Princess Alaska Rail Service
Introduction Traveling daily from May through September between Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali National Park and Fairbanks, Princess Tours' Ultra Dome rail cars are the most luxurious of their kind. Princess also offers Direct to the Wilderness rail service between the cruise terminal in Whittier and Princess Denali-area wilderness lodges.
Season Mid-May to Mid-September
Tour Packages Approximately 30 cruisetour packages and several rail-and-hotel-only itineraries are available. Most cruisetours and rail tours include luxury rail travel and overnight accommodations at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.
Amenities Princess rail cars offer full-dome panoramic view, bar service and guest seating in dome, open-air outdoor observation platforms, full service dining salon with meals prepared to order, circular stairways to upper level, stainless steel self-contained kitchen and wireless public address system. Six cars comply with American With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, including convenient hydraulic lifts to lower level.
Highlights -Princess rail cars are rated as Alaska's number one rail experience and have set the standard for luxury rail travel in the nation. -Princess rail cars feature some of the largest domed windows ever built for a rail car. -Princess rail cars offer wide aisles and open-air outdoor observation platforms.
Capacity Total upper level seating for 10 Ultra Dome cars combined = 880
History Princess pioneered luxury rail travel in Alaska with the introduction of the original Super Dome cars in 1984. As the Alaska travel industry grew, Princess introduced the largest guest rail cars in the world, the Ultra Dome Series I cars in 1988 and the Ultra Dome Series II cars in 1993. Series III cars were added in 1997 and Series IV cars in 1999.
Built at a total cost of $14.3 million and totally refurbished in 2005, these 10 cars will continue to set the standard for luxury rail travel in the nation.
Anchorage/Fairbanks Schedule (times are approximate) Northbound: Depart Anchorage 8:15 am, Arrive Talkeetna 11:05 am Depart Talkeetna 11:15 am, Arrive Denali 3:45 pm Depart Denali 4:00 pm, Arrive Fairbanks 8:00 pm
Southbound: Depart Fairbanks 8:15 am, Arrive Denali 12:00 pm Depart Denali 12:15 pm, Arrive Talkeetna 4:40 pm Depart Talkeetna 4:50 pm, Arrive Anchorage 8:00 pm
Direct to the Wilderness Schedule (times are approximate) Northbound Cruisetours disembarking in Whittier: Denali Express: Whittier -- 8:15am/ Denali -- 5:45pm McKinley Express*: Whittier -- 7:15am/ Talkeetna -- 12:45p
Southbound Cruisetours embarking in Whittier Denali Express: Denali -- 8:00 am/ Whittier -- 5:30pm McKinley Express*: Talkeetna -- 1:00p/ Whittier -- 6:15pm
* McKinley Express service uses chartered rail cars with full-view, large domed windows. Operated by Princess staff, the rail service features onboard narration and tableside snack/beverage service plus a bistro car with light fare and beverages.
Number of staff 19 full-time and 250 seasonal, with approximately 6 to 8 service staff aboard each rail car.