We are leaving to Alaska from Vancouver on Sept.11.05 on Norwegian Sun for one week.
Thanking to you all on this board for a wide spectrum of an advice and info, I booked independently helicopter fly (Icefield Excursion) with Coastal at 9:00am with 8:15 am pick up.
During the telephone conversation with Lisa, I found out that our ship will be docking in Juneau from 7am to 1pm.
I was expecting that we stay in the port all day and will be able to book whale watching excursion also or just do another activities in the city.
Is this short time of docking normal?
What are your experiences/thoughts?
We havenít gotten tickets/booklet/itinerary yet.
Is something that we should be aware of?
Any input/help you can provide is much appreciated.
Yes, it's the one stop that is short. That's why we booked a Sea Plane tour in Jeaneau with Princess. If you book a tour through your ship THEY HAVETO GET YOU BACK IN TIME! If you do an idependant tour make sure you have leeway time to get back. Have a blast!
We also took the glacier helicopter tour with Coastal. Our ship docked at 12 noon, Coastal picked us up at the dock at 1pm and had us back by 3:30pm. It is only about a 10-15 minute drive to the helicopter pad from the docks and the tour companies are very aware of times that the ships leave. If you are concerned however, you are safest to book the excursion via your cruise lines because this way they are required to wait for you before leaving that port. I know our ship Radiance was delayed by about 45 minutes because some tours had not returned on time.
Here's what I found out about this topic from ISLAND WINGS AIR SERVICE in Ketchican when I tried to book a Misty Fiords Flightseeing tour for summer 2006.
"The exact time of your tour will be determined when we receive the final cruise ship docking schedule in late February or early March. The sea pilots of Southeast Alaska are the folks who are actually driving the cruise ships while in Alaskan waters. They are in complete control of the docking schedule here in Ketchikan and are making small changes to the docking schedule throughout most of the winter. For this reason we wait until the final schedule is posted to issue tour times."