Combining an Alaska cruise with a train journey gives you two distinct travel experiences in one amazing trip.
An Alaska cruise is a trip unlike any other. You'll explore the Inside Passage and all it has to offer. Expect to witness epic wildlife, snow-capped peaks and calving glaciers within a single trip. Combine this with a scenic train ride and you've got the recipe for a perfect getaway.
Although it may sound surprising, there are actually plenty of options to combine your Alaska cruise with a train trip. You can choose from long train journeys to short day trips depending on what suits you most. No matter which train or cruise you choose, one thing is guaranteed - amazing scenery and breathtaking views.
To help you decide on your perfect Alaska cruise and train trip, we've listed our favourite four options below.
The White Pass & Yukon train trip is one of the most popular day excursions available to cruise passengers in Alaska. Almost all cruise lines offer the excursion, but it can also be booked separately should you wish.
Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, the railroad made the area far more accessible and even more popular for gold miners hoping to strike lucky. The three foot wide track is an engineering marvel and ascends to almost 3,000 feet within the first 20 miles of the journey.
A vintage diesel locomotive pulls fully restored carriages as you witness incredible views over mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and lush forest. The 40 mile round-trip is the perfect day trip to get away from the ships and witness breathtaking views.
The trip takes just under 3 hours and costs around $130 per person. Your cruise line will provide a transfer to the station if you book through them.
Stretching all the way from Northern Canada to New Mexico, the Canadian Rocky Mountains is an incredibly diverse, beautiful and ever-changing landscape. This makes it ideal for train journeys!
The Rocky Mountaineer train is known for it's top-quality service, amazing food, and glass-domed carriages. It's no wonder that National Geographic named the Rocky Mountaineer one of the "World’s Greatest Trips".
For cruise passengers, the train journey begins in Banf where you stay the night to explore this lovely area. In the morning you board you train and travel to Kamloops where you stay overnight in a hotel. The following day you journey to Vancouver where your Alaska cruise ship awaits. Alternatively, you can do the trip in reverse and take the train when you disembark your cruise in Vancouver.
You an choose from either Silverleaf or Goldleaf class. If you travel in goldleaf class you can expect champagne, caviar and smoked salmon as you journey through amazing sceneries. Both classes are excellent though.
Because this is a long journey, you should expect to pay an extra $1,500 on top of your cruise price minimum.
This is the perfect option if you're cruise is departing of finishing in Seward. Many one way cruises go between Vancouver and Seward and flying in or out of Anchorage is usually the best option (and the cheapest).
Although there is a bus route between Anchorage and Seward that is slightly cheaper and quicker, the Grandview Train of the Alaska Railroad is by far the more scenic option as it follows the coastal route which passes mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and much more. It's also the more relaxing option as traffic during the bus journey can get fairly hectic.
The 4.5-hour train ride departs from just outside Anchorage Airport and arrives at the docks for an easy transfer in Seward port. In fact, the Grandview Train schedule is aligned to the cruise ship schedules which is super useful.
Amtrak's legendary long-distance passenger train - Empire Builder - has been going for decades and offers passengers plenty of options when it comes to boarding stations.
The route takes in the rugged splendor of the American West from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. See the mighty Mississippi, North Dakota plains, and Glacier National Park as you wend your way along this lovely route.
From Chicago the major stops occur at Minneapolis, Spokane, and Seattle. This is ideal for Alaska cruise passenger as many of the major cruise lines offer round-trips from Seattle. Therefore. you can either take the Empire Builder before or after you cruise.
This is a fantastic option for people who want to see as much of the country as possible in one trip.
If you have any queries or questions regarding Alaska cruises with train rides, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. If you would like some more Alaska cruise tips, please click here.
Thank you and happy travels!
Expedition Cruise Team
Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.