Alaska is full of endless adventures and wonderful travel experiences, and one of the best ways to see this state is by going on a cruise tour. Princess cruise lines is one of the largest cruise companies in Alaska today. They have more than eight cruise ships sailing the inside passage every week, as well as own and operate more than five hotel properties in the interior of the state. Princess was the first major cruise line company to start running tours in Alaska, and because of this they have become well established in this state. Princess has a wonderful product when it comes to cruising the inside passage. This is due to having wonderful ships in their fleet as well as an over all wonderful staff on every ship. However, the land tour portion of their product is run a bit differently and has started to take a downward turn in the last five years.
As a tour company they have made some major cut backs on how they run every tour through out the years, and it has led to a less satisfactory interior tour for many people. Granted, the Princess type of land tour is geared toward the independent traveler, but it leaves many people questioning where they need to be from time to time. The most common tour pattern people buy when traveling with Princess is the in-depended tour itinerary. What this consist of is a schedule day to day outline that you will need to follow this itinerary gives bus numbers to look for and hotels properties you will stay at. This type of tour is more of a means of transportation and hotel stays for every guest, and in short it is more of a tour of Princess hotel properties throughout the state. This type of tour has very little structure to it and gives you the traveler more independence at every city and town to fill the time as you see fit.
Princess does own some very nice hotel properties though-out this amazing state. Some of them are not worth your time to stay at compared to others. One of their best locations is the Denali Princess hotel, located right in the center of down town Denali, it gives you the option to be within walking distance from restaurants and other attractions in this beautiful location. On the other hand they own some properties that are in the middle of no where, set far away from any town or amenities of any kind.
This would be lodges such as the Mt. Mckinley view Lodge (or now or the Keni Princess Lodge. These properties are very nice, but if you are looking to be in locations where you are not restricted to just the hotels you should look at other tour outlines that do not include these properties. Princess has a lot of good aspects to their land tours for independent type of travelers that do not like defined tours. However, if you are looking for more of a structured tour and need a dedicated tour guide, Princess land tours are not for you. They have very few fully guided tours as they have made cutback on the tour staff. As an inland tour company they offer tour driver guides at every location, as well as train host guides along your journey north bound or southbound.
When booking a cruse tour with Princess cruises it is important to understand the details of your itinerary. They offer many different tour patterns and options, some of these are very good and others are not worth your time and money.