OK, I'm just looking for any info people have about the following choices for tours in the ports on our alaska cruise-tour. We are doing a 13 day cruise-tour departing Vancouver on June 11. The shore trips I have picked out are as follows:
Ketchikan - Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure ( we LOVE diving and thought this would be fun and we don't know anybody else who can say they went snorkeling in alaska)
Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip (with whitewater rafting on the river)
Skagway - White Pass Railway and Heli-Hike - Includes helicopter ride to Glacier Station, 5 mile hike, and return to ship on White Pass railway
Seward - Sealife Center or Resurrection Bay Wildlife cruise (we haven't decided which to do yet)
We also have the following tours included on the land portion of the tour.
McKinley Wilderness Lodge - Chulitna River Float Trip (no whitewater)
and the Denali Natural History Tour
Anchorage - "Discovery" Riverboat cruise and "City of Gold" tour
Any comments about these tours would be greatly appreciated. We may also add a hiking trip or fishing during the land tour if we have time. Is there anything else we CAN'T miss. I REALLY doubt we will ever be back in Alaska and want to see all the major attractions.
oh, another thing. does anybody know if there are hiking trails within walking distance of the princess lodgings? we'd love to do some hiking but are not really into the group hike idea and would like to explore some on our own. is there anywhere to do this? we plan to take walking tours of each of the ports instead of the expensive princess tours between our adventure tours.
We did the Mendenhall glacier float trip in Juneau in '99 and it was great fun. At the parking lot where you re-board the bus afer the rafting trip, there was a beautiful scene! Wildflowers in bloom, with the glacier in the background. Don't know if the wildflowers are up in June, but look for it!
We are going again this July. We should get our shore excursion book soon - the snorkeling in Ketchikan sounds fun! They did not have that one in '99.
I read someone's posting (don't remember if it was on this website) where someone went on the float trip and was not impressed. Seems the scenery wasn't that great and they saw a lot of people's back yards. I personally haven't taken it.
That was me with the "distance view of the glacier and most of the trip backyards and trees". I strongly feel money is better spent elsewhere. There are people who thought this was a good tour, but they may not have the benefit of comparing it to other Alaska tours. lucy wrote:
> I read someone's posting (don't remember if it was on this
> website) where someone went on the float trip and was not
> impressed. Seems the scenery wasn't that great and they saw
> a lot of people's back yards. I personally haven't taken it.
I have replied to this post on another board, but my main concern is the short tour you are doing in Denali. You are really cheating yourself by only going on this tour. I never recommend any tour into Denali that doesn't go at least to Eislson, none of the cruise tours do. The history tour only goes to about mile 30, the Tundra tour- Tolkat mile 53 and Eielson mile 66. Ideally if the bugs aren't out go to Wonder Lake mile 85. Most people do not realize there are many tour lenghts into Denali and don't know what they missed. Significant in my experience of many trips there.
Thanks for the tips and ideas. I know the Denali tour will probably be short but, we don't have time for anything longer. We are doing the Denali tour on the way to Fairbanks on the train and only have a couple hours. We are also traveling with a wheelchair confined person and a young child so lots of bus riding and strenuous hiking are out. I'm sure if my husband and I enjoy the small portion of Denali that we see, we will come back on our own someday. We love to hike and would probably come back to do that. Hopefully we will have time to do some hiking around the McKinley lodge. I foudn one place that mentions there are some trails near the lodge but, we will not have access to a car so they need to be very close.
thanks everybody for the comments. i am now worried about the mendenhall glacier float trip. we were hoping it was a little more active (whitewater, etc). we are already committed to do the Chulitna river float trip and i hoped the glacier trip would not be the same. but, from your comments it sounds like it is the same kind of thing (wildlife watching, slow river, no whitewater, etc) is there another trip in juneau that you woudl recommend. we don't really want to do any flying since we are svaing the money for the big trip in Skagway. but something kind of strenous would be great. how's the bike tour? or would we be better off saving our money and just hiking up Mount Roberts (or maybe take tram up and hike down) is there anythign to see on Mount Roberts or is it just a view of the city below?