Land and Sea combination packages - What are your thoughts?

Hi all

My husband and I just booked B2B Alaska cruises for July/August 2016. We selected Princess because of their land-based options.  Our itinerary starts off with 5 nights of land travel (McKinley, Denali). Motor coach and rail travel modes seem to maximize sightseeting opportunities out and back to Anchorage, from which point we start B2B 7 day cruises Anchorage to Vancouver to Anchorage.  

The itinerary looks ab fab, but would love to hear from people who have experienced the land/sea combination packages (any location). Do you feel it was a good value?  Please share your personal pros and cons. 

Many thanks!

 

Tags: Land and sea cruise tours

4 Answers

They call those "Cruise Tours" HAL and Princess run a lot of them here in Alaska. They have both been in Alaska a very long time and have an excellent hotel networks, motor coach operations as well as priority access due their longevity, like Glacier Bay.  When this question is asked most posters usually respond that it is better to go on your own, in Alaska, since it is so easy to drive here. The budget minded point out it is a lot cheaper as well. I can't disagree. But there are significant advantages as well when on a cruise tour. 

We do like these combination packages for a variety of reasons. The best one ever was a safari we got from Princess which began after disembarking in Cape Town. It lasted a little over a week and took us up into Botswana and Zimbabwe. Pretty high end and not cheap but a once in a life time adventure. We are currently booked on a Princess Cruise Tour that begins in Toronto mid October, called the Maple Explorer. Takes us via coach through Niagara Falls and parts of Canada for 6 nights then Cruise New England and the east coast ending in Houston, 20 nights all total.

PS--Hope you have a great voyage and visit to Alaska. I like that you did the round trip, we did the same one time even though we live up here. Started in San Fran and ended up in Vancouver.      

I have looked at the Alaska Cruise Tours,  They seam to be a good price.  Princess has the best porting of ships in Alaska,  since they took over P&O they go way back in Alaska.  The Hotels that they have are in prime locations.   

It will be much simpler to do a package through the cruise line then to start researching hotels and transportation on your own.   I have done 2 weeks in Europe before and after cruises,  it is a lot of work to research hotel and transportation and excursions if you want a tour guide.   We just did our own sight seeing and used the subway.

In Alaska I think the package is the way to go..... looking forward to your review and photo's.

Thank you both for responding!

Kennicott - we are wicked (can you tell I am from Boston?) excited about the Alaska trip. I guess it's contagious because now my sister and her husband are considering joining us for at least part of it.  

JusMe - You are right in terms of the simplicity. My head was spinning with all of the options associated with the Alaska itinerary so the package made the most sense.  We also figure that the chances of us re-cruising the same itinerary is lower because of the other places we still want to go to for the first time. 

Just an FYI - I reached out to Princess regarding if any Captain's Club points were awarded for their land-based days.  At this time the answer is NO.  Only cruise days are recognized with points toward Captain's Club tiers.  I don't agree with that policy but if enough people ask about it, perhaps they will reconsider.

 

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