Alaskan Island Hopping

Old Feb 23, 11, 7:50 am
  #1  
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Alaskan Island Hopping

I've got a few AS miles. I'd like to fly 1-way DEN to Kodiak or Dutch and meander back toward Seattle. Then catch a $100 flight back to DEN.

Lots of ways to wander along the coast. 1-way cruises, ferries, etc.

What suggestions do you have for flexible, intermittent trip by water?

THX!
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by pierre mclopez View Post
I've got a few AS miles. I'd like to fly 1-way DEN to Kodiak or Dutch and meander back toward Seattle. Then catch a $100 flight back to DEN.

Lots of ways to wander along the coast. 1-way cruises, ferries, etc.

What suggestions do you have for flexible, intermittent trip by water?

THX!
Month?
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Month?
I'm convinced the best time to visit Alaska is late April through May. Have a nephew in Juneau, would love to stop in Seward and Valdez too. Lots of other neat places tucked in the archipelagos.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by pierre mclopez View Post
I'm convinced the best time to visit Alaska is late April through May. Have a nephew in Juneau, would love to stop in Seward and Valdez too. Lots of other neat places tucked in the archipelagos.
Late April through May? Maybe in Juneau, not so much in Southcentral or SW Alaska, IMO.

But... how sturdy a sailor are you? If the answer is "very," then by all means fly out to DUT and catch the Tustemena (state ferry) on its run back to Kodiak. Be sure to get a cabin and pack whatever meds/nostrums you need for mal de mer. I'd arrive in DUT a day or two before the ferry leaves, just in case the weather comes down. April and May on the Aleutian chain are not for the fainthearted. The rewards are potentially great though - it's a marvelous part of the state.

You also might think about flying on the AS "milk run" to/from ANC that stops in Cordova and Yakutat en route to Juneau. There are lots of ferry routes in SE Alaska that could be strung together to let you see some of the smaller towns in that area, e.g. Petersburg, Sitka, Tenakee, Gustavus... which might be more comfortable visiting at that time.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 2:52 pm
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Alaska Marine Highway

I would highly recommend it. If you really have the time, you can take it all the way from Dutch to Bellingham, probably with forced overnights (or two) in places like Juneau. Leave room for delays, for both the ferry and flying.

You will have to call to book it, but Alaska does allow stopovers on award tickets, including one-ways.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 5:05 pm
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Thanks for the info! I drove to Alaska in May and returned in October a few years back. Got to recon and survey above Kenai Lake. I'd like to return to AK before the hordes or rainy season arrive.....as the days get longer and folks are upbeat.

I decked on the GOM a couple winters. Saw as high as 30' seas, but I was much younger too. I should be OK in most conditions.

Maritime highway is an obvious choice. 1-way AS with stop-overs is a great idea!

I used to hitchhike. There were lots of crazy schemes back then, like hitching at airports. Seems you could do this at marinas or docks too. Any ideas this way?

One other thought. A 1-way cruise which permits intermittent passage: hop on and off as the spirit leads. Seems like a stretch, but sure would be fun.

This is a 2012 scheme I'm putting together. Appreciate you help.
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Old Mar 13, 11, 6:19 am
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AS's intra-state awards are one of the best uses of miles--7,500 one-way. String together a series of them for some phenomenal redemption values. For example, rather than ANC-ADQ-ANC, ANC-OME-ANC, ANC-BRW-ANC for 45,000 miles, you can do ANC-ADQ-OME-BRW-ANC for 30,000. That right there is probably worth well north of a thousand bucks.

That, in conjunction with the Tustamena trip outlined by Gardyloo above, is one of my dream trips I'd like to do someday, preferably before I leave Alaska...
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Old Mar 13, 11, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
AS's intra-state awards are one of the best uses of miles--7,500 one-way. String together a series of them for some phenomenal redemption values. For example, rather than ANC-ADQ-ANC, ANC-OME-ANC, ANC-BRW-ANC for 45,000 miles, you can do ANC-ADQ-OME-BRW-ANC for 30,000. That right there is probably worth well north of a thousand bucks.
AS's intra-state awards are nice, but I still like DL's stopover/open jaw provisions.

I can get two trips from the lower 48 to AK (say ADQ and OME), and stop in ANC each time for 50K miles. Or even better, for 50K miles, combine two trips from MSP (or elsewhere) to AK and add one trip to another city in the lower 48.

And I can earn DL miles way faster than AS miles - $12K of airline charges on the right AmEx card gets me 36K AmEx MR points, which right now can be transferred to 54K Delta miles. So for $12K in charging, I get 54K Delta miles, enough to do what I said above, and have 4K miles left over. Though the 7,500 miles intra-Alaska is a nice number of miles, in comparison to how easy it is to earn DL miles, that can still be relatively expensive.

Just a question of how one wants to earn and use the miles.
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Old Mar 13, 11, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
AS's intra-state awards are one of the best uses of miles--7,500 one-way. String together a series of them for some phenomenal redemption values. For example, rather than ANC-ADQ-ANC, ANC-OME-ANC, ANC-BRW-ANC for 45,000 miles, you can do ANC-ADQ-OME-BRW-ANC for 30,000.
Actually, you could do ANC-ADQ-OTZ-OME-SCC-BRW-FAI-ANC for 30,000 AS miles, with stopovers in each of those cities. 40,000 miles would let you do all of that but starting and ending in the lower 48. Though getting all of those flights lined up with saver availability may be difficult.
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Old Mar 13, 11, 9:46 pm
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Originally Posted by alphaeagle View Post
Actually, you could do ANC-ADQ-OTZ-OME-SCC-BRW-FAI-ANC for 30,000 AS miles, with stopovers in each of those cities. 40,000 miles would let you do all of that but starting and ending in the lower 48. Though getting all of those flights lined up with saver availability may be difficult.
You can do stopovers on intra-state awards?! Holy crap...
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Old May 21, 11, 1:11 pm
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Still investigating. Any suggestions out there how to get water passage between destinations like St Paul Island, St George Island, Adak Island, Cold Bay, Sand Point, etc. etc.?

Last edited by pierre mclopez; May 21, 11 at 1:16 pm
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Old May 21, 11, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by pierre mclopez View Post
Still investigating. Any suggestions out there how to get water passage between destinations like St Paul Island, St George Island, Adak Island, Cold Bay, Sand Point, etc. etc.?
Sand Point and Cold Bay are stops on the Tustemena's sailings. Adak and the Pribilofs have no passenger shipping access; the only vessels calling are freighters, barges, fishing/fish processing boats, and of course the Coast Guard. Some erstwhile/demented RTW sailors turn up every year, too.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/routes.shtml
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Old May 28, 11, 8:23 am
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One-way awards with stopovers

Rule 135AS - Stopovers

Stopovers will be permitted under the following conditions:

1) Stopovers must be arranged with AS in advance and specified on the ticket.

2) Stopovers will be permitted at any point which can be included in an itinerary constructed either by the use of a mileage routing or as specified in the published routing, unless such stopover is prohibited in the AS tariff or governmental regulations.

3) Stopover provisions for special fares (applicable to all fares for which stopovers other than at the point of turnaround are prohibited or restricted in number.) when travel at a through fare is interrupted by surface travel, either at intermediate points or at the point of turnaround, the points of disembarkation and reembarkation of the interrupted portion of travel will be considered together as one stopover or the one point of turnaround.

4) Only one stopover is permitted at any single point on the itinerary of a journey traveled at a one way or half a round trip fare. (a) The origin and destination or point of turnaround, as the case may be, may not be included in such itinerary more than once, regardless as to whether or not a stopover is made at such point.

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Still beating on this.....any experience or suggestions?

Looking at one-way award travel with stopovers and multi-city (>3 legs?) with an unflown leg....i.e. how to island hop without continuously returning to Anchorage. Probably too creative.

It would be great to string something like Homer, ANC, Cordova, Yakutat, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangel, Ketchikan, etc.

Regardless, one-way supersavers at 7.5K are a great deal.

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Any thoughts on one-way cruises with stopovers?

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ETA: Just found the Maritime Highway "See Alaska" Pass.....not bad!

Last edited by pierre mclopez; May 28, 11 at 8:39 am
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Old Jun 21, 11, 6:33 am
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AS Island Hopper Thread in Miles & Points
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