Steve, we did a cruise that left Seattle and landed in Alaska, then continued with a bus tour up along the pipeline route all the way north to the Arctic Circle where we walked across for a photo opportunity. There were stops along the way in small remote towns where we could visit with locals. We added a scenic flight way circling around the Denali Peak, and then did another bus tour across the southern coast. This was another of those once-in-a-lifetime things we did when we were younger. Also went to Virgin Islands for our honeymmon, twice to Hawaii (once as a bonus from my employer after a large IT project), and a second trip to Germany with my long-time friend Don Doenitz who is a relative of Adolph Hitler's Admiral Karl Doenitz .
My advice to all of you for your travels: Try to avoid the tourist traps sometimes and get out among the locals. The local pubs are great for meeting folks, and there is usually someone who will 'adopt' you and translate for you. The German breweries are great, and the fresh fish sandwiches in Alaska local restaurants are to die for. And in Hawaii, be sure to try a Zombie. Part way into my second one I was laughing so hard I was crying from the pain.
I always chuckle to recall a sign we saw along the pipeline route in Alaska which read:
Speed Limit 60 MPH Next 450 miles.
Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )