We plan to do one of the glacier tours while in Juneau. I've looked around and
people have told me that I should look at Era, Temsco, or Coastal. Any others?
Also...it seems like some of those have the 4 glacier tour and some have the
pilots choice tour. Those are the two we seem to have narrowed it down to.
We want to have a good view, land on a glacier and walk around, but we don't
feel we need to 'trek' around for an hour or more. We were interested in
dog-sledding, but I understand that usually doesn't open until June, correct?
(we're going in May and will be in Juneau on May 22nd).
Does anyone have an opinion as to whether the 4-glacier tour or the Pilot's choice
is better? is there a different glacier tour i'm missing that is better? are there
other helicopter tours other than the 3 above that I should consider?
Generally pilots choices are double glacier landings. So look over descriptions carefully and decide what is your desire. BUT, I strongly feel that if taking the more costly flights limits other touring options due to budget, then take the "standard" single glaicer landing. It is important to have a varied experince in my opinion. I would directly inquire from TEMSCO when their dog sledding will start- they only operate out of Skagway- unless they change this year.
Lisa G - Just my two cents. I called Temsco direct and got a great deal on the dog sledding trip out of Skagway. I had two kids and got 50%off on them along with a discount from adult fares. We are on the June 7th cruise and my guess is that they do have the tour running at your prescribed dates. Give them a call, what do you have to lose? Hope this helps....
While in Juneau last June, we went on a single landing glacier trip with Coastal. It was fabulous! Of course great weather helped on the day we flew! We were on the glcier for about 20 minutes...plenty of time to takes lots of pictures and drink "glacier tea!"
I booked directly though Coastal -they have cute college kids pick you up at the dock in vans and take you to the airport. Very organized and professional. I'd recommend going on the early flight - I think ours was 8:30 am....afterwards, we had plenty of time to shop and go up Mt Roberts tram. It was a wonderful day!
How many different glaciers did you get to see with Coastal? They are less expensive than some of the others, so I was wondering if they were equivalent to some of the 'four-glacier' tours that some of the other companies have.
With Coastal, they fly to different glaciers depending on the weather conditions. We had an unbelievably clear sunny day, so we flew over Mendenhall and went farther away to land on Taku. It was probably in the 60's in town that day...cooler and a little windy on the glacier. I just had on a polar feece pull-over and was fine. Our pilot was excited about the sunny day and said they sometimes can't go as far as Taku. The neat thing about flying out of Juneau is that you see glaciers almost immediately after taking off. It was truly like being in an Imax movie...an unforgetable experience and well worth the money.
The single landing was less expensive and I don't regret going on it (I also considered the longer flight.) We went on a float plane excursion through the Misty Fjords (from Kethikan with Island Wings) It was incredible....We decided to book an inside cabin and spent more money on excursions. With Alaska, you really need to take some of these pricey side trips to take advantage of the beautiful scenery. It was a once in a lifetime experience! (Although I do hope to go back one day!!!)
Personally, I think the weather will have more of an impact on your experience than the number of landings you make or the number of glaciers you see (they all sort of run into each other and start looking alike anyway!) Like I said before, we were blessed with great weather...hope you are too!
An important look at the description is necessary- 4 glaicer- is that LANDING or viewing??? A BIG difference. You have just about constant glacier views during the flying. As for the dog sledding helicopter landing- this is not ice but snow packed and not as scenic at the landing. It is a fixed site- hence the more canceled. With a helicopter glacier landing - there are several glaciers to choose from. I have done the single landing 5 times and double 1, with landing on Mendenhall, Herbert, Taku, Norris. None better than the other and all in a state of change. Go with who fits your time and budget. ERA will not direct book cruise passengers and is ship contracted. NO TAPES- live commentary.
Our pilot with Coastal was terrific - he was very experienced and we wore headsets during the flight so he could talk with us. (No tape) We were able to ask lots of questions and he pointed out many different and interesting sights. I thought I'd be nervous, as it was my first time up in a helicopter, but it was so smooth and nice. The scenery is so incredibly breathtaking that you don't have time to be nervous!