Month: September 2015

Denali: New Name – Same Grandeur. Plan Now To See “The Great One” In Summer 2016

Denali - North America's highest peak appears to the human eye to be even larger than the much taller Mt. Everest. Because of its mass and 18,000-foot linear rise from the valley below Denali ranks among Earth's largest topographical features

Denali – North America’s highest peak appears to the human eye to be even larger than the much taller Mt. Everest. Because of its mass and 18,000-foot linear rise from the valley below Denali ranks among Earth’s largest topographical features

Some old English guy named Will wrote that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

So now that Mt. McKinley officially has been renamed Denali, maybe it’s a good time to test Shakespeare’s thesis and find out for yourself whether a mountain – a really big mountain – by another name is as just as majestic and awe-inspiring.

Indeed, now’s the time to plan your visit next summer to Denali and the massive, six million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve. The name change, made official by President Barack Obama in early September is heightening American’s – and others’ – desire to visit this amazing American gem. Next year also marks the Centennial anniversary of the National Park system. Accordingly, there will be special celebrations throughout the 2016 tourist season.  And as a result next summer the Denali is expected to host a record number of visitors. So it’s a good idea to make you plans now in order secure the kind of amazing accommodations that can turn your Denali visit in the summer of 2016 into the trip of a lifetime.

Mt. McKinley Princes Lodge, located in Alaska's Mt. McKinley State Park, offers true wilderness retreat with a host of recreational activities, exceptional amenities, and some of the most awesome views of Mt. McKinley.

Mt. McKinley Princes Lodge, located in Alaska’s Mt. McKinley State Park, offers true wilderness retreat with a host of recreational activities, exceptional amenities, and some of the most awesome views of Mt. McKinley.

Denali is North America’s tallest mountain at 20,310 feet above sea level. Less well-known is that Denali is the world’s third-most “prominent” mountain in geologic terms. More noticeably, Denali is one of the world’s “biggest” mountains because of its girth, because it dwarfs several nearby peaks that reach over 14,000 feet, because of its remarkably distinct 18,000-foot linear rise base to peak. For those reasons to the human eye Denali appears to be bigger than almost any mountain on earth – including the 8,000-foot taller Mt. Everest.

In addition to “The Great One” (which is what “Denali” means in the ancient, almost extinct language of the local indigenous people) the whole area is filled with breathtaking vistas, vast forests, wide expanses of tundra and dramatic glaciers. There’s also an abundance of wildlife – bears, caribou, moose, foxes, horned sheep, wolves, wolverines, squirrels, rabbits and other critters, all amazingly adapted for surviving the long, bitterly cold winters. An amazing assortment of similarly-adapted eagles, falcons, swans and other birds also live in the Denali region.

The six million-acre Denali National Park, which will celebrate its Centennial in 2016, is teaming with amazingly adapted wildlife ranging from the largest animals in North America like this bear, to small but hearty critters like snow rabbits and wolverines.

The six million-acre Denali National Park, which will celebrate its Centennial in 2016, is teaming with amazingly adapted wildlife ranging from the largest animals in North America like this bear, to small but hearty critters like snow rabbits and wolverines.

Three of our five North America-based cruise lines – Princess, Carnival, and Holland America – take vacationers north along Alaska’s dramatic southeastern and southern coasts each summer. One of them, Princess, is the gold-standard of Alaskan travel. Not only does Princess offer more Alaskan sailings each year than any other line, its Alaskan Lodges division offers visitors the same world class service and accommodations on land. And three of our five Princess Alaskan Lodges are in the Denali area.

The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is the closest and most comfortable place to stay when visiting Denali National Park. The park entrance is only a mile from our front door. And with its expansive deck overlooking the Nenana River and dramatic views into the park the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is the ideal spot to relax, visit with friends, and savor the exquisite landscape.

South of Denali National Park, in the adjacent and just-as-beautiful Denali State Park on the Chulitna River, we offer the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. It’s a true wilderness retreat with a host of recreational activities, exceptional amenities, and awesome views of Mt. McKinley.

North of the mountain and the park we offer the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Fairbank’s most refined hotel. Though it’s a little further away from Denali, Fairbanks, which was founded around the turn of the 20th century by miners consumed with the gold fever, is where the locals say that the real Alaska begins. Visit in the summer and you’ll get to experience the midnight sun even as you stroll through the nearby downtown area and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus. The Lodge also is close to popular attractions such as the El Dorado Gold Mine, the Riverboat Discovery, and Pioneer Park.

Fairbanks Lodge i

The Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge is only a little further away from Denali, but Fairbanks’ most-refined hotel opens up opportunities to explore the old miner’s town, to stroll through the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus under the midnight sun, and to enjoy the fun attractions around the area in addition to soaking in the grandeur of Denali.

Whichever Princess Alaskan Lodge you select you can count on enjoying exceptionally comfortable rooms, warm service, and the best dining Alaska has to offer.

And while you can fly to Fairbanks to enjoy any of these three amazing Princess Alaskan Lodges, the best way to get there is via an Alaskan Land-Sea Vacation package. After sailing north through the inner passage, you will transfer to special domed Princess rail cars for a dramatic ride north through the Alaskan wilderness before reaching the Fairbanks-Denali area and settling in for a few days in North America’s most glorious natural setting.

Princess Land-Sea vacations can include a ride aboard domed railroad cars north from the Pacific coast through the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness and to the Denali-Fairbanks area.

Alaskan Land-Sea vacations can include a ride aboard domed railroad cars north from the Pacific coast through the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness and to the Denali-Fairbanks area.

Just know that whatever way you get there, and whichever Princess Alaskan Lodge you visit, you’re certain to have an incomparable travel experience in Alaska.

PCL in Alaska 7

Three of Carnival Corporation’s five North America-based cruise lines – Princess, Carnival and Holland America – take vacationers to Alaska’s dramatic southeastern and southern coasts each summer. And Princess offers Land-Sea vacations that include visits to one of five Alaskan Wilderness Lodges, three of them in the Denali-Fairbanks area.

Reaching he 20,310-foot high summit of Denali is neither as difficult nor as harrowing as climbing Everest (as depicted in the Everest in theatres now). But climbing Denali still is quite challenging and only should be attempted by serious and experienced mountaineers.

Reaching the 20,310-foot high summit of Denali is neither as difficult nor as harrowing as climbing Everest (as depicted in the movie “Everest” in theatres now). But climbing Denali still is quite challenging and only should be attempted by serious and experienced mountaineers.

What Kind of Reality Are You Going Back To Now That Summer’s Over?

Now that we’ve moved past Labor Day, the traditional end of Summer, we all are dealing with the idea of heading back to work or school and getting back into our normal routines. The expression we all use is “back to reality.”

I think we have it all wrong.

Vacation time is the real “reality.”

That’s when life is most real.  Vacation time is when you get to spend time with family and friends. It’s when you get to see new places in the world, to taste new foods, and to do exciting new things. That’s what life is really all about.

Princess Pool

Whether your reality involves hanging out around some of the coolest pools in the ocean…

romantic2

… quietly watching the beauty of the world slip past with someone special….

That is “reality;” when we truly experience life to its fullest.

So I vote that we stop using the “back to reality” line to describe our return from summer or from vacation. Rather, we should use something like “back to my daily routine.”

“Back to reality” should be what we say about the very real time we spend, and the very real experiences we’ll have while on vacation, or during our less structured, more relaxed, less-structured and refreshing summers.

romantic3

… enjoying a romantic stroll on the deck at dusk…

Seabourn intimacy

… sharing life with intimate friends….

That’s why now, the end of summer, is a great time to begin thinking and dreaming about – and booking – your next vacation. Any of our 10 vacation brands can to take you on a great back-to-reality experience, whether it’s enjoying one of Carnival Cruise’s Fun Ships, coming back new from a Princess Cruise, or making a difference on a social impact/cultural exchange cruise with our newest brand, Fathom.

But whether you take a cruise or choose some other kind of vacation experience, remember to say – and think – “back to reality” before you go, not after you return.

Venice 1

… visiting some of the world’s most famous destinations…

Carnival ship night

…. enjoying exciting evenings in vibrant locales…

Holland horses

… going for long rides along the beach…

cuba-music

… or exploring different cultures and making a difference there, your reality is most real when you’re experiencing life to the fullest.