people are properly prepared and get the most out of it.
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Re: Highlights of Alaska

Postby lesliew » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:44 pm

You make some excellent points. I think the important thing for any adventure tour like this is to go in without any expectations. When I went on the Realm of the Polar Bear arctic trip, we didn't see tons of polar bears, but we saw so many other fascinating things (animals and scenery) and the one bear we did see was all that more special. Just go with the flow and you'll have an amazing experience! (On my Tanzania Camping Safari trip, we actually had the opposite problem - we had someone complain that we spent too much time looking at animals!)
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Re: Highlights of Alaska

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:50 pm

There's a lot of luck involved in ANY wildlife viewing. As my CEO said in Africa, if you want to be sure to see a XXXXXXX, go to the zoo.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: Highlights of Alaska

Postby robk » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:44 pm

Hey, it's Alaska; what could go wrong? I was on this trip and Studder is correct. Go prepared. Perhaps, I am not that well traveled, but I thought the trip was remarkable. Ryan was an excellent CEO, and was particularly adept at "herding cats" considering the cats wanted to do so many different things. And, there were so many things to do.
Re: Wrangle and McCarthy: If I had to choose a best part, that was it. It is not New York or Paris, but I found it much more interesting. Talk to a "local" and you will find much to do. I did. And, the Wrangle Air flight was just great!
You can "please some of the people........" I was in the rainforest in Costa Rica watching the iconic scene of the turtle hatching when people complained about the rain.
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