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Transport from Seward to Anchorage


Ken Edgar
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I am trying to figure out the best option to get to Anchorage at the end of our one way cruise from Vancouver to Seward.  I see there are train/bus/car rental options, some even including a tour.   Ship arrives 5AM Friday so we have the entire day as well as the next day in Anchorage before flying home on Sunday.  

Anyone have any recommendations?

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It has been a long time since we have cruised Alaska, but we chose to do a "land tour" after our cruise from Vancouver to Seward (actually the RCL booking agent convinced us out of doing the return trip to Vancouver).  Best advise from any Travel Professional.  She said you can not go all the way to Alaska and not see Denali. 

We took a bus from Seward to Anchorage (more below) and then 5 days from Anchorage to Denali and back (flying home from Anchorage).

The bus ride from Seward to Anchorage was very nice, and just before we ended up in Anchorage we saw a once in a life time sight ... People surfing on the Bore Tide in Turnagain Arm.  It is very difficult to be there at the exact correct time to see it.  They do publish a Bore Tide Schedule, so adventurous explorers could plan an easy half day trip if they wanted.  We saw from the bus.  Surfing a Bore Tide in Alaska ... it was magical site.

I always recommend to Alaska cruisers:

  • Cruise one way and combine with a land tour of as much of Alaska as you can see.
  • Take the train from Anchorage to Denali and spend 2 or 3 days there.  Denali and Denali National are "other-worldly".
  • Hopefully you can see Talkeetna along the way.  Hopefully the little café in town still plays full Beatles' albums on Sunday mornings.  The memory was so vivid that I still taste that breakfast, see that view of the café and street, while hearing the White Album.  A very special memory which started out just as a walk.
  • Figure out how to experience the Bore Tide on Turnagain Arm.

Hope you have a blast,

Curt from Canada

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2 hours ago, Ken Edgar said:

I am trying to figure out the best option to get to Anchorage at the end of our one way cruise from Vancouver to Seward.  I see there are train/bus/car rental options, some even including a tour.   Ship arrives 5AM Friday so we have the entire day as well as the next day in Anchorage before flying home on Sunday.  

Anyone have any recommendations?

Done train & bus. You catch either right off the ship.   Train gives you more scenery and a little longer duration.  Bus shorter ride, and you're seeing highway scenery and see all the RVs on the road.  Same options when you get to Anchorage to go north to Denali - bus,  train or a mix.  Personal preference - train.

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Both the train and the bus will leave Seward around 5-6 pm which will give you a full day in Seward to tour. I loved Seward. I'd stay there an extra day but there are some nice excursions you can take out of Anchorage to different glacier hikes that are about an hour or two out of Anchorage. Just schedule any of those excursions pretty far in advance, especially any that include plane excursions.

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Curt,

Had to Google Bora tide (sounds way cool).  I also had my eye on Denali but just had a long day trip planned for the Saturday after arriving in Anchorage on Friday.   Is this even worth it for a 1 day side trip.  I already booked our flight back from Anchorage leaving Sunday AM and not sure if it can be changed.   I got a good deal on it presumably because everyone else is flying the next day (Memorial Day).   Does that park get super busy on holiday weekends?   Maybe I can go straight there from Seward on Friday even so we dont spend part of Saturday traveling there. 

Rental car from Seward returning to Anchorage airport is very expensive as opposed to picking it up at the airport and returning the same place so will likely still do either the bus or train from Seward to pick up the car in Anchorage. 

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OK, now that I've researched a little more, I see the folly in trying to do Denali in a day trip from Anchorage.  I guess technically I could rent a car and drive it in 5 hours just to turn around and go back but whats the point in that?  I also see a bus from Seward going there but its a 10 hour ride and would have to catch a bus or train the next morning back to Anchorage.  I did find out that my flight is changeable so I may try to add a couple days but am seeing that lodging among other things is very expensive in Alaska so more than a couple to 3 nights might be out of my budget.

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