My husband and I are taking our three teenagers on Infinity's Inside Passage Alaskan cruise July 13th and have booked two excursions- one seaplane ride meeting up with a small boat to view wildlife. And another excursion that is a helicopter ride landing on a glacier. While we don't mind flying, we aren't great fans of heights or small spaces (a bit claustrophic). Can anyone give me any feedback about these excursions? We figure this is a once in a lifetime chance and should swallow the lump in our throats and go for it!
They do squeeze you in pretty tight in the planes and helicopters, but you'll be so busy looking out at the beautiful scenery that you'll forget how tight you are to your seatmate. We did the glacier helicopter in Juneau and the floatplane to a bear watching site in Ketchikan. Both were awesome and the best memories of our trip. PS We're going back again this year to try to make more memories. Alaska can be addicting!
We took the helicopter tour to the glacier in Juneau. I am glad I went because it was totally awesome. You are squeezed in very tight in the helicopter which bothered me more than the flight. Again, I wouldn't have missed it.
The two flights you have chosen are worth every penny for you and your family. Try to focus on the surroundings outside. If you are wearing a jacket, take it off and hold it so you don't get too warm. Layer your clothing and think pleasant thoughts. I too hate small planes and did both types in Alaska for the "once in a lifetime" experience. These pilots make their living with your tourist dollars, so have faith and enjoy every minute of your experience.
If you are taking the float plane out of Ketchikan for bear watching, mid July is too early. No likely sightings until end of July - early Sept. Is this another wildlife tour? Like Pack Creek out of Juneau? I have a lot of experience in Alaska travel and have gone on the Anan bear watching twice. (best bears are in Denali though: ) ) I also do not recommend the ship glacier helicopter tours very shuttle like- best is Coastal- an excellent company with personal tours. I have gone with 3 Juneau companies, for a total of 6 trips.
In Skagway we have booked: Chilkoot Trail/Glacier Via Helicopter. This is to fly to a remote glacier (in the Chilkat Glacier system) and then land and walk around.
In Ketchikan we have booked: Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise And Flight. This is the wilderness cruise and seaplane ride. While it would be nice to see bears, if it is too early in the season (sailing 7/13-7/20) perhaps we will be lucky enough to view other wildlife?
We didn't plan a shore excursion for Juneau (which is our first port of call), but if it is recommended that we do the glacier tour in this location rather than in Skagway, please let me know! We didn't want to book excursions in every port, as this is our first cruise ever we thought it may be a little much (both financially and sensory overload!)
I can't locate Coastal helicopter tours in my Frommer's guide. Are they out of Juneau only?
coastal can be reached at 907-789-5600 or web site www.ptialaska.net, we will be in alaska next week have booked misty fiord direct through islandwings and the helicopter/dog sled tour from skagway through tempsco helicopters. much cheaper than booking from ship.
I do not recommend the Misty Fjords floatplane/ cruise combo. I have never heard any good feed back and it takes up your entire port time. Same scenery only a lot slower. Not a big wildlife area either. Have some plans for Juneau and don't waste your time deciding at the dock. Lots of options even on a budget. Coastal is only out of Juneau www.coastalhelicopters.com