My husband, mother and I will be in Alaska at the end of June. Our port stops (RCI) are Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. We are all very active and aren't particularly interested in spending our shore time with a large tour group. Can anyone provide some information and/or recommendations about shore excursions that are both active and away from the crowd? We are willing to book outside of the ship if necessary.
(We have already selected a flight-seeing/glacier trek in Juneau, so any info about Skagway or Ketchikan would be great)
how about a rock repelling climb or just going out on your own on one of the hiking paths. my sister and brother-in-law did this and had a fantastic time. they of course took every precaution for what wildlife they might have come face to face with, and never got too far off the beaten path so they would get lost , but it was free and they totally wore themselfs out and it was awesome for them. all of the ports are set up for doing this. in skagway with carnival there is a train ride and then riding a bike back down too skagway. does rci offer anything like this? i hope you find some good tours to do.
Glacier Trek is a fantastic option. I'd probably add another excursion in Juneau if you have time ... perhaps a hike through the rain forest. We did this through Gastineau Guiding (books at same price through the ship ... Guide's Choice or the less intense Rainforest Nature Walk) if you want commentary on the plants and development of the forest.
Ketchikan, I'd go with kayaking. Southeast Sea Kayaks has a great tour. Their 4 hr. Orca Cove tour gets you away from town and they max out at 6 people. On our tour, it was just the 2 of us and the guide and we didn't see anybody else for the duration of the tour. You can make it as physical as you want, its beautifully solitary and you get amazing encounters with eagles and salmon (salmon depending on time).
There are countless options. First- did you look over a shore excursion list? Anything of interest? Skagway- is excellent for biking, rent a bike and go out toward Dyea- stop along the way at historic sites, be certain to stop at the Park Service visitor center first for background info. http://www.nps.gov/klgo/schedule.htm
A just excellent hike is to Upper Dewey Lake, Lower Dewey just about doable for most everyone, trail head between 3-4 across the tracks. Ketchikan, excellent hiking on the Preserverance trail, car necessary but would also give you a look at the area. In town there is Deer Mt. Hiking trail, the top pick is Misty Fjords floatplanes, hiking options available, Southeast Kayaks as mentioned.