Interested in traveling to Alaska in July, June, or August? Accent On Travel Rehoboth Beach agent Sofia Hedman recently hosted a group for a land and sea Princess Cruise to see America's northern wonderland. Here's her report.
Tell me a little bit about the trip.
It was really nice. We did four nights land ahead of time. One night on Fairbanks, three nights in Denali National Park, then took the group and the five-hour train ride. I have great photos of Alaskan wildlife!
Were there highlights of the trip from you as host?
A lot of people really liked the land portion. You don’t really what you would see on land when you’re on the cruise ship. Seeing caribou in their natural wildlife. Seeing bears.
You get to see two different towns in Alaska. There was an eight-hour tundra wilderness tour. It was definitely a long day, but we saw a bear three feet away from our bus. He was just eating grass!
The tour guide explained that you can’t drive your car in the park more than 30 miles or so, so all of these animals have grown up around these busses, which they are know are harmless and not a food source. They’re not fazed by them.
We weren’t allowed to get off the bus, but you just saw the bear in its natural habitat, not caring that we were there. We also saw a caribou frolicking in the water. We saw steep mountain sheets. Denali was a really cool element added to the trip.
What makes trip planning with Accent On Travel travel unique?
We did a lot of things when planning the trip. We picked out summer because it was our favorite time of year.
We picked the cruise and land travel so that people would have the opportunity to see everything. Princess does Alaska very well. They have their own exclusive lodges in the park and they’re the only line with their own train. It’s a great experience for the first-time Alaska traveler and little details like that the average traveler might not know.
Most of our travelers had never been to Alaska. It was really perfect as an intro to Alaska. If you had been many more times, we might have picked a different product for you.
Did you glean any new perspectives?
I learned more about planning this type of travel, which helps me better planning for our guests. Any experience like this helps you help your clients.
Did travelers report any particular exceptional moments? Did you experience some yourself?
We had two days of glacier watching. They had naturalists and park rangers come up in a little boat to the cruise ships. They’re giving lectures and telling you about where they are. They have a little setup of artifacts. They work in the parks and know it like the back of their hand. It was really cool.
Another thing: The clients I took really liked having a host! I was there to ensure things ran smoothly. Any questions they had, I was the one finding out for them, so they didn’t have to handle anything. That’s the benefit of a hosted trip!