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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:48 PM
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Default Which time for White Pass rail tour?

Hello all-

We'll be in Skagway at the end of June on a Norwegian cruise. My sister and I want to book the White Pass rail tour directly rather than through the cruise line. The ship is supposed to arrive at 7am. Will we be able to make the 8:15 train ride? I know we will have to walk to the depot which I hear is about 20 minutes away. The ship's version of the tour is scheduled to leave at 8am. I just don't want to reserve it and then miss it. I could also do the 12:45pm departure, but that gets us back at ~4pm and I didn't know if that was cutting too close to the ship's departure at 5pm. What do you think?
Thanks for your help...
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Unless it is something which the ship doesn't offer, I always book my tours through the ship. It generally costs a few bucks more but the peace of mind knowing that if I book a time the tour won't leave without me and if I happen tp be a little late because of the tour, the ship won't leave without me, is worth it.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 01:23 AM
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amy,

We'll be in Skagway at the end of June on a Norwegian cruise. My sister and I want to book the White Pass rail tour directly rather than through the cruise line. The ship is supposed to arrive at 7am. Will we be able to make the 8:15 train ride? I know we will have to walk to the depot which I hear is about 20 minutes away. The ship's version of the tour is scheduled to leave at 8am. I just don't want to reserve it and then miss it. I could also do the 12:45pm departure, but that gets us back at ~4pm and I didn't know if that was cutting too close to the ship's departure at 5pm. What do you think?
Thanks for your help...


I agree with the other reply. If the ship arrives on time and you are ready to go ashore, you will have no trouble making the 8:15 train -- but there's no guarantee that the ship will arrive on time. Every once in a while, a cruise ship receives a distress call from some other vessel and, by international maritime law, MUST go and render aid. There's also the possibility that fog could prevent the ship from navigating the Lynn Canal into Skagway at the scheduled time or even force cancellation of the port of call. If you book the excursion through the ship, you are protected.

Norm.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:07 AM
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If your prior port is Juneau, you have essentially NO CHANCE of the ship not making it to port on time. You should have no problem making this train trip anyway. Go ahead and book it if you wish.

Ships sail in fog and I know of NO incident where that prevented the ship from docking in Skagway.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 10:03 AM
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The actual difference in price between booking yourself and with the cruiseline was minimal. I also tried booking it myself and they said I had to book through the cruiseline, which I did. You can just walk off the ship and almost board the train, its right there.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 04:08 PM
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As the other posters said, the ship will not leave without you since you booked through the ship. Always comforting. I am taking that train at around the same date and opted for the early afternoon trip rather than morning because I had heard that although fog can shroud the area at any time, giving it a chance to burn off during the morning increases the chances of clearer viewing later in the day. Here is hoping we both have opportunity for some great photos.

Brewster
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Do the early one and book it through the ship.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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We were just in Skagway this past week and there was rain and fog for most of the morning. People that took the train didn't get to see much. A couple that we me on the ship took an afternoon trip and had alot better view. Also there is only about $5 difference in the price from the ship to booking it yourself ( I think it is $95 through the train website) but sometimes they fill all of their seats through the cruiselines. There can be 3 to 5 different ships in port at the same times, depending on the port. Check and see if the tickets are refundable through the ship, some are and others aren't. In Skagway we (myself and my 19 and 17 year old kids) did the rock climbing and rapelling and really enjoyed it but we are really adventuresome. Make sure you see the old lodge that has 8,833 pieces of driftwood on the front of it. Have fun
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