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Old June 13th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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Default Cruise next year to Alaska - Excursion suggestions welcome!

My husband and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise. We booked our next cruise while on board and will be taking an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle next June. We need suggestions for excursions out of Skagway and Juneau. Have been reading and like Harv & Marv's Whale Watching tour and the AdventureBound Tracey Arm tour. Any other suggestions?

From Skagway I remember reading one time that someone suggested renting a car and driving into Canada to Emerald Lake? Anyone have any suggestions about this?

Thanks for your input.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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At Skagway I would highly recommend the White Pass Railway excursion and at Juneau we took a tour to the glacier....again I would highly recommend it.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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I would definitely recommend the the train trip.

I don't know what time of year you are going . The road between
Skagway and Emerald Lake can get badly fogged in if the weather is
bad.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Driving the Klondike Highway is an excellent touring option out of Skagway. IF you worry about the above "fog" reference, you may as well not plan anything. I've driven it many times along with several train trips- no way to predict any weather condition, but rarely will it be the "problem" the entire trip. It can clear up significantly once over the pass, and the return trip offer clear skys.

Necessary with the drive, purchase and print out Murray's Guide www.murraysguide.com written by Yukon on this board. A FANTASTIC reference.

Only one major car rental- Avis, reserve ahead.

You need 12 hours in port for Tracy Arm 7-7p at least. They do, at times run a 9am tour, but not always, only option with a 8am port time.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Be sure to get a whale watching excursion in there, really something to see.

At least you have some time to figure out all that you want to do and see, make the best of the time you have up there, its a once in a life time kind of trip.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Default More questions about Alaska excursions

Thanks so much for everyone's input. I checked our itinerary and we will only be arriving in Juneau at 11:00 a.m. and departing at 8:00 p.m. I guess that leaves out the Tracy Arm Fjord trip. I so wanted to do that. However, I do see that we will cruise the Tracy Arm Fjord from 7:00 to 12:00 one day. Will we see a lot? Any other suggestions for Juneau.

If we do drive to Emerald Lake in Canada, about how long should we allow for the trip?

Thanks again for all your help. We are from the South and never see snow or mountains and are so looking forward to this trip.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 09:17 PM
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Do you have any other glacier stops during the cruise?

While Tracy Arm is something worth seeing, there are other glaciers where you can get closer and actually see and hear them??
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Old June 16th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: More questions about Alaska excursions

Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygirl
Thanks so much for everyone's input. I checked our itinerary and we will only be arriving in Juneau at 11:00 a.m. and departing at 8:00 p.m. I guess that leaves out the Tracy Arm Fjord trip. I so wanted to do that. However, I do see that we will cruise the Tracy Arm Fjord from 7:00 to 12:00 one day. Will we see a lot? Any other suggestions for Juneau.

If we do drive to Emerald Lake in Canada, about how long should we allow for the trip?

Thanks again for all your help. We are from the South and never see snow or mountains and are so looking forward to this trip.
Many ships don't even get within sight of the glaciers of Tracy Arm, so if a priority to see them, then book/look for some type of glacier touring.

Allow 4-5 hours for a round trip Klondike Highway drive.

Frankly, with you not going for a year, you may want to reconsider your choice and get an itinerary with a longer Juneau port time, AND either Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier, which "blows" either of the twin Sawyers away.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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Juneau: Dogsledding on Mendenhall Glacier....The best excursion yet. It is worth the money!

Skagway: White Pass Railroad...great scenery!
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Old June 18th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Cruise next year to Alaska - Excursion suggestions welco

countrygirl,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
My husband and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise. We booked our next cruise while on board and will be taking an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle next June. We need suggestions for excursions out of Skagway and Juneau. Have been reading and like Harv & Marv's Whale Watching tour and the AdventureBound Tracey Arm tour. Any other suggestions?

From Skagway I remember reading one time that someone suggested renting a car and driving into Canada to Emerald Lake? Anyone have any suggestions about this?

Thanks for your input.
If it's your first time in Skagway, I highly recommend including a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) in your plans. Built in just nine months in with "pick & shovel" (and a bit of dynamite) to haul miners, equipment, and supplies up to the Yukon back in 1897-1898, this marvel of civil engineering passes through some of the most rugged terrain that you will find anywhere. Passengers ride in modern replicas of period coaches that provide spectacular vistas along the entire route while a narrator describes the views and historical points along the way with the ambiance of the "Days of '98."

If you are looking for something more active, the "Ghosts and Goodime Girls" walking tour of Skagway's back alleys provides some interesting insights into the culture of the "Days of '98."

Finally, there's a great play called the "Days of '98 Revue Starring Soapy Smith" at the Eagles Hall that's a worthwhile take.

Norm.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Cruise next year to Alaska - Excursion suggestions welco

Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygirl
My husband and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise. We booked our next cruise while on board and will be taking an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle next June. We need suggestions for excursions out of Skagway and Juneau. Have been reading and like Harv & Marv's Whale Watching tour and the AdventureBound Tracey Arm tour. Any other suggestions?

From Skagway I remember reading one time that someone suggested renting a car and driving into Canada to Emerald Lake? Anyone have any suggestions about this?

Thanks for your input.
We have been to Skagway several times and would recommend renting a car and driving to Emerald Lake. Avis does have an office in Skagway, but they often do sell out their rental cars, so reserve your car early if you want to drive yourself. It is a very easy drive to Emerald Lake, about two hours, not counting the many stops you will want to make for pictures. The biggest advantage of renting a car is that you can stop when and where you want to stop. The cost of renting a car is significantly less than the cost of the train ride for two or more people. There are also several other places of interest to visit in Skagway, if you have access to a car. If you do rent a car be sure and bring your passport. If you are from Canada, because of some strange Canadian law, you cannot drive a car rented in the US into Canada, but if you are passenger there is no problem in going into Canada.

The train does offer the advantage of a narrative as you are riding to Canada. The nostalgia of riding the train is also a wonderful experience. I believe the train does not go much further than the Canadian border. Either one will provide you with some of the best scenery anywhere in the world.

In Juneau, I would recommend a whale watching tour. I have heard many good things about Captain Larry's and also Harv & Marv's whale watching trips. With cruise tours being so expensive, you may be able to get a better price by booking direct.

Hope this helps,

Debra
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Old July 25th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckity
At Skagway I would highly recommend the White Pass Railway excursion and at Juneau we took a tour to the glacier....again I would highly recommend it.
We did both of these on our last Alaska. Both excellent and very different scenery. We're going again next year and will likely return to the WP RR tour with the resto of our group.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Juneau has a cool zipline and helicoptor tour. My aunt is going on an Alaska cruise this summer and plans on doing the helicoptor tour in Juneau. I'm not so sure about Skagway. Never been there. I live in Ketchikan, AK. Does your boat stop in Ketchikan? Hopefully you'll get the chance to see our town. It tops all the other towns by far...okay, maybe I'm a little biased.
visit www.ketchikanblog.com if you are stopping in Ketchikan. Good tips for tourists.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM
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Having just cruised Alaska, there was one thing I found surprising --- we saw only one whale from the cruise ship and that was for a fleeting second from far away.

If whale watching is a priority, do NOT think you'll get your fill of whales from the cruise ship. Book a whale watch whether independent (best way to go) or w/ the cruiseline (an ok runner-up).
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Old July 29th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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How much is the White pass railway excursion and waht tour company is recommended?
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Old July 29th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranchette
How much is the White pass railway excursion and waht tour company is recommended?
It depends on which tour you take . There are a number of different tours
avaiable . Some are 3 hr some are up to 8 hours.
We took the cruiselines tour and where happy. It was the up to the summit
and back down about 3 -4 hrs.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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I did the trip last year, up and back, around $100 per person.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:43 PM
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What ship, and what day in June?

I have one booked June 8th on Spirit.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Haven't booked it yet, but the Spirit, probably on 9/7
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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Come and join us on June 8th
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
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We're on the Volendam leaving June 9th.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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We did the 3hr train ride in Skagway.
The scenery was fantastic but......
If it's foggy that day, you'll probably not see much
I doubt I would do it again, I fell alseep on the way back
The noon ride was very crowded... take the last ride of the day
My DH who is a train nut thought the ride was long!!! Coming from someone like him, this is not a glowing review.

Do it if you never have before. Bring a snack to munch on -- they provide bottled water. If you can't fit it in, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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So many have talked about this train trip, but I have heard so many complants. There are so much to do, I don't think we will bother with the train.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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In skagway we went horsebackriding to Emerald Lake. Was the BEST!
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Just got home this week from a 2 week cruisetour in Alaska. In Skagway, we did the Whitepass Railroad to the summit and we enjoyed it. We also did a Evening Wildlife Viewing excursion. We rode a ferry over to Haines and got on a bus that took us to bear and eagle viewing areas. We saw grizzly bears feeding on salmon in the river and tons of eagles. But you were crowded on an old bus with lots of people trying to see out one side of the bus. We were able to get off at a couple of stops but for the main part you're on the bus. On the ferry ride over to Haines, we saw whales.
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