Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer, and TripAdvisor

Last July we went on an 16-day combined tour provided by Vision 2000. It included airfare, transfers, a 7-day cruise (Holland America, Nieuw Amsterdam) to Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer (which included Whistler-Blackcomb, gondola rides, 2 days on an all-glass train, various bus stops (Jasper, Kamloops, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary.)

Not cheap. And worth every penny.

On the Alaska Cruise we had pre-booked three side trips, including Tracy Arm and Glacier, White Pass and Yukon Railway, and I think Ketchican with a boat trip (explaining crab traps, and providing incredible shots of a bald eagle they throw fish to, followed by an all-you-can-eat crab lunch.) (Ketchican, Juneau, and Skagway from memory.)

Service on Holland America is impeccable. There were a few tiny glitches, yet overall it was extremely pleasant and we felt ‘covered’ at all times.

The Rocky Mountaineer is only two days, but it is spectacular and service on the train is unbelievable. It is preceded and followed by bus tours. All part of this package.

Whistler included gondola etc. It’s essentially a created tourist town, so it’s not cheap.

The bus tour between Rocky Mountaineer and Calgary was extremely well done.

This was one of our ‘lifetime trips’ comparable perhaps to Ecuador/Galapagos.

Overall rating: Excellent Plus.

I always create a trip report for our travel agent. I point out what went really well, and what was annoying or disturbing. I think that’s fair: the travel agency can laud good delivery and question problem instances.

I usually put the results (cleaned up a bit for public viewing) on TripAdvisor.

Shortly after our return, I tried to do this (TripAdvisor.) I got frustrated as the combined trip could not be ‘entered’ into TripAdvisor’s website.

So, today, I decided to try again. No dice.

I can’t find a way to get Alaska Cruise into their system.

I can’t find a way to get Rocky Mountaineer into their system.

I think they are focussed on selling hotels.

Two messages here, maybe three:

  • TripAdvisor doesn’t tell you about all trips. It won’t let me tell you about ours.
  • This trip is exceptional, but pricey.

I don’t know if Vision Travel, aka Vision 2000, will offer this again. If it does, budget for things like meals not included; not cheap. When they open the cruise side trips (I think 60 days ahead, refused earlier) go for it. I waited 3 days and one trip only had 1 seat left.

I hope this is of use or interest to at least some of you.

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