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Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Taupo, New Zealand
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Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

We are looking at doing a road trip by coach. The tours that appear on the goalaska site, are 21days.

My questions are: Has anyone toured on this trip and if so, what was the trip like?

What were the hotels like?

How much additional money should we (2) expect to spend per day?

Thanks

Anna

New Zealand

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

G'day Anna, and welcome to the Alaska forum.

It is always helpful to others to see the link to the trip you are considering, which seems to be this one:

goalaskatours.com/motorcoachvancouver.html

I have no experience of it, but I do like the itinerary very much. For the regions I am familiar with I can say that the route to Calgary will be quite interesting going via Nelson in the Kootenays. The tour hits the hot spots in the Rockies (Banff and Jasper) and also along the wonderful Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper. I would have liked to see a bit more time in both towns though, but the local touring in each town is good. I recommend that you take the Sulphur Mountain gondola in Banff which is not part of the tour, but mentioned.

I tried to find the identity of the hotels used, but they are not listed, but this is mentioned in the FAQ's:

"Q: I cannot find the list of hotels included?

A: Each tour includes a choice of pre-reserved superior hotels (*** category) or first class hotels (**** category). If you have any special requirements we can certainly customize any of the advertised tours. Please contact us for advice and applicable rates. Hotel accommodation does not include breakfast or other meals. Please Note: A large number clients and travel agencies are using our pages and travel ideas to plan their “own” customized tours. This is the reason why we do not publish the hotel names for each trip on top of all travel planning information already included on our pages. If you have any particular question about accommodation, please contact us."

I would have no concern in this regard as they are using 3 or 4 star establishments. Consider that several of the places you will be visiting after Edmonton and along the Alaska Hwy may not have accommodation above 3 star and the itinerary does say that 14 nights are in 4 star.

It is fairly hard for us to give advice in regard to spending money. I note that several rather expensive excursions are included in the trip price, Icefield Explorer in the Rockies and the White Pass & Yukon Railway from near Whitehorse, and both are great great trips. Spending money would seem to come down mainly to lunch and all but 4 evening meals, plus incidentals.

Back to the itinerary, although I have no experience in south central Alaska, it is commendable that there is at least a full day plus in Denali.

I hope that this may have been of some assistance to you, but people who may have already done this trip may be few and far between on any of the BC, Alberta or Alaska forums. Perhaps some other posters who are familiar with the Alaska Hwy, and there are a few of them, might comment further, but as I said earlier, I like the itinerary, and I am not someone who would consider travelling by coach.

Happy planning.

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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2. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

We can't advise re money very accurately because we don't know what excursions you might like that aren't included but I can tell you that a good cooked breakfast will be at least US$12-15 many places, lunch about the same (without a beer) and dinners will run US$20-25 (no wine/drinks) per person in a nice restaurant such as a hotel dining room.

Remember it costs a lot to get all this food to these places! If you calculate $60 each per day for food, you will probably be a bit ahead at the end. Of course, souvenirs, etc. will add to the bill.

I drove the highway going back and forth to graduate school for three years and I miss it every summer! It's one of those trips that just grows on you. I don't know if I would like it on a tour but it should be fine.

Hope this helps.

Taupo, New Zealand
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3. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Those suggested prices for meals are helpful, i had no idea what to budget for that.

we have never driven on the 'wrong' side of the road before, otherwise we would have done a rental car.

Thank you for your help

Taupo, New Zealand
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4. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Wow, you have really made me think it will be a good option, to see the countryside and all the sites. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the excursions which are included in terms of value for money. I will also take note of your suggestion to go on the Sulphur mountain Gondola.

many thanks for your help.

Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

G'day again Kiwi,

You are very welcome as I do try to help people enjoy their travels to where I have also had a great trip.

As said, I don't know about other excursions, but it appears to me that the reasonably expensive ones, Icefields Explorer in Alberta and the White Pass trip from Whitehorse are included in the price. I think that I also read that the river cruise from Fairbanks is also included, and it also gets good reviews, but I have no experience of that. I think the Banff Gondola is about $30. To get an idea of the views there have a look at the web cams here during your morning when it is daylight there:

http://www.explorerockies.com/banff-webcam/

It would be great if you could post a trip report on your return to the land of the long white cloud as, although this question does not come up often, I have seen similar in the past so first hand experiences will always be helpful to others.

Have a great trip.

Greater Sydney...
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6. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

I forgot to mention that you would not have been able to rent a car in Vancouver BC and dropped it off in Anchorage AK, even if you were comfortable with the driving.

Coffs Harbour...
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7. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Hello Anna. Your trip looks fantastic. My husband and I went to AK last Aug. I'll make a comment about some of the same things that we have done. The riverboat tour in Fairbanks was fun with the highlight being the dog sled demo. May i suggest that when in Denali go all the way to Wonder Lake on the shuttle. It is a big day but we saw the big 5 -dall sheep, caribou, bear, moose and a wolf walked right up near the bus. We also had a night at Copper River - true wilderness surrounds. Both the glacier and Kenai tours are good (and different). The Whitepass railway tour is great too. We also went to Canada and enjoyed some of the same experiences that are on your itinerary. I agree with Frommy that it looks like a good trip (Hi Frommy). We found that food was about the same as here price wise. Not as pricey as I had thought it was going to be. It truly is a wonderful plce to travel. You will love it. PS Don't try to share binoculars - take your own light weight good quality pair.

Taupo, New Zealand
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8. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Great to hear your comments. All of those things help one to feel a lot more comfortable about making decisions. Thank you.

Did you go to Juneau? if so how did you get there?

Hmmmmm - Wolf outside the window - hope its not hungry when we get there!

Taupo, New Zealand
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9. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Thank you again. yes I will post when we have returned home again, hopefully without wolf fangs embedded in the body.

Greater Sydney...
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10. Re: Coach trip vancouver to Fairbanks or vv

Mate, the Alasaka highway is a loooong way inland from Juneau. The closest road point to there will be when you are still in BC. There is no land or road access to Juneau at all (I think there is a total of only about 110km of roads in TOTAL in the Juneau region) and the only way to get there is by sea or air.

Edited: 03 May 2012, 16:17