If you’ve been thinking about taking a cruise to Alaska… What would you think about coming along with me
for an Alaska cruise in July of 2020? Let me be your tour guide! Let me tell you what I’ve got planned. We’ll be cruising on the Royal Princess… And we’ll board the ship in Whittier, Alaska, on July 18th. The nearest big airport is in Anchorage,
so that’s where you’ll fly in to. My advice would be to fly in the day before the cruise. Our cruise will be a southbound 7-day cruise
from Whittier to Vancouver. Let me take you through the itinerary. On embarkation day in Whittier
you’ll get settled in to your cabin… And of course,
there are a wide range of cabin types
that you can book… Everything from an inexpensive inside cabin
with no windows… All the way up to big fancy suites with huge balconies. On the day after embarkation the ship will do
“scenic cruising” at Hubbard Glacier. That means that you don’t get off the ship,
and there are no excursions… You just enjoy a great view of Hubbard Glacier
right from the ship… Which will linger there for five hours. You might be thinking
that a cruise in Alaska will be cold… But there were actually some days that were
surprisingly warm when I did a very similar Alaska cruise with my siblings in 2014. There were a couple of afternoons that were
so warm that many of the kids on the ship were swimming in the outdoor pool! On the third day of the cruise, we’ll do “scenic cruising” within Glacier Bay National Park. This was the highlight of my 2014 cruise,
with absolutely incredible views
of the mountains and the glaciers. It was an incredible treat to just sit out
on the deck of the cruise ship and take in all the amazing sights we saw in Glacier Bay. Really,
this is one of the most spectacular places on earth,
truly something that should be on your bucket list. And besides all the beautiful
snow-covered mountain peaks and the glaciers… There is always a lot of wildlife for you to see, too. A lot of whales spend their summers up here,
and in 2014 we had some really nice whale sightings. On day #4 of the cruise,
the ship will dock in Skagway… And this is going to be a big day
for any train lovers who are in our group! It’s an opportunity to ride the White Pass
& Yukon Route Railway, if you’d like to… And I can tell you based on our
2014 excursion on the White Pass railway
that this is going to be a lot of fun for our group! A trip on the White Pass railway is
absolutely the #1 most popular excursion
for cruise ship tourists in Skagway. The train picks you up right at the cruise ship dock. From there, you take a little bit more than
a hour and a half ride up the mountain. It’s a really beautiful ride,
with so many interesting things to see. The tracks follow the Skagway River for a while… And things get really interesting and especially
beautiful as the train starts to get in to the mountains. The further up the mountain you go,
the more beautiful it gets! For me, as a train lover,
it was a train ride I’ll never forget. And I hope a lot of the folks
in our group for the 2020 Alaska trip
will come along with me on this excursion… Which I should point out
is not included in the base cost of the trip… But it will be well worth the price of the ticket
to ride this historic railway. Because we’ve got a good number of people
in our group… We actually have some negotiating power
with the White Pass Railway… To arrange some special activities for our group
that probably wouldn’t be available
to the average cruise ship passenger. We’re still working out the details on that,
so I can’t make any promises about it yet, but… Let’s just say that as a member of our group… I think you’ll have a better vacation
than if you had just cruised to Alaska on your own. And by the way, there’s a financial perk, too… A $50 onboard credit,
just for being part of our group. On day #5 of the cruise,
the ship will dock in Juneau,
the capital of Alaska… And there will be numerous optional shore excursions
for you to choose from. In 2014, we did a whale watching excursion
on a very rainy day. On day #6 we’ll be docked in Ketchikan. Again, there will be all sorts of
shore excursions that you can book. What you’re looking at here is some video
I shot the day our ship was in Ketchikan in 2014. This was a shore excursion on a smaller boat,
to a beautiful place called Misty Fjords. On our group cruise,
you are welcome to come along with us
on whatever shore excursion we end up choosing… Or you can totally head off on your own
to do whatever you want to do.
It’s totally your choice! The cruise will end in Vancouver, British Columbia,
a very beautiful city I visited earlier this summer… Where I shot this beautiful little video clip
from the balcony of my hotel. And hopefully, right now
you’re thinking that our July 2020 Alaska cruise
sounds like it’s going to be a pretty great trip! But believe me, there’s a lot more to it
than what I’ve told you so far! We’ll take a short break,
and then I’ll come right back and tell you about… Two additional parts of this trip,
in addition to the cruise,
that you’ll have the option to come along on. Before the break,
I told you all about our plans for the 7-day cruise
we’ll be doing in Alaska next July… But the cruise is only one part
of a 3-part adventure that we’ve got planned! Before the cruise,
some members of the group will be coming along
with us for a five-day land tour of the Alaskan interior. We’ll spend one night at a hotel in Anchorage… And then the next morning we’ll hop on a bus
for a three and a half hour ride to the
Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in Talkeetna. I stayed there with my family in 2014,
and it was really great! The lodge is very close to Denali,
the highest mountain peak in North America. If the weather is clear,
like it was for us in 2014… You’ll have a heck of a view of Denali
from the Princess Wilderness Lodge. There will be a number of optional excursions
in the Talkeetna area that you can participate in,
for an extra fee. During our 2014 visit to Talkeetna,
we visited Sun Dog Kennels… Where they raise and train sled dogs for the Idatarod. After our time in Talkeetna,
we’ll board a bus for a slightly more than two hour ride
to another Princess Wilderness Lodge… The one at Denali National Park,
where we’ll stay for two nights. There will be a number of optional excursions
in and around Denali National Park
that people can choose from. In 2014, I signed up for a
helicopter sightseeing excursion of Denali
where I shot the video you’re seeing here. If you don’t feel like paying extra
for any activities in Denali… There’s a natural history tour of the park
which is included at no additional charge. Following our two nights at
the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge… We’ll do what I consider
the highlight of the land tour… A 295 mile ride on the Alaska railroad
in an amazing glass-domed rail car
with incredible views! The train ride will last
a little more than nine hours… And it was just a fantastic part of our 2014 land tour… So I am really excited about
this part of our 2020 journey! This is a photo I shot of my sisters after
we rode the Alaska railroad in 2014. Notice the two-level rail car
on the right side of the photo. You spend most of the journey on the top level,
with the big glass windows that give you
an amazing view of the Alaskan scenery. But when it’s time for lunch,
you head downstairs to the dining area. Now the cost of lunch is not included in your fare… But don’t worry, it’s not outrageously expensive. The train will take us all the way from Denali
in the interior of Alaska to the coast… To meet up with our cruise ship at the dock in Whittier,
where our 7-day cruise will begin. If you need to keep the price of the trip down,
just join us for the 7-day cruise. But, if your vacation budget will allow it,
join us for the full Alaska cruisetour… Which is the 5-day land tour
followed by the 7-day cruise. And there’s actually a third leg of the
trip that you can come along with, if you’d like. We’ll take another short break,
and when we come back… I’ll tell you about
the spectacular land and rail tour of Canada
that we’ll be taking after the cruise. It’s a five day tour of Canada,
including two full days on the Rocky Mountaineer! So far, I’ve told you about
two of the three legs of the Alaska trip
we’ll be leading in July of 2020. The first leg is a land and rail tour of the
Alaskan interior… Including a spectacular ride on the Alaskan Railroad. The second leg of the trip is
the 7-day cruise on Royal Princess… Including a day in beautiful Glacier Bay… As well as a day in Skagway,
where some of us will ride
the historic White Pass Railway. The cruise will end in Vancouver, British Columbia. And after the cruise,
most people in our group will
call it good and fly home from Vancouver. But if you’re that affluent traveler that can
afford to spend big for a big adventure… Think about joining us for the third
and most expensive leg of the trip… A five day land and rail tour of Western Canada. We’re going to spend
two nights at a hotel in Vancouver… So that we have some time to have fun
in the Vancouver and Victoria areas. But before checking in to the hotel for the first night… We’ll spend the day
on a very extensive tour of Vancouver… And the cost of that tour
is included in the base price. We’ll see Gastown… And Chinatown… And spend some time at
the world-famous 1000 acre Stanley Park. Plus, Granville Island,
where you’ll have some free time
to explore on your own. And then the next day,
we’ll do a day trip to Victoria… And again, that’s included in the price of the trip… As is breakfast each day we’re in Canada. Our daytrip to Victoria will include
a 90-minute cruise on BC Ferries. We’ll tour the world-renowned Butchart Gardens,
and you’ll have lots of free time to explore there. After a second night in our hotel,
the most amazing part of the entire vacation begins! We’re going to get aboard a very famous train,
the Rocky Mountaineer… For a rail tour from Vancouver to Banff,
on a spectacularly beautiful route. From your seat on the Rocky Mountaineer,
you’ll have a fantastic view through big glass windows
of all the amazing scenery. And a host in each car will offer
fun and educational commentary along the way. On this train, breakfast and lunch are included
at no additional charge. About a month ago, I took
the Rocky Mountaineer from Seattle to Vancouver
and I enjoyed that trip SO MUCH. It really got me excited about the much longer
and even more scenic trip we’ll be doing next summer… As part of our big Alaska and Canada adventure. Now, it’s such a long distance from Vancouver to Banff
that the train ride on the Rocky Mountaineer
can’t be done in just one day. So, the train will stop and let us off
in the town of Kamloops,
where we’ll spend the night in a nice hotel. And then we’ll get back on the train the next day
for the rest of the ride to Banff. And that’s way better
than having to sleep on a train! The second day on the Rocky Mountaineer,
from Kamloops to Banff,
will really be the most scenic part of all… Because we’ll be travelling through
the Canadian Rockies. I am so looking forward to
sitting up in the top of that rail car,
taking in these amazing views… And having some long conversations
with any members of our group who have opted
to join us for this final leg of the big adventure. By this point,
I imagine will have a very special camaraderie
after doing such a cool trip together. We’ll spend two nights in Banff
so that we have time for a sightseeing tour
in to Yoho National Park… As well as a full day tour of
lots of points of interest in Banff,
including a ride on the famous gondola. All this is included as part of the package… As well as bus transportation for us
from Banff to the airport in Calgary on July 30th,
for our flights home. Join us for all three legs of the trip… The Alaska railtour,
the Princess cruise,
and the Canada railtour, or… Join us for only the parts that interest you.
It will be totally up to you. Spend as little or as much time
with the group as you want… And feel free to head off in your own direction
and do your own thing at any point you’d like to. Earlier in the video I mentioned that there’s
a $50 onboard credit for you on the cruise,
just for being part of our group. You can use that during the cruise
to pay for drinks, specialty dining,
gift shop purchases, and things like that. But, here’s even better news:
if you book the cruisetour… Which is the cruise
plus the Alaska land tour before the cruise… You’ll actually get a $75 onboard credit instead of $50. So, if you have any interest in going on this
Alaska adventure with me and my wife, Kellyn… Plus our travel agent, Caitlin, and her family… Contact Caitlin to book it right away,
if you already know that you want to join us… Or just get in touch with Caitlin to get
some more information to help you decide. Caitlin can make all the arrangements for you… Including all the cruise details,
the train arrangements,
setting up transportation to and from the airport… And assisting with your flight arrangements,
if you want her to. There are multiple ways to contact Caitlin. Pick which ever you’re most comfortable with! Visit her web site, give her a call, or send her an email. I’m sure you’re wondering
what the heck this is all going to cost! Well, that’s complicated because there are
quite a few options for you to choose from… Which will have a big effect on how expensive
of an adventure this ends up being for you! Besides the choice of whether to join us just
for the cruise, or for either of the optional rail tours… There will also be choices regarding what
kind of stateroom you want on the cruise ship. If you need to keep the cost down,
just book a cheap inside cabin with no windows… And go up on deck or to any of the lounges
when you want to enjoy the views. So far, most people in our group, though
are booking a balcony cabin… That way they’re able to enjoy the great
views right from their private balcony,
or from the warmth of their room. Caitlin can explain how
all the options affect your final price. And be sure to ask her
for help in picking the right cabin. You don’t want to be in a cabin
directly above or below some noisy part of the ship
such as a restaurant or music venue. Caitlin can help you with that. For those joining us on the Rocky Mountaineer… You can do it less expensively
in their “silver leaf” class… Or step up to the “gold leaf” class
that Kellyn and I will be in. Caitlin can explain the differences to you. If you’re not quite ready to call Caitlin,
but you want even more information
about the trip than what’s in this video… Visit my web site at JimZim.net
Look for the section about upcoming cruises… And you will find even more details about
this group trip to Alaska in July of 2020… As well as another group trip we’ve got planned:
A Caribbean cruise in 2021. Here’s Caitlin’s contact information one more time,
in case you want to copy any of it down. So far, we’ve got 44 people signed up
to come along with us for the cruise… And I am absolutely sure that
we are going to have a ton of fun together… And that this will be one trip
that will really stand out when
I think back over all the great cruises I’ve been on. So, I encourage you to come along! Will we ever have another opportunity
to cruise to Alaska together? I don’t know. These opportunities sure don’t come along real often. I hope you’ll decide that
this is a trip you don’t want to miss… And you’ll be very welcome to be part of our group.