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Alaska 2022??

Cinderella
Explorer
Explorer
Was curious if anyone is considering going to Alaska this year? Usually by now there are some posts. Was wondering with Covid testing requirements to get through Canada and rising fuel costs if anyone is planning on going.
31 REPLIES 31

PA12DRVR
Explorer
Explorer
Some points on AMHS etc:

- RV rental is very expensive in AK; as are hotel / motel in the summer. If one was planning on driving an RV up in any case, the recent fuel price increases probably aren't as much as flight + hotel + eating out +++.
- AMHS is one of my favorite ways to travel, but the ferries have cafeterias. One (IIRC) has a dining room in addition to the cafeteria and snack bar and coffee bar. They aren't cruise ships by any stretch. ....and "stateroom" is a stretch, although the accommodations are nice enough.
- AMHS has recently implemented dynamic pricing...wherein there is a premium (up to 40%) added to fares and other charges depending on occupancy....I believe the uptick starts at 50% occupancy(???)

I think folks will enjoy coming to Alaska however they get here, but if driving was planned, the incremental price increase recently may not be a suitable reason (standing by itself) to change access methods.
CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN

Rocky2
Explorer
Explorer
My last three trips, I've used the ferry to take the short trip from Skagway to Haines. You get the experience of the ferry and bypass the long drive from Skagway to Haines and then back up to Haines Junction. Cost of the fuel avoided made up for the cost of the ferry for two people, RV, and toad. Not all of the ferry routes are priced that extremely. The longer rides were not on our agenda because of our pupper dog.

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
The Alaska State Ferry usually has a naturalist on board. You can get a state room and eat in different restaurants. The people traveling are much more interesting than tourists on cruise ships. For some extra fees you can get off and get back on along the route. You can make the trip as long as you want.

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
grit dog,
If you have never been on a cruise, how can you compare these two types of trips?
If you have never been on the ferry how do you know it is "basically transportation?"
People see Alaska all different kinds of ways. The ferry stops at little towns the cruise could never dock at.
If people are worried about crowds in Alaska, they need to change their itineraries.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
ppine wrote:
Alaskan ferry is a good option. No need to bring a vehicle. Get a state room. Much better than a cruise ship.


Better? Ummm, they're not even comparable. One is basically transportation and the other is, well, a cruise. Like saying a Toyota Tercel is better than a F350. They both have wheels and go form A to B, but are in very few ways comparable.

(FWIW, never been on a cruise. Sure we will someday, but not on my "gotta do" list. Have been on AMHS, loved it, great experience, but not a cruise.)

Regardless, seeing each little roadless town in SE is not "seeing" Alaska. And what you save in driving your (whatever you'd take) vehicle up there, you'll spend double, renting a RV or renting a car and hotels.

IMO, the only time it would make sense to fly or boat up with no vehicle, is if your time was limited and didn't allow for the drive. I'm sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking.
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Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
Alaskan ferry is a good option. No need to bring a vehicle. Get a state room. Much better than a cruise ship. You get to stop in the smaller towns and ride with a lot of Alaskans.

I looked into that for our trip next year, rather than fly in between the towns like Ketchikan and Sitka. Check ferry schedules closely. It can be a long time to get from one point to another and they don't go to every town every day. https://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/schedules.shtml

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

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[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

PA12DRVR
Explorer
Explorer
ppine wrote:
Alaskan ferry is a good option. No need to bring a vehicle. Get a state room. Much better than a cruise ship. You get to stop in the smaller towns and ride with a lot of Alaskans.

If you think fuel costs a lot where you live, wait until you get to the remote bush.


Bingo on all points...but if interested in the AMHS, check and see what routes are running this summer. If you're interested in bringing your RV, IMNSHO, the AMHS is prohibitively expensive, but it's a great deal for a walk-on / walk-off visit.
CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
Alaskan ferry is a good option. No need to bring a vehicle. Get a state room. Much better than a cruise ship. You get to stop in the smaller towns and ride with a lot of Alaskans.

If you think fuel costs a lot where you live, wait until you get to the remote bush.

Edd505
Explorer
Explorer
Veebyes wrote:
Edd505 wrote:
Cinderella wrote:
Was curious if anyone is considering going to Alaska this year? Usually by now there are some posts. Was wondering with Covid testing requirements to get through Canada and rising fuel costs if anyone is planning on going.

Yep June on Princess Cruise Lines


Cruising is fine for some but those boats stop at every T shirt, trinket & jewelry store on the SE coast.

The North & Alaska by RV is a whole different trip to whole different places.

I'm sure it is but fuel prices and almost everyone I have talked to said you will have damage. I have been to 49 of the 50 so before it's too late I am ding #50. Wife's never been on a ship so it checks a box for her, my prior cruise stopped in Vietnam and was not that enjoyable.

I'm also not into trinkets, on R&R from Vietnam I was able to see Hong Kong Gardens, ride he tram and I visit an open market in Japan (multi tours to RVN) Home to Anchorage is 3700+ one way and with fuel at $5.00+ we'll make the first trip by ship. We are not drinkers so we will see as much as we can.
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C20
Explorer
Explorer
We’re going on a fantasy Rv tour this summer. 45 day trip. Looking forward to it. Not liking the fuel prices, but didn’t buy a 600hp Cummins for the gas mileage!
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thomas201
Explorer
Explorer
Last summer we drove a rented truck camper up to Deadhorse. I filled up at heart attack prices in Coldfoot and Deadhorse. The highest gas prices I ever paid in my life, while looking at the well head sheds of the north slope.

I wonder if they will crack double digit gas prices this summer?

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
Trackrig wrote:
The good part is it will probably cut down on the crowds.


Don't count on it. One of the side effects of COVID was "Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard" syndrome. Many people stayed local and attractions were just as busy. We were scheduled to go to Alaska in 2020 and had to bump into 2021. The remote lodge we went to was booked solid all through 2020 with people from Alaska staying at home.

Many of those who can afford a big rig will just bite the bullet on the cost because they can. An extra $500-$1000 won't bother then. Others will skip on other things so they can go. Yes, there will be some that sadly will have to cancel or change their plans but overall I think it might be a wash and you won't see a huge difference.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II

PA12DRVR
Explorer
Explorer
"Cruising is fine for some but those boats stop at every T shirt, trinket & jewelry store on the SE coast."

Over the past several years, the DW and I have either taken the big silver bird or AMHS to several SE towns for a visit. One of the more enjoyable ways to spend a few hours in, say Ketchikan, is to get a good seat at a bar overlooking the cruise dock about 2:30 or so in the afternoon and watch the surge of folks trying to get a last-minute shot at trinkets before reboarding for a 5:00 cast-off. By the time of the 2nd or 3rd beverage (or is it 3d or 4th?) at about 4:30 / 4:45 interesting to see how the diehards deal with rushing to get back to the ship with their purchases before the cut-off for reboarding / departure.

I also think there would be quite a few segments of industry that could take lessons in effective demobilization from the trinket vendors in SE: within 3 minutes of the last cruise ship pax walking away, the shutters are down; by the time the ship casts off the hawsers, the trinket shop is closed up, the lights are off, and the staff is back at the hostel for the evening.
CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN