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Denali National Park Guide

When booking your Alaska cruise, why not see everything The Last Frontier has to offer? When you decide to take one of our Alaska cruises, you have the option to select a Cruisetour (also known as a land and sea package), which extends your cruise vacation with a 2 to 6 night adventure into Alaska. With our Alaska Cruisetours, you can travel further inland and visit even more beautiful destinations like Anchorage, Fairbanks, and of course, the unforgettable Denali National Park.

When you’re looking into one of the many Alaska cruise itineraries we’ve carefully crafted, don’t forget to book a Cruisetour and create the ultimate land and sea adventure. Cruisetours must be booked when you’re booking your cruise. Unlike shore excursions where you can book excursions at anytime, our Cruisetours serve as land and sea packages to help you fulfill your dream Alaskan adventure, both on land and onboard our ship.

All of our Alaska Cruistours overnight in Denali and include an excursion into the beautiful Denali National Park as part of our Cruisetour package. Depending on whether you choose to take a southbound or northbound Alaska cruise, you will be taking the land portion of your Cruisetour before or after your cruise. Southbound Alaska cruises start in Seward and have the land portion of the Cruisetour before setting sail. Northbound Alaska cruises start in Vancouver and have their land portion of the Cruisetour after the cruise docks in Seward.

An Alaska Cruisetour to Denali National Park is a sure-fire way to explore the incredible Alaskan wilderness, whether you prefer a laid back approach of walking tours and panoramic vistas, or you crave adventure, like whitewater rafting on the Nenana River or a soaring plane ride to catch panoramic views of Denali Mountain. This is what makes Denali must-see for any intrepid traveler. Experience the humbling and awe-inspiring spirit of Alaska for yourself when you go off the beaten path with Celebrity.

Top Sights & Attractions on a Alaska Cruisetour to Denali

Unwind in Denali’s Breathtaking Scenery

Booking an Alaska land and sea package is the ideal way to see Alaska. If you’re craving time in nature and fresh air, you’ll be glad you’re staying overnight in Denali on an Alaska Cruisetour. Denali National Park is unlike any other place on earth for its dense forest of evergreens and endless tundra. On the Natural History excursion, you’ll learn how early settlers lived in subarctic conditions and made Denali into what it is today. You’ll be amazed as you explore this quiet, undisturbed paradise.

Spot Bears, Moose & More Wildlife

The Tundra Wilderness excursion into Denali National Park can take you nearly 60 miles into the wilderness of the Arctic range into the subarctic tundra. You’ll have the best chance of spotting local wildlife and protected species that call the park home the deeper you go into the park’s depths. It’s extra special to spot the “Big 5” species unique to Denali: grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and Dall sheep. Keep your eyes peeled for these creatures as your roam.

Expand the Land Portion of Your Land & Sea Package with Land Excursions in Denali

Your Cruisetour experience with Celebrity is a build-your-own adventure. On an Alaska cruise, Denali is a hidden gem that’s not always easy to get to on your own. Denali is nearly 300 miles from the Seward cruise port after all. With Celebrity Cruises, however, we take the guesswork out of Alaska’s most memorable places for you. While your Cruisetour has land experiences included in your package, you can also book optional land excursions on your Denali Cruisetour with your tour guide. Luckily, there are options for all types of vacationers, whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for your next adrenaline rush or a seasoned traveler wanting to learn something new about Alaska’s natural history.

Soar Above Denali Mountain in a Helicopter

Ever taken a helicopter tour at the end of the world? Well, you can on a helicopter ride across Denali National Park and Denali Mountain, which was once called Mt. McKinley, and is the highest mountain in North America. Glaciers and seemingly-endless stretches of tundra will fill your eye-line, and you’ll be surrounded by quiet, natural beauty, and roaming wildlife below.

Whitewater Adventure on Nenana River

An early morning on the Nenana River can be a peaceful, lazy experience for some, but if you’re looking for action, try out the two hour whitewater ride on intense, high class rapids. This unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime river tour is an adrenaline surge.

Explore Denali’s Many Hiking Trails

Hiking in Denali and the park’s sinuous trails of thriving evergreens are beautiful year-round. You can even hike with a dedicated park ranger and ask all your questions about Denali along the way.

Top Food & Drink Spots in Denali

Prospector’s Pizzeria & Alehouse

Is there any better combination after a day of hiking or white water rafting than pizza and a cold beer? Luckily, Prospector’s Pizzeria & Alehouse has both in spades. Beyond brick oven pizzas, they offer standard sandwich and salad fare. They provide special vegan and gluten-free entree options as well.

The Salmon Bake

Another option for eats on your Denali cruise the appropriately named Salmon Bake, is just one of the many spots to try local Alaskan salmon and other comfort foods during your time in Alaska. Stop in for live music, where local bands play every night, or fill up on crab cakes and halibut tacos, or simply to experience this fun, quirky location just a mile from Denali National Park.

Moose-AKa’s

Stray away from the conventional burger-and-fries territory and instead try Eastern-European influenced moussaka and schnitzel, plus cocktails and traditional tavern-style eats like fish and chips in a no-frills setting. Grab a cold beer and strike up a conversation with the bartender here.

Culture and History of the Denali National Park

Denali National Park came to be as Mount McKinley National Park way back in 1917, and since then, the park expanded and now encompasses over six million acres of preserved Alaskan nature. “Denali” means “the Tall One” in the language of the indigenous Athabaskan population who lived there long before 19th century settlers came out west. This name references the sweeping summit of Denali Mountain within the park. A huge part of the culture and appeal of a Denali cruise is the chance to spot native wildlife like caribou, moose, grizzly bears, and black bears. These sightings are a huge draw for wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts visiting the park.

Getting to Denali on an Alaska Cruise

All of our Alaska Cruisetours have an overnight in Denali and include an excursion into the breathtaking Denali National Park as part of the Cruisetour package. There are several ways your Cruisetour will transport you to Denali before or after your Alaska cruise.

Depending on whether you choose to take a Alaska cruise southbound or northbound, your ship will either depart or arrive in the Seward cruise port. If your southbound Alaska cruise begins in Seward, you will take your Cruisetour to destinations like Denali National Park before hopping on the cruise. If your northbound Alaska cruise starts in Vancouver and ends in Seward, you would take your Cruisetour after the cruise.

When traveling on land between destinations, you will travel on an unforgettable train ride and deluxe motor coach. Our Cruisetours are carefully created to provide a comfortable, stylish and picturesque journey to the beautiful Denali National Park. Whatever you want your Alaska experience to be, your Celebrity Cruisetour to Denali will help you achieve it.

Transportation in Denali

Hourly shuttles are available between the Denali National Park Visitor's Center and the Denali Park Village lodge, where you will be staying. Your Cruisetour, however, includes all of your transportation needs during the land tour.

Shopping in Denali

While you probably won’t have time to shop when your cruise ship docks in Seward, you can pick up both kitsch and practical Alaska souvenirs when you arrive in Denali Park Village.

Local Currency & Tipping Customs

Like other states, Alaska uses the U.S. dollar (USD) and the standard tipping practices that prevail across America are equally accepted here. Credit cards are generally okay to use as well. Tip your server or bartender 15-20% for good services, and don’t forget a 15% tip for taxi drivers and tour guides or operators as well.

 

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With few established trails and only one road, Denali National Park remains one of the world’s last true wilderness areas. Denali National Park boasts six million acres of pristine wild land. The varied subarctic landscape is home to grizzly bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and wolves, as well as endangered birds. Wild animals roam as they have for millennia through unspoiled backcountry of taiga forest, alpine tundra, and snow-capped peaks. The sheer expanse of wilderness, the solitude of Denali National Park’s single road, and its status as one of the last true intact subarctic ecosystems, makes Denali one of the best places in the country to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Head to Visitor Center on your Denali cruise for fascinating natural history exhibits, films, and the opportunity to meet and speak to rangers about Denali National Park, including its centerpiece Denali, known as The Great One. Towering at 20,320 feet, Denali is North America’s highest mountain, and still growing. Risen from an elevation of just 2000 feet., the four miles she towers into the sky overpowers the already impressive Alaska Mountain Range that surrounds her. An untrammeled view on a clear day is a profound sight. The highly protected backcountry that makes up the majority of the park is cleaved only by a solitary road that runs 92-miles into the wilderness and stretches thorough bottomland taiga-subarctic evergreen forests, into the higher elevations that offer open views of the tundra-covered slopes and river valleys, all framed by the indomitable Alaska Range. And, while the backcountry’s pristine wilderness is protected to endure, Denali’s front-country is an amphitheater of the outdoors. Flight sightseeing planes soar over the mountains for breathtaking views, while rafting on the Nenana River can be a gentle float or a white-water ride. With the hinterland open to bike ride, off-road, or hike, Denali National park offers both active adventure and the protected and pristine wilderness.