I spent 16 months in Alaska from 1972-73 courtesy Uncle Sam US Army. My son was just 3 months old when he and my wife came to Anchorage in June, 1972. We've always planned to return some day. Well, my wife and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year and planned to take the cruise and railroad vacation. Unfortunately we'll not be able to make it this year cause my baby girl is due July 1st.
I'll keep you in mind for sure...
Congrats on the grand kid! Don't wait to long for Alaska....we went on a cruise to Alaska and met a lot of people that waited to go to Alaska cause they thought it would be a boring trip. Alaska is anything but boring and whole lot a fun. If you make it to Juneau and want to go whale watching I HIGHLY recommend a small company Harv and Marv whale watching. Skip the big boat tours and book these guys.
The Alaska Railroad run from Fairbanks to Seward with stops at Denali park and Anchorage. Taking the train all depends on where you touch down in Alaska. If you arrive in Seward you can catch the train to Anchorage. If you arrive in Whiter then you can take the train to Anchorage. If you arrive in Anchorage you can either go north to Denali and/or Fairbanks or south to either Whiter or Seward.
There are several tour companies that offer train rides. Princess Tours, Celebrity Tours and the Alaska Railroad are a few of the ones I can think of right now.
The train from Anchorage to Fairbanks takes about 12 hours but you get to see a lot on the way. My family and I have taken the train from Fairbanks to Denali several times over the years when we have family visiting.
We have taken the train from Anchorage to Seward once and that was fun too.
My wife and myself take a trip every year to get away, We have taken the train to Denali twice from Talkeetna a great trip scenery wise, We also have gone to Seward a couple of times also great scenery. We are going to book a trip on the whistle stop train from Talkeetna north next. Any trip on the train will get you away from the road system and away from the crowds. Our property in Willow abuts the railroad so wave when you go by.
Given cost of the trip: here's what I'd really like to do. Drive to Toronto and take the trans-continental RR to Vancouver, then fly to Fairbanks(Yukon Territory perhaps?) and take the train back to Anchorage, From there take a cruise back to the lower 48 and fly back to Toronto.