Posts Tagged ‘Princess Cruises’

Rail initiative combines destinations on bucket list

Take a train west to San Francisco across impressive mountain ranges. Do a Hawaiian cruise. The two bucket-list dreams may sound like different vacations in time and space.

Travel by rail through the Rockies to enjoy the scenery instead of watching the road

Travel by rail through the Rockies to enjoy the scenery instead of watching the road

But Vacations By Rail, a Chicago-based travel company that organizes train trips to national parks and across Europe has lately been partnering with Princess Cruises so that travelers don’t have to choose between a scenic land vacation or a cruise destination.

Among the latest pairings is a two-night trip through the Colorado Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains to San Francisco from Chicago on the California Zephyr then on to Hawaii by cruise ship .

Travelers stay a night in the “city by the bay” then board the “Grand Princess” for a 14 night cruise to Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Ensenada, Mexico.  Cruising to Hawaiian ports means not having to fly to the west coast, then Honolulu and more airports to puddle-jump to different islands. After the Mexican stop, the ship returns to San Francisco.

The total trip of 19 days by train and sea can be extended. Options include returning to Chicago by Zephyr for a  22-day vacation or staying longer in San Francisco three to four days.

For more information visit Vacations By Rail  www.vacationsbyrail.com and call 877-929-7245.

Photo (C) by Jodie Jacobs

Alaska by land

Alaska, land and sea, are two shiny sides of the same valuable coin. If at all possible, try to fit in both. The thought that someday you can go back and do the other portion is almost as good as saying someday I’ll look younger.

After crossing Prince William Sound our land adventure began at the Princess Wilderness Lodge at Copper River.

Again, we chose Princess because the cruise line has lodges in Alaska so we didn’t have to make separate arrangements. However, a traveler can find other accommodations in the area because of its terrific fishing location at the junction of the Copper and Klutina Rivers.

The lodge is also about four miles from Wrangell-St.Elias National Park’s visitor center.  Good mountain photography views abound, just take the bear warning signs seriously if hiking park or lodge trails.

The view from the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitors Center

The view from the Wrangell-St.Elias National Park Visitors Center

While boating the rivers in the area we saw bears and eagles competing for salmon. Our salmon dinner was pretty good though we didn’t fish. We just enjoyed the action and scenery.

Bears, eagles and other birds compete for salmon along the Copper River and its tributaries

Bears, eagles and other birds compete for salmon along the Copper River and its tributaries

Fishing setups are a common sight on the Copper and the Klutina tributary

Fishing setups are a common sight on the Copper and the Klutina tributary

Coming Next: Denali

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