We were aboard the Carnival Spirit , July 31- Aug 8 . We traveled Vancouver to Seward . I traveled with my 2 daughters, 23, 17. I hope the following is helpful .
Let me say , first of all , it was awsome !!!! We loved every minute of it !
After reading these message board, which by the way were very helpful.
We booked several excursions, but for the most part wanted to be spontaneous.
Let me tell you about what we found in the towns that we visited . Then I'll tell you about what we booked and how we lked them .
Juneau : Just outside of the ship there are local vendors. We bought a ticket from the local bus for a trip to Mendenhall Glacier $10 round trip. You can stay there as long as you like, buses run every hour on the hour from there .
We also bought a ticket for the little red trolley that runs through town $5 ride all day . The driver gave narrated tour as we rode along. We were also given a map of the points of interest . We could get off, browse around, take photos, stay as long as we wanted and take the next trolley that came along.
Skagway: There is a Visitors Center right inside town. You can do a walking tour of the little town.
Sitka : There is a National Park about 1/2 ? mile outside of town. Its well worth the walk. There is a free museum there , dedicated to the local Indians who inhabited the island . We also joined a group and took a totem pole walk and lecture with the forest ranger . This was really interesting, and the woods were beautiful . Probably one of the best tours that I took. There's also lots more to see in the park if you have the time.
Anchorage : There is a security area where luggage is kept until you board your plane. There is also a free shuttle from the airport to downtown Anchorage and back .
Ketchican : I took the Trader Cove Bear Watch. It was exciting to fly in the float plane, and walk thru the woods. We didn't see any bears though, neither did the group before us . Nature isn't guaranteed, you might want to keep this in mind when signing up for this expensive excursion.
Juneau : I booked a whale watch on line thru Orca Enterprises. This was absolutely wonderful !! Capt Larry has local men on other boats for the day on a look out for whales for him. So we were almost certain to see whales ,and did we ever !!! Book this on line before leaving home, it fills fast !
Skagway : Salmon bake and Liarsville gold panning ! This would be great for kids !
Anchorage : Alaska Museum for the Performing Arts. They offer 3 movies about Alaska for about $6 each . We saw one about bears and it was great !
I hope this helps. I did a lot of research on line about each town we visited and what was available to see and do there . The message boards also helped tremendously. This is how I found out abuot Orca Enterprises !!
We had a wonderful time. Its awe inspiring !! I hope you all enjoy your trip as much as we did .
If you have any questions or I can give you any more information , please e-mail me
thanks for all the info! I'm going the end of this month. I'm glad I booked the whale excusion since I've been hearing rave reviews about it. I hear the shopping in Ketchikan is good, is that true? We booked a town and country tour at that port. How was the weather while you were there? thanks again for the info!
Hi Mary Ellen,
Loved all your information, I too will be cruising on the same ship/time as Michelle, so we're both trying to get as much info as possible. She also booked the whale watching at the same time as us and just yesterday another couple did too, so glad because I do hear they do fill up. Sounds like a good thing to do and I hope we see whales like you did.
Thanks again, how about any other towns that had some neat shopping?? Did any of the guys go on fishing tours, if so where and was it any good?
I was on the same cruise as you Mary Ellen. I also read these message boards and booked with Orca. I booked a month in advance and paid a deposit. I figured I was going at such a "primetime" and they would be booked. When I arrived at Orca, the first place I went when getting off the ship, they still had openings for that day. In fact it seemed they added an additional boat for additional rides and times. What I found very helpful is their connection with Coastal Helicopter.