Denali, Alaska for Cruise Visitors

Take the time to explore more of Alaska

Information about visiting Denali National Park as an optional land tour. Take a train trip to Denali from either Anchorage or Fairbanks.

For a lot of people who take an Alaskan cruise vacation a land tour is a must. For those that are either embarking or debarking near Anchorage should consider an optional land tour for total immersion.

There are a couple of options for people who want to visit Denali either before or after their cruise. One option is to book a land extension with the cruise line (preferably with the cruise line) or go it alone and make independent reservations.

Get into the interior of Alaska for a complete experience. 

There are many ways to travel Alaska but the most common, by far, is a cruise. While cruises are amazing, and a great way to experience the wonders of the state, they tend to focus on exploring the southeastern ports missing the Interior such as Anchorage, Denali National Park, Talkeetna, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

The solution to that is travelers are extending their trip s either before or after a cruise to visit the interior. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) about 22 percent of all cross-gulf passengers extend their visits to include excursions into the Interior, home to historical gold mining districts, expansive wilderness and Mount McKinley.

Denali National Park and Preserve, encompasses six million acres of preserved wilderness that includes massive expanses of forest, glacial lakes, frozen tundra, and towering mountains – including North America’s tallest mountain, Mount McKinley. Denali Park Village, located only miles from the entrance to Denali National Park, is set among 20 acres of a spruce forest along the Nenana River.

Denali Park Village, a new lodging destination that embodies Alaska’s rich mining and natural history, underwent a complete transformation in 2014. It now offers visitors an authentic Alaskan experience including The Lodge at Denali Park Village, The Cabins at Denali Park Village and Miner’s Plaza designed to resemble a historic mining town. The plaza includes individually themed shops, general store, museum, gift shop, gem mining, games such as horseshoe and bean bags, open fire pits and lounge chairs and an outdoor stage offering free talks by the Denali Education Center.

The wildlife and tours alone offer reason enough to make a stop in Denali. The Tundra Wilderness Tour, for example, travels 53 miles into the park. Incredible scenery, a narrated history of the park and some of the best opportunities to view the park’s wildlife such as Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves and grizzly bears , await visitors. Other not to miss activities include Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, rafting and interpretive hikes.

Source: The following information was provided by who was  representing Denali Park Village.

Getting to Denali

There are a variety of ways people can get from a port to Denali –

  • Train: The Alaska Rail Road leaves from all major ports and cities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seward, Whittier, Nome etc.
  • Private Car: Car rentals are available in all major cities
  • Tour  Company: Land tours are available through private Tour Companies or via the cruise line
  • Motor Coach:  Rentals are available for groups
  • Flights: International Airports are in both Anchorage and Fairbanks. Small state airports are found in all towns.
  • State Ferries: Alaska Marine Highway is available in Southeast Alaska

As for timing, it is recommended to really see Denali on a land tour, 5-7 days. I did find some that are 3 days, so it can be done in a shorter amount of time , but 5-7 is ideal.

Learn more:  If you want to read about my cruise with land tour on Princess Cruises click here.


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