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-   -   Juneau Helicopter Flightseeing & Glacier Trek (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/alaska/353507-juneau-helicopter-flightseeing-glacier-trek.html)

vandutch July 14th, 2008 06:51 PM

Juneau Helicopter Flightseeing & Glacier Trek
 
Hello everyone.

My fiance and I finally have narrowed our excursions down to ONE. We will be on the Holland America Alaska cruise in August.

My question to you is regarding the Juneau Helicopter and Glacier Trek. This is offered through the ship excursions at $399 per person. This is for 35 min of helicopter and 2 hours of hiking on the glaciers.

Do anyone of you know of any private tour companies who offer a similar experience in Juneau?

I have searched through google, but there are too many and you don't know how reputable they are so I'd like to get some opinions from people who have dealt with certain companies.

If all else fails, we rely on our old...and probably expensive habit of booking directly with the ship. This would be the first time that we've booked outside of the cruise line.

Thank you in advance.

CanCanCase July 15th, 2008 12:37 AM

You're looking for NorthStar Trekking. They're the vendor for that ship's tour, so there's little issue of reliability... you'll be with the same company either way.

When you call, they MAY tell you to book via your cruise line if they know you're coming on a cruise. Just start off asking for pricing and availability on the date you're here, and see what they say.

There's a chance they'll be "sold out" because the ship has pre-booked all of their tours, or there's a chance the ship will be "sold out" and you can still find a seat or two booking directly. Either way, I would imagine you'll save a few bucks in commissions if you're able to book directly.

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case

vandutch July 15th, 2008 06:36 AM

Thank you very much for the info. I will try giving them a call this afternoon.

vandutch July 15th, 2008 12:15 PM

wow. I just got off the phone with the company. I explained that I was staying with some family there. They didn't ask about cruise ships at all. Anyways, the price difference was only $20 per person compared to the price of the cruise excursion.

CanCanCase, does that sound correct to you? very surprising. I was expecting $75 to $100 possibly.

CanCanCase July 15th, 2008 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vandutch
wow. I just got off the phone with the company. I explained that I was staying with some family there. They didn't ask about cruise ships at all. Anyways, the price difference was only $20 per person compared to the price of the cruise excursion.

CanCanCase, does that sound correct to you? very surprising. I was expecting $75 to $100 possibly.

I suppose so... Sometimes when a vendor gets an "exclusive" tour contract, they can dramatically reduce their rates for the cruise ships to allow a fair commission and not fear the competition. Since nobody else offers a similar tour with the extended trekking portion, I would guess this is the case.

Another good example is a 4-hour sport fishing tour... via Princess, it's $199, and if you call them direct, they'll still quote $199. The real savings comes into play when you realize you can call any of about 20 boats directly - at least a few are bound to quote you a much lower price for the same (equivalent) tour. In your case, there isn't another company offering an "equivalent" tour, so that may just be the way it is.

For $20 difference, I might opt to book via the cruise line, especially if time was short on either end of the tour.

-Case

wagnerjenn July 15th, 2008 08:48 PM

I was just as shocked as you when I contacted Northstar myself. I assumed that I wold save a lot of money by booking directly with them. But even as early as March I was quoted a price which would only allow for a $20 savings over the cruise ship excursion price. I decided to book with the ship because I assumed that it would be easier to deal with any inclement weather, etc.
Good luck and enjoy your trip.

vandutch July 16th, 2008 06:40 AM

Thanks for all the help cancancase. We have decided to book with the cruiseline for the small fee hike. This way we will be covered if we arrive late or some other strange problems arise.

cherylroy July 19th, 2008 11:59 PM

That excursion is 400 per person??? OMG - we were thinking of doiing the same thing but don't have pricing yet on the site. It just has 4 $$ signs. I was thinking 200 - but 400? Guess we won't be going. How diappointing it is so expensive!!

CanCanCase July 21st, 2008 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cherylroy
That excursion is 400 per person??? OMG - we were thinking of doiing the same thing but don't have pricing yet on the site. It just has 4 $$ signs. I was thinking 200 - but 400? Guess we won't be going. How diappointing it is so expensive!!

Helicopter flight time is EXPEN$IVE!! Our new baby is due any day now, and I've got a Coastal helicopter on standby to come get me if I'm on the Can Can more than an hour away from Juneau... Is $1700 bucks worth it to me to be with my wife for the birth of our daughter... heck yeah! Is $400 per person (+) worth it for you to ride a dogsled on snow in August and see North America's largest ice-field? Only you can decide...

Everyone needs to remember that you're visiting places that have no roads out to the rest of the world. You can only get here by flying or boating, so it's only natural that our way of life revolves around these activities. Now, take the cost of a plane, large boat or helicopter, add in current diesel or jet fuel prices, and you're in for some expensive (but uncomparible) fun!

Happy Alaska Travels!
-Case

Phil&Liz July 21st, 2008 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanCanCase
Is $400 per person (+) worth it for you to ride a dogsled on snow in August and see North America's largest ice-field? Only you can decide...

Oh yeah ...we are paying it and will love every minute of it !

Phil & Liz

cherylroy July 21st, 2008 06:40 PM

Well, I looked up the helitreck.com site and have decided that
YES it may just very well be worth it! I think we will be doing the helitreck (level 2) in Juneau and the floatplane/dogsled ride in Skagway. Then....maybe russian dancers in sitka and maybe just easing our pockebook a little in ketchicans and just go to the lumberjack show. We have been whale watching, on the train, etc before. But...after looking at the awesome pictures, I'm pumped now. Hey.......its just money. Can't take it with you when you die!!! LOL

Paul Motter September 9th, 2008 10:51 PM

Look for Temsco helicoptors - they are number 1.


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