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Take A Train Around The Frozen Tundra Of Alaska

Aug 17, 2007
How do you get from Anchorage to Seward in Alaska? It really is one of the most scenic routes in the world and you can have the railroad ride of your life, gazing at the incredible beauty of the Alaskan world the railroad cuts through. This train caters to the package travelers, most of them come for the cruises, as well as for independent travelers. You can just take it one-way or you can do the return journey as well. You'll find that somehow, there's nothing to beat the experience of a train ride, especially through such sheer beauty. For a picturesque ride, hop aboard the Coastal Classic run by the Alaska Railroad. This is the only rail service going and while the front has the railroad's Standard and GoldStar Services, the rear houses the private companies.

The great thing about the Alaska Railroad section is that you can walk right through the train, stretch your legs so to speak. Your seat would be near a large window through which you can view the beautiful countryside whizzing by. While you listen to the tour guides' commentary. These are usually trained high school students who are a lively bunch. You have your dining service on board and there are open-air areas in between the coaches where you can get out for a breather or shoot your pictures for posterity. The Standard option really is an inexpensive way to travel, and comfortable as well. You even have a choice to sit in a domed car which seats two. However, this is not a confirmed seating so you cannot quite be sure of getting it if it's a busy day.

Their GoldStar service is much more expensive and has much more luxury to offer. The coaches are double-decker ones with the top section being glass domes which offer an incredible all-round view. What's more, the seats here are all front-facing and reclining as well. They can be turned around for a 4-person conference. The interiors are plush with gold, crystal and art. And of course it's fine dining with a bar attendant and a tour guide. When you board, you have fast check-ins and you also get preferential seating in the dining room. The freebies include non-alcoholic drinks and a special gift.

You could also book on Holland America which has a lot of modern cars but also includes authentic renovated Budd Cars from way back in the 50s. (In these old ones, the seats face each other.) These railcars are large, with huge glass windows and domes. The dining is downstairs and the drinks are served upstairs in their dual-level seating cars. There is in-seat entertainment and narration that is GPS-triggered. You have live commentary as well as little lounge areas to relax in. This service, however, is more expensive than the Alaska Railroad's.

You also have the Princess Cars with their double-decker glass dome cars. This is very like Holland America. These cars have very large balcony-like areas which are great to be in on warm days. They too have GPS-triggered narration and the dining is in seatings of 4. These cars are usually full of package cruise travelers. However, this is a much more expensive option as compared to the Alaska Railroad's.
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