I wasn't sure whether to post this on the Royal Caribbean board or here, but ...we're booked on RCCL in early July, and really want to do a glacier flightseeing/dogsledding excursion. The cruiseline offers excursions in both Juneau and Skagway, and we were wondering which would be better to take, or if they're pretty similar.
Is anyone familiar with Royal Caribbean's particular dogsledding excursions? I notice that while they're the same price, the Skaway excursion is for a shorter time; however, the Skagway description sounds like a more "hands-on" experience, though that could just be an effect of whoever wrote the blurbs.
Radiance of the Seas to Alaska July 2003
First cruise-10th anniversary
We are doing the dog sledding excursion out of Skagway using TEMSCO helicopters. We found that Skagway tours are less cancelled the Juneau due to weather conditions. Another reason why we chose them rather than ship excursion was the price. For adults we received $349 and for children 50% off $175 pp. TEMSCO has a good reputation. I am going in June and will be glad to share my experience when I get back June 15th. Hope this helps.
Skip contractor will be ERA who doesn't allow direct booking and TEMSCO which may. Juneau glacier helicopter dog sledding is the most canceled of all Alaska excursions, but Skagway is close behind. Trips are similar but be aware that you are landing on more of a "snow" area rather than the ice - which the regular glacier landings do. Having just done a "real" dog sledding in March- it would be my top choice if you can drive the sleds, less so with just a ride for me.
Where did you go dog sledding in March? I'm a big Iditarod fan and have stayed at a mushers kennell for a few days in June 2 years ago. I've flown out to Finger Lake checkpoint during Iditarod and was supposed to go to Nome last March but had to cancell because of the delay of mushers finishing 2 days later into Nome. I'm going this coming March to Nome. I've done the dog mushing tour in Juneau with Linwood Fidler a well known musher. It's a great excursion but, I would like to go to Alaska and do a real dog mushing 2 day trip into the wilderness. Any suggestions?
We are doing the dog sledding in Skagway the 1st wk of June. We chose Skagway because of the amount of time available in Skagway and the lack of things to do in town. We are dog sledding at 12:15 and White Pass Railway at 4:30, which should be interesting since the excursion is listed as being 3 hrs and 30 min. and the ship sails at 7:45. You do the math! My husband wants to "play it by ear" on seeing the town, but most of the noteworthy sites all seem to be a mile to a mile and a half away from ea other no doubt. I'm the only one in our group used to walking 10 mi. a day and the only one who wants to rent a bike! I guess I'll be playing my tiny violin all day the next day. Will try to let you all know what we thought was worth the mile walkl
Sorry, didn't mean to make it sound like there's nothing to see in Skagway. The Radiance of the Seas will be in that port the longest 13 and 1/2 hrs. versus 9 hrs in Juneau. Most of the sights that I checked out (the Dyea overlook, the Gold Rush cemetary and Reid falls, Jewel Gardens, Dewey Lake etc.) are all on the outskirts of town and a bit away from each other. As you said yourself hike, bike, or have a darn good pair of walking shoes! I figure we will have at least 4 hrs. to get in as many sights around and in town and still do the dog sledding and train excursion. The time in Juneau is much more limited.
We have friends who did the dogsledding out of Skagway last year, booked through the cruiseline. They said it was fantastic. Same as the independent booking; you just pay more for the convenience of booking through the cruiseline (which is fine with us). They said that it was only 2 tourists per sled, and they had the opportunity to both ride and drive. They also had time with the puppies, which they said was a lot of fun, too.
They said they had about an hour on the glacier itself--roughly 20 minutes each for playing with the puppies/getting instruction, riding in the dogsled, and driving the dogsled. (Those who did not wish to drive the dogsled rode for 40 minutes instead of 20). They felt the once-in-a-lifetime experience was well worth the money.
Hopefully the weather will cooperate the day we're there!
Thanks for the info so far...
My (somewhat anal-retentive) question is:
Seems like the Skagway excursion allows you to actually 'drive' the dogsled, but the Juneau descriptions do not mention this. Are you allowed this opportunity on the Juneau trip?
I chose the Juneau trip since it sounded like you spend more time on the glacier than for the Skagway trip. But if you can drive the sleds in Skagway...
Any info on this would be greatly appreciated - my wife is looking forward to this the most on the trip - the Island on August 9th (Cruisetour 21).
I checked Celebrity's descriptions of both dogsledding excursions, and here are the stated durations:
Total: 3 hr 15 min.
Approximately 30-35 minutes flight time and 1 hour at the dogsled camp.
Total: 2 hr
Approximately 30 minutes flight time and 1 hour at the dog camp.
The Juneau description says that it is a combination of the "4-Glacier Adventure" with dogsledding, so I also checked the duration of the 4-Glacier Adventure: Total is 2 hours. Approximately 35-40 minutes flight time and 15-20 minutes on the glacier.
From these descriptions, my guess would be that maybe you get an additional glacier landing in Juneau that you don't get in Skagway??? Another guess is that maybe it is a longer drive from the pier to the helicopter in Juneau than in Skagway. From what I understand, Temsco is just a stone's throw from the pier in Skagway. Maybe it is further away in Juneau, so there's more bus time??? Just guesses on my part. Your best bet would probably be to call the cruiseline and ask them.
We opted for Skagway because we had heard such good things about it, it is apparently cancelled slightly less often than Juneau, and the fact that is is shorter in total duration gives us more free time to explore on our own that day.