Hi! We are going on our first cruise on the Carnival Spirit northbound July 14th of 2004 (me (43), husband (49) and two kids (13 and 14)). We've already booked for a whalewatching excursion with Capt. Larry and a glacier/dogsled excursion in Juneau. We plan to take the train in Skagway.
We are unsure about Ketchican. My original thought was to do the Mysty Fjord/Anan bear viewing excursion, but my dear husband is a little wary of the little planes, and we've been told that bear sitings are very inconsistent before very late July/early August. My husband LOVES crab, so I looked at the Wilderness Adventure/Crab Boil, which takes you on a skiff up the river, through the rainforest, to a crab hatchery area, and then to dinner at a lodge. Has anyone done this? Alternatively, should we REALLY try the Mysty Fjord/Anan trip? What do you think?
For clairfication- the Misty Fjord and Anan bear watching are 2 different excursions. A great deal may depend on your flying experience??? Float planes are very different. Frankly - if your husband doesn't want to go- then consider splitting up and going to your interests separately??? I do this all the time. The crab tour is new- I saw only one comment that was not great. I am the one who you probably read about the Anan dates? For me- I never go on tours on the fringes of the season- I want the best possible viewing available- especially on costly excursions. For bears you may want to consider Pack Creek out of Juneau??? this is brown viewing, where Anan is usually blacks. I am only giving my opinion based on my experience. Certainly there are many others. With that said- I would have a family meeting and decide between your interests and consider doing what you want???
As I understood the tour, it was a 30 minute flight through Mysty Fjord, to Anan, to watch the bears for a couple of hours, but I could be wrong. :-) I've now heard from two people that we are not likely to see bears in mid-July (although one friend went in early July and got very lucky).
I hope to hear from someone who has taken the Wilderness/Crab Boil too. I'd love to get some opinions.
I'm all ready to book a float plane but I read what you said about float planes being "different". Could you elaborate on this? We are not sure what we want to do in Ketchikan and we are looking at Misty Flight trips. Thanks!!
There is a difference between ship booked trips and independents- ship booked only land on the water and allow people off on the pontoons, where as the independents land near land and allow you off the planes. There are also some that allow for more extended hiking. I have gone with Southeast Aviation, Carlin Air and Island Wings. There are several more companies also to consider and none that aren't good operators. As for the Anan- yes you fly through "Misty fjords"- which is the entire area- BUT it is clearly different than a Misty Fjords flight that will highlight the fjords, alpine lakes and fly in and out of the fjords.