By Michael Coleman
Princess Cruises will debut nine new land excursions for passengers in Alaska this year.
Overall, look for the line to offer 96 choices from easygoing to exhilarating — including cultural tours, nature hikes, kayak adventures and flightseeing tours.
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 — plus additional locales.
While the line will also feature immersive land/sea vacations featuring the state’s “must see” attractions, including Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, the new land tour package includes:
Wilderness Living Adventure & Dog Cart Ride (Denali) — How did the hunters, trappers and woodsmen of old travel and live in the wilderness of Alaska? Â This tour provides a look at many Alaskans who make their living in the wilderness near Denali.
Anaktuvuk Pass Adventure (Coldfoot) — Guests can visit a true Eskimo village with this tour to the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass.
A Taste of Fairbanks — An evening at Chez World Cooking School will show travelers how to prepare food the Alaskan way.Â 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.
Susitna River Airboat Adventure (Mt. McKinley) — Travelers can experience parts of the lovely Susitna River that others can’t with this airboat excursion. Â
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. Â From Valdez participants take a scenic ride to Columbia Glacier for a kayaking expedition up close to the glacier, plus lunch on the beach.
Chatanika Gold Camp & ATV Ride with Dinner (Fairbanks) — 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.
Explore Historic Seward (Kenai) — From Kenai, passengers can enjoy a drive down one of the nation’s most scenic highways and past parts of the Iditarod National Historic Trail.Â At the end of the road at Resurrection Bay is the historic city of Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.Â
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. Â 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!Â 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.
On the Web: Princess Alaska Land Excursions