From the Arbor | News for June from Jerry Weakley
I’d like to announce the upcoming Wandering Wildcats 2011 trip to Alaska. Those of you not interested in the trip—please enjoy the June issue of From the Arbor.
We have elected to go with Princess Cruises, one of the best, if not THE premier cruise line serving Alaska. I have used Princess for numerous trips—both personal and for previous Baker Wandering Wildcat trips, all with great results.
Our trip will depart Kansas City on Saturday, June 18 (transportation from cities other than KC can easily be arranged by our travel planning professionals at Travellers Inc. in Lawrence. Contact John Novotny at 800.382.6700). We will return home on Wednesday, June 29. I have held staterooms in three categories: inside, outside and outside with balcony. The ship that will serve as our floating home and our glacier sightseeing provider will be the Island Princess. The name given this tour by Princess is “11 Nights Denali Explorer.”
We first fly to Fairbanks, Alaska, where we will spend two nights. On the second day in Fairbanks, two tours are scheduled and included in our fee: a river cruise on an old-style river boat and a tour of an actual gold mine. We will continue our exploration the next day with a train trip through Alaska’s interior that will let us off to enjoy two nights lodging in Denali National Park at a wilderness lodge owned and operated by Princess. Denali is known for its unsurpassed vistas, opportunities for wildlife viewing and of course, Mt. McKinley—North America’s tallest peak. A tour of the park is provided and included in our fee.
The train then takes us on then to Whittier (the port nearest Anchorage) where we will board our ship for Princess’s seven-night “Voyage of the Glaciers.” This cruise, unlike some that travel the Inside Passage, actually will take us by two of Alaska’s most famous glaciers with three stops for sightseeing and activities at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. After a final relaxing day at sea we will disembark at Vancouver. Return air to our home airport will be provided from there for those taking the air portion of the package.
At this time all we have are the cruise prices to work with, as airlines have not set their 2011 group or individual fees (this is expected by August 1). In 2010, airfare from Kansas City to Fairbanks with return from Vancouver was in the range of $936 to $989. We would expect a small increase for 2011. I will naturally report the air costs as soon as I have them to everyone who has expressed or later expresses interest in the trip.
Cruise/Land Tour (based on double occupancy)
- Inside room per person: $2,497
- Outside room per person: $3,182
- Outside room with balcony per person: $3,482
These prices include the cruise/tour, current government fees and taxes, double occupancy and transfers to and from the airports to the ship. Trip cancellation insurance is available directly from Travellers.
You are encouraged to make a deposit now if you intend to travel with the group as we often have run out of cabins for those interested in going. Alaska cruises in late June are extremely popular and sell out quickly. It is likely that we will not be able to secure more cabins later in the year.
All monies paid are fully refundable until Feb. 15, 2011. An individual deposit is equal to 20% of the cost of the cruise/tour. Therefore, deposits for an inside cabin would be $500 per person; an outside, $636 per person; and a balcony cabin, $696 per person. Deposits may be made with check, money order or credit cards made payable to Travellers. Please note that final payments are payable by check or money order only to Travellers and will be due by Feb. 15, 2011. Contact John Novotny at 800.382.6700 for specific questions about the payment schedule, air deviations and travel insurance.
This will undoubtedly be a tremendous tour and an opportunity to travel with a great group of Baker alumni and friends. As with all Wandering Wildcat trips, you are encouraged to invite your own friends, family and neighbors to go with us. Everyone is welcome!
Reply to me at jerry.weakley@bakerU.edu to let me know of your interest or intent to go. I will track the group and make plans for an onboard activity for all of us traveling with our group.
Find the rest of this month’s stories in the current issue of the Arbor. I hope you will find several items that will inform, entertain or re-engage you!
Jerry Weakley ’70/MBA ’92