We will be cruising from Anchorage to Vancover on the Island Princess.
We are a family of 4 with 2 boys 15 & 14.
I have no idea which excursions to pick, our ports are Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan. Some of the ideas are glacier helicopter ride, dog sledding, white pass railway but we would also like to see wildlife such as eagles, bears & whales?
We are going to alaska in Sept. and I have read nothing but great reviews about Captn. Larry and his whale watching excursion in Juneau. When I called and booked with them they were also able to book a helicopter tour and glacier landing excursion with coastal including the transportation to and from. Hope this helps for Juneau, I sure am excited!!!
You don't say when you are coming. That affects bear viewing. Bear viewing starts 4th of July weekend. (The thing that brings the bears out are the salmn runs up the streams). So if you are coming before then bears would be a bonus but not to be espected. Most bear viewinf ends about mid-August though there is a location in Ketchikan that has bears until the end of August.
Whales we have with us all summer. And you should see plenty of eagles.
With most of the families I have booked I have found, especially with teen age boys that you want the more active excursions. Consider a glacier trek. http://www.glaciertrekking.com/glacier_trek.htm
the other glacier landing trips give you 20 or 30m minutes on the glacier, this one actually hiles on the glacier. Wonderful for ealing with all the boy energy
The dog sled trips are also a good choice, But you need to book early because they do sell out.
Whale watching is always popular and a kid pleaser.
The White Pass Railroad trip by itself is a sit down trip. But Railroad up, bike down adds activity.
Actually I don't recommend Inside passage bear watching before end of July- unless you are looking at costly Pack Creek. out of Juneau. Ketchikan also has good bear viewing into the begining of Sept.
But HOPEFULLY you are taking advantage of being interior Alaska with the ability to get to Denali Park??? This is your top area for wildlife at bargain prices, don't miss it. For birds and varied marine wildlife, tops is a Kenai Fjord boat trip. Whale watching out of Juneau is excellent for 100% sightings of humpbacks. You need to book your flights NOW. For a cheap glacier trek, again if you have time interior Alaska is a trek with MICA guides, 2 hours northeast of Anchorage.
I disagree on the Klondike bike riding- it's a big accident waiting to happen. The Klondike Highway now is extremely busy, no bike paths and you have to bike in the road. Some steep drops as well. There is a great hike to the Lower Dewey Lake.
But I would involve your sons in the planning process. Everyone needs to look over a shore excursion list and perhaps, make 3 choice in each port. Be willing to split up- tours are too costly if no interest and too great- if you are.
We are going from June 25 - July 2nd. Unfortunately we are not going to Denali Park, we had thought about it but it would have added 3 days to our trip. I'm wondering if we should even do the White Pass Railway, would it be too boring for the boys, they don't mind to sit for awhile so that won't be a problem.
Frankly a 3 day investment is just an excellent option for for the superb wildlife viewing at Denali. You are not likely to see bears on this trip otherwise. One possible option is a costly Pack Creek tour, running over $400pp.