Skagway is the port we are having the most difficult time in deciding what excursion to take. Since we will have our 17 and 11 yr old boys along, we need something more active than the White Pass Railroad or bumping in a jeep for 5 hours. We will be on a Princess ship (Coral) in July and have made all other excursion plans independently (Capt'n Larry, Misty Fiord, Salmon Bake, etc), except in Skagway.
We are thinking about the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari with Princess. That's the one that combines the catamaran ride to Glacier Point, a short drive, short walk and then 31' canoe to Davidson Glacier.
Has anyone done this before? Have any suggestions?
Nan - when are you going in July? I've been searching for anyone on the Dawn Princess the week of July 21st...heading south. My sons are 15 and 13. We are planning the Eagle Preserve & Float Advendure in Hains, or the jet boat version.
We are northbound July 19th. We also have found only one other group on the same sailing. I also looked at the Eagle Preserve Float Adventure, but thought that is too long a calm raft ride for our boys. That's a 6.5 hour excursion! (Though I don't know how much of it is touring Haines and transportation to the river)
I haven't seen any other comments on these excursions on any boards.
How about dog sledding in Skagway. There are two excursions to choose, helicopter and glacier dog sled (real life experience) or the dog sled in July since snow might not be available http://www.alaskasleddog.com/
Post Edited (02-20-03 02:31)
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
My husband Mike and I will be sailing on the Coral southbound from Seward July 12th after a Fairbanks -Denali -Talkeetna-Anchorage land excursion. I also have questions about what excursions to take where - lots of things to do, so little time!
Since we are visiting from New Hampshire, we figure this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Alaska, so we want to make the most of it.
After reading the forum postings, this is what I have for the cruise portion so far:
->Skagway: Mike really wants to take the Chilkoot Lake Fresh Water Fishing excursion. I am wondering if this is the place to do this, or would fishing around Talkeetna be a better choice? I am really hoping he finds a fishing buddy, but if he can't, I'll go ;-(
->Juneau: Signed up for the Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest first thing in the morning.
Is early morning a good time to be whale watching?
->Ketchikan: Having some difficulty with this one. We were considering the bear viewing through Princess - but this is either booked up or cancelled. Folks on this forum recommended Island Air, so I have emailed Island for more info about their Bear Viewing excursion. However, since we will be in Denali, I question if we will have better luck seeing bears there. My second choice is the Misty Fjords Seaplane, either through Princess or Island Air.
Thanks in advance for your help. I will need to plan the land portion excursions next, but that's another story for another day....
Nan - thanks for sharing your sailing dates. We are having a great time planning...but just when I think something is set I read more posts that make me think I should change.
We are doing a land trip prior to our sailing south.
Right now we are thinking for Juneau
Whalewatching & Wildlife Quest or Juneau Explorer by Land & Sea
Skagway -Eagle Preserve & Float, or Eagle Preserve & Jetboat
I also want to take the Skagway Street Car.
BUT, I've read that the Glacier Point Wlderness Safari is a great excursion too so we are really waffleing here.
In Ketchinkan we are going to try the Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise & Flight.
Also read that the Lumberjack Show can be entertaining. I also think the Ketchican
Trolley sounds fun.
Only problem is, with all the excursions, when can we shop?
Planning is fun, but I'll be glad when we can finally lock in.
July 12 is too early for bear viewing out of Ketchikan, I wouldn't consider going before the end of July even though tours will be run, I want full views in peak season. As for Denali Park- if going on a cruise tour- you included tour may offer sightings IF you are on the Tundra wildlife mile 53 and NOT the useless Natural History mile 17- not likely to see any wildlife. Better though is booking on your own the Shuttle to Eielson mile 66. Take a good pair of binoculars as sightings are rarely close. for clairfication- the company is Island Wings of Air out of Ketchikan and Misty fjords flightseeing is excellent but my preference is a helicopter glacier landing.
This tour is in Haines and requires a ferry from Skagway 30-45min. if your ship does not port in Haines, transfer to the float adds another 20 min+ each way. I have contact with an operator that stated wildlife viewing other than eagles was only about 25% of his trips, so take that into consideration. I have gone to Haines a few times and it is indeed a great area. I did the jet boat tour as well.
Have read these suggestions and am wondering also about Skagway excursions. We are also booking independent of the cruise line. We (just a couple, no kids) are sailing on Star Princess leaving Seattle 6/14 and will be in Skagway a full day on Tues. June 17th. Can't decide between: Dolly Varden Chalkat Bald Eagle Rafting Trip combined with Chilkoot Lake Nature Tour; Chilkoot Hoseback Adventures, a 3.5 hr. trip; or Yukon Horseback Adventure with Southeast Tours, a 5.5 hr. trip. Thought perhaps the raft trip would be too calm, and besides, we are already on a ship for a week, seeing lots of scenery by water, so maybe the horseback riding would be a better alternative? Any suggestions, and/or reviews would be greatly appreciated.
we are sailing on the star princess on July 12..also stopping at skagway. I have a question however about booking these excursions outside of the cruise line. Actually I have a major question about that. HOW? How do you even begin to find tours and book tours outside of the cruise line? Thanks.
To book independently, you need to determine what activity intests you then look for a vender. Most important is to look over a ship shore excursion list for ideas and to narrow down your interests, most everything can be direct booked. Request each port's visitor guide, plenty of information and listings of operators.
In case you are interested www.southeasttours.com offers some alternatives to the WWw.Skagway.org. I believe that the Skagway site doesn't mention the southeasttours site but it is there. Hope that helps. Some of the websites you might reach in Skagway end up telling you to book with the ship and one company that does is the Streetcar company. I have heard that they won't take a booking directly they point you back to the cruise lines to book. Heard as well, that you can book directly with the WP train ride but you have to take the train at different time because the cruise line has booked a certain time, I think I read it somewhere that it was the 12 or 12:30 train ride. So you have to book it after that time I believe.
Nan and anyone interested.... we orginally booked with Princess to go on the WP railroad in Skagway but after reading the forums here and on CC I decided to see what the independent tour operators had, which I found by typing in the name of the place I wanted to visit and search for activities and also by others posting the websites. I have now booked a Yukon Photo Safari through Southeast Tours and am very happy with it + it was almost half the cost. I sent an email to them and they replied quite quickly, now I'm booked and looking forward to it. This tour offered more scenery and the Yukon which you don't get on the railway coz they don't let you off at the summit.
If I can do it you can too and I live in Australia!
I have now booked a Yukon Photo Safari through Southeast Tours and am very happy
This is a good option for a narrated tour, but vastly different and no comparism to the White Pass Railroad where the scenery is superior. But a major reason to consider the train is for history, scenery and engineering. It's not for everyone. The above road tour travels the Klondike Highway only, also easily traveled via rental car on your own if desired.
Has anyone done the Skagway White pass Summit Tour by bus...I was thinking of this for a family of 5 rather than the train because you stop at various places and get off. Would appreciate your advice..
Infinity July 4th
Has anyone done the Skagway White pass Summit Tour by bus...I was thinking of this for a family of 5 rather than the train because you stop at various places
It would be cheaper renting a car, then have the flexability to go as far and stop where you wish. I highly recommend you go to your library and copy the Klondike Highway page. Great detail of the drive. I recommend going to Emerald Lake and return, 150 miles round trip. Reserve NOW anyway from Avis, very easy to cancel.
I am renting a car in Skagway and plan on driving to Carcross and would like to go to Spirit Lake Lodge. Do you know how far the Lodge is from Carcross? Will Avis give us maps of that area? I have tried finding the Milepost at our local library and it's not available. I have found it on line but don't really want to buy it if not absolutely necessary.
Is there anyway you could get and interlibrary loan??? There is no comparism to the Milepost to any "Maps" given by Avis. You need the mile by mile description that it gives. Try Ebay or half.com for an older edition- makes little difference. Spirit Lake is 10 min from Carcross.