Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > Alaska
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 29th, 2003, 06:59 PM
MLC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of bor

I've heard that the White Pass Train in Skagway offered beautiful scenery going up but then it all became kind of boring going back down....any opinions on this would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 02:25 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 161
Send a message via AIM to Sterling Silver
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

If you get bored seeing the same beautiful scenery both directions, don't go. I was on it last week with a group of school kids from Juneau and I found it just as pretty coming down as it was going up. Got some great pics. They will let you stand on the platform between cars for an even better view. Try to get on the first car behind the engines. When they get to the top, they move the engines to the other end of the train, so the first car behind the engine then become the last car going down. Bring food. They will supply the bottled water.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 07:13 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

A significant reason to consider the White Pass RR is scenery, history and engineering. I'm nuts- but I always find the scenery different depending on the direction and always enjoy a round trip. If this is not of interest, then go with something else. Plenty to choose from.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 08:51 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 32
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Two questions: 1. When is it better to book the excursion: before getting on board ship(on-line), on board ship, or on the dock. (Concern is the weather.)
2. If booked ahead of time, can you get a refund if the weather is bad?
I plan to go on the Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas July 11, 2003 sailing with my grandchildren.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 09:13 AM
Senior Member
Yeoman
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 580
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

We really enjoyed it. We have some great pictures from that ride. Try to sit on the left. We were lucky enough to be able to sit there both directions. (They ask you to switch side with the people across the aisle, but the train wasn't full, so we got to sit in the best seats both ways.) Go in the aftrnoon. The weather seems to clear more around noon, so you are more likely to be able to see well. I agree with Karen. On the way down, I, too, saw many beautiful things that I hadn't noticed going up. I think you climb about 3000 feet..

We ordered sandwichs from room service the night before, and stored them in our refrigerator. We then packed into a softsided collapsable cooler and had a picnic lunch to eat on the train. Everyone else complained of being hungry, and weren't too happy that tho promised refreshments consisted of a bottle of water.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 09:52 AM
MLC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is

How is it if someone is prone to motion sickness going up a mountain in a car? Is it curvey?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 10:36 AM
laurieb
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagwa

You will most likely hear lots of different opinions on this. Some just love it because the scenery is breathtaking (which it is), others are bored after a short time. When we did it, my husband and I were greatly disappointed.. It was too long for what we wanted and I felt that our time and money could have been better spent. Others must have felt somewhat the same as there were a lot of passengers taking a snooze at some time or another, mostly on the trip back. We even took a funny photo of all the sleeping passengers. I found it to be quite commercialized and too "Disneylandish".

The cruiseships all push this HEAVY because it it the most profitable excursion for them (they make around $18 - $20 over and above the actual price quoted if you book directly on the Whitepass railroad website).. Should you go, a couple of recommendations.....sit on the left side leaving Skagway for the best view. Go in the afternoon (preferably after 3:00 if possible) for the clearest views. Some have complained about poor visibility because it was still fogged in. If you are prone to motionsickness (as I am) I'd strongly recommend taking a bonine or similar. Although the train only goes approximately 20 mph, it still made me queezy going around bends and climbing. This probably would not be the case for most people but I do get motion sickness easily. I think my biggest disappointment was not seeing animals....the train is too noisy and probably scares them off. Anyway, this is just my opinion and I'm sure others may disagree. If you're looking into excursions from Skagway, I think a bear watch, helicopter glacier landing or the Bald Eagle Preserve float is much better or if you really want to splurge there is the dog mushing. These are excursions I could repeat over and over but I'd would never repeat the Whitepass railroad again. Again, this is just my opinion as I know it does get very mixed reviews. You will love Alaska...we're going again August 5th.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 10:47 AM
Delores
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

We did this trip in June1998 & thought it too long & somewhat boring. Yes, the scenery is beautiful but I am from the mountainous part of Montana, & now live near the Sierras in Calif. But if you're from the flatlands, then go on it & you will probably like it. Mountain passes are curvy, so expect this & do take a Bonine before going. If you don't like heights, you do cross a couple of very high bridges that are a bit scarey. I don't know if I'd take my grandkids; I think they would be bored. I would take a book along to read on the way back, just in case you do get bored. We did it in the afternoon, so it wasn't foggy. We didn't see any animals, either.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 11:17 AM
alaskalover
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

I wouldn't waste my time....too many better things to do. I was nauseous most of the trip and my ears were ringing from all the snoring going on around me. It's a snoozer and rip-off IMO.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 11:25 AM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 294
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

We loved the trip. On both directions we thought there was plenty to see. Our trip was first thing in the morning and it was clear and beautiful out. From some of the posts I've read I guess I was lucky not to get fog. I spent a lot of time outside between the cars and it was loud, shakey, beautiful, and fun.

I suppose you have to know yourself to decide if you'd like this type of tour or not.

If you go I have a tip. If you're in between cars when you enter the tunnels......hold your breath.....cough cough cough.....diesel fuel smell!
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 11:38 AM
cruiselucy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Very personal opinions. I went last summer. We went on the late afternoon train and had nice clear weather so no complaints there. I think this is the best time of day. If you're a photo buff with good zoom lense you can get some great photographs. Although I enjoyed it, my husband said never again. It was quite expensive so it's hard for me to recommend it. I wouldn't recommend it for kids or even teens though. There were children on our trip that were very bored and restless. It would appeal to train buffs probably. Don't forget to bring binoculars! Have you considered going to Haines? We found this to be a real delight! There is a fast ferry that leaves from Skagway to Haines on the hour. We really enjoyed visiting the Bald Eagle preserve seeing bears, moose, goats etc.We didn't see any animals while on the White Pass Yukon train as we had hoped to.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 11:45 AM
sallyc
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

We too have heard mixed reports but will give it a go next month. We will not be taking children though. I'm booking directly through their website and not telling them we are arriving by cruiseline. It cost $17 more if you book with a cruiseline. I'll let you know when we return in 3 weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2003, 06:58 PM
Alaska Bound
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Has anyone taken the Bus tour up White Pass. I understand they stop so you can get out and take pictures at various places. I'm thinking that may be a good alternate to the Train.

Alaska Bound 8/9 Island Princess
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2003, 02:26 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

For clairfication- ALL ship tours are a source of SIGNIFICANT revenue for the cruiselines and all are marked up- not just the train. This also IS NOT a tour for wildlife viewing- so those who expected it were misinformed. Any wildilfe viewing will be rare. It is not a real curvey ride, but as a train- you will get swaying.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2003, 01:38 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 32
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

I'd certainly would like to hear about your excursion.
How far in advance did you book? Why did you not want to say that you were arriving via the cruise? What time did you reserve & was the train on time? Was the train crowded? Weather??
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2003, 01:40 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 424
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

First time to Alaska should do the White Pass railroad. But in my opinion one time is enough. We are planning another Alaska trip in 2004 and will choose a different excursion this time. Enjoy
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2003, 07:04 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 294
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

We took a mini-bus trip up as well. I forget the firm we'd booked. It pretty much paralleled the train route and did stop at some viewing spots to see falls and other sites. We didn't like it nearly as much as the train however. It was quite a bit cheaper though.
I wouldn't suggest not taking the bus. It was fun. Just that we felt the train was more fun.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2003, 10:04 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 43
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Just got back from our NCL sky trip from Alaska 5/24 - 5/31!!! We chose the mini bus ride that paralleled the train route and we were glad we chose that option (booked in town) for $35.00 each 2 1/2hrs went further than the train and we had many many many photo stops. Our tour guide was very good w/ lots of info. it also included a city tour. Great time for us at a fairly reasonable price. $70.00 vs. $198.00 for 2. j
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old June 1st, 2003, 06:49 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

The bus can be a good option, but again for clairfication, the actual distance parallel train and Klondike highway is only about 2-3 miles. Scenery is superior from the train. But a major reason for considering this is the scenery, engineering and very significant - the history. My best advice, it to consider the pm train (providing your ship is in port late). Get to the Park Service Visitor Center in the am located at Broadway and Second - all the information here will greatly enhance your later train trip. It also would be convenient to direct book as the depot is 2 buildings away. (if available)
http://www.nps.gov/klgo/schedule.htm
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old June 1st, 2003, 07:55 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 114
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

After reading all of these posts my hubby and I are discussing it. We are booked for the "Glacier Lake Kayak & Scenic Rail" excursion. We take the train up, kayak through Tormented Valley, then take a motorcoach back to Skagway. This whole thing is a little over 4 hours.

Has anyone ever done this? What are your opinions on it? The train leaves at 7:40AM and we return at 12:15 pm. We will be going in mid August.
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old June 6th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 9
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Hello,
I called the White Pass & Yukon Rail Road to confirm that my reservations (made on line using their website reservation system) was received.
I was told that they have been having problems with their email system and have lost many emails.
Subsequently, they never received my email and of course could not send any confirmation.
If you've booked your reservations online and have not received a confirmation number you may want to call them and see if your reservation is lost in Email Space.
1-800-343-7373

Good Luck and enjoy. Sounds like a great trip
Celebrity Summit June 13th
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old June 15th, 2003, 12:04 PM
linda g
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

Jim,
We booked the White Pass, yesterday by calling the 800 number. Even though we are booked on Celebrity's Infinity for September 12th, we wanted to make sure that we had a reservation for the afternoon departure for this trip out of Skagway. Some people did not enjoy this trip but we felt that it will be worth the money to see the beautiful scenery of Alaska. Look up the White Pass site and call them directly!
Sincerely,
Linda G.
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old June 16th, 2003, 02:07 AM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 28
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

It was quite interesting to read all the comments about the train ride. I agree it is expensive. I found it kind of scary going over the trestle bridges - yeow it was high up! Hated going into the tunnel. The scenery was beautiful but after awhile it was all very similar. I read all your comments and this is what I found (roughly).

There approx 8 comments for and 4 against. I didn't count those that were just asking questions.

Postive comments: train ride superior for scenic view, should consider for scenery, history and engineering reasons. Provides opportunity for great photo op. Can move around in train - stand on platform between cars.

Negative comments: boring, too long, same scenery on return trip, no food available, people snoozing and snoring, fog can be a problem, train excursion is expensive, heavily promoted by cruiseline because it is profitable for them reason why it is expensive, train ride scary for some (height, curvy), smell of diesel fumes, swaying motion re motion sickness, not a wildlife tour- too noisy, teen and kids get bored and restless.
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 07:45 PM
MDK
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

We are going with our two children in August and are renting a car from Avis. It costs $69. We will drive to Emerald Lake. You can stop as you wish along the way whenever you see wildlife or want to walk up to a waterfal. When we get back we will do a Helicopter/Dogsled flight.

Spirit 8/6
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2003, 08:36 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 28
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

If you are going to Emerald Lake - about a 1/2 mile further down is the little ranch that does horseback riding. It's a neat kind of place - built to resemble a rustic little western town and they have a corral and a "cookshack" out back. Cost nothing to look I'm sure.
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2003, 10:33 PM
mslvp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

Hi.

3 years ago my group opted to take the tour bus shore excursion out of Skagway insteaad. WE went much, much further than the train did. In fact, we could see the train on the other side of the mountain. We went into Carcross (spelling??) Canada where we had lunch. Gorgeous scenery, great guide, no wildlife.
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2003, 07:53 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 44
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

We ended up on the train by default. The excursion we booked was cancelled. We went in the afternoon & absolutely loved the trip. It is the history of the train and the gold rush that we enjoyed. We look back on it as the excursion we enjoyed the most. P.S...we are mid 40's.

One other note on excursions...we also learned that you are better off to make your own tour arrangements. The train was over $90 each thru NCL. Read thru what the crusie line offers & then do your homework. Our trip in Ketchikan was at 8:00 am...we overslept and had to run (in the rain) to make it. As you don't get refunds for ANY reason, I wish we had been able to just sleep and then go later. The weather is so unpredictable in Alaska, I can't imagine paying ahead for a plane or helicopter ride & then it is foggy or raining..

Also..someone said to sit on left side leaving...we were on the right...on the trip up, everytime something was on the left..everyone on the right would hop up & lean over the people on the left to see what was there...but on the way back..the people on the left had already see it & they just stayed put, so you could enjoy the view without having people hop up & look over you...just my opinion...
Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old June 22nd, 2003, 12:39 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 8
Default Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kind of

the train ride was probably one of our least favorite excursions & not one that we recommend. we agree wholeheartedly that 1-way is enough & did fall asleep on the way back. also, we weren't that impressed with the scenery & definitely saw no wildlife. it was interesting hearing about the history of the gold rush, but you get most of that on the trip up

i think it depends on your love of trains, history & if you think mountain passes are scenic to determine whether this excursion is worth the $ & time.
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2003, 06:24 AM
Maril
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is kin

Hi
Only thing I can add is that the service on board the train is really great. A person, conductor is assigned at times to your rail car and will answer any questions you might have.
Also, they gave out free bottles of spring water. They had two cases stacked up and they were there for the taking.
On the ride back, you must get up and push your seat back the other way and then switch sides of the train car in order to get another and different view of the passes and mountains, etc.
If you are handicapped, they will go out of their way to accomodate you. One of the first cars on the train has a wheel chair lift and you are the first to board. Not only you but everyone in your party.
good luck
maril
Reply With Quote
  #30 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2003, 10:17 AM
Joe Reynolds
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Re: I heard the White Pass/Yukon Train in Skagway is

Assuming the weather is good, when do you get the best scenery? In the beginning of the trip, toward the end or spotty throughout?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bus, buy, conductor, excursion, mike, motion, pass, railroad, sickness, side, sit, skagway, tour, train, van, white, yukon

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yukon alone or with the white pass rail? sweets Alaska 6 May 14th, 2005 06:57 PM
White Pass Yukon Railway Fondy Alaska 19 May 8th, 2004 02:56 AM
WARNING Problems with White Pass&Yukon Train Reservation JimQNY2 Alaska 0 June 6th, 2003 05:02 PM
skagway white pass train KennyG Alaska 10 May 10th, 2002 09:04 PM
White Pass RR & Yukon Marcia Alaska 9 February 6th, 2002 09:12 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:08 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1