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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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Default Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

I know people have said scrimp in other areas and splurge on Alaska, but it's just not possible this time out, so I could really use some advise on ways to see Alaska without breaking the bank. Any advice?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Ways to skimp- inside cabin, walking tours in port, rental cars etc. But delay going if your budget is so tight that you have to count pennies. It does take money and my opinion only- you are better off delaying a year to be able to take in some great touring etc. Alaska isn't a frequent trip for most.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 36
Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Evee...what ports are you stopping in??
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13
Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Juneau .....

Mt. Roberts Tramway is only like $22 for a whole day pass - you could go up and get a view in the morning and at sunset.

Isn't there a bus that is only like $5 per way to the Mendenhall Glacier.

Bike rental through Driftwood Lodge 907-586-2280 for $15 for 1/2 day or $25 whole day.

Skagway ....

Bike rental through Sockeye Cycle 907-983-2851


I think there is a fairly cheap horse drawn trolley tour of the town.

Eat all meals on the ship or pack food to eat on shore.

Go Enjoy!

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Hi, We are taking an inside passage cruise with Princess.
Our itinerary is, Juneau 11am-10pm, Skagway 6am-8:45pm, Tracy Arm Cruising, Ketchikan 6am-12pm and Victoria, B. C. 7pm-12am. We prefer bus, shuttle or tram tours along with walking around the towns. Due to physical disabilities, I cannot do any type of bike or hiking tours. Thanks for any advice.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2004, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

We are on the same itinerary, and are staying on board in Victoria because we have spent a lot of time there. At night, it would be worth the short cab ride (I've read $5)from the pier to the harbor, which is the city center. All the buildings are lit along the edges like Christmas, but all year round. It is a beautiful city just to walk around. Not far from the harbor (maybe 2 blocks) is an artists gallery where you can watch the artists blow glass. Very interesting. Other galleries nearby. You might drop in on a showing, since it is Friday night. The pubs there are pretty good, or you could spend about $7.50 Canadian each and go to the IMAX in the Royal BC Museum. I just checked out their website and Friday night there is a 8:00pm and a 9:00pm showing of some interesting nature films. Unfortunately, the museum itself closes at 8:00pm. It is a really great one, so it is a shame you will miss it. It's really hard to have a bad time in Victoria.
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Old July 5th, 2004, 11:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15
Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

wait until you have the proper funding and do it right...I'd hate for all those service people to lose money because you simlply didn't bring enough to tip appropriately
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Old July 6th, 2004, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

In both Ketchikan and Skagway, there is plenty to see on foot if you can walk relatively short distances at all. Ketchikan has Creek Street & Dolly's House very close to the ship's berth. Skagway has been restored to the way it looked 100 years ago and has Park Service sites to visit.
In Juneau, I recommend the $22 roundtrip up Mt. Roberts.
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Old July 7th, 2004, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

We went on an NCL cruise in June, with our 2 children, and also tried to do this as cheaply as possible since I hadn't originally budgeted for this trip. It was kind of short notice, since we booked about 2 1/2 months before we went.

If you're trying to go "budget", obviously things like the float plane trips and helicopter rides are not going to be part of your plans. (I don't really like to fly anyway, so that was a good excuse). In Ketchikan, we booked a tour with Sourdough tours that included both Totem Bight and Saxman Village. Our guide was excellent, and I think the cost was about $30 pp. Easy walking if you are able, and it also include the tour of Dolly's house.

In Juneau, we caught one of the tours right off the pier. It was a Mendenhall Glacier/City tour. I wasn't impressed with the city tour part, but Mendenhall Glacier was worth seeing. Again, not a ton of walking (maybe 1/2 a mile or so). About $20 pp, and I think you can do it cheaper without the city tour. We were going to do the Mt. Roberts tram, but it was too cloudy.

In Skagway, we rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake. About $75.00 for the car rental -- much cheaper than the $400 for the 4 of us to ride the train.

Our most expensive tours were the Catamarn ride into Tracy Arm that meets back up with the ship, but that may be only an NCL excursion, and the Jeep excursion on Wrangell (not on your itinerary).
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old July 10th, 2004, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Thanks to those of you have gave me helpful suggestions. I have already booked and paid for our trip so I'm sure we will find excursions within our budget. Mary D, I seriously doubt the service personel will suffer too greatly if I use the $10 per person per day tip guide that is charged to our account. Also if we drink, the 15% service charge should cover the tip, so I'm not too worried about it. Besides, how I choose to tip is my business. Life is short and I'm not about to put off what I can do now just because I'm not rich and able to throw money around.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old July 11th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 161
Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

It truly galls me when someone says not to do it "on the cheap."

Sometimes, it is the only way one will get to take these trips. And believe me, just the cruise alone is worth it!

When I went to Antarctica, my friend fractured a rib as we crossed the confluence between S.A. and Antarctica (very, very rought trip), and had to stay on the ship. No shore excursions on the Zodiacs. But she enjoyed the trip anyway. She assumed the right Attitude! (And this trip cost over $7000.00. )

So even if you cannot afford all the fancy excursions, go anyway!!!! You will enjoy the cruise, the food, the scenery, and you can walk around the towns and still enjoy.

Same with the dress-up affairs. There are those who putdown anyone who does not care to dress formally. So???? What's the big dealt about dressing like a penguin??

And please don't come back with a nasty retort. There are too many of those on these forums.

My two cents worth.

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Old July 11th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Question: Seeing the sites on a budget in Alaska

Nasty reply on its way... (ok, not really)

One of my favorite places on the planet is Juneau and my favorite things to do there cost little to nothing...

If you can't afford to rent a car for the day from Rent-a-wreck (which delivers the car to downtown) for $55 for the day, take the bus from downtown out to the glacier, to the University along the lake and to Fred Meyer's (Alaska's version of Target/Wal-mart) for some great fun!!!

And after spending the rest of the day wandering the downtown shops (avoid the ones closest to the ship - they are only there and open when cruise ships are around - walk the extra couple blocks past the library and get to the year round downtown) go to the Red Dog Saloon for a glass of anything from the Alaskan Brewing Co. (also in Juneau...)

You can do all of that in Juneau for next to nothing!

(frankly, my wife and I much prefer Juneau and all the ports in March or October when all us tourists aren't around... *grin* but, we have to at least try the cruise thing once...)
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