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Larry May 29th, 2003 02:23 PM

Haines and Dolly Varden
Well we are stumped.

We were originally going to do the train or rent a car in Skagway but after
talking to a friend who had been to Haines, we may go there on our Skagway

We are thinking about the Dolly Varden tours, specifically the combination
of the "Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Raft Trip" and the "Chilkoot Lake Nature
Tour and Bear Watching Adventure". We are in Skagway from 7:00 am to 9:00
pm so we have plenty of time (we realize it's a 35 minute trip each way to

Does anyone have any experience with the Dolly Varden Tours? Is the Chilkat
float trip worth the time? Any comments are welcome!


Karen16 May 29th, 2003 04:29 PM

Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
I replied elsewhere??? Determine what the sightings are for bears for the week you are going. Later in the season seems to be preferred. Also look into Eco tours, highly recommended.

Cruising for fun May 30th, 2003 07:59 AM

Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
We are doing a similiar thing. We arrive in Skagway at 7a - 8p. We're taking the fastferry to Haines (make reservations for round trip), renting a car and basically "winging it". Full day rental, unlimited miles and tax is about $75. Definately checking out the Bald Eagle Preserve, as well as the hike up to Mt Ripinsky (wonderful view of Haines and the Canal and all of the mountains. And then drive up towards Haines Jct (as far as time will allow us). Scenery is supposedly wonderful. Good Luck!

sallyc May 30th, 2003 11:48 AM

Re: Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
We did this on our last cruise (but didn't book through Princess) and it was fantastic, probably the highlight of all our excursions. We loved seeing the wildlife and the peace and quiet of just floating along. Our guide was so informative with a wealth of information. I'd highly recommend this.

SantaHarry May 30th, 2003 02:47 PM

Re: Re: Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
Did Dolly Varden last year and really saved money and got a trip our cruise mates could only dream of. We did the eagle wildlife refuge rafting and the local tour of Haines.

This year we are doing the same except we are getting the rental car and touring ourselves.

Enjoy the trip.

Maasdam 7/31

Meg46 May 30th, 2003 06:55 PM

Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
We are on the Star Princess departing June 14th and have a full day in Skagway as well. After alot of deliberation and pondering, we booked the same trip you are considering with Dolly Varden. (I also found Eco Orca on the Haines website - they have the same phone # as Dolly Varden Alaska so they seem to work together.) If you book this, mention that you saw the special Family Circle magazine coupon for Dolly Varden. This "coupon" (and I have lost the link to that page) lets you buy one raft trip and get one raft trip for free. There are 2 of us and we saved $78. We still had to pay the $44 each transportation, but mentioning the offer in Family Circle was a great savings. You do not need the actual coupon, but just mention you saw this special offer. To add the Chilkoot Lake Nature Tour was only an additional $20. So for 2 of us we are seeing the Bald Eagle Preserve, doing the float trip, seeing Ft. Seward and Chilkoot Lake for $206 total. We considered other excursions, but taking into account the diversity of this tour, we felt that the time would be well spent. Our other choice for our long day in Skagway was horseback riding, but the only tour was right in the middle of the day. We are taking the 8 am Bald Eagle Chilkat Raft and Float/Chilkoot Lake tour and anticipate returning to Skagway between 1:30 and 2:00. Enough time for us to then see some of Skagway - thinking of going to the Visitor Center and hiking to Lower Dewey Lake. Might even be able to squeeze in seeing Reid Falls too! It will be a busy day. I read some other messages recommending Dolly Varden & Jane was very helpful in answering my many questions! I prefer to get away from the crowds of the cruise ship and hope this will be a great trip. Good luck making your decision.

Dale2 June 1st, 2003 10:52 AM

Re: Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
This is great information. Thanks so much! We are traveling with friends (5 of us) on the Spirit leaving August 27th from Vancouver. We really want to see widelife & do some hiking but the prices seem exorbitant. Since this is our first time, we weren't sure if some of the areas were open to the public or if you had to be with a tour group to gain admission. Your info and a post from "Cruising for fun" helped solve that mystery. Thanks especially for the coupon info.

(I stumbled on this message board by accident a few days ago and am so thankful that I did.)

MaryEm June 1st, 2003 06:41 PM

Re: Re: Re: Haines and Dolly Varden
Thanks for all of the information. We have booked with Dolly Varden on this same tour and are looking forward to it...I'm glad to read that is a positive experience.

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