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Old August 16th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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Default your favorite alaskan excursions!!!!

Going on a cruise to Alaska in June 2008 on Royal Carribean with teenagers. Let me know what your favorite excursions were. We want to get the most out of our vacation, but realize we can't do it all!!!

Thanks
Jenny
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Old August 16th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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My teen-agers really enjoyed snorkeling in Ketchikan and the lumberjack show. In Juneau they liked going up the tram and hiking; and panning for gold.

They will enjoy anything,

Kathy
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Old August 16th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Which ports are you stopping at, Jenny?
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Old August 16th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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Of course a lot of your choices will depend on budget.

The cheapest and very enjoyable "excursions" we found in Alaska were just taking the time to walk around the towns and get a feel of the area.

Juneau: Whale watch. We loved Orca enterprises with Captain Larry.
Take the bus to the Mendenhall glacier. Aprox $12 per person round trip. Extra to get in the visitor center.
If the day's clear take the Mt. Roberts tram. It's beautiful up top.

Ketchikan: Duck tour. Silly but fun. Especially if you have younger kids with you. You get to see quite a bit of the town and the harbor area as well.
Walk up to Creek street. Take the funicular up and walk back down on the Marriedman's trail. Very nice area.

Skagway: White pass RR is awsome IMHO. Great history and views. Views are better from the train than from the road.

And if you have the budget. Flightseeing tours to Misty Fjord or to land on glaciers is wonderful but really pricey.

Have a great trip
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Old August 16th, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: your favorite alaskan excursions!!!!

Jenny,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Going on a cruise to Alaska in June 2008 on Royal Carribean with teenagers. Let me know what your favorite excursions were. We want to get the most out of our vacation, but realize we can't do it all!!!
In Skagway, both the excursion to Saxman Village and the Duck Tour are excellent. I recommend the former quite highly, as Skagway tends to be quite rainy.

In Juneau, you really can see and do many of the attractions on your own since they are within walking distance. The base station of the Mount Roberts Tramway is literally right next to the warf where the cruise ships dock. The state capital building (which offers free tours) is just a few blocks away, and two churches with worthwhile art -- the (Russian Orthodox) Church of St. Nicholas and the (Roman Catholic) Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation -- just a block beyond the state capital. If you are interested in a salmon bake, Juneau offers a good one. The Boat Ride to Mendenhall Glacier also gets very good reviews. Of course, your teens might prefer something more active, like panning for gold or a zip line trip through the forest....

In Skagway, I highly recommend both (1) the Days of '98 Revue Starring Soapy Smith at the Eagles' Hall (usually included on one shore excursion or another) and the ride to Summit Lake and back on the White Pass & Yukon Route, a narrow gauge railroad built to hall gold miners, equipment, and supplies into the Yukon Territory during the Yukon Gold Rush.

If your ship calls at Hoonah (often listed as "Icy Strait Point" on the itinerary), the tour of the historic salmon cannery is quite interesting. In this port, a whale watching cruise also would be a good opton.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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I loved the White Pass & Yukon Route excursion in Skagway. This was the sole reason for my up and coming cruise next week.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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My favorite tour in Alaska was whale watching in Juneau. We went on one of the two boats operated by Harv & Marv, which each hold only 6 passengers. We saw whales, sea lions, bald eagles, Mendenhall Glacier from Auke Bay, a lighthouse, and gorgeous scenery.

My 2nd favorite is the Tracy Arm catamaran explorer excursion -- but it's only offered through NCL. My 3rd favorite was the longest train ride in Skagway, where we went by bus to Carcross and then all the way back to Skagway on the train. We saw wonderful scenery that you can't see anyother way, but it's an all day excursion, and definitely not cheap.

Out of the 8 excursions we've done in Alaska, the whale watching and the Tracy Arm excursion are the only ones that I'd plan on repeating. Not that there was anything wrong with most of the rest -- just that I wouldn't feel like spending the money to do them again.

Wtih teens, however, you may be looking for more active excursions. We had roll-call friends who kayaked in Ketchikan and loved that, and I've seen several good reports from the different zip-line tours.

Have fun planning!
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Old August 17th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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To correct Norm's typo above...Saxman village and Duck tour are in Ketchikan, not Skagway.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 02:52 PM
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If the budget will permit, a helicopter viewing and landing on a glacier is awsome.

The scenery from a helicopter is just amazing. We saw sheep, moose, and a mother bear with her two cubs. The contrast from one side of the mountain to the other was unexpected. One side is all ice and snow, and the other is this lush green. We were there in September. Absoultely beautiful.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:24 AM
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Whale watching.......White Pass & Yukon Route excursion in Skagway is totally awesome and Mendenhall Glacier!
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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolrider
I loved the White Pass & Yukon Route excursion in Skagway. This was the sole reason for my up and coming cruise next week.
me too
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:42 PM
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Me "three"
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Old October 26th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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my favorite excursion was whale watching in juneau. if you love wildlife nothing beats being so close to such a huge and graceful animal.

i liked walking through ketchikan and touring the salmon hatchery (you can feed the fry!) and totem pole center next to it. i forget the cost but it was super cheap and we had the luxury of time since we visited on our own rather than with a tour group which made it more enjoyable than some of the other things we did through the cruise line.

there is a cool little free museum in skagway too... corrington i think it is? they had artifacts and scrimshaw.

my number one recommendation is to spend a lot of time on deck because you never know when wildlife will appear. we saw tons of humpbacks, some otters, a few puffins... just randomly on strolls on the promenade! one really cool moment was when we got up extra early to have breakfast before entering glacier bay... we got super lucky as two orcas were spotted very close by where we happened to be eating! carry binoculars on your person at all times!
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Old October 26th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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We live about 1 1/2 hours away from Santa Barbara, CA and have been on a few whale watching tours, but if you don't live in an area close to the ocean and whales, I'd suggest you take a whale watching tour on one of your stops. That to me is a given. What I really wanted to do was take the glacier helicopter ride/dog sledding excursion but we didn't because it cost over $500 per person.

Although we went on Carnival, I believe your stops may be the same.

Skagway -
White Pass & Yukon Pass Railroad was fantastic for my DH and I but I'm not sure my DS liked it as much...although I will still say that it's a must do excursion. Take the train up and down, the views are spectacular.

Juno -
We did a city tour off the ship for much cheaper. It was great! It also took us to the Mendenhall Glacier - which is a must see! We saw a bear catching salmon in a river. Fantastic! On our walk into town, we stopped for beer & soda at the Red Dog Saloon.

Ketchikan -
Own your own: Don't miss Creek Street which is a very short walk from the ship. We also took the funicular up and walked back down on the Marriedman's trail.
Excursion: Saxman Native Village & Lumberjack Show Combo - Really enjoyed this!

Sitka -
Russian America, Raptor Center & Russian Dancers. The Raptor Center was really nice as was the walk in the forest surrounding the center.

We also did a post cruise excursion to the Blackstone Glacier. Wow, it was beautiful...even in the rain!

I have some great pictures of our excursions at the photo gallery. Look under RobRen.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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My 16 year old son loved the zip line in Icy Strait.

We also did a dog sledding excursion in Skagway that was fun but if I had to do it over I would spend the money and get over my fear and do the dog sledding where you go on a helicopter first to get to the dogs on snow.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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The helicopter tour, in and of itself, is an amazing experience. Scenery is just so beautiful!!!!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Snorkeling in Ketchikan and the lumberjack show. White Pass train in Skagway.

Kathy
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Old December 8th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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I'll second and third most of the tours already mentioned. If your teenagers are the hunting/fishing/gathering type, a sport fishing charter is a good way to go.

When I cruise Alaska, my kids (not teenagers yet: 7, 4 and just conceived) always get a kick out of the fishing, Tracy Arm tours, lumberjack show and any flying we can afford.

Norm- Who does the "Boat Ride to Mendenhall Glacier" you mentioned? I'm not familiar with that one, and I live here!

Princess is offering a new combination whale watching, fishing, do-whatever-catches-your-interest tour on a private yacht in Juneau this year. Might be a good compromise if some family members want to whale watch and others want to fish. (I hear they serve a nice lunch too...) We'll have to wait for the first few reviews to come back on that one.

To clarify one of the other posts I skimmed over in this thread, the Tracy Arm Catamaran tour where you ride the cat 1 way and re-board your cruise ship IN Tracy Arm is only offered via NCL. There are several other great tours of Tracy Arm, but they'll be full day excursions from Adventure Bound or Alaskan Marine Adventures, or you can book a private charter boat directly.

Since we're talking about teens here, if they have iPods (and you let them use them on vacation) make sure they bring them along... Especially if you're on a small, private tour, most operators are "iPod Compatible" in case the gang doesn't like the Jimmy Buffett music playing for the tour!

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case
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Old December 9th, 2007, 01:54 AM
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How lucky you are to live there! For a cruise to Alaska -- I'm looking at about 6 grand with excursions and airfare. :-) We went in 2005 and plan to go back in 09. Better start saving!!
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Old December 13th, 2007, 12:26 AM
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Helicopter to glacier is a must if willing to spend the $. Wife had never flown on one. Was highlight of cruise for her. Saw an eagle up close in flight. Will never forget glacier walk and blue glacial stream. Totally different than seeing glacier from boat.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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im going in april and i was wondering if anybody knows about excursions in Prince Rupert?
Free Cruise Clockslet me know asap thanks sooo much!
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Old January 5th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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I didn't even know they had cruises in april. I'm going in May - with carnival
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Old January 6th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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yea im going on Norwegian star do u know of any good excursions??
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Old January 12th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylroy
I didn't even know they had cruises in april. I'm going in May - with carnival
Yeah, the cruise lines stretch the "shoulder seasons" earlier and earlier every few years... the NCL Star ports in Juneau on April 30 this year. I've seen ships here as early as April 25.

I know there's some major cost savings to early cruises, and I'd certainly rather go early (May) than late (September.) Many tours and business are not yet operational in April and early May, however, so anyone showing up so early needs to do their homework and have a good plan pre-booked.

-Case
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