McKinley Explorer
McKinley Explorer
4.5

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4.5
42 reviews
Excellent
28
Very good
6
Average
5
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Alicia L
Williamsburg, VA4 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Absolutely horrible experience! 10 hours in freezing cold conditions! Who would have thought it would have been colder in a train car than outside. Had freezing cold air blowing on us the entire time. Wore a hat, gloves, and jacket the entire time. The train guide and bartender gave us hot water and table cloths to use to try and keep warm. Blamed it on being on a generator. Princess Cruises should have warned us ahead of time so we could have dressed warmer and brought blankets. 1 or 2 hours of it you can handle but 10 was downright miserable!!!!
Written 31 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne B
5 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
TOO LONG!!! 10+ hours on the train was not worth it. Denali was great but wish we had rented a car for the 4+ hour return to Whittier. Do not recommend unless you are looking for a good night's sleep.
Written 30 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joyrdch
Climax, GA135 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
My highpoint on my cruise/landtour to Alaska. Our host/narrator was very knowledgeable and witty. We found the open platform at the very back and enjoyed the scenery even better. The trip was from Whittier to Denali National Park after disembarking from HAL's Noordam. For those on a budget, alot at least $75-$100 for breakfast/lunch/drinks/snacks for two people. The food on the train can be expensive and it wasn't included in the fare. I'd do it again when I visit.
Written 24 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

adventoring
Omaha, NE30 contributions
Sept 2022
Alaska is immense and the train ride gives you a great view of miles of amazing landscape. Having said that, next time, we'll rent a car and drive from Anchorage to Denali. The train apparently had staffing problems because we didn't get lunch until 2:30 and then only because went looking to see what the delay was. Some people in our car didn't get lunch until 3:30. Also, riding this train for over 9 hours and then taking the bus tour of Denali the next day (6+ more hours sitting) is almost like looking at things through an office window. The bus drive back to Anchorage is what intrigued us about renting a car. You can still take 9+ hours to get to Denali, but 4 hours can be driving and 5 hours can be stopping at many interesting points along the way. And then the bus drive through Denali would be more enjoyable too.
Written 20 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philip_Marsh
Greater Manchester, UK495 contributions
Aug 2022
We were really looking forward to this part of the trip but it failed to deliver on many levels. There is certainly plenty of scenery but very little wildlife or anything of note. Six hours on the train with little to see isn't that entertaining.

There are platform viewing areas at the back of each railway car (the one at the back of the train being the best). However they aren't easy to access; the seating area is on the top deck, you aren't allowed to travel through the lower decks (these are the restaurant areas) and so you have to keep climbing up and down stairs, and navigating through your fellow passengers to get around. Interesting but wasted exercise.

Food is a sandwich so don't get too excited.

Our guide kept passing around items for us to see/be photographed with but that wasn't wise with Covid prevalent (and people did catch Covid). He also spent most of the time talking about his family rather than anything else.

The tips suggested for the guide et al were $10 per person.

Would I want to repeat this journey? Absolutely not!!
Written 23 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hollywood_Consumer
Los Angeles, CA44 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
Took the train to Whittier as part of an Alaskan cruise. The dome top made this a great travel experience. It is a long trip but you really get to see a lot of the countryside that you wouldn't really be exposed to otherwise.

We had lunch in the dining car and it was quite good. Would recommend taking the time to sit in the car and enjoy the passing scenery while enjoying a delicious meal.
Written 10 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pamela C
Grafton32 contributions
Sept 2018 • Couples
Boarded the train in Whittier after leaving our ship. The view from the upper deck of all windows was breath taking. Since it was a sunny day and very clear, we were able to see Denali, his wife, and their son all at the same time. Good thing because the next day at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge it was cloudy and you couldn't see the peaks. Only complaint I have is that it is 9 1/2 hour ride. Worth it, but glad to get off. Would still recommend it.
Written 15 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil R
Chelmsford, MA311 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
We had excellent seats being in the front row of the car on the train right behind the locomotive. The seats were very comfortable and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The eating area was on the first floor with cloth table clothes and cloth napkins and the burgers were very good and HUGE.

It was interesting to learn about how the local people use the railroad to get to town because there are no roads to some of these people. I don't want to tell more for if you go on the train, you'll find out.

After having seen the mountains and glaciers on the ship the scenery was fine but nothing spectacular.

Very few animal sightings and short viewing time as the train does not stop.

If you like trains and are willing to spend the 9-10 hours, it works great but not our cup of tea.
Written 12 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Snappy Stat Girl
Charleston, SC98 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
Took this train from Anchorage to Denali. It’s glass domed roof helped us to appreciate the expanse of what we were seeing. This is a first class, luxurious train. Dining car, which is on the lower level, offers gourmet selections well-made choices. Great way to travel!
Written 29 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mjswansona
Greenville, SC726 contributions
July 2018 • Couples
We rode the train from Whittier to denali yesterday. The passenger cars are quite nice with a panoramic view. James and his fiancé Chelsea were very knowledgeable and were quite enjoyable and very personable. We were on the train for ten hours which is too long but the views are amazing. We saw eagles and moose.

They also have a separate dining area. I got their reindeer chili and my wife got a seafood salad sandwich and we split. Both items were quite good. They have us the recipe for the chili. I'd love to make but don't know where one can buy reindeer meat in South Carolina.
Written 26 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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McKinley Explorer: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (74 photos)