We took the white pass train tour in Skagway on our June 2001 cruise it is a beautiful trip. You can only experience on the train. There are two different trips. One in a round trip train ride, in which you don't get off. The other is up by train and down a different route by coach. I believe on this one you stop in a small Canadian town. We did the round trip train. If you take this trip my recommendation is that you sit on the left of the train (when facing forward) you will have the best view this way. Especially if you are on the return by coach. If you are on the round trip they will ask you to switch sides before the return so everyone gets the great view. You can't go wrong with this trip it is well worth it.
A significant reason to consider the train is for the history, engineering and scenery. Read up on it to enhance your visit, also get to the Park Service Visitor center located at Broadway and Second. If this is not a great interest- this is a costly tour. The bus usually goes to "Liarsville", Skagway. Recreated gold camp- totally fake but fun. Bus tours also do go into the Yukon to Carcross, read your descriptions for more information. You can take a seat across from the bathroom for scenic views both ways- no switching.
does anyone know if ther is any advantage to booking thourgh the cruiseline.the brochure rate is about 12.00 less than Celebrity.I read that if you book through the ship there is reserved seating.I am not the type to rush for a good seat just because it is going to save a few dollars.
I booked through the cruise line and didn't have reserved sits. It was a first come first serve seating. The only thing to consider if you book through the cruise line is that if something happens and the train gets back late the ship will wait for you. If you book on your own you don't have this guarentee. On one of our cruises a group was on a self booked bus trip and the bus broke down. They missed the ship
The seats are not reserved, the car is. Ship purchased tickets load at the dock, independents load at the depot in town. An advantage on the afternoon trips if you aren't back at the ship. With long port times- usually in Skagway- the train returns at 4pm from the 1pm excursion. If you are leaving at 8pm by ship, you would have plenty of time to get back to the ship.
Always been fascinated by the Klondyke gold rush, my great grandfather set off from Scotland to take part. By the time he got there all the stakes had been taken and all the fortunes made. He returned to dig coal for the rest of his life.
A few years back, I went via Whitehorse to see Dawson City for myself. Fantastic place that has been recreated for the summer tourists.
Did the Skagway to the Lake train trip. Wonderful scenery. However, to really appreciate the views on this famous trail and the history of Skagway, (and the sub zero horrors of the gold rush) then do a bit of homework. Swot up a book on how the miners travelled north and hiked up the White Pass and then built their rafts as they waited for the ice on the lake to break. Then headed north down the Yukon river to what was to become Dawson. A bit of advance recce always helps. It enables you to appreciate things more.
Great advice to research the history- will make a significant enhancement to any Skagway touring. An added tibbit- once the prospectors made it over the pass- they still had 500 miles to go to the gold fields. With the delay in "news" the rush was over for most by time they got there.
A second thought . . . Frommer's also recommends renting a car and making the White Pass drive that way. A car also allows you to drive into Canada aways . . . Emerald Lake has been recommended. The biggest plus is the money savings. We're renting a 7-pass. Durango for $100 versus over $450 for the train. Don't get me wrong . . . I'm sure the train is a wonderful trip, but I put all of my pennies into a mini-suite, since so many of you have insisted such is the only way to cruise Alaska. So I'm having to belt-tighten in other places . . . For me, I'd rather have a great view of the coast and glaciers from a private balcony, esp. on a cold, rainy day, than do any of the excursions I've read about. So our car rentals will take us up to the Mendenhall glacier visitor center and to some beach parks mentioned in Frommer's while in Juneau. If the weather is clear in Juneau, we'll do the Mt. Roberts tram (doesn't require advance tickets). In Ketchikan, we'll drive to Prince of Wales island and to see some of the totem poles as well as the salmon ladder. In Skagway, besides the drive up White Pass and into the Yukon, visiting the Red Onion saloon sounds fun, and checking out the beaches again is always a kid pleaser. Have I yet saved the $2000 difference between my previous inside cabin and the present mini-suite? I'm also scrounging through the garage to see what I can dump on E-bay! Enjoy your Alaska cruises . . . Shelley