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Q&A by Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Once we reach Prince Rupert we want to hire a car and travel to the Yukon and Alaska where we want to take several excursions in Alaska. Then we wish to catch either a bus or train to get back to Vancouver. We are on a budget so can you please give us info about what the very best way to go around this would be.

A: From Prince Rupert take the Discovery Coast Passage. This is a 13-hour trek departing every other day at 7:30am so it is likely that you would have to overnight in Prince Rupert prior to your departure. For all ferry schedules, visit www.bcferries.com. In Prince Rupert, there are two car rental agencies available: National at toll-free 1-800-227-7368 or 250-624-5318 and Hertz at toll-free 1-800-201-8377 or local at 250-627-9166.

For detailed travel information on Prince Rupert including web links to the various transportation modes, visit www.tourismprincerupert.com.

For the Alaska leg of your trip, I contacted a representative from the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) for suggestions. Once in Prince Rupert, you can take the Alaska Marine Highway (www.ferryalaska.com) north through Alaska’s Inside Passage to Haines or Skagway and a connection to the Alaska Highway in Yukon. ATIA rep, Amy Cockerham says, “The best source for Alaska trip-planning is www.travelalaska.com.

This site has information about all communities and modes of transportation within the state, climate, activities, accommodations, maps and more.” Two good sources for trip-planning along the Alaska Highway through Yukon and into Alaska are Tourism North which is a consortium of tourism organizations in Alberta, Yukon and Alaska. Visit www.northtoalaska.com.

Regarding car rental suggestions, Amy says, “Renting a car in Canada and driving into the US/Alaska is no problem. However, in the past we have experienced difficulties with Canadians renting a car in the US and then driving it into Canada, so I’d advise your reader to rent and return the car either in Prince Rupert or in Whitehorse,” and she adds, “If they take the ferry from Prince Rupert and finish in Skagway, they can then board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad to Fraser, BC and transfer via motorcoach (part of the package with White Pass) to Whitehorse, which would make the perfect location to start the driving portion of the trip into Alaska.”

For car rental information in Whitehorse, visit Tourism Yukon at www.touryukon.com.

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