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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:18 PM
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Default Which are the best shore excursions?

And did you book through the cruiseline or outside? We're on Carnival Spirit going SB from Whittier to Vancouver in September. Stops are Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka. Any other info would be great. Thanks gang!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Depending on budget of course....we didn't have the budget for flighseeing......I highly recommend a whalewatch trip out of Juneau. We booked directly with the operator.......Orca enterprises.....and the trip was spectacular.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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There are hundreds of "best" tours, do your homework and narrow down your interests by looking over a shore excursion list. Then repost your top choices, you will get more specific information.

I most always book independent, some tours are completely ship contracted. Easy to do.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:46 AM
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Whale watching, the Russian experience in Sitka, salmon hatchery, the tramway in Juneau, and a stop at the Red Dog Saloon (of course)
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Old June 6th, 2008, 10:24 PM
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If you enjoy aerial views, the helicopter tours in Juneau are amazing. We coptered out to the Brady Ice field and set down on the Norris Glacier, where we took pictures and drank the freshest water on the earth!

Stunning, mind-blowing experience, truly. We were disappointed that we saw so few animals from the ship, even when passing through areas where they announced we were most likely to see some... but from the flight excursion, we saw bears, deer & mountain rams all over the low hills, then we soared over spruce forests... and I must say flying out over the glaciers is a great way to see the majestic size.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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has anybody done the photo safari by land and sea?
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Old June 7th, 2008, 08:59 PM
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Default Alaskan Cruise

I just returned last week and I do want to say I am a changed person. I didn't want to go because I thought it would be "cold". Well, just the contrary, it was warmer in Alaska than in Seattle. Anyway, I booked directly with the tour operators. I went to the tourism websites of each port. We were on tours with the same people from the ship that booked directly with the cruise line. It's outrageous what they charge. All of my excursions were at least half of the price of the cruise lines. Do your homework. Believe me you will have a wonderful time. It's just unfortunate of the rapid changes in the climate. You will witness the effects of "Global Warming" right before your eyes. Have Fun.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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We are doing the same cruise next May. Having been to Alaska before, we went on the Whitepass railway in Skagway - and of course whale watching. This time around, I think we will definitely put out the $$ for a flight to a glacier. I just hope we can find one that is worthy of the $$ for the short time you are on the trip. I always go with carnival excursions - so outside excursions are excluded in my book (sorry..just my opinion). I am also open ears for any other excursions anyone has been on!! I might hit the lumberjack show also. I see at one port we will be there for almost 11 hours -- m aybe 2 excursions. Guess I better save lots of $$!!!!
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Oh yes, the Lumberjack show! That was very entertaining, definitely worth the time in Ketchikan. We saw both Canadians and Americans competing in log rolling, chopping, speed climbing, speed-sawing, axe-tossing, and so on. It's a serious business what these chaps do for a living, and you get a glimpse of how difficult it can be in terms of skill and muscle, but the show is presented with comical touches, everyone laughs and cheers and has a great time. Also the bleachers are covered, so even if it is raining when you go, you can still watch the action without getting wet

ps- also in this time of year in Ketchikan (Sept), make sure you go to the river to see the Salmon coming upstream.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Who can I fish with in Juneau? I want to fish and thought we had someone lined up but haven't heard back in a week? Any ideas anyone?
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Old June 9th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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RubyT- we will be going in May next year. Will the salmon still be going upstream?
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Old June 9th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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hi again--
I'm sorry, but not that I know of... there are 2 salmon species there, red and silver. One spawns earlier in summer (the silver? I forget now which is which!), then the other starts later and goes thru Sept-Oct. It stuck in my mind that way because in Texas, and our migratory bats follow a similar schedule.

We were on a raised wooden walkway in Ketchikan, and a vendor on Creek Street told us about how the salmon spend half the year in salt water, but return to fresh water... and then said "Look down, because this is the busiest time of year for them!" in Spring, I think most would still be out in the ocean. but I am no grand fishie-scientist or anything though, ... so when you are there, check the water anyway! Even if there are no salmon fighting the current, you're bound to find something down there 8)
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylroy
RubyT- we will be going in May next year. Will the salmon still be going upstream?
No you are way too early.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glendag
Who can I fish with in Juneau? I want to fish and thought we had someone lined up but haven't heard back in a week? Any ideas anyone?
Who have you tried contacting? There's a long list of charter boats available in Juneau... many are busy with ship-based contract tours, and a few still have availability. If you had a dialogue running with someone and haven't heard back, it's worth a telephone call to see what's up. I don't know of anyone who has gone MIA yet this year...

-Case
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Old June 12th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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SE Alaska is the home and spawning grounds for all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, plus many "salmonid" trout and char. This is an odd year so far, in that the King Salmon run seems late and not as plentiful as in years past. We usually see King Salmon in May and June, then the Pink, Silver and Keta Salmon begin to show up by late June or early July. Somewhere in there are the Sockeye (red) salmon, but they don't typically bite on trolling gear in the ocean, so it's rare to see them while fishing.

As far as runs up the streams go, you won't likely see any King Salmon as they're imprinted to the larger rivers - they run deep, and there are less of them. Once the Pink, Silver, Keta and Red runs begin, however, Ketchikan, Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangell, Pelican and parts of Sitka begin to stink with all the dead fish lying about on the beaches and in the rivers.

While the smell is unpleasant, late summer/fall is the best time for wildlife viewing. Anything that eats fish (bears, eagles, otters, seals, people, etc.) will be out on the beaches feasting.

Happy Alaska Travels!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyT
hi again--
I'm sorry, but not that I know of... there are 2 salmon species there, red and silver. One spawns earlier in summer (the silver? I forget now which is which!), then the other starts later and goes thru Sept-Oct. It stuck in my mind that way because in Texas, and our migratory bats follow a similar schedule.

We were on a raised wooden walkway in Ketchikan, and a vendor on Creek Street told us about how the salmon spend half the year in salt water, but return to fresh water... and then said "Look down, because this is the busiest time of year for them!" in Spring, I think most would still be out in the ocean. but I am no grand fishie-scientist or anything though, ... so when you are there, check the water anyway! Even if there are no salmon fighting the current, you're bound to find something down there 8)
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Old June 12th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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I vote for the doggies. In Juneau we did a shore x called "Dog Sled Discovery & Musher's Camp" from Carnival's website
"At the kennels, you will meet the dogs and climb onto a wheeled sled, custom made for running during the snow-less summer months.
The husky team will whisk you along a wooded trail through some of southeast Alaska’s beautiful temperate rain forest. Spruce and hemlock trees and 12” thick spagma moss surround you on this unique one mile ride. Then, sit down and enjoy a presentation by an Iditarod Veteran, have refreshments and cuddle with some adorable husky puppies."


Here is my hubby with an adorable husky puppy.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Was that excursion with the dogs mushing worth the $$??
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Old June 12th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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The wheeled sled excursions are neat because you're not paying for the helicopter air time to get up to the dog camps on the glaciers, but running under load on dirt trails is awfully hard on the animals. My neighbors who keep dog teams here in Juneau just hate to see the "wheeled tourist sleds" come out of the garages.

Granted, the cost is way higher due to the heli time, but the icefield dog camps are always a favorite excursion.

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I vote for the doggies. In Juneau we did a shore x called "Dog Sled Discovery & Musher's Camp" from Carnival's website
"At the kennels, you will meet the dogs and climb onto a wheeled sled, custom made for running during the snow-less summer months.
The husky team will whisk you along a wooded trail through some of southeast Alaska’s beautiful temperate rain forest. Spruce and hemlock trees and 12” thick spagma moss surround you on this unique one mile ride. Then, sit down and enjoy a presentation by an Iditarod Veteran, have refreshments and cuddle with some adorable husky puppies."


Here is my hubby with an adorable husky puppy.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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I didn't realize it hurt the animals I just thought it was a summer time training. I love dogs, in fact my favorite part was playing with the puppies. They were so cute I wanted to sneak one back to the cruise ship. My cats won't have been to happy. I thought this shore exursion was worth the money. However, it was a lot cheaper then the helicopter dog sled excursions.
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