• Alaska RR and White Pass and Yukon

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by jkrail
I would like to take a cruise to Alaska and travel on the Alaska RR and White Pass and Yukon railroads. Any help with the following questions would be greatly appreciated.

Is there anything to know for a railfan, like shop tours, best side of the train to sit on, places to check out etc, that are not mentioned in the brochures?

What is the best month in the summer to go to Alaska weather-wise?

The best cruise line to travel with?
(I don't mind spending a little extra money if it is worth it.)

Thank you for your time!

  by ANDY117
I'd say find yourself to Seward, AK (sorry, im biased as my sister lives there!) anyways, take the coastal classic to Anchorage. I didn't have time to go to anchorage, so we stopped in Girdwood. But the scenery is SPECTACULAR! It doesn't really matter as to where you sit on the train. But you probably want to find the Dome! There is a small shop on board with little novelties (and HO passenger cars!) i think in one of the cars towards the front. And in Anchorage you can catch all the freights that work there.

  by n2qmt
The trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks is fantastic as well. I did that a few times while I lived in Fairbanks. I also agree with Andy when he says find yourself in Seward. That is in the top 3 of my favorite places in the world! You really can't go wrong with the Alaska RR. Enjoy! Cheers.


  by LCJ
We enjoyed late July for an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. While I've never been on the Alaska Railroad, we did enjoy the White Pass & Yukon trip to White Pass and back to Skagway. For that trip, get on the left going up, and on the right coming back to see the best scenery (I thought anyway).

Having been on only a few cruises, I'm no expert on which line is best. But two of our trips (including the Alaska one) were on Celebrity Cruises. The first one was Infinity, which was brand new that year, and the second was Mercury, which was only a year or so older. Both very nice, with excellent staff. We did find the officers to be a bit stand-offish and stiff, but who cares when you're having fun, right?

If you can, spend the extra money and get a suite with a balcony. The inside passage scenery is spectacular -- all the way up and back!

As for excursions, our favorite was at Ketchikan. It was a float plane that took us to a salmon hatchery with a bunch of black bears chomping down on the spawning salmon as they entered the hatchery. Bald eagles were all over the place! Flew over some mountain goats on the way back to Ketchikan.

Also, the wildlife cruises at Juneau were excellent -- saw a bunch of orcas, seals, and even a humpback. They guarantee you will see wildlife. The boats are fast, and they talk with other boats about where the orcas and stuff are, then race over there so you can see them.