150515 Fairbanks to Denali

Today is a transit day. We are realising that the boarding of our ship is not too far away now. The Coral Princess holds 1950 passengers and collects them at Wittier to cruise down to Vancouver. Those 1950 passengers are all touring around Alaska at the moment. They are staying at Princess Cruises properties for a week before boarding. The Coral Princess is currently en route to Wittier with 1950 passengers on board. They will take our place and start touring Alaska when we board the ship. Now, all these passengers have to be carted around Alaska. Each motor coach carries about 50 people. That means at least 37 coaches are involved right now transporting people around Alaska, going to the 4 major destinations that Princess Cruise passengers visit. Almost all of the drivers, baggage handlers, day tour hosts, hotel hosts, souvenir shop assistants, waiters, cooks, hosts at various tourism providers, are employed from southern states just for the summer when there is no freezing conditions, maybe for just 4 months. What a mammoth task, just so we can see parts of Alaska; and we are only one tour group within Princess Cruises. There is also Holland America Lines, Celebrity, Carnival and others.

The young female driver we had, did a splendid job of transferring us to Denali. She has come up for the last 3 vacations and got her motor coach licence after a vacation working in the office and claims to have driven Fairbanks to Denali, “hundreds of times” already. We arrived around 45 minutes early just prior to mid day and were able to make a booking for tonight’s “The Music of Denali” show where the waiters and waitresses become the singers/performers of the show. The meal was real country style food. The show was a bit ‘twangy’ for me although Lyn enjoyed it.(I had two naps during it). We sat with a bunch of Texans that were quick to employ their southern humour. Also, we have met up with a couple from Sydney who are travelling for 90 days. They are celebrating the soon-to-be commencement of retirement. It’s was quite interesting coming out of an evening show with the sun still up, knowing that it won’t go down for another 2 hours or more.

A tour of the Denali National Park is on our plans for tomorrow morning. We have booked a helicopter flight to Mt McKinley in the afternoon. The weather promises blue skies so we will accept that as a sign that it is ‘going to be a good day’ indeed. Lyn will be firing away on the still camera while hopefully I can get the front seat to grab some great video.

 

Author: Colin Spain

The Official Blogger for Grey Nomads Travel and Cruise Group Tours

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