In total, the optional land excursion program features 96 tour choices that cruisetour travelers can add to the land portion of their trip. These activities are currently open for purchase and offer a range of experiences from easygoing to exhilarating – including cultural tours, nature hikes, kayak adventures and flightseeing tours.
Cruisetour passengers can get additional information about the land excursions from a new section on Princess’ web site, http://www.princess.com/learn/cruisetours/alaska/land_excursions, offering full details on the program and tour listings.
“Just like shore excursions from our ships, these optional land excursions are selected to give cruisetour guests some uniquely Alaska adventures and experiences,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “And because these tours are all operated by Alaskan companies, travelers will be able to experience the state from a true local perspective.”
Land excursions operate from each of Princess’ own wilderness lodges – Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge and Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge – as well as from additional locations featured on some cruisetours, such as Anchorage and Coldfoot (for Arctic Explorer cruisetours).
New land excursion options debuting this season include:
Wilderness Living Adventure & Dog Cart Ride (Denali) – How did the hunters, trappers and woodsmen of old travel and live in the wilderness of Alaska? This tour provides a look at many Alaskans who make their living in the wilderness near Denali. The hosts share stories about their lives, particularly what winters are like in Denali. A dog cart ride takes travelers down a rustic trail for a taste of sledding and possible views of Mt. McKinley.
Anaktuvuk Pass Adventure (Coldfoot) – Guests can visit a true Eskimo village with this tour to the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass. Travelers fly northwest from Coldfoot to Anaktuvuk Pass, nestled in the heart of the majestic Brooks Mountain Range and the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Once in the village, guests will get a first-hand look at life in Anaktuvuk Pass as it exists today.
A Taste of Fairbanks – An evening at Chez World Cooking School will show travelers how to prepare food the Alaskan way. Whether they fully experience the class with hands-on participation or simply watch the overhead monitors, students will learn the secrets behind Alaskan delicacies such as salmon, reindeer sausage, halibut, crab, moose, and caribou, as well sourdough bread and pancakes. Students will get to taste the entrees of the day plus take home recipes and a chef’s apron.
Susitna River Airboat Adventure (Mt. McKinley) – Travelers can experience parts of the lovely Susitna River that others can’t with this airboat excursion. Piloted by a captain who knows the waters well, the airboat can navigate through narrow channels, moving through inches of water and in some cases no water at all. Participants will enjoy the beauty of the Susitna while looking for wildlife and their tracks, and can even bring home a souvenir animal track casting. On clear days, they can also marvel at spectacular views of Mt. McKinley.
Sea Kayaking at Columbia Glacier (Copper River) – This opportunity to paddle into the massive Columbia Glacier icefield offers an experience that travelers will never forget. From Valdez participants take a scenic ride to Columbia Glacier for a kayaking expedition up close to the glacier, plus lunch on the beach. The excursion could also result in sightings of wildlife such as seals, sea otters, bald eagles, sea lions, whales and bears.
Chatanika Gold Camp & ATV Ride with Dinner (Fairbanks) – The early miners never traveled like this! Following a hearty dinner at Chatanika Gold Camp, travelers take a 2.5 hour ATV ride along a mining trail used by early miners to access the surrounding gold fields. The approximately 15-mile route follows a ridge line and offers beautiful views of the distant mountains and valleys.
Explore Historic Seward (Kenai) – From Kenai, travelers can enjoy a drive down one of the nation’s most scenic highways and past parts of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. At the end of the road at Resurrection Bay is the historic city of Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Travelers will have plenty of time to see the town, visit local attractions or browse the quaint shops and art galleries.
South Denali 65-Mile ATV Adventure (Mt. McKinley) – An ATV adventure along dirt roads carved out of the wilderness by the area’s first prospectors, this tour takes travelers far into the back-country of south Denali with its cascading waterfalls and scenic wonders. Participants can also try their hand at panning for gold in Peters Creek.
Scenic Koyukuk River Float (Coldfoot) – It’s not too often that travelers can enjoy a scenic float trip 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle! This tour takes passengers down the Middle Fork Koyukuk River through the Brooks Mountain Range, where they can relax as their raft floats through the vast wilderness of Alaska and a guide shares the rich history of the region.