We are scheduled for a cruise on Celebrity SUMMIT, starting in Vancouver. In past, we almost never had used tours, but struck out on our own. We are active, not infirm. What do you folks recommend for Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka, Victoria (went there on our honeymoon 48 years ago!) and Seattle??
Hey,Hope you have a wonderful cruise! Im not sure of what your interested in,but we are going to have two days in Seattle before our cruise in May and Ive been looking for things to do.So far the only thing that I have seen that might be of interest is The Spirit Of Washington lunch/dinner train.It is suppose to be a very nice scenic tour all around Seattle.You can go to www.spiritofwashington.com and check it out if you might be interested.Dot
Victoria is my home town sooo...
In Victoria go to Butchard Gardens , even if not a " garden" person they are spectacular!!
This is one of the few times I will ever recommend you DO take the ships excurision there, you will be hard pressed for time to do it on your own, and it is at least a thirty minute drive, plus time really is a factor on Victoria port call, many of the ships are only in for one evening.
Tea etc at the Empress is overpriced, and you can walk through the lobby and see the hotel for free so don't buy an overpriced excursion to do that.
Just jump in a pedi cab ( bike powered cab) or taxi and ask for the Inner Harbour, it's about a 15 minute walk so I recommend ride. ( it is also easy to get mixed up on the side streets and make the walk longer!)
There is a ton to see in the Inner Harbour area, walk along the causeway, stroll through the Empress( I highly recommend a drink in the " Bengal lounge" exspensive drinks but go for incredible atomsphere( or just walk through for a look see) . The Parliment buildings are right there, the Wax Museam is right there( tourist trappy) , and if it is open I also HIGHLY recommend the Bristish Columbia Royal Museam , it is great.Not dryor boring at all.
Victoria is a safe fun place to wander around . Enjoy.
We will only be in Seatlle for a few hours. So will not be able to take the train ride. In 2000, we took trains from Beijing to Ulan Bator to Ikurtz to Moscow to St. Petersburg. Very different than trains in USA!
On our honeymoon in 1957, we visited Butchard Gardens, Then again in 1968 with our then 2 children. Both times very beautiful. We did walk thru the Empress Hotel in 1957, but did not have tea. Did that in Scotland and London.
In Juneau we did a land and sea trip(with salmon bake). We were picked up by bus and brought to a comfortable ship that had indoor heated seating and outdoor viewing.
We saw whales, an island covered with Stellar sea lions and numerous eagles. Then by bus to Mendenhall Glacier visitors center. Plenty to do and see there and even had an elevator to take you up to the vistors center. Then by bus to an outdoor salmon bake . Food was fabulous and local entertainer was fun. Bus took you back to town or ship. Nice variety, not terribly strenuous.
Ketchikan-we did a land and sea thing hereas well. Bus from ship took us to Saxman Park. Then on to old Slamon Cannery for tour (photo ops were great). From here we caught a small ship with inside and outside viewing and toured the shore line back to the ship. We sighted gharbor seals and numerous bald eagles (including one lunching on a salmon). Photo ops from the water were great. Left us with plenty of time to shop and visit Creek Street.
Skagway. We did the in town tour on old time buses. This was a lot more than it was described as. Driver was dressed in turn of the century garb. Toured town, to overlook in the hills. Went to Old cemetary where a whole skit was done about Soapy Smith.
Return to town to a small theater for brief local entertainment and old time photo show.
We shopped and went back to the ship for lunch (you can get a shuttle bus from town, the walk is a bit longer than it appears).Most other folks did White pass railway. We went to the summit of white pass on a small bus. made numerous photo stops and found it quite beautiful . Took less than half the time of the railway.
Our ship skipped Skagway due to mechanical problem.
In Victoria we did a bus tour that touched on many of the highlights. Best tour of the whole trip was whale watching. We went out and ended up surrounded by 83 Orca Whales (killer whales). A most amazing experience.
None of these tours were terribly strrenuous.
From one Papa to another
Best is to look over a shore excursion list and narrow down your interests. Budget Fully. "Striking out" on your own is a good idea, but never without reservations and plans made in advance. Don't waste time deciding what to do once there, think about this ahead and be firmed up in the way to do it.
You can take a cab to the Space Needle for a great view of Seattle...then a cab back to ship or just walk around the waterfront to Pike Place market and Bell Street Pier. There's also the Seattle Underground tour and the Seattle Aquarium. Just a short walk from your ship there are elevators that take you up to Pike Place Market.
Try a floatplane/cruise into Misty Fjords National Monument. We're taking my 83 year old mom and 85 year old dad on this one. You'll love it!
We had 2 couples on our 2002 Alaska cruise that were 80ish. I remember in Skagway, 2 couple took a bus tour while we did the train trip They got it in town, not through the cruise line. Both couples did very well; one man was in a wheelchair going thru the airports, & we were able to go with them (and avoid the waiting crowds). Good luck with your cruise!!
My parents went with me on a cruise on the Dawn Princess 18 months ago & we only booked 2 tours. The rest of the time we did the ports on our own. Dad was an active 87 & Mom was 77 at the time. She was just starting to use a walker; we found a wheelchair to be easier in town due to uneven sidewalks, etc. Most of the time on ship she just used a cane.
I took a horseback riding tour in Skagway. I sent them on an all day tour (also in Skagway) which took them across the border into Karcross (sp???), Canada. I had taken tha cruise 2 years prior with a family group & we loved it. I think we had a better tour guide than my parents did. They thought it was just OK & we were very, very impressed with it. That particular tour was a shipboard excursion tour.
Defintely take the salmon bake tour. I took it in Juneau &it was the best salmon I'd ever had.
Juneau also offers a "town" tour including the tram. My family took it - I "did" the tram on my own & saved a lot of $$$. They thought the tour very overpriced for what they got.